DOFW  “even a shot in the dark may win”

Re-Posting / 4/13/2017

Rodrigo Roa Duterte will soon assume office on June 30, 2016, as the new President of  the Philippine Republic,  the day most OFWs are waiting not because we will celebrate this historic day of his presidency, but OFWs is longing for the promises he made, and that to protect the rights and welfare of the Filipino migrant workers.

Duterte won the heart of the OFWs, the reason why we voted him overwhelmingly in the last election.  The OFWs made the choice and perhaps the President should not ignore this very important sector who saved the nation from economic difficulties.

Department of the Overseas Filipino Workers

Department of the Overseas Filipino Workers

The new President’s good intention for the creation of a Department of OFWs is the answer to the woes and the grievances of the Overseas Filipino Workers.

The proposed Department of OFWs shall be the primary agency tasked with the enforcement of the rights of OFWs as provided under the Republic Act 10022 known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act.

Although, President Duterte’s promise is a do-able in nature, but sometimes foreseen political hurdles will go along the tedious process. In politics, there are diversifying ideas against a reasonable and credible proposal, however I believed “even a shot in the dark may win” – all we need is to be united, consensus in our advocacy  and have a concerted effort among our ranks.  

Secondly, the President’s power to directly influence congress to prioritize the pending bills for the establishment of the Department of OFWs may help to make this dream a reality. – BongA

Note: Below are the pending House Bills at the Philippine House of Representatives (17th Congress) for the creation of the Department of OFWs and/or the Department of Migration and Development.


 [Text As Filed] 


Principal Author/s: SINGSON, ERIC D.


Status: Pending with the Committee on GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION since 2016-07-26


[Text As Filed] 


Principal Author/s: YAP, ARTHUR C.


Status: Pending with the Committee on GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION since 2016-07-27


[Text As Filed] 


Principal Author/s: COJUANGCO, CARLOS O.


Status: Pending with the Committee on GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION since 2016-08-09

OWWA Satisfaction Survey

OWWA Satisfaction Survey

Good day!  The Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) is a non-government organization that promotes the rights and welfare of OFWs and their Families.

The CMA is asking for your support and cooperation to respond to the survey is intended to further improve the programs and services of OWWA for OFWs and their families. Your answers will remain CONFIDENTIAL. Thank you!

Click this link to answer the survey

And I hope you can share this with other ofws including returned migrants.

Changes in the Guidelines & Procedures for the 2017 KSA Amnesty


Bulletin No. 003

Today 17 April 2017, Saudi Immigration (Jawasat) Officials informed the Philippine Embassy that there will be some changes in the guidelines and procedures for the 2017 KSA Amnesty.

Starting this week Jawasat will implement the following:

  1. Amnesty applicants are no longer required to schedule an online appointment, and may directly proceed to the nearest Jawasat Processing Center during operating hours from 7 am to 2 pm. Applicants who lined up during the day but who are not able to finish their application will be given priority the following day. Those who have already secured their online appointment may still come on the day of their appointment, or may choose to proceed directly to the Jawasat on any day.
  2. In order to help decongest the Jawasat Processing Center in Riyadh, applicants may opt to visit other Jawasat Processing Centers in regions outside of Riyadh.

For Mothers/Fathers and Children Cases (i.e. children born out of wedlock), please take note of the following procedures:

  1. For Mothers/Fathers whose children have a valid passport/travel document, and have a copy of the child’s Birth Notification from the Saudi Hospital where the child was born, you may proceed directly to the Jawasat Processing Center to apply for your final exit visas. Those with expired passports/travel documents should proceed to the Philippine Embassy to have their passport/travel documents extended prior to proceeding to the Jawasat Processing Center.
  2. For Mothers/Fathers whose children were never issued a passport/travel document and whose births were not registered at the Philippine Embassy, proceed to the Philippine Embassy to register the birth of your child so that he/she may be issued a travel document for the amnesty.
  3. For Mothers/Fathers whose children do not have a birth notification from the hospital, please proceed to the Philippine Embassy for scheduling of DNA Testing at the Jawasat. Requirements for DNA testing is a xerox copy of the parent and child’s passports/travel documents. – END

Filipino community eagerly awaits Duterte visit

JEDDAH — The Philippine community in the Kingdom is eagerly awaiting the forthcoming visit of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to Riyadh next week. The three-day visit will begin on Monday, diplomatic sources in Riyadh confirmed.

Duterte is keen to meet the maximum number of his countrymen during the visit in order to thank them for voting him to office.

The sources told Saudi Gazette that a community meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 12, at a leading hotel in Riyadh.

Preparations for the meeting are in full swing, they added.

The Philippine Embassy will invite around 2,500 leaders of community organizations and officials of Philippine schools across the Kingdom. “We are eager and looking forward to meet with the president next week in Riyadh,” said Gerwin Sundungan, a social worker and OFW Global activist in Jeddah.

Around 200 community leaders from Jeddah alone will meet the president in Riyadh, said Sundungan, who has received an invitation to attend the meeting.

(Photo) Alex Veloso Bello (OFW Congress-President) and President R. Duterte during the Veloso Clan Reunion in Cebu 2016. The then Davao Mayor Duterte was the Guest of Honor.

“We feel that OFWs can partner with government in investment projects in the Philippines,” said Ray Umel, national coordinator for Saudi Arabia of PRRD, an umbrella organization for Filipinos who supported the president.
As the president is committed to bring development to the nation, OFWs can contribute their rich expertise in technology which they gained working in the Kingdom, he told Saudi Gazette.

“We hope that in coming years the number of OFWs would dwindle as the growth rate is improving in the country under the leadership of Duterte,” said Alex Veloso Bello, president of OFW Congress in Riyadh.

He has said the Philippine community has great expectations from the president and it sincerely believes in all of his efforts, especially in favor of OFWs.

This is the first time Duterte is visiting the Kingdom after winning the presidential elections of May 2016. He had won 76.55 percent of valid votes polled in Kingdom, the highest majority of any leader. His election campaign was largely funded by the Filipino community in the Kingdom.

No other president enjoyed such widespread OFW support as Duterte did. Looking after the welfare of OFWs was on top of his campaign promises. His first order to the Department of Foreign Affairs as newly elected president was the improvement of services for OFWs. He ordered cash assistance of SR5.3 million to OFWs employed by crisis-hit construction companies in the Kingdom.

Duterte is from Davao, Mindanao, from where a significant number of OFWs working in Saudi Arabia, especially in its western region, hail from.

By Irfan Mohammed  Saudi Gazette

Registered Filipino Community Groups in Saudi Arabia for the Visit of President Duterte in Riyadh on April 2017

Press Release

Registered Filipino Community Groups in Saudi Arabia for the Visit of  President Duterte in Riyadh on April 2017

(Riyadh, 22 March 2017) – Further to the Embassy’s Press Release No. 028-2017 dated 6 March 2017, the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh wishes to inform the Filipino community of the following list of 194 Filipino community groups have registered with the Embassy.

In line with the upcoming visit of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 10 – 13 April 2017, the Philippine Embassy informs the following groups to provide a list of their members, with a maximum of ten (10), who will be representing their group during the Filipino community meeting with the President which will be held on Wednesday, 12 April 2017 at 7:00 p. m. – 8:30 p. m. at the Marriot Hotel Riyadh, Makarim Grand Ballroom, King Saud Road, Riyadh.

The list of group representatives should include the following information: Complete Name, Passport Number, and Saudi Iqama Number. This should be submitted to the Embassy using the attached form and send to: with filename: NAME OF ORGANIZATION_REGION IN KSA_FINAL (Ex. PHILIPPINEEMBASSY_RIYADH_FINAL) on or before 2 April 2017.

The Embassy will then provide the above-named groups the names of their members who have been cleared and approved by the concerned authorities to attend the meeting.  – End –

To view the list of Filipino Community Groups in Saudi Arabia and the attached form mentioned, please click here >>>>> Philippine Embassy Advisory.

Philippine Foreign Secretary visits Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ahead of Duterte

Philippine Foreign Secretary visits Kingdom ahead of Duterte

RODOLFO C. ESTIMO JR. | Published — Monday 23 January 2017

RIYADH: Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto R. Yasay Jr. visited Saudi Arabia on Saturday in preparation for a visit by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Yasay Jr. “came to Saudi Arabia to meet the Filipino community and to listen to their concerns, issues and aspirations, which he will relay to President Duterte before he comes,” Philippine Embassy Charge d’Affaires Iric C. Arribas told Arab News on Sunday.

Yasay Jr. headed a delegation that included Assistant Secretary Hajceleen Quintana and Director Germinia Usudan, top officials at the Office of Middle East and African Affairs at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Voltaire Pingol and Rene Montebon, special assistants to the foreign secretary.


OFW Congress-Riyadh Officers & FilCom Leaders (OFWC President Alex Veloso Bello and Hon. DFA Secretary Perfecto “Jun” Yasay) *Photos taken from OFWC Facebook Page

Arribas said Yasay Jr. expressed his appreciation to the Filipino community for the warm welcome extended to him and his delegation.

During the meeting, Yasay Jr. reminded the community to be responsible to the host government, which welcomed them to help the Kingdom’s development.

The embassy estimated the number of Filipino workers in the Kingdom at close to a million.
Arribas said the Filipino community is looking forward to the visit of Duterte, and the embassy will ensure his visit is memorable.

Consul General Imelda Panolong joined Yasay Jr. and his delegation, and Philippine Embassy officials, in meeting with the community. Panolong was accompanied by Consul Rodney Jonas Sumague and Vice Consul Alex Estomo.

Lawmakers propose creation of OFW department

MANILA- Two committees of the House of Representatives have jointly created a technical working group to consolidate six bills proposing the creation of a Department for Overseas Filipino Workers (DOFW).

In a joint hearing, the Committee on Government Reorganization represented by its vice chairman, Manila Teachers Party-list Representative Virgilio Lacson, and the Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs led by its chairman, Buhay Party-list Representative Mariano Michael Velarde, Jr., approved the motion of Deputy Speaker Sharon Garin to create the working group.

Lacson said the creation of a DOFW aims to promote the overall welfare, rights and needs of OFWs, which is a fitting recognition of the significant contribution of OFWs to national economic progress.

The members of the working group are Lacson, ACTS OFW Party-list Representative Aniceto Bertiz III, Kabayan Party-list Representaive Ron Salo and PBA Party-list Representative Mark Aeron Sambar.

The six proposals to establish a DOFW, defining its powers and functions are: House Bill 227 authored by Deputy Speaker Eric Singson; House Bill 288 by 1-PACMAN Party-list Representative Michael Romero; House Bill 543 by Pangasinan 3rd District Representative Rose Marie “Baby” Arenas; House Bill 822 by Bohol 3rd District Representative Arthur Yap ; House Bill 1936 by Las Piñas Representative Mark Villar and House Bill 2334 by Tarlac 1st District Representative Carlos Cojuangco.

The two committees also discussed House Bill 192 authored by Bertiz and House Bill 3255 by DIWA Party-list Representative Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, both seeking to create the Department of Migration and Development (DMD), which aims to implement and promote programs for the protection, safety, and development of all Filipino migrants and families.


Posted at Nov 11 2016 07:49 AM | Updated as of Nov 11 2016 08:58 AM