OFWs in Saudi can now get OEC in Al Khobar

By Florante Catanus, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau

Posted at Jan 24 2013 05:28 PM | Updated as of Jan 25 2013 01:28 AM

ALKHOBAR, Saudi Arabia – Many overseas Filipino workers in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia praised the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh for its outreach service that issues the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC).

Through the embassy’s Philippine Overseas Labor Office, Eastern Region Operations (POLO-ERO), OFWs can now get the OEC in Al Khobar before they go on vacation in the Philippines.

“Malaking tulong po ito sa amin instead na mga 1 o 2 araw yung bubunuin namin sa pagkuha ng OEC sa Pilipinas ay dito ‘pag hindi naman masyadong maraming tao ay saglit lang ay makukuha at maigugol pa namin ang 1 o 2 araw na ‘yan sa aming pamilya,” said Mursad Panduga, a civil/structural designer in Alkhobar.

This is the first time that Panduga was able to get the OEC before going home to the Philippines. He usually get an OEC from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) or from his hometown in Zamboanga City.

Like Panduga, Analyn Morillo, a nurse at King Abdulaziz Airbase Hospital in Dhahran, is also happy with the outreach service. She hopes that this kind of service will continue so that they will serve a lot of Filipinos here.

Labor Attache Adam Musa, head of POLO-ERO, is urging the OFWs to avail the service including the renewal of OWWA and PAG-IBIG membership which are pre-requisite to getting the OEC.

“Para sa mga kababayan natin na OFW na gustong mag-avail ng OEC, OWWA and PAG-IBIG membership, pwede silang pumunta diyan sa ating processing center sa may Gulf Center dyan sa Alkhobar as part of the outreach services ng embassy,” Musa said.

The outreach service is available twice a week during Saturdays and Sundays only. Their office is open from 10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. and is located at the ground floor of Gulf Center Building in Corniche Alkhobar.

Also, he advised applicants to bring the necessary requirements like the copy of their passports, exit/re-entry visas and renewal of OWWA and PAG-IBIG memberships.

Same requirements apply to Household Service Workers or Kasambahay with an addition of a copy of their Iqama and a copy of their employer’s national ID. Also, personal appearance of their employer is needed in order for an OEC to be issued to the HSW.

The fee for OEC is nine Riyals while OWWA Membership renewal costs 97 Riyals; and 38 Riyals for two months PAG-IBIG contributions.

There are about 250,000 OFWs in the Eastern Region which comprises the major cities like AlKhobar, Dammam, Dhahran, Jubail and AlHassa.