When our kababayans go abroad, such as Qatar, it is common to get some advice from families and friends to help them succeed. But it’s also important to follow the regulations set by the government officials, especially by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and those from the host country.
Working abroad means more adjustment, especially in terms of culture and prevailing laws. Take the time to know the regulations and customs before you get on the plane.
Attending the Orientation is a Must
Attending the pre-departure orientation is one of the requirements before Filipinos can leave for their jobs. The orientation is an essential step for workers so they will know what to expect.
Here are some reminders from OWWA to keep in mind when you are in your host country:
- Learn and understand their language, and respect their traditions and culture
- Understand the provisions of the contract, and know your rights and responsibilities
- Follow their rules and regulations
Keep out of trouble and stay away from these activities:
- Engaging in drugs and other harmful and illegal substances
- Accepting hand-carried materials from anyone else without seeing what’s inside. There have been cases of people getting arrested for unknowingly carrying guns or illegal drugs
- Engaging in gambling, alcohol use, carrying obscene materials, or pirated videos
- Lending your ATM, passport, and other important documents to other people since they might use them for illegal activities
- Accumulating too much debt that you cannot pay. Don’t agree to be a guarantor for debts, either
- Taking part in get-rich-quick schemes. Don’t pay attention to offers of transferring money to your account or winning the lottery
- Running away from your employer. Try to work out the issue, instead
Additional Reminders for OFWs
- Despite being a Muslim country, there is a Catholic and Christian church in the city
- Non-Muslims should not eat in public during Ramadan
- It is also best to keep quiet when your Muslim neighbors are reading the Holy Quran
- Do not walk on the prayer mat
- Wear modest clothes, especially during Ramadan
- Identifying as homosexual is illegal. The convicted person may face punishment or deportation
- It is illegal to show intimacy in public
- Always bring a copy of the passport to show to authorities when needed
- Remember that employers should not to hold on to their employees’ passports except for the processing of visas or immigration
- Qatar has strict laws on alcohol consumption. For one, it is illegal to bring alcohol into the country.
- But there are some licensed restaurants where OFWs can purchase their drink, but they need to show a corresponding permit
- It is also forbidden to appear drunk in public
- It is also illegal to offer alcoholic drinks to Muslims
- For OFWs with a permit to buy alcohol, they are required to keep the product hidden until they get home
- Anyone violating the alcohol laws will face a punishment of either imprisonment, fine, or deportation
- Drunk driving is a serious offense, corresponding punishment may include a custodial sentence and deportation
- Qatari cuisine is composed of traditional Arab food
We all want to succeed in our jobs, that’s why it’s important to learn as much as you can before you sign your contract. Of course, you should also enjoy your experience because not everyone has this opportunity.
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