Background on the Filipino Community Organizations
The Filipino Community Organizations in the Western Region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are excellent partners of the Consulate in promoting cultural, sports, economic and tourism in their respective activities. They assist the Consulate in providing medical, financial, material assistance to distressed Filipinos. They further support information dissemination campaigns about Post's outreach programs to all Filipino workers residing within its area of responsibility.
As of 15 December 2012, there are 41 Filipino Community Organizations registered with the Consulate. Most of these organizations are organized based on their particular interests, regional affiliations, sports, professional and civic/social activities. They hold various programs that promote friendship and camaraderie among its officers and members, develop or uplift their skills through seminars/trainings and enhance physical fitness through sports events. Many engage in activities meant to uplift the state of Filipino OFWs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In holding events and other activities, the Consulate consistently reminds these organizations to fully abide with the laws, rules and regulations of the Kingdom and to desist/refrain from committing any act offensive to the religious, cultural and social sensibilities of the Saudi people and other nationalities.
Saudi Government Policy on the Formation of Organization
In a circular note dated 17 October 2012, the Saudi Government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has categorically requested all diplomatic missions to prevent the creation and/or registration of community organizations whether they are formed in or outside the premises of the foreign missions. Further, the Saudi MFA requested missions to immediately cancel the formation of organizations and their activities without permit from the Saudi MFA.
In compliance, the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah, taking the lead of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, is suspending the accreditation and/or recognition of Filipino community organizations within its area of responsibility, until further notice from the Saudi MFA.
For additional information, please see the related press release of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh on the subject.
Saudi Government Regulations on Holding of Events and Activities
The Philippine Consulate General enjoins all Filipino community organizations to faithfully abide by and respect Saudi Government regulations on holding of events and activities.
For activities at the Consulate's premises, permits and approval are obtained from/issued by the Saudi MFA. It is the Consulate that requests the Saudi MFA for the issuance of the permits after compliance with its requirements.
For activities outside the Consulate's premises, the organizers themselves (and not the Consulate) should secure a permit from the office of the Emir of the region. The Consulate will no longer issue endorsement in this regard as was done before in the light of SMFA's standing policy on the formation of organizations.
The SMFA has also circulated requirements, rules and regulations for the holding of art exhibitions, symposiums, cultural lectures, training programs and workshops, etc. Please see related press release of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh for details.