Friday, August 14, 2015

OFWs in Saudi Arabia reminded: Employers cannot take passports

Overseas Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia have the right to keep their Philippine passports, and attempts by employers to keep the documents may be reported to the authorities.

The reminder was issued by the Philippine embassy in Riyadh, which said this right is protected by both Saudi and Philippine laws.

 
"The Philippine passport is considered to be the property of the Republic of the Philippines and only the bearer has the right to keep it in his custody," it said.
 
It also reminded companies and employers in Saudi Arabia who keep their foreign workers’ passports against the workers' will that they are violating Saudi law.
 
The embassy cited the Saudi Council of Ministers Resolution No. 166 dated 12/04/1421H (July 14, 2000) which states that “every employee has the right to keep his passport in his custody.”
 
According to the Philippine embassy, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated this week that this rule remains in effect.
 
Under this rule, "any OFW whose passport has been kept by their employer has a right to complain to the Ministry of Labor or the police."  Joel Locsin/JDS, GMA News

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