Category Archives: Social Issues

SAUDIZATION for the Saudis, Filipinozation for the Filipinos

unemployed filipinosThe Kingdom of Saudi Arabia strengthens its drive to eliminate the problem of unemployment all over the country.  Jobs are being offered by the companies in order to comply with the requirements of Saudization. 
In short, Nitaqat, by all means, is in effect.  And it is very beneficial for the young Saudis who are looking for a job.  Long live for the King of Saudi Arabia, for he takes immediate action for the needs of his people.
Meanwhile, in the Republic of the Philippines, there is an increasing rate of unemployment.  And the government does not take necessary measure to decelerate joblessness.  The obvious proof is that, instead of working in their country the Filipinos seek job around the globe.   
In Saudi Arabia alone, there are approximately 1,800,000[1]  Overseas Filipino Workers or OFWs.  And there are still more lots of jobs for the Filipinos available in the labor market.  The Filipinos are sacrificing a lot just to earn a living by going abroad.  They also lessen the numbers of unemployed Filipinos by leaving their families in exchange of the pennies that they will receive from their companies. 
As the saying goes, “Homesick versus dollars”.
While OFWs are contributing a lot to lessen unemployment by going abroad, the Philippine government is not taking strong measures that would help the Filipinos who are still there in the Philippines to get a job.  There are lots of newly graduates but they simply join to the ranks of million jobless. 
Look at Saudi Arabia, there is problem of unemployment, but it addresses it through Saudization.
However, to take a little comparison between the Saudi government and the Republic of the Philippines, it is very obvious that they are very different with one another. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is rich but the Philippines is poor. 
The Saudi is strict and strong while the Philippines is lenient and corrupt.  Therefore, there is no point of comparison for Saudi, because its riches are incomparable to the Philippines. 
In Saudi, thieves, cheaters, and criminals are sentenced to jail or sometimes even to death.  In the Philippines, the thieves, cheaters, and criminals are sent to Malacañang and other government offices.
To continue further, what is the same with Saudi Arabia and the Philippines is the same problem of unemployment.  The Saudi Arabia provides jobs for the jobless.  The Philippines distributes conditional cash transfer or CCT.  The former gives long life solution while the latter provides temporary solution.
The Saudi government assures their citizens through additional benefits such as free food, accommodations, transportations, medical insurance and additional allowances.  The Philippines, on the other hand, deducts huge amount of taxes from its citizens. 
And lastly, the Saudi assures a long tenure of employment, while the workers in the Philippines will be laid off after six months.  And this is how the two countries treat their citizens, Saudization for the Saudis and Filipinozation for the Filipinos.

SAUDIZATION: Much Closer Look on Nitaqat

SAUDIZATION-Much Closer Look on NitaqatProblem Solved
The problem of unemployment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been addressed well by the Ministry of Labor.  The result is quite obvious for nowadays, there is an increasing number of Saudis who get hired.  The issue on the unqualified locals is also taking into account. 
Thus, the Minister of Labor Adel Fakieh is not worried about this concern because for him, qualification must not come first; they must be hired instead and be trained by the experienced workers and eventually become qualified ones.  His statement is really good for there are no more problems with the implementation of the Nitaqat.  The solution for Saudis’ unemployment therefore, is the Nitaqat.
Other Options
However, there can be more solutions to address the problems of unemployment in Saudi.  Nitaqat can be just one of many ways to combat unemployment. 
First, The Saudi government can take much closer look on the problem.  It is easier right now for the Kingdom for they already knew that there is a problem. Unemployment! Next, who are the unemployed? 
Majority of the unemployed Saudis are young lads who are high school graduates.  They do not have Vocational Diploma or Bachelor’s Degree. 
Knowing these things, the Kingdom can draft another possible solution to address the issue on unemployment. Here are the questions and answers format for clear understanding.
  1. What is the problem? Unemployment.
  2. Who are the unemployed? Young Saudis who do not have Vocational or Bachelor’s Degree.
  3. How to solve the problem? Implement Nitaqat so that Saudis will be given a chance to work.
  4. But they are not qualified how it is possible? Just hire them and be trained to do the job.
The first question is answered.  The second question is also solved.  In the third question, there can be better answer.  Send them to schools and attain knowledge that is professionally aligned to the job that they would be landed to in the future. 
Schools are the best places for training, and not the companies where people are already working.  The products of schools are trained individuals who are ready to be deployed to the labor market.  Again there is no shortcut for this. 
Here, another issue will arise.  Most probably, there are young Saudis who are too lazy to study.  They will rather stay home and sleep than attending the school classes.  But still there is a solution for this.  The Kingdom of the Saudi Arabia is the most strict and most disciplined country in the whole world. 
They can send the young uneducated Saudis to school and learn.  Make it mandatory so that they have no choice but to study.  Eventually they can contribute much for the Kingdom in the future. 
Therefore, the answer regarding lack of qualifications is of course education.  Why there is unemployment in Saudi Arabia? It is because they are uneducated and therefore unqualified to fill the jobs in the labor market.
In the last question, there is much better response to address the issue.  Why, because hiring the unqualified Saudis first, will not guarantee that they will learn and perform the job in the future.  In some cases, it can be possible.  But putting the unknowledgeable Saudis in the working environment can create a big problem with the companies. 
Why is it so?  It is because company is a company.  It is the working area wherein there are employees who are working and eventually their works will bring profit to the company.  Company is not like a training school wherein the students must attend the class and learn the lessons in a particular subject matter.  It’s not the right place wherein the unqualified locals must be there to work and learn. 
The formula must not be work then learn.  It must rather be; learn, and then work followed by gaining more knowledge.  It is only then that the issue would be fully settled.
In some cases, those Saudis who have potentials for the job can be hired through another training program.  That is the On Job Training (OJT) which can be offered by the companies. 
Here, the job seekers will be attending the working hours like regular employees.  This is to be considered as their actual training.  After spending enough time of training, the manager or the immediate superior will evaluate their performance. 
When the companies find out that they are qualified upon evaluation, they can hire the trainees as regular employees.  If they do not pass the evaluation, the companies can issue a certification saying that this particular person has attended training in the company. 
The trainees now can use the certificates of training in looking for a job.  This time the trainees are already qualified and at the same time experienced.  Henceforth, the issue of lacking of qualifications, experiences, and education has been resolved.
While implementing Nitaqat, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can also take into consideration all of these things.

SAUDIZATION: A Closer Look on Nitaqat

SAUDIZATION-A Closer Look on NitaqatOn Effect
The Nitaqat Program takes effect all over the Kingdom.  The Red and Yellow companies are beating the deadline in order for them to be qualified for the Saudization and eventually avoid the punitive measure sanctioned by the Ministry of Labor. 
In fact, there are lots of Saudi men and women who landed into jobs.  This is really beneficial for them because there are still lots of job available in the labor market.  Thus, there will be no more hassle for the Saudis to look for a job and get hired.
Duty Fulfilled
The response of the Saudi government in decreasing the unemployment rate of its fellowmen is really welcoming and commendable.  It is a manifestation that its government is not taking for granted the loud cry of the unemployed locals to have a job. 
Indeed, one of the major duties of the government is to provide job for its citizens, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is fulfilling its duty.
 Issue on Experiences and Qualifications
However, although the companies are very much willing to employ locals, still, there is major problem that confronts them.  It is the issue of qualifications. The reason behind is that, the applicants are unqualified and inexperienced.  This thing is a major concern of the Hiring Department of all companies. 
Why? It is because, they cannot merely entrust one particular job for the applicant who never possesses even basic qualifications.  The qualification is, indeed, a very big issue.
 Addressed the Issue
In response to this concern,  the Minister of Labor Adel Fakeih answered this matter in his interview with the Arab News, published last Aug 13, 2011.  His statement goes like this.
“…I really believe that the best way for Saudis to become qualified is for them to work. I don’t believe you have to have qualified Saudis first and then you have to employ them. The best qualification is experience; it is getting a job and being mentored and helped by some experienced person who knows the job so I’m not worried about that…They will turn the unqualified person, he or she, to a qualified person through working.  Well then, that’s good news.”
This is how the Minister addressed the issue regarding the hiring of unqualified Saudis.  It’s loud and clear, let the unqualified be hired and work and there will become qualified.

SAUDIZATION: Nitaqat Pros and Cons

SAUDIZATION-Nitaqat Pros and ConsAll norms, rules, and laws that are drafted, promulgated and implemented have pros and cons. With the strict implementation of the Nitaqat, it is quite interesting to look at its advantages and disadvantages. It’s only there that one can asses it serious effects.
Take a glimpse on its pros and cons listed here below.
a. for the Saudi Government
1. There’s a huge rise of local employment nationwide.
2. Even Saudi women landed a job.
3. Therefore, the end of the Nitaqat is attained.
b. for the Companies (Blue and Green)
1. They can hire foreign workers from any part of the world.
2. They can get new visas with open profession except for the jobs strictly for Saudis such as Government Relation Officer, Security Guard, etc.
3. They can enjoy the good service of the Saudi Nationals.
CONS: in General
1. Red and Yellow companies opted to hire even unqualified and inexperienced Saudis. It will result to the big loss of the affected companies, for without enough productivity, the projected profit will not be reached.
2. Red and Yellow companies hired local workers for attendance purposes in order to attain the required percentage of the Nitaqat. This will result again to a big damage to the finances of the said companies. A simple logic will explain, there is no production, therefore there is no profit.
3. An issue of name-selling is a great possibility, wherein the affected companies can hire Saudis just to be qualified for the Green category. Locals can simply register to the company as employees but only to report every payday. In this situation, a Saudi can apply to one or more companies which are struggling to attain the require percentage of Saudization.
Thus, the Red and Yellow companies are merely buying the names of the Saudis in order to be included in their payroll.

SAUDIZATION: Nitaqat on the Go

One of major responsibilities of a country is to provide jobs for its citizens.  In this sense, the Saudi government implemented the Nitaqat (Saudization) program. 
This will decrease, if not fully eliminate, the unemployment of the entire Kingdom’s citizens.  Due to the government sincerity in helping its own people, the Nitaqat proves its existence, which affects the companies that belong to the Red and Yellow Zone. 
Since the Red and Yellow companies will end their grace period to hire Saudis on the months of November 2011 and March 2012 respectively, they are in a hurry hiring locals in order to meet the necessary requirements of the Nitaqat.  With this, they will be able to renew their business licenses and the resident visas of their employees.
However, just to survive for the Nitaqat, some Red and Yellow companies are hiring unqualified Saudis to fill up the required percentage of Saudization. If they will not do this, their companies will be put into naught.  The other option of the affected companies is dropping the number of expatriates. 
Obviously, this leads to the termination of some foreign workers.  The common scenario is, despite expats’ long-experiences and professional qualifications, they must be replaced by the Saudis who are unqualified or less- qualified just for the companies to comply with the Nitaqat. 
For this reason, the affected companies suffered a great loss with their profits, for there are some of them who have no other choice but to hire locals, for attendance purposes.
This scenario is a simple manifestation that the Saudi government is really supporting its own citizens to be employed in all job industries. Sooner or later, all unemployed Saudis will have a job in order to earn a living.
Eventually, the unemployment rate in the whole Kingdom will be decreased if not fully eliminated.  Henceforth, the aim of the Saudization will be fully materialized.  Nitaqat, therefore, is on the go.

SAUDIZATION: A Glimpse on Nitaqat Program

Nitaqat is a government program of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, purposely implemented by the Ministry of Labor in order to enhance the labor force of the Saudi Nationals.  At the advent of its announcement, foreign workers were not bothered too much. 
Why? It is simply because they heard about this a long time ago even during the 80’s, 90’s, and the year 2000.  And it was not materialized.  Indeed, The Nitaqat Program or better known as Saudization was not implemented within the said years.  Thus, when they heard about it, they didn’t pay much attention.  It was just ordinary news for the expats. 
However, it becomes headlines for the entire Kingdom nowadays, because this time, the Saudi Government is serious about the Saudization.  The Ministry of Labor laid out their entire plan concerning this.  Some foreign workers deferred their vacation, because they are very afraid that they will not be able to go back in Saudi and continue their work. Instead they decided to stay, in order to save their job. But the problem is, even they chose to stay and do not go for vacation, they cannot but be affected by the Saudization.

In the Nitaqat program, basically, all companies are categorized into four colors, namely, Blue, Green, Yellow, and Red.  If one’s company is categorized as Blue, this is the excellent company.  Meaning, it won’t be affected by Saudization because this kind of company reaches the required number of Saudi employees. 
The company that belongs to Green Zone is in the safe category, for in this zone, the company has reached the required number of Saudi employees. If the numbers of employees are 10-49, then the company must achieve minimum 5 – 24% of Saudization in order to be qualified for the Green category.
If the company has employees more than 50 and less than 499, then the Saudization percentage will be 6-27%. If number of employees in between 500 – 2999, then the Saudization percentage will be 7-30%. If the company has more than 3000 employees, then it will be 8-30%. 
The companies that do not reach the required percentage of Saudi employees will fall to Yellow Zone.  Here, the Ministry of Labor has given them a chance to hire Saudis and they can renew their visas which are issued to their employees for up to six years for each foreign employee. 
Take note.  This is retroactive. Meaning, those who are already staying for six or more years will not be given a chance to renew their Iqama or the Resident Visa. 

The RED companies, however, will not be allowed to renew their working visas for their foreign employees until November 26, 2011.

The complete information regarding this program can be found at the Official Website of the Ministry of Labor. This article simply aims to take a glimpse on the Nitaqat Program, popularly known for the expats as SAUDIZATION.

SAUDIZATION: The Birth of Nitaqat

Saudization NitaqatAt the advent of 2008, a great fell down on the worldwide economy came into being.   There was a recession that hit intensively the global stock markets.  It was evident with the deceleration of economic activity such as widespread down turn of inflation, and inevitable bankruptcies. 
The only emergent things that time were the increasing records of unemployment and the expensive commodities.  It was a worldwide catastrophe that crashed the economy. Indeed, all countries were greatly affected.  Even the United States of America, the strongest country in the world, was not left unscathed.  It was really a disaster when there is a recession.
Despite this recession, there is one country that was untouched by this economic tragedy.  As a matter of fact, there are continuous industrial constructions all over the city, from east to west, and from north to south.  Its economy is very strong and stable.  Until now, there are still many on going projects for further economic growth and development.  And this country is no other than but the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
However, the irony of the world is inevitable.  In spite of its economic supremacy, still its unemployment rate is very high.  How come that a country with strong and stable economy, has a very high unemployment rate?  How come that a country with more than five millions of foreign workers, has very few numbers of local workforce? It seems unthinkable but true. 
And there begins the birth of the Nitaqat Program, the Saudization.