Give donation to Consortium

Monday, November 22, 2010

Still no PHL ambassador to Saudi, P-Noy urged to bare appointee

Nearly two months after the Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia ended his tour of duty following the taking over of the Aquino administration, up to this date there is no PHL ambassador yet to Saudi Arabia.


On September 30, PHL ambassador to Saudi Arabia Antonio Villamor has been recalled by the Aquino government after giving him 3-months term extension in transition while the Aquino administration is still looking for its own appointee as a replacement.


Ambassador Villamor is a political appointee of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; he was re-assigned as RP ambassador to Saudi Arabia upon his supposed retirement on December 2006.


Jeddah-based PHL Consul General Ezzadin Tago has been designated as Charge de Affairs, ad interim, at the PHL embassy in Riyadh.


On October 9, an alliance of Filipino migrants group active on OFWs rights and welfare advocacy based in Saudi Arabia issued a statement, which said its chapters and various OFWs groups prefer to have a career diplomat to replace the outgoing PHL ambassador (Antonio Villamor).


OFWs in Saudi Arabia deserve a career diplomat with strong credentials and plentiful experience on various OFWs woes and concerns,” John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator, said.


The Saudi-based OFW leader further said that he could well remember the President's promise of changing the decadent government system and this must include an overhaul in the foreign service to be more responsive to the needs, woes and concerns of Filipino workers abroad.


Monterona opined that in improving the foreign service to be responsive to the needs, woes, and growing concerns of OFWs, P-Noy should start deploying career diplomats rather than appointing his political allies for various posts abroad.


However, Monterona asked what is delaying the President to appoint a career diplomat as ambassador to Saudi Arabia, recognizing though that the President has to exercise his power to appoint with prudence.


Monterona added he hope that P-Noy is taking his time reviewing the credentials of his possible appointee to fill the vacant PHL ambassadorship in Saudi Arabia, and not because of the pressures of 'political favor' from political allies aspiring for the position.


Monterona raises concern that without an appointed PHL ambassador to Saudi as head of the post, the numerous cases of abuses, maltreatment, and labor malpractices and other diplomatic concerns might be set aside and might not be properly attended.


Migrante-Middle East chapters have been receiving 7 to 10 cases daily ranging from abuses, maltreatment, and various labor malpractices.


Saudi Arabia is No.1 on Top 10 countries of destinations by the numbers of deployed land-basedfor new hires and re-hires with almost 300,000 OFWs deployed last year, citing the 2009 Overseas Employment Statistics by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).


There are about 1.2-M OFWs now working in Saudi Arabia, mostly domestic helpers and construction workers.


In 2009, OFWs from Saudi Arabia have sent a remittance totaling to almost $1.5-M, next to US and Canada. With an increase of OFW deployment, it is expected to reach $2-M remittance by the end of this year.


Other mid-east countries on the Top 10 OFWs destinations are UAE (rank #2), Qatar (rank #4), Kuwait (rank #6) and Bahrain (rank #10).





No comments:

Post a Comment