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Jan
5
2015

SSS Flexi-Fund Program for OFWs

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According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) 2013 survey on Overseas Filipinos, only two in every five OFWs are able to save from their cash remittances. A small number of only 40 percent compare to the almost 2 million OFWs sending their remittances.

OFWs will not forever be strong enough to work abroad, so it is advisable for them to save a part of their salary as early as possible.  It is also a good habit so they can retire early from being an OFW.

For an additional amount of P200 in their maximum contribution, OFWs can start saving for a fund, which they could use upon retirement and add on to their existing benefits in Social Security System or SSS.

 

What is the SSS Flexi-Fund Program?

The SSS Flexi-Fund Program is a voluntary provident fund program for OFWs that provides a mechanism for them to save more for the future, complimenting the benefits under the regular SSS programs.

SSS Benefits for OFWs

OFWs also have the option to withdraw their fund early for their emergencies. However, for those OFWs who will maintain their savings will have an annual incentive benefit which will be credited to their Flexi-fund account.

Membership for the program is open to all OFWs who fall under these categories:

  • recruited in the Philippines by a foreign-based employer for employment abroad;

  • having a source of income in a foreign country; or

  • residing permanently in a foreign country.

SSS Benefits and Privileges for OFWs

OFWs can also enjoy retirement, death and disability, and early withdrawal benefits from the SSS Flexi-Fund Program aiming to implant the habit of saving to the members.

SSS related articles:

SSS Contribution as of January 2014

SSS Salary Loan for OFWs

How OFWs can Apply for SSS Salary Loan

SSS Maternity Benefit

SSS Unified Multi-Purpose Identification Card

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Jan
2
2015

Modified Pag-IBIG II: OFW’s Saving Option

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Overseas Filipino workers or OFWs have been working abroad to provide well for their families left in the Philippines. They sacrifice their happiness, health and even safety for their job abroad to earn for a secure future for their loved-ones.

 

But OFWs are not forever OFWs. Eventually, they will retire and stay in the Philippines for good, with their family. Others who were unlucky enough, were forced to stop from being an OFW because of financial issues, homesickness, accidents or maltreatment from foreign employers.

 

These reasons should be valid enough for OFWs to start the habit of saving early so that when the time comes that they want to rest, they can retire without being broke.

 

The Home Development Mutual Fund, or what is commonly known as Pag-IBIG, is established to provide an affordable financing for overseas Filipino workers or OFWs.  Membership in Pag-IBIG is a requirement for all OFWs before they can obtain an  Overseas Employment Certificate or OECs. Being a member, OFWs have the right to such benefits like housing loan.

 

However, OFWs also have another option to save a part of their earnings from overseas employment. The Modified Pag-IBIG II is created to provide OFWs a new saving scheme that would have a higher return of their investments.

 

The minimum contribution for the modified Pag-IBIG II OFWs can pay is 500 pesos monthly for five consecutive years, which will give them a P34, 921.79 profit for a 6% interest (based on the sample computation from Pag-IBIG).

 

With this program, OFWs now have another alternative where to invest the hard-earned money from their work abroad.

Related articles:

Steps on How OFWs can Apply for a Pag-IBIG Housing Loan

How to Avail the OFW Pag-IBIG Overseas Program

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Dec
30
2014

Employment Contract Replacement, A Threat to OFWs

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Overseas Filipino workers or OFWs are advised to be aware of employment contract substitution that is becoming a normal scenario for Filipinos who are to work abroad.

 

The Philippine government is taking up all measures to ensure the safety and welfare of OFWs in foreign countries by creating a standard employment contract. The standard employment contract stipulates various terms and conditions to be agreed upon by the hired OFW and the foreign employer.

 

Informations like job position, contract duration, salary rates, benefits, overtime pay, just causes for termination and other important matters should be included in an OFWs employment contract.

 

Most OFWs in Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries encounter this replacement of employment contract. Upon arrival in the kingdom, OFWs are once again asked to sign a new contract which has a big difference from what they’ve signed before.

 

Contract substitution is one of the most common problems of OFWs and it usually leaves them underpaid and with extended contract duration. This will also be a mean for foreign employers to abuse and violate OFWs abroad.

 

OFWs should seek first the assistance of the Philippine Embassy in such cases of employment contract substitution.

 

OFWs in Riyadh, Here is Where You Can Seek Help

Where OFWs in UAE Can Seek Help

Related article:

What OFWs Ought to Know About the Employment Contract

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Dec
19
2014

OFWs, Know Your Baggage Limit

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baggage allowance of middle east airlines

With a few days left before Christmas, overseas Filipino workers or OFWs are now starting to arrive in the country to spend the holiday season with their loved ones.

 

OFWs working abroad still choose to devote their vacation with their families and have quality time with them for a more meaningful holiday.

 

And since Filipinos, especially OFWs abroad are much awaited for their pasalubong upon their arrival, it is a normal scene for them to have boxes and bags of it from the airport.

 

OFWs from the Middle East must know how much baggage is allowed for every passenger by each airlines they are to board. This is to avoid paying costly fees for any excess baggage OFWs have to brought home.

Below is a list of some Middle East airlines and the weight of baggage free of charge for their passengers in the economy class which OFWs can use as a guide.

Name of Airlines

Baggage weight free of charge per passenger (Economy class)

Allowed weight for hand carry

Baggage Dimensions

(length+height+width)

Saudia Airlines

1 pc that is 32 kg or 2 pcs not exceeding 23 kg each.

1 pc hand bag or pull bag that is not over 7 kg

Should not exceed 81 inch or 205 cm

Qatar Airlines

1 pc, not to exceed 30 kg

1 pc, not to exceed 7 kg

Maximum dimension of  50x37x25cm (20x15x10in) each

Emirates Airlines

Maximum of 30 kg

1 pc, either hand bag or laptop bag, maximum of 7 kg

Must not exceed 158 cm or 62 inches

Gulf Air

Maximum of 30 kg

Not to exceed 6 kg

Maximum dimension of 95x75x45cm

Etihad Airways

Maximum of 30 kg

Maximum of 7 kg

Maximum dimension

207cm (45 x 72 x 90)

Kuwait Airways

Maximum of 20 kg

Maximum of 7 kg

Maximum dimension

23 x 36 x 56 cm (115 cm total)

Singapore Airlines

Maximum of 30 kg

Maximum of 7 kg

Maximum dimension

200 x 75 x 80 cm

Philippine Airlines

1 pc that is 32 kg or 2 pcs not exceeding 23 kg each

Maximum of 7 kg

Maximum dimension

273 cm

Cathay Pacific

Maximum of 30 kg

Maximum of 7 kg

Maximum dimension

203 cm (80in)

OFWs should double checked their airlines guidelines regarding the baggage allowance to prevent any delays at the airport on their departure date.

It is also a must that OFWs know how and  what not to include in your hand carry luggage to avoid any problems that may arise which could result to travel lag.

 

 

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Published in: OFW Tips and Guides
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


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