Philippine Embassy receives expat flak

Updated 14 September 2013

Philippine Embassy receives expat flak

A group of Filipinos met on Monday at a Philippine restaurant here to give vent to their ire on issues concerning the functioning of the Philippine Embassy.
Overseas Filipino Workers Congress President Alex Bello presided over the meeting, at which Filipinos said they had not heard from the embassy about contingency plans in the event of a US missile attack on Syria.
“If that happens, Filipinos in the Kingdom could be affected,” they said. They obviously had in mind their experience when Iraq fired Scud missiles at towns in the Kingdom during the Gulf War. Many of them had to hide in various places believed safe. They noted that Philippine embassies in Kuwait and Qatar had issued advisories.
US President Barak Obama has sought a Congress approval for a Syria attack limited in scope. However, the imminent US attack has been suspended as Obama seeks a diplomatic solution to the crisis caused by the alleged use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians.
Arab News called Ambassador Ezzedin H. Tago for his reaction on the issue but he said he didn’t see the need to issue an advisory yet, adding that he would inform Arab News if and when he issues one.
He later called Bello to inform him that the embassy as well as the consulate in Jeddah have contingency plans. Bello forwarded to Arab News a letter from Philippine Embassy Minister and Consul General Marshall Louis M. Alferez saying that the Philippine government was closely monitoring the developments in Syria.
“At present, there is no indication of a clear danger impacting countries neighboring Syria,” he said.
The Filipinos also complained that they have difficulty entering the embassy premises and talk to officials on issues regarding OFWs.
Earlier, an OFW sent a letter through Arab News website complaining against the practice of Filipinos being forced to make an online appointment regarding passport renewal. They pointed out that not all Filipinos have access to the Internet. This is true for janitors, truck drivers, construction workers and household service workers, especially those living in far-flung areas.
“The funny thing is OFWs cannot make an online appointment until December for Riyadh, Dammam, Jubail, Hafar Al-Batin and Hofuf,” he said.


Fahad Al-Azzam, assistant deputy minister for empowerment at the Saudi Ministry of Health

Updated 14 August 2020

Fahad Al-Azzam, assistant deputy minister for empowerment at the Saudi Ministry of Health

Fahad Al-Azzam has been the assistant deputy minister for empowerment at the Ministry of Health since September 2019.
He has also been the general manager for enterprise at the ministry’s project management office since July 2016, where he developed and implemented a standard set of project management processes and models, and built the framework and updated it to account for developments and best practices.
It was announced on Monday that Al-Azzam’s role as assistant deputy minister for empowerment has been extended for another year.
Al-Azzam obtained a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, in 2007. He studied abroad in the US, obtaining a master’s degree in engineering and technology management from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 2014.
Prior to his current position, Al-Azzam worked as a cooperative trainee at the Saudi Electricity Co. between May and October 2006.
At the Advanced Electronics Co., he worked as an assistant field service engineer between July 2007 and May 2009, and technical support and field service engineer between May 2009 and December 2010.
At the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, he worked as senior electrical engineer at their radiation safety department between January 2011 and February 2015.
He developed a safety program for exporting and importing electronics devices to and from Saudi Arabia and worked at controlling the risk resulting from the use of radiation-emitting devices. He also worked there as a project manager at their project management office between February 2015 and July 2016.