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DFA advises Pinoys on new Saudi public decency policy

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The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) advised overseas Filipinos to familiarize themselves with the new Saudi Arabia regulation on public decency to avoid violations and penalties.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs reminds Filipino travelers to Saudi Arabia to adhere to a new regulation related to public decency, which identifies 19 offenses punishable by fines,” DFA said in an advisory issued on October 9, 2019.

The DFA said the new regulation helps ensure that travelers to Saudi Arabia are reminded of laws that concern public behavior, including rules on immodest clothing, public display of affection, taking photos or videos of people without permission, playing music at prayer times, among others.

As for implementation, Saudi Arabia identifies the Saudi Police as the sole authority responsible for monitoring offenses and imposing fines ranging from 100 Saudi riyals (PHP1,380) to SAR6,000 Saudi riyals (PHP83,000).

According to the DFA, offenders have the right to submit a grievance claim before the Common Courtesy Department and to appeal any penalties. But any person harmed by offenders shall have the right to file a lawsuit, it noted.

For the complete list of public decency offenses and their corresponding fines, the agency encourages Filipino travelers to visit the link: https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=https://www.arabnews.com/sites/default/files/userimages/20/violations.pdf. (Joyce Ann L. Rocamora PNA)

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