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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

No PH envoys in UAE and Saudi Arabia, two Arab nations with huge OFWs concentrations

An alliance of Filipino migrant rights group Monday said there is no
Philippine envoy in two Arab states where there are huge concentrations of
overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East coordinator, citing report from
its Migrante chapter, said there is no envoy from the Philippines in the
United Arab Emirate (UAE) after Ambassador Grace Relucion-Princesa
reportedly had been recalled last January 15.

"We are not privy to the reason why she had been recalled and we don't know
if she will be coming back and perform her job as PH envoy to UAE," Nhel
Morona, Migrante-UAE secretary-general.

According to Monterona, it is not good that the Department of Foreign
Affairs (DFA) did not even bother to provide an explanation why she was
recalled that left the PH post in UAE without a chief of mission or even
charge de affaires.*

Morona said there are about 500,000 OFWs in the entire Emirates including
undocumented or overstaying OFWs.

"Without a ambassador in Abu Dhabi, certainly there are diplomatic tasks and
services to OFWs that would be affected; we have been hearing that she was
allegedly recalled due to infighting between her and the two consul
generals," Monterona added.

Migrante-ME is asking the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to clarify
this for the benefit of OFWs who are demanding honest-to-goodness and
efficient service from their embassy.

In Saudi Arabia, there is no PH envoy until now after Amb. Antonio Villamor
had ended his tour of duty and the position has been vacant since October

"The Aquino government must realize the need to fill in these positions
immediately; ambassador performs an important role in foreign policy
directions and implementation and in attending the numerous concerns and
issues of our OFWs," Monterona added.*

"A vehicle running without a driver is too dangerous to ride! -this is the
case now of Philippine embassies in Saudi and UAE," Monterona said.

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