Filipino expats seek to resolve salary dues

Updated 17 July 2016
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Filipino expats seek to resolve salary dues

RIYADH: Around 7,100 Filipino workers at Saudi Oger are desperately appealing to both local officials and their country’s embassy to help them resolve their escalating labor problem in terms of eight months’ salary dues.
“I want to respectfully ask our beloved President Rodrigo R. Duterte to kindly intervene and solve this problem and, if possible, send his representative who can talk to the concerned government officials of Saudi Arabia,” a Filipino engineer anonymously told Arab News.
“With due respect to our officials at the Philippine Embassy, who are tasked to help and facilitate the welfare of OFWs in KSA, I sense that something must be done to help us. We are in a critical financial situation,” he said.
He observed that the problem of these OFWs working at Saudi Oger needs immediate attention from their government.
“We have not been paid salaries for the last eight months since November, 2015.”
He said: “It is a very difficult situation for all of us, especially for those who have children studying here. Our children have not been enrolled in school. We would send them back to the Philippines, but the problem is that the company cannot give us air tickets, while we don’t have the money to buy them,” he said.
Those who have applied for final exit visas are still desperately waiting for their end-of-service benefits and pending dues. So far, they see no light at the end of the tunnel.
“I have been working at Saudi Oger Ltd. for almost 24 years. It would be a long story to tell how good the company was until, unfortunately, I found myself among thousands of employees who did not receive a salary for almost nine months,” said another Filipino engineer who suffers from a malignant cancer.
He said, “I am already huge in debt to pay house rental, car installments, house in the Philippines, loan amortization, and a lot more for my daughter’s school tuition fees and more for basic needs.”
According to him, he has had to stop taking his medicine, as his medical insurance was cut off because of the financial crises of the company. “I have no choice but bend my knees before God and entrust my life to him.”


Saudi Civil Defense makes Kingdom safer place to live

Updated 1 min 35 sec ago
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Saudi Civil Defense makes Kingdom safer place to live

JEDDAH: Collaboration between Saudi universities, research centers and the country’s Civil Defense is helping to make the Kingdom a safer place to live.
Col. Abdul Aziz Al-Zahrani, the general director of the Jeddah department of Civil Defense, said “strong” cooperation on safety and civil protection matters was a vital part of risk management work taking place in the Kingdom.
Speaking during a press conference to announce details of next month’s Intersec Saudi Arabia 2019 trade fair for the security, safety, and fire protection sector, Al-Zahrani said the General Directorate of Civil Defense had spent many productive years sharing knowledge with Saudi education and research institutions.
He said research data helped in producing risk assessments and finding solutions to natural, industrial and domestic safety issues. “The Civil Defense takes advantage of these studies to help keep people and properties safe.”
Al-Zahrani added: “Take me for instance. I am a graduate of King Abdul Aziz University where I obtained my Ph.D. in geological and environmental engineering. I have worked on risk assessment on the coast of the Makkah region. We were able to produce geological maps that helped to locate risky, low-risk and safe areas.”
The third edition of the Intersec exhibition will take place on April 14-16 at the Jeddah Center for Forums and Events with more than 150 exhibitors from 20 countries expected to attend.
The event aims to offer a platform to network, create and strengthen partnerships, share information, and keep up to date with the latest innovations driving the regional and global security, safety, and fire protection industries.
Organized by Messe Frankfurt-Middle East and Al-Harithy Company for Exhibitions (ACE) and supported by the General Directorate of Civil Defense along with other international government partners, trade associations, and non-profit institutions, Intersec will bring together key regulators, government authorities, solution providers and end-users to discuss strategies and collaborative approaches for security, safety and fire protection in the region.
The trade event will cover product groups including commercial security, information security, perimeter and physical security, homeland security and policing, fire and rescue, and health and safety.
Al-Zahrani said great strides had been taken in Saudi Arabia to protect the public from the dangers posed by unsafe appliances, and the Civil Defense had also increased the efficiency and effectiveness of fire and rescue services.