By Mariecar Jara-Puyod | Gulf Today
The Philippine Overseas Labour Office in Dubai (POLODXB) has reiterated its request for its clients not to queue for long lines in the hope for availing services for job contract verification (JCVs) including first-time or renewal of applications for Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) membership and Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC).
The request was made through a media statement released on Monday evening and signed by Labour Attache for Dubai and the Northern Emirates John Rio Bautista. The document also served as an advisory on who shall be attended to, classified as “Clients with Guaranteed Entry.”
On Tuesday afternoon, the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai (PCGDXB) issued another advisory regarding the “Temporary Suspension of Consular Operations Due to Post-Election Audit on May 12 and 13 (Thursday and Friday).”
Gulf Today was at the PCGDXB at 11 a.m. on Tuesday to observe the ongoing vote counting in connection with the April 10 to May 9 overseas absentee voting (OAV) for the just-concluded Philippine presidential/national elections. The results of the elections returns from the PCGDXB shall be transmitted via satellite to the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi which shall transmit via satellite the unofficial consolidated/total election returns to the Manila elections authorities.
However, as of 11 a.m. on Tuesday, unofficial partial election returns from the PCGDXB tabulation revealed that presidential candidate former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., only son of the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., had garnered 46,382 votes and Vice President Leni Robredo, 9,924. For the vice presidential race, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and daughter of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte with 48,225 votes and Robredo's running mate, Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, 7,714.
For the senatorial race, the top 12 were actor Robin Padilla, 41,864; former Senator Loren Legarda, 38,185; Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, 33,986; former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, 29,714; lawyer Larry Gadon, 29,560; lawyer Gilberto Teodoro, 29,178; former Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero, 27,496; former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, 26,148; broadcast journalist Raffy Tulfo, 25,763; former Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, 25,223; former presidential legal adviser Sal Panelo, 24,443; and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, 22,506.
It is the first time that the transmittal of unofficial election results shall be done via satellite. From 2004 to 2019, heads of the 126 Philippine consular missions across the globe had to personally deliver the unofficial results of the presidential/national and midterm (legislative) elections to any of the 68 Philippine embassies nearest them. The ambassadors then would personally deliver the unofficial consolidated canvassed votes to Manila.
Meanwhile, it was on Monday (May 9) morning, the last day of the OAV, when this reporter came across three Filipinos outside of the PCGDXB enquiring about JCVs.
Two had a confirmed May 9 appointments but apparently was uninformed about the closure of both the POLODXB and PCGDXB for services in connection with the last day of the OAV. He was advised to go to the POLODXB during office hours and any day from May 10 in accordance with an earlier advisory and news report.
Another was hoping that despite without any appointment, she would be able to avail of the service.
The POLODXB May 9 advisory states: “We strongly discourage lining/queuing outside the Consulate, hours before the opening of the POLO Dubai.”
PCGDXB and POLODXB are in a compound in Al Qusais near the Al Qusais Police Headquarters and the Al Qusais Metro Station.
The clients “guaranteed entry” are the following who must make sure that they have with them “complete and sufficient requirements to ensure smooth transaction” as all documents are enumerated at the POLODXB website:
· Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with approved appointment on the date of the appointment.
· OFWs with confirmed flight schedule the following day (considered emergency cases).
“For flight schedules falling on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, they shall be accommodated on Friday. If the day before the flight is a holiday (or if POLODXB) is closed on the day before their flight, they are advised to visit the (office) on the nearest working day. Example, if the flight is on Friday but Thursday is a holiday, they may visit (POLODXB) on Wednesday.”
· Considered too as “emergency cases,” authorized representatives of OFWs who are vacationing in the Philippines needing (JCV), provided they visit (POLODXB) three days before the OFW’s OEC appointment in the Philippines or five days before their return flight to the UAE, whichever is earlier.
According to Bautista, “Guaranteed entry means that, for as long as the client arrives on the correct date and within the business hours (Monday to Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon), they can enter (POLODXB) upon presenting the appointment copy of the confirmed flight ticket/copy of the OEC appointment in the Philippines.”