Embassy Holds Special Passport Processing for
Household Service Workers (HSWs)
(Riyadh, 23 April 2018) – In adherence to its mandate of promoting the welfare and interest of Filipinos overseas, especially those from the most vulnerable sector, the Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia conducted a special One-day Passport Processing for Household Service Workers (HSWs) on 21 April 2018 at the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh.
According to Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Adnan V. Alonto, the implementation of the pioneering special HSW Passport Processing Program is necessary in order to overcome the limitations of the Embassy’s passport appointment system in catering to the consular needs of HSWs.
“The Embassy is sensitive to the plight of the Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia, especially those of the HSWs,” Alonto said. “There is a call for help and the Embassy responded.”
“Sa tingin ko ito ay mahusay na paraan upang matulungan natin ang mga HSW upang hindi sila mahuli dito sa online appointment system, pahahabulin natin sila sa pagkuha ng mga serbisyo ng embahada,” added Alonto. “Gusto naming maipatupad natin ito hindi lamang dito sa Riyadh kundi lalo na sa iba't ibang lugar pa lalo na sa Eastern at Central region ng Saudi Arabia.”
Possession of a valid passport is especially important to foreign workers in Saudi Arabia. Aside from foreign travel, possession of a valid passport is required in the renewal of iqama which is the main identity card for expatriates that is accepted in Saudi Arabia.
HSWs generally find it hard to book an online appointment for passport processing as many of them do not have access to the internet. Other factors include the unavailability of employers in transporting their HSWs to the Embassy and the inability of the HSW or the employer to navigate the Embassy's passport appointment system.
Embassy officials, staff, attached agencies, as well as the diplomatic spouses came in full force to ensure the successful staging of the event.
Embassy officials, staff, attached agencies and diplomatic spouses
who served during the first Special Passport Processing for HSWs
Divina Vergara, a household service worker who renewed her passport during the event, is thankful for the special passport processing project for HSWs.
“Napakalaking tulong po sa amin ang nangyaring ito,” said Vergara. “Walang alam ang amo kung paano gumawa ng appointment at wala rin akong computer.”
Vergara said that she had a pleasant experience transacting with the Embassy personnel.
“Maasikaso po ang mga empleyado at maganda po ang proseso,” she said.
During the event, the Embassy was able to process 177 e-Passport applications, 18 Extension of Passport Validity and 2 Travel Documents.
The next special passport processing for HSWs will be held at the Double Tree Hotel-Dhahran on 26 April 2018.