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WFA - News: KASAPI CONGRESS Submits Resolution to Vice President Binay During a Dialogue in Jeddah | Worldwide Filipino Alliance
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KASAPI CONGRESS Submits Resolution to Vice President Binay During a Dialogue in Jeddah

By: Arman Muleem



                             KASAPI CONGRESS

(Kongreso Ng Kapulungan Ng Mga Samahang Pilipino)

                     The alliance of Filipino Community Associations in the Western Region of Saudi Arabia

                                                           Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
                                
                                                                           Resolution K/11-002 

 

WHEREAS, the dreams and aspirations of more than 12 Million OFWs scattered in all

corners of the globe, of which more than 1 Million are in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,

have been discussed, and are still being discussed, in various fora; 
 
WHEREAS, due to lack of direct representation in the law-making bodies of the Philippines,

those dreams and aspirations remain unfulfilled; and,

WHEREAS, the wind of change and political uprisings that engulf some North African and

Middle Eastern countries have a negative impact on the millions of Filipinos working in the

regions.


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the KASAPI Congress (the umbrella organization

of more than 30 Filipino organizations/associations in the Western Region of the Kingdom 

of Saudi Arabia), exhorts the Honorable Vice-President Jejomar Binay to support and endorse

the following programs to the government of the Republic of the Philippines:

1. MORE RESPONSIVE REINTEGRATION PROGRAM

1a. Develop and disseminate plans and programs that will help the OFWs reenter the

mainstream society and the economy;

1b. Support the skills training, assist in preparing business feasibility studies, research, establishment of various cooperative organizations, re-employment and other reintegration assistance;  

 

1c. Easy access to credit facilities for those who want to invest in any    business that may need bigger capital; and,

 

1d. Develop a lifetime medical insurance scheme for returning OFWs who have worked

abroad for 10 years or more.

 

2. IMPLEMENT AND/OR STRENGTHEN R.A. 10022 (AN ACT AMENDING R. A. 8042 

KNOWN AS THE MIGRANT WORKERS ACT)


2a. Provide immediate legal assistance to the OFWs at the worksite in order to settle cases like non-payment of salaries, contract substitutions, maltreatment, etc. Such legal assistance should be aimed at protecting the right of the OFW and must not be utilized to demoralize him;

 

2b. Put up safehouses for the distressed runaways or stranded OFWs;

 

2c. Immediate repatriation of stranded or distressed OFWs, including the remains of

deceased compatriots;  


2d. Regular monitoring of the conditions of  - and provide legal assistance to - OFWs

in jail for various reasons. In all cases, the OFW should be represented by a Saudi

lawyer. It is highly recommended that a Saudi Law Firm -  which will handle all cases involving OFWs – be retained on an annual basis;

 

2e. Availability of fund to be used in emergency cases such as payment of medical expenses for sick and undocumented OFWs and their repatriation;

 

2f. Professionalism in dealing with distressed OFWs. Penalize government officials

who exhibit rude behavior in dealing with OFWs;

 

2g. Protect departing and arriving OFWs against unscrupulous immigration officials

at the airport especially the newly hired; and,

 

2h. Create an independent body that will handle cases involving Filipinos abroad to

ensure that Filipino nationals get fair trial. The said agency will be assigned only to countries that have large numbers of OFWs.

 

 

3. MAKE OWWA MORE RESPONSIVE TO THE NEEDS OF THE OFWS

           

3a. As an agency funded by OFWs, OWWA must be accountable for all the money it has been collecting from departing OFWs, and should be transparent in all its transactions using the OFW fund;

3b. OWWA should put up an Emergency Loans facility;

3c. Invest in OFW hospitals;

3d. Establish OFW-customized pension fund;

3e. Provide the capital to establish an OFW-owned and managed bank, the shares

of which shall be subscribed to and purchased by OFWs;

 

            3f. Availability of OWWA staff 24/7 to respond to emergencies;

 

3g. Since Saudi Arabia hosts a large number of OFWs, OWWA should provide for  additional Welfare Officers in each region to better serve the sector; and,

 

3h. Assign Medical Officer(s) who can immediately respond to the medical needs of distressed OFWs (without iqama).   


4.  EMPOWER POEA FOR THE BENEFIT OF THOSE WHO WANT TO WORK  ABROAD


 4a. More effective measures to protect OFWs against contract substitution, reduced

salary from agreed amount, lessened benefits and other illegal recruitment and unfair

labor practices, including undue denial of “No Objection Certificate” and blacklisting, 

thru bilateral labor treaties with host countries (if possible); 

 4b. More comprehensive PDOS and Post-Arrival Orientation Seminar with the

assistance of local and on-site OFW NGOs to better prepare the OFWs from cultural shock, worksite realities, and other local factors; 

 4c. Impose as part of employer accreditation, the compulsory registration and personal appearance of their workers at the nearest diplomatic mission within 15 days of their
arrival; and,

 

4d. Impose strict penalties (such as fines and imprisonment) for Philippine Recruitment Agencies/POEA Officers and Staff who violate the provision of the law on Re-Processing and Contract Substitution.

 


5. PROMULGATE AN OFW INVESTMENT INCENTIVES LAW AND VEHICLE IMPORT TAX EXEMPTION

           

5a. Legislation to provide incentives for OFWs to invest in cottage, small and medium scale industries similar to those comprising R.A. 7042 such as tax holiday, import tax and duty exemption, tax credit on raw materials and local capital equipment, additional tax deduction on labor expense, simplification of customs processing, export tax exemption and additional local government incentives; 

5b. Consolidation of other government C/S/M business assistance programs into the

OFW Investments Incentives law especially crafted to facilitate and to enhance the establishment of OFW industries nationwide; and,

 5c. Passage of a law to grant import tax and duties exemption for a vehicle of an OFW
who has worked abroad continuously for the preceding ten years, with the provisions that such vehicle shall be 5 years or older and not more than 2500cc displacement.


6. ESTABLISHMENT OF FILIPINO COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTER (FCRC)

    

6a. In accordance with R. A. 8042, FCRCs should be established in areas with more

than 20,000 Filipinos, particularly in localities that have social restrictions and limited venues; and,

6b. It should be a self-sustaining multi-purpose facility for OFWs to engage in educational, cultural, recreational and other social activities. It should be big enough to house a library and research center, with plenty of extra space which may be converted into either an auditorium, gymnasium, lecture hall/theater and/or livelihood training and seminar room where experts and OFWs may share with other OFWs the knowledge, skills and expertise that they have acquired while working abroad, including business tips and advice.

  

7. GLOBAL FILIPINO NATION

           

7a. Formulate strategic plans and programs in order for the government to better address the Filipino Diaspora;

7b. Institute synergistic and symbiotic relationships between the government and
Filipino communities abroad;

 7c. Promote dignity and Filipino nationalism, patriotism and other values;

7d. Mandatory issuance of voter`s ID to encourage participation in the country`s political exercises. This may be done by registering the OFW as absentee/overseas voter, and issuing the voter`s ID prior to his/her departure;   

 

            7e. Create of OFW Congressional District(s) in areas or places    comprising       more than            200,000 voters; and,

 

7f. Adopt Internet Voting System for Absentee Voting in regions more than 200 km away from voting centers.

 

8. OFW CONDITIONS OF PARTICULAR INTEREST TO JEDDAH FILIPINO COMMUNITY

    

8a. As the backdoor exit where many stranded OFWs go to as a last resort for repatriation, the addition of more Arabic-speaking staff who are familiar with local laws and customs, to the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah and its attached offices like the POLO and OWWA. There is a dire shortage of consulate and attached staff to attend to complaints and cases of distressed OFWs due that the land area of the Western Region is larger than the Philippines where more than 300,000 Filipinos are spread; and,


8b. Considering the limited access to Makkah and Madinah, it is necessary to assign officers in the consulate and its attached offices who are able to enter these exclusive cities, attend to OFW problems in these areas, and personally follow-up their situation with local government officials and employers.



The foregoing resolution was passed by the KASAPI CONGRESS this 31st day of March 2011.  

  

Signed:

 

 

_________________________                                __________________________

Rodolfo  “Boy” S. Cornejo                                                     Ed Mendoza

Chairman                                                                             Vice Chairman

Adviser, AFTP                                                                       President, FBA

 

 

_________________________                                  __________________________

Corlito Obtinalla                                                           Ali Ditucalan

Secretary General                                                      Deputy Sec-Gen

President, BISA                                                          Ex-President, IWATON

 

 

_________________________                                  __________________________

Rudy Dianalan                                                            Vic Aguila

Chairman Emeritus                                                     Former Chairman

Ex-President, MAISA                                                 Adviser, FILWOW

 

 

_________________________                                  __________________________

Jauhari Usman

Former Chairman

                   Chapter Cmdr. OKOR, Western Region

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