It is easy to say to "Let the Saudis get their maids from somewhere else for now." But where will our kababayans get money to feed their families? On the other hand, let the Saudis get their maids from these other countries and see if they have less trouble with them. I cannot elaborate on the trouble I am referring to or I might get in trouble. But I have one question, if the reduction of visas is tied to the "Saudization" of the workforce, why are they getting replacement from these other countries? Are they really implementing Saudization or are they just waiting for us Filipinos to bend over and accept their offer? For $400, we are giving their country a trouble-free environment. If they get it from these other countries, good luck to Saudi.
Work visas for Saudi down
By EDD K. USMAN
July 8, 2011, 6:33pm
MANILA, Philippines — Apparently as a result of the still-unresolved labor row between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, an official of the Kingdom's embassy in the Philippines has revealed that working visas being issued for Filipinos, particularly household workers (HWs), is now down from a range of 1,500-1,800 daily to only 600-700, a reduction of more than 50 percent.
Saudi Consul General Khalid Al-Kahtani learned of this development as the official explained the two issues greatly affecting the new deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
One, the Kingdom's suspension of the issuance of visas for HWs, and, two, the newly-introduced "Nitaqat" (meaning Ranges or Scopes) system, the intensified implementation of the long-standing but largely failed "Saudization" of jobs.
The suspension resulted from the Philippine demand to raise the base pay to US$400 of HWs, improvement of their work conditions, and some "intrusive" requirements from the employers.
But on the HWs issue, Kahtani said what remains now is only on the salary dispute, with his government offering about $240 dollars a month, $10 for each unused day-off while the Philippine is sticking with the $400.
As a result, Kahtani said Saudi Arabia is now presently getting its new HWs from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, and Kazakhstan, with the same quality of workers as those of Filipinos, but with $200 salary, or lower.
The Saudi official said the suspension could be lifted Sunday, the day after Sunday, or next month once the Philippines agrees.
Until then, the suspension of the issuance of HWs' visas will continue, he said.