Qatar amended its residency laws on Tuesday to allow foreign workers to leave the country without exit permits from their employers, a provision which labour rights groups have long said should be abolished.
the adoption of Law No. 13, saying it amended “certain provisions” of previous laws regulating the entry, exit and residency of expatriates. It did not specify which provisions or offer details on the changes.
Qatar’s system still requires the country’s 1.6 million mainly Asian foreign workers to obtain their employers’ consent before changing jobs, which the groups say leaves workers open to abuse.
The government’s other pledged reforms include introduction of a minimum wage and a grievance procedure for workers.
A Saudi official has hinted the kingdom was moving forward with a plan to dig a canal that would turn the neighbouring Qatari peninsula into an island, amid a diplomatic feud between the Gulf nations.
“I am impatiently waiting for details on the implementation of the Salwa island project, a great, historic project that will change the geography of the region,” Saud al-Qahtani, a senior adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said on Twitter.
The plan, which would physically separate the Qatari peninsula from the Saudi mainland, is the latest stress point in a 14-month long dispute between the two states.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism and being too close to Riyadh’s archrival, Iran — charges Doha denies.
In April, the pro-government Sabq news website reported government plans to build a channel – 60 kilometres (38 miles) long and 200 metres wide stretching across the kingdom’s border with Qatar.
Part of the canal, which would cost up to 2.8 billion riyals ($750 million), would be reserved for a planned nuclear waste facility, it said.
Saudi authorities did not respond to requests for comment and there was no immediate reaction on the plan from Qatar.
#Manila: The government will entice overseas Filipino workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to return home for a chance to get employed locally or elsewhere overseas. This is what the labor department intends to do with the establishment of a Job Fair Task Force that will conduct a special job fair and skills profiling of OFWs based in KSA and Qatar.
In an administrative order issued by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the supply-demand profiling and skills-job matching will be jointly conducted by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and Bureau of Local Employment (BLE).Concerned Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) in the identified countries will do the preliminary skills profiling of the OFWs in coordination with the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB).
Through the joint undertaking, POEA and BLE will conduct employers’ forum and gather the number of vacancies, skills requirement, geographical location (local or overseas), as well as determine the companies interested to join the Job Fair.Also, POEA and BLE shall process the supply and demand profile and come up with labor market information that will serve as a guide for matching of available skills and employer demand for workers.
OFWs that require further upgrading of skills requirements of the participating employers will be referred to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for training prior to their deployment whether local or overseas. Meanwhile, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will provide the welfare assistance during the conduct of job fairs and which may lead to the repatriation of distressed OFWs. The said tasked group is headed by DOLE Undersecretary Claro Arellano who is in charge of DOLE’s Legal and International Affairs, and is co-chaired by OWWA. The members include POEA, BLE, ILAB, and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in KSA and Qatar.
#Manila: Local employment opportunities will soon be offered to Middle East-based Filipinos as the labor department is preparing to mount a job fair in Qatar and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) this year.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the job fairs will only offer available employment opportunities in the Philippines.” We will be conducting a job fair in Qatar and in Saudi for jobs available in our country,” said Bello.
There are around 18,000 local job vacancies to be offered in the job fairs, all needed by companies of former senator and businessman Manuel Villar.
The labor chief said majority of the job vacancies to be offered will most likely be for skilled workers, considering that the business of the former senator is in the field of real estate development.
Apart from these vacancies, the Education Department is also looking to offer some 2,000 teaching positions, Meanwhile, the DOLE – National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) reported that close to 1,000 former overseas workers will soon be gainfully employed as public school teachers in various parts of the country
It said 846 former OFWs are being processed for teaching positions in 749 schools across the country.
#Manila: The decision of the Department of Labor and Employment in Philippines (DOLE) on whether to lift the suspension or not the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to Kuwait will be known this week.
the Kuwaiti government appears to be ready to sign a new bilateral agreement with the Philippine government to improve the welfare of Filipino workers within its territory” Bello III said he was approached by the Kuwaiti ambassador to discuss the signing of the new bilateral agreement.
Meanwhile, over 600 Filipino workers in Qatar have lost their jobs and more may suffer the same fate due to a prevailing diplomatic crisis among Arab countries, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.
“We looked at the companies where these Filipinos worked and apparently a lot of them are owned by Saudi companies. So this might be at face value a divestment of Saudi from Qatar. Until the political issues are settled there, it is always a threat for Filipinos. We are closely observing this,” Lagunzad noted.
Bello said DOLE is sending to Qatar and other countries in the Middle East this month, a team headed by Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) deputy administrator Arnel Ignacio to check on the welfare and conditions of OFWs in the region.
He also reported minimal displacement of Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia as a result of the oil crisis and the Saudization program.
Qatar Airways’ first non-stop flight to Penang touched down on Tuesday at Penang International Airport, inaugurating its second destination in Malaysia.