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Dec
17
2014

Kuwait’s Bill to Affect Millions of Expatriates

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Kuwait is home to more than 2.4 million expatriates including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), both working and living in this Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country.  It is also OFWs favorite destination to work abroad.

Expatriates in the country includes Asian unskilled labourers and domestic helpers, which comprises mainly two-thirds of it’s population.

Concerned Kuwaiti lawmakers were alarmed by this number, stating that something has to be done to lessen Kuwait’s dependence on foreign workers.

A bill was endorsed last month to set limit on the expatriates number in the country. The bill is to set restrictions on any foreigners community to only less than 10 percent of Kuwait’s total population. This means that a community should not have more than 125,000 expatriates.

The proposal also aims to imposed a“five-year residency cap on expatriates and a ban on bringing their families too, in Kuwait. As a result, this will affect millions of expatriates wherein thousands would have to leave the country. Nationalities that would be greatly cut down by this proposal are Indians, Egyptian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Filipino, and Syrian, whether unskilled or semi-skilled workers.

But the proposal is still for approval from the legal and legislative committee, assessing if it complies with  the constitution and laws of Kuwait.

OFWs will be affected once this bill is passed and implemented by the Kuwaiti government. Though OFWs are highly in demand because of their skills, private business sector will have no choice but to obey once the bill is passed and mandatory implemented.

The business sector is boldly opposing the proposal, even resisting all deportation calls, emphasizing that the slice on expatriates or foreign workers “could result in grave economic issues in the country.”

Related articles:

Benefits Entitled to OFWs in Kuwait

Where to Seek Help for OFWs in Kuwait

Beware of Employment Contract Substitution

What A Good Resume Should Show

 

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Published in: Uncategorized
Dec
15
2014

How OFWs can Send Remittance to the Philippines

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Overseas Filipino workers or OFWs remittances to their family in the Philippines are not only augmenting their life, but also help boost the economic stability of the country. It was estimated that 2014 remittances by OFWs could be 5 percent higher compared to last year.

OFWs remittance

 

Since it is the holiday season, OFWs will surely send big amount for Christmas expenses. But before OFWs transfer the money, there are a lot of factors to consider to be sure that the hard-earned amount will be received on time.

OFWs must compare first the costs, exchange rates and how fast the amount will be send and receive by the intended recipient. You can look for different international money transfer near your area and do a comparison of their services offered. They should have the ease and comfort that will suit the money transfer service needs of an OFW.

There are many different money transfer service to choose from, and some of them are:

Banks with a Philippine branch or affiliated branch. This is the most secure way of sending money to your family, but their charges and speed of delivery may differ.

Where OFWs can Remit Money in Saudi Arabia

Western Union. OFWs can use their services from their different agents’ location in more than 200 countries. But they don’t offer cheap money transfers with their rates and fees.

MoneyGram. It is another money transfer service with locations in many countries too. Money can be in Peso or US dollars either by home delivery, cash pick up or by ATM’s through LBC card.

Xoom Money Transfer. They offer online money transfer from credit card, debit card or by Paypal. Their exchange rate is below the market rate and the service is fast and safe.

PayPal. OFWs can send to remittances with their affordable-pay low fees, fast and secure transactions via payment method using debit or credit card.

KwartaPadala. An MLhuillier’s money remittance service with partners all over the globe, they ensure a fast, secure and reliable system of sending money.

MAGPADALA KAYO SA PAMILYA, DAHIL KUNG HINDI…

These are just some of the wire services OFWs can choose to trust in sending their remittances. OFWs can also opt to try what their fellow OFWs had been using for most of the time. But whichever you prefer, there is only one thing you need to be sure of. Your family or intended recipient must be able to receive the money at the right time, when they needed it.

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Published in: OFW Tips and Guides
Dec
10
2014

Want to Retire Early as an OFW without being Broke?

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Whenever an OFW or overseas Filipino worker is asked for his reason of working abroad, answer will be “because I want to give my family a better and brighter future”. Sure this is what all Filipinos want. But when the time comes that they’ve arrived at the foreign land, the reason is often than not forgotten.

Many OFWs seem to be working for the rest of their lives because they failed to earn enough for them to retire early.  An OFW’s life abroad is not easy, sacrificing many aspects just to uplift their family’s livelihood. But their spending practices have tied them to the idea that they have to continue to work abroad to make ends meet.

Here are some of the malpractices OFWs and their family often commit, resulting to retiring broke and sometimes, in big debt.

Overspending. OFWs complain that their salary abroad is just enough for them and for remittance to their family. Overspending is one problem that OFWs should address.  Admit it or not, we Filipinos are overwhelmed by the sudden and enormous income we receive, thus having the power to purchase things we’ve wanted before. OFWs and their family enjoy it, until the day they can’t stop and control how they spend the hard-earned money abroad.

Failure to keep a savings account. This is the first thing most OFWs should do before anything else. Open a savings account, and be responsible to deposit on it regularly.  Your savings will be your lifeline in case of emergencies and instances when remittance can’t be done immediately for important cases like tuition fee payments or medical expenses.

Not investing wisely. Aside from a savings account, investing is another wise thing to do. You can invest in a business, stock exchange, real estate, or life plans.  Investing is also your preparation for what’s to come ahead unexpectedly. However, OFWs should be careful when putting their investments as many scams linger around, preying on unsuspecting victim.

Generosity to boast. OFWs coming home for the holiday or just for a vacation are much awaited; not only on the eagerness to see the missed loved ones, but because of the anticipation on what gifts would be receive. Giving gifts is not bad, just don’t spend all the salary you’ve earned for it. It’s more acceptable that you don’t have anything for everyone because you’re allocating it to much more important things.

Never ending debts. Filipinos are always indebted in many ways, money as first. Before an OFW can go to work abroad, he has to borrow from relatives, friends, and even loan sharks just to come up with the amount needed for the processing of his documents.  And often than not, these were unpaid even after many years of working abroad which leads to harassment and quarrels.

No target date to retire. OFWs must set specifications on how long they should be working abroad. It is not forever that an OFW will have their overseas job.  A certain period should be set as a goal on how long you’ll save, invest and provide for the family. So when you retire, you can still enjoy what you’ve worked hard abroad.

 

It is a sad scenario that most OFWs became rich just a few months or a year after working abroad, to be poor again in the blink of an eye because of the money mistakes they often commit. OFWs should learn how to handle their salary and how to allocate it in the proper way for them to see an early retirement that they can enjoy to the fullest.

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Dec
8
2014

Tip for OFWs: How to Avoid Loan Sharks

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Loan sharks are illegal financing companies that usually take advantage of people in desperate need of money that they would agree to sky-high interest rates.

how to avoid loan sharks

 

If you are Filipino looking for resources to be able to finance the fees you need to work abroad, be sure to take these precautionary measures to avoid loan sharks:

Compare first the interest rates of different lenders so you can choose which is more practical to you. You should not also be afraid to ask question for the clarifications of the terms and conditions of your loan.

You may also ask for a written contract of the loan from lenders to have evidence of your agreement. The contract should specify the duration of the payment, the mode of payment, the consequences of failure to pay at the right time and the interest rate of the loaned amount. But make sure that you understand all your obligations before signing the loan contract.

 

How to Deal with Loan Sharks

Debtors have a responsibility to pay their loans but one’s consumer rights do not disappear when one is unable to pay the loan immediately. Bear in mind that Philippine law prohibits collection agencies from harassing or threatening individuals because of their unpaid loans.

Let the collection agencies or loan sharks know that you are aware of your rights so they will think twice about their illegal tactics. Do not let them intimidate you for an amount. Do not give them the authority to shake you because of the loan. It may be your responsibility to pay, but this doesn’t give them the right to threaten or harass you and your family once you fail to comply with your side of the agreement.

If you and your family’s safety and well-being are already severely affected, you can seek the help of authorities to intervene.

 

 

These article may also be of help:

Tips for OFWs: Don’t be a Victim of Loan Sharks

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Published in: OFW Tips and Guides
Dec
5
2014

OFWs Must Comply: No fingerprints, No Iqama

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Overseas Filipino workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia must obey the final calling of the Jawazat or Passport department.

The Jawazat office emphasized on their warning that they will not issue any new or even renew residents permits or iqama unless all foreign workers and dependents over 15 years old have registered their fingerprints.

The department, assigned to gather all the residents of KSA’s fingerprints, have also started their responsibility when issuing iqama to arriving expatriates at the airports.

They have gradually introduced the system for the past years, not wanting to interrupt the residents and expatriates, including OFWs daily lives.

The fingerprinting system was introduced and implemented at the same time, dividing it into four stages.

First stage: Enforced more than six years ago when fingerprinting was applied at airports and land and sea inlets.

Second stage: Made mandatory for issuance of new iqama, their transfer, amendments and replacement.

Third stage: When fingerprinting became part of exit, re-entry and final exit visas.

Last stage: Implementing it for iqama renewals.

It is perceived that OFWs will comply to register their fingerprints until the given deadline which is on January 21, 2015.  Everyone in the KSA had been given enough time to obey this fingerprinting system.

Fingerprinting every person in the kingdom, which also includes expatriates like OFWs, is part of the Saudi governments’ efforts to improve protection for foreigners and citizens.

 

 

Related articles:

OFWs in KSA, Learn This: How to Compute for OT Pay

Breach of Contract in KSA: All You Need to Know

OFWs Transferring Sponsor? Know Your Company’s Category in Saudi

How OFWs can Transfer Sponsorship if in Red Category

Final Exit Visa Guidelines for OFWs in Saudi Arabia

How Can OFWs Cancel Final Exit Visa in Saudi Arabia

Is this Real? No More Iqama Fee for OFWs in KSA?

Benefits entitled to OFWs in Kuwait

OFWs: No to 2-year Ban in KSA for Exiting Filipinos

Overseas Workers Credit Assistance Act: How will it Benefit OFWs?

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