Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Filipino illegals face hard time in Saudi

An estimated 7,000 overseas Filipino workers, illegally residing in Saudi Arabia, have applied for voluntary repatriation since the first quarter of 2011, says Migrante Middle East (M-ME). – Photo by ArabianBusiness.ComFilipino 

MANILA: Undocumented migrants in Saudi Arabia may soon find it difficult to connect with their families in the Philippines following the implementation of Saudi’s new SIM card registration policy.

According to the Filipino migrants rights group Migrante-Middle East, Saudi’s Communication and Information Technology Commission will implement a new regulation requiring phone users to input their national identification number (Iqama) immediately after entering their prepaid card number to load-up or transfer balances.

Saudi telecommunication companies said last week failure to do this would cause disconnection of SIM card services.

Migrante regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona said thousands of undocumented migrants who do not have updated identification numbers will be affected by the policy.

 “It is a common knowledge that there are thousands of undocumented migrants, including Filipinos, in Saudi Arabia,” he said. 

Obviously, the Iqama or identification card of an undocumented is expired, so he or she will not be able to update or register to continue using a SIM card or to get a new one, Monterona added. - Inquirer

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