Embassy Holds Special Passport Processing for
Household Service Workers (HSWs) in Dhahran
Passport renewal applicants during the Special One-day Passport Processing for HSWs in Dhahran
(Riyadh, 29 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 26 April 2018 at the Double Tree Hotel-Dhahran.
During the event, the Embassy was able to process 297 e-Passport applications.
According to Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Adnan V. Alonto, the implementation of the 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.
The Ambassador intends to extend the program to different parts of 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.
The Embassy team was composed of Mr. Abdul Halim Langco, Mr. Faisal Tamano, Mr. Butch Gandarosa and Mr. Ernie Saavedra. The Embassy also sent representatives from its Assistance to Nationals Section to extend services to distressed Filipinos in the region.