My collections of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, State of the Nation Addresses or SONA’s that are well said, also truly worth remembering and will stick in my memory longer. Thank you Mr. President for the Job Well Done!
I encourage everyone to take a step towards participation rather than fault-finding. The former takes part in finding a solution; from the latter, never-ending complaints.
Let us make the effort to recognize the good that is being done.
Thank those who have done their share in bringing about positive change in society.
You made this transformation possible.
The transformation we are experiencing now, we can make permanent with the guidance of God.
Last (Sixth) SONA:
The reforms we have sown along the straight path are already bearing fruit, and will bear an even more bountiful harvest in the future. But this will only happen if we nurture and protect what we have already planted.
Maramihang Pagpapauwi ng mga may kasong “Mothers and Children” sinimulan na; Ilan pang mga kaso hinihikayat na makipag-ugnayan sa Embahada
(Riyadh, 30 June 2015) – Ipinababatid ng Embahada ng Pilipinas na kasalukuyan pong nagsasagawa ng maramihang pagpapauwi ang Embahada ng mga Mothers/Fathers and Children Cases na sumailalim sa DNA Testing noong ika-17 hanggang ika-25 ng Agosto, 2014.
Ngayong Hunyo, nakapagpauwi na ang Embahada ng 179 na katao, kabilang na rito ang 68 na mga ina, 4 na mga ama, 1 guardian, 81 na mga bata at 25 na mga sanggol.
Kaugnay nito, meron pang mga ilang indibidwal na magulang na hindi ma-kontak ng Embahada.
Muling nananawagan ang Embahada sa mga sumusunod na lumapit, tumawag o mag-email sa lalong madaling panahon upang mabigyan ng kaukulang tulong sa pagpapauwi sa Pilipinas:
|1.||Abas, Jehan Tuansi||35.||Hilario, Maria Luisa P.|
|2.||Abdul, Rahima Pasagi||36.||Jabunan, Yasmeen|
|3.||Abdula, Zakiah Abo||37.||Kad, Arbaya Nasa|
|4.||Abdullah, Jasmin Wahab||38.||Katua, Aida Adam|
|5.||Ablayan, Nurmelyn Tulawie||39.||Kusain, Norma M.|
|6.||Adel, Ferhana||40.||Lagayan, Zainab A.|
|7.||Albaracin, Rodrina||41.||Lais, Marites Lapitan|
|8.||Ali, Minah Piang||42.||Mamadra, Janeth L.|
|9.||Aljas, Perlita L.||43.||Mawanay, Maricel|
|10.||Anas, Mary Jane||44.||Miguel, Marsima|
|11.||Annudin, Elma||45.||Muhajili, Sakur|
|12.||Arnaldo, Alelyn A.||46.||Nadjala, Harida|
|13.||Askalani, Sharhata Hassan||47.||Nicanor, Farhana|
|14.||Atong, Akrima||48.||Orteza, Jane|
|15.||Anuddin, Elma Arakani||49.||Palma, Joanne A.|
|16.||Aldea, Wella||50.||Pangcoga, Fatmah Amor|
|17.||Basilio, Hardiolyn G.||51.||Polwa, Norma M.|
|18.||Barra, Naima Comadug||52.||Rahman, Norhata|
|19.||Biason, Elsie Cobal||53.||Radzak, Heria U.|
|20.||Bornales, Rowena||54.||Radzak, Sally F.|
|21.||Compania, Suraida Usman||55.||Salim, Sapia U.|
|22.||Dela Cruz, Analisa Sampayan||56.||Sandron, Aniza Benito|
|23.||Delos Santos, Francia||57.||Sansaluna, Fatima|
|24.||De Sales Apple Arnieden Ros||58.||Siena, Jennifer|
|25.||De Chavez, Ronnie||59.||Sumagka, Asnah|
|26.||Druog, Jelyn D.||60.||Sunggay, Hyra Alon|
|27.||Enter, Haniah Api||61.||Tadaya, Pepito M.|
|28.||Flores, Katherine Joy Cadorna||62.||Tasil, Sarita Muslimin|
|29.||Gacula, Kristy Joy Estrada||63.||Trono, Lorena P.|
|30.||Gampar, Analyn Mohammed||64.||Tuliao, Emelita|
|31.||Gonatice, Annie||65.||Utto, Salima A.|
|32.||Granada, Irene A.||66.||Wahab, Sittie Galmak|
|33.||Hajan, Mudzrifa Amih||67.||Wallahu, Nur-in Ibrahim|
|34.||Hataya, Hayria Odiang||68.||Yaun, Maria Rodita|
Mangyari lang tumawag kaagad kay Mr. Donald Fermin sa mga numerong 0509778651, 0114803662 at 0114801918, o di kaya’y mag-email sa firstname.lastname@example.org
Ang mga nabanggit na Mothers/ Fathers and Children cases ay kailangang makipag-ugnayan sa Embahada upang maisaayos ang kanilang exit visa at agarang pag-uwi sa Pilipinas.
Ang mga Mothers/Fathers and Children cases na wala sa talaan ngunit maaaring hindi pa natatawagan ng Embahada ay inaanyayahan ding agad na tumawag sa mga nabanggit na numero. (WAKAS)
23 June 2015: The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh announced in their website the released of three (3) OFWs charged with murder for the past month.
The embassy facilitated the release of two male and one female OFWs in a span of thirty-three days. The male OFWs were convicted of killing fellow Filipino and the other a Saudi national. The female OFW for killing her own child upon delivery, according to the report.
The Philippine Embassy usually withheld the identities of Filipinos convicted of murders on the request of the OFWs family for personal and privacy reasons.
Talks between the two countries in terms of cases like murder conviction of their nationals are a very sensitive issue that needs diplomatic efforts.
Embassies around the world would make sure that diplomacy is being observed more particularly when murder cases of their nationals went through the appeals process.
The two male OFWs were repatriated to the Philippines on May 14 and June 17, 2015 respectively.
The female OFW was assisted in court by the Embassy-hired lawyer and received royal clemency prior to the completion of her sentence and implementation of lashes. The Embassy repatriated her to the Philippines on 11 June 2015.
The Saudi government grants pardon during the holy month of Ramadan to convicted offenders. The Philippine Embassy is now reviewing all OFWs in death rows and those with light offenses and come up a list for submission, requesting a royal prerogative clemency addressed to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Royal Highness King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
The Philippine government through the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and Philippine Consulate in Jeddah are exerting their best efforts to gain royal pardon in Ramadan after the families of the victim refused to accept blood money. – BongA
POEA cancels recruitment license of persistent deceiver
6/10/2015: Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac has cancelled the license of Crystal Fallah-Ville International Manpower Services, for submitting fake or double visas and forged documents to the POEA.
In one case filed motu propio against Crystal Fallah-Ville, the agency submitted documents for processing including a visa for a teacher that was found to have been altered. The visa was verified to have been originally issued to another sponsor for the position of a servant or a household service worker.
The agency argued that they never had a hand on the tampered visa and it was an “innocent mistake” by the agency for submitting the visa which was personally acquired by the applicant.
In another case of misrepresentation, Cacdac said the recruitment agency Crystal Fallah-Ville presented a forged request or endorsement for processing of employment documents to the POEA. The liaison officer of Crystal Fallah-Ville said he delivered the said document to the POEA in good faith, not knowing that one signature was falsified.
The third case was about a visa written in Arabic that the agency submitted to the POEA for processing together with documents of a dressmaker bound for Saudi Arabia. The official translator of Arabic visas at the POEA, however, disclosed that the skill category was not for a dressmaker but a domestic helper.
The agency representative declared that it was once again an “innocent mistake” due to clerical error, considering that the visa was in Arabic. He tried to rectify the alleged error by submitting a dressmaker visa, which the agency claimed was the true position of the worker. However, a careful scrutiny of the two visas revealed that except for the skill category, they bore the same entries such as dates, validity and visa number.
Cacdac said the recruitment agency has the responsibility to ensure authenticity and validity of documents submitted to the POEA because they are liable for any irregularity in its issuance.
“Honest mistake, oversight or even good faith, assuming they are true, cannot be considered as an exculpating defense. Such explanation or admission does not change the fact that the recruiter deceived both the government and OFWs, and violated the POEA rules and regulations on misrepresentation,” Cacdac added.
The penalty of cancellation of license is imposed on a recruitment agency with three or more misrepresentation offenses. END
ABISO UKOL SA OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT CERTIFICATE (OEC)
AT OWWA MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL
UPDATE : (Riyadh, ika-24 ng Hunyo 2015) – Nais ipa-alam ng Embahada ng Pilipinas na ang serbisyo ng POLO para sa pag-isyu ng Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) at pag-renew ng OWWA Membership ay maaari na muling makuha sa orihinal na opisina ng POLO-Riyadh sa Umm Al Hammam, Riyadh, sa may bandang likod ng Hyper Panda Supermarket.
Ang POLO-Riyadh ay mananatili sa kanilang orihinal na opisina hanggang matapos ang pag-ayos at paglipat sa kanilang bagong lokasyon sa ibang parte ng Riyadh.
Maglalabas ng abiso ang Embahada ukol sa bagong lokasyon ng POLO sa lalong madaling panahon. (WAKAS)
(Philippine Embassy, Riyadh/27 ng Mayo 2015) – Bilang pansamantalang lunas sa pagsasara ng opisina ng Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) sa Riyadh, ipinapag-alam ng Embahada ng Pilipinas na ang serbisyo ng POLO para sa pag-isyu ng Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) at pag-renew ng OWWA Membership ay maaaring makuha sa Embahada sa Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh.
Simula sa darating na Linggo, ika-31 ng Mayo 2015, ang mga representatibo ng POLO ay magpro-proseso ng OEC at OWWA membership renewal, araw-araw, Linggo hanggang Huwebes, mula alas-9 ng umaga hanggang alas-4 ng hapon.
Pinapaalala ng Embahada na ito ay isang pansamantalang paraan lamang upang maihatid ang serbisyo ng POLO sa mga Pilipinong manggagawa. Puspusan pa rin ang POLO sa Riyadh sa paghahanap ng bagong lokasyon. Maglalabas ng abiso ang Embahada ukol sa bagong lokasyon ng POLO sa lalong madaling panahon. (WAKAS): Press Release No. PR-075-2015
OFWs Have the Right to Keep Their Own Passports
(Philippine Embassy/Riyadh, 21 May 2015) – The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh reiterates to all Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia that, under Saudi and Philippine law, they have the right to keep and hold on to their Philippine passports while working in Saudi Arabia.
The Philippine passport is considered to be the property of the Republic of the Philippines and only the bearer has the right to keep it in his custody.
The Embassy firmly reminds companies and employers in Saudi Arabia who continue to keep their foreign workers’ passports, as a matter of practice and against the workers’ will, that they are violating Saudi law, specifically Council of Ministers Resolution No. 166 dated 12/04/1421H (14 July 2000) which clearly states that “every employee has the right to keep his passport in his custody.”
The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated to the Embassy this week that this rule remains in effect and that any OFW whose passport has been kept by their employer has a right to complain to the Ministry of Labor or the police. (END) : Press Release No. PR-074-2015
OFW representation in Congress
The Philippine Election 2016 is fast approaching. It will be held on May next year and being at home, I can feel and smell the preparation of some politicians in the surrounding community that I belong. Even in TV ads, some Presidentiables are busy making their own “papogi points” to the public. Of course, it’s part of their strategy to win the public sentiment on national issues at hand.
Talking about OFW Political empowerment, the OFWs were able to get a seat in Congress through the OFW Family Party List group who made it in the last 2013 election. Truly, we are proud that OFWs are finally represented in Congress since 14 years when former Congressman Sid Aligada and Omar Fajardo were appointed by former President Fidel Ramos to represent OFWs in the Philippine lower house of Congress.
But frankly, I can’t feel of any changes being made or introduced on the various issues of government policies that concerns our OFWs. I am not against Congressman Roy Seneres and in fairness, the good Congressman filed several bills in Congress since he assumed office yet none of them made it to the President’s desk. Surprisingly, I read an online article that he is eyeing for 2016 Presidential election. That, I have so much doubt that he can even reach number 10 in the list of the highest votes for the Presidency. Well, for me 750 thousand votes are not enough to change the course of history from Congress to Presidency. My sincere apology to the former Ambassador, that’s only my opinion and I am entitled to it. However, if the good former Ambassador will stick to where he is now and ask his colleagues in Congress to prioritize his bills, then Sir, you have my one vote again.
OFW Political Empowerment in barangay level
During the 2013 barangay election there were 53,786,223 registered Filipino voters according to COMELEC website. It means out of 101 Million Philippine population (taken from worldometers) half of our population are registered voters.
How many per cent of OFW family comprised a mere barangay? According to my neighbour who works at the local office of the Philippine Statistics Authority, in one particular barangay in Cebu, OFWs is comprised of 5% of the barangay population. Each family of that 5% population has 4 to 5 family members who are registered voters. Good enough for an OFW (former OFW or OFW family members or relatives) who wants to run as a barangay councilman with a 2,500 votes for a barangay population that consist of 10,000 registered voters.
Perhaps, the continuing saga in our fight for OFW political empowerment must start in barangay level. So, by representing the concerns of OFWs in a barangay or in many barangays around the Philippine archipelago, then the national scene will follow.
According to the April to September 2014 statistical report by Grace Bersales of Philippine Statistics Authority, there was an estimated 2.3 million Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs/OFWs) or those with existing work contract comprised 96.0 per cent (2.2 million) of the total OFWs. The rest (4.0% or 92,000) worked overseas without contract.
The total of 2,392,000 OFWs plus five of their families back home can even move a mountain apart to put a President in Malacanang with a total of 11,960,000 votes; near enough to what President Aquino garnered in 2010 presidential election.
Well that’s only a simple presumption, nonetheless Benjamin Banneker, an African American scientist once said “presumption should never make us neglect that which appears easy to us, nor despair make us lose courage at the sight of difficulties.”
That’s the reason why I am advocating Overseas Absentee Voting registration and requesting those 975,263 Overseas Absentee Voters worldwide to update your voting status, especially to those 237,504 registered voters who failed to vote in the previous Philippine national election.
To my fellow OFWs, talk to your families back home, ask them to participate in the October 2016 barangay election and through them, we can now empower by representing our OFW sector in the barangay level. – BongA
(13 May 2015) Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) warns Overseas Filipino workers who will send their balikbayan boxes and their consignees in the Philippines should book their packages only with reliable and Philippine Shippers Bureau or DTI-PSB accredited freight forwarders and Philippine agents to ensure that their packages will reach their destinations.
DTI also warned cargo senders from abroad against very low door-to-door rates or “promo rates” that some foreign principals offer. “With low rates, they [foreign principals] do not have enough funds to bear the cost of transporting cargoes, and they fail to remit delivery funds to their Philippine freight forwarders, causing the shipments to be abandoned at the ports and not being delivered to consignees.”
For consignees in the Philippines who have not received their packages from freight forwarders, they may contact DTI (02-751-3330) or go to PSB office to file an immediate claim or complaint.”
OFWs around the globe are advised to check or visit this link: http://www.dti.gov.ph/dti/index.php/resources/listings from time to time and see the list of Blacklisted Sea Freight Cargo Forwarders around the globe.
OFWs in Saudi Arabia are advised NOT TO DEAL with any Seafreight Cargo Forwarders other than the list of DTI accredited freight forwarders listed below.
Again, the list below are updated list (March 06, 2015) from DTI list of Accredited Cargo Freight Forwarders in Saudi Arabia. – BongA
The Department of Foreign Affairs website confirmed yesterday the untimely demise of Philippine Ambassador to Pakistan, H.E. Domingo D. Lucenario, Jr., when a Pakistani army helicopter crashed in Naltar Valley area of Gilgit on Friday
Ambassador Lucenario was a career ambassador who served the Philippine Government for over 35 years. During his term as Ambassador to Pakistan, relations between the Philippines and Pakistan have enjoyed a robust partnership in various areas of cooperation.
The crashed happened during a diplomatic trip with members of 37 countries in total. The scheduled three day trip was mainly organised for tourism purposes and the inauguration of a ski chairlift, built in the breathtaking resort of Naltar, in northern Pakistan. The ambassadors were also expected to hold high-level meetings.
Ambassador Lucenario was one of the few career Filipino diplomats who had the rare distinction of having been awarded by the President of the Philippines with three (3) major Presidential Awards, namely: the Order of Sikatuna Award with the rank of Datu (Gold level) (2009), the Order of Lakandula Award with the rank of Grand Officer (Maringal na Pinuno) (2008), and the Gawad Mabini Award with the rank of Grand Officer (Dakilang Kamanong) (2008).
Ms. Ellene Sana of the Center for Migrant Advocacy said “we first met in Hongkong when he was the Consul General. Mainit na isyu noon ang Owwa Omnibus Policies. We had impassioned debates over it in the dining table of OFW advocate Daphne Ceniza.”
“During his tenure as Consul General in Hongkong, the post registered the highest number of overseas voters,” Ellene Sana added.
Ambassador Lucenario was also behind the 2007 efficient and friendly implementation of services in the DFA Passport division where he was then the Executive Director. In 2009, he became the DFA Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs where he succeeded the ePassport project of the DFA’s passport modernization program.
Among those killed in the crashed include Norwegian Ambassador Leif Larsen and the wives of Indonesia and Malaysia’s top diplomats in the Asian nation, and the two pilots, according to Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
OFWempowerment conveys our heartfelt sympathies and deepest condolences to the bereaved family of the late Ambassador Domingo D. Lucenario, Jr.
The Heart of OFW Reintegration Program
The comprehensive reintegration program of our government for returning OFWs is there since in the 90’s. But up to present many OFW returnees fails to make the program right. Perhaps because the OFW is not yet ready to reintegrate in our country for a very simple reason, we are already a stranger in our homeland after long years working in a foreign land; and or perhaps the business venture we are in is not the one that dictates our heart; and our governments’ way of implementing it through all these years.
The study of reintegration program was conceived as early in 1980’s and was first organized in 1988 by Asian Migration Center, a regional NGO based in Hong Kong composed of mostly member ASEAN countries.
There are two kinds of “OFW returnees”, those OFWs who troops down back home because of war, natural calamities, as well as economic and political turmoil of the host country they’re in. The other OFW returnees are those who decide to go home for good and stay at home with their families for the rest of their lives.
Last year, the Philippine government through the Department of Labor and Employment created a new reintegration program called Assist WELL Program that will address the Welfare, Employment, Legal, and Livelihood needs of repatriated OFWs. This particular program caters the needs of those OFWs repatriated from war-torn countries.
National Reintegration Program Fund (NRPF) launched in 2011 are those for returning OFWs who wish to stay at home after a long period of working abroad and or those who finished their contracts and decides not to go back working away from home. This program provides with a livelihood loan of between P300,000 to P2 million to set up their own business with low-interest loans. However, the OWWA and the bank(s) lengthy requirements and the long tedious process makes’ it hard for a returning OFW to avail the program.
The Land Bank of the Philippines and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration forged a partnership for the implementation of this high-profile and probably the biggest reintegration program of the government since Kabuhayan-2000 Program for OFWs in 1998.
Those above mentioned programs achieved a modest outcome for both two kinds of OFW returnees, it is suggested that changes should be made in all of its guidelines and requirements to avail the lending facility much easier. Perhaps, there is also a need to trim down those government agencies involved that are not anymore necessary in the implementation of the program. In this way, the efforts of the many previous administrations to help OFWs reintegrate in our homeland be fulfilled.
On the other side of the mirror, the heart of OFW reintegration program of our government lies within us, we need to choose the right business with an innermost desire of doing it, armed with passion and coming from our heart.
To my fellow OFW returnees, re-joining our families back home and reintegrating into the mainstream of our Philippine society is a very crucial plan and we, OFWs should have to think twice before disembarking a new era of endeavour back home. Many OFWs like me are unfamiliar in our country’s business scenes while working away from home. WE should determine the exact and suitable entrepreneurship venture that we love most or experienced in line with our previous or at present employment abroad. Lastly, WE should be aware of the financial burdens of taxation that awaits us in the future. – BongA
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 430,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 18 days for that many people to see it.
During the Filipino Community meeting with DOLE Secretary Baldoz at the Philippine Embassy, the Honorable POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac was with her. Admin. Cacdac announced to the attendees about the POEA OEC-BM Online Processing. It is indeed a good project by the POEA, and I salute POEA Admin Cacdac for this very useful initiative.
I humbly request our government particularly those agencies overseeing the plight of OFWs to start planning or think something that could be beneficial for us OFWs rather than issuing a Memorandum Circular forcing us OFWs to pay P550 terminal fee in the cost of an airline ticket.
By the way, thanks to the court ruling last November 19 issued by Judge Tingaraan Guiling of Pasay RTC Branch 109 by declaring MIAA’s Memorandum Circular No. 8 as “unenforceable” for a mere reason that the Memorandum Circular did not comply with the legal requirement that it must be published in the Official Gazette or any newspaper of general circulation 15 days before its implementation.
I’m sure MIAA will file a motion for reconsideration if allowed by court and I just hope our court will later rule the MC No. 8 with finality that it is “unconstitutional” in violation to Republic Act 10022 (Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of. 1995) that prohibits the collection of travel tax and terminal fee for OFWs who possess valid Overseas Exemption Certificates.
Back to OEC-BM Online Processing, I tried to apply online but unfortunately the facility only caters OFWs to POEA offices in the Philippines. It means up to this writing, those OFWs who wish to set an appointment for your OEC to POLO offices at the site of employment has yet to be operational online. You can see below screen shot of the online facility in red arrow showing that the said locations are “coming soon”. To those OFWs already in the Philippines, please try to point your location to your areas where you are now and check the availability of the given dates to set an appointment after you’ve done filling out the online form.
Surely it can lessen the waiting time because an OFW has the slot, but just to make sure you’ll be there on time and you have all the necessary documents with you like passport and previous payment receipts as required in obtaining an Overseas Employment Certificate.
To those who haven’t visited the site online, please click this link: OEC Balik-Manggagawa Online Processing and simply follow the instruction.
To POEA, MABUHAY Kayo! Keep up the good work in the service to OFWs. – BongA
Fig. 1- POEA Appointment Offices outside PHL “Coming Soon”
Fig. 2 – Slots Available in POEA Cebu Office
FilCom leaders pleased Secretary Baldoz Second visit in Saudi Arabia
30 November, 2014, RIYADH: Filipino Community leaders are really delighted to receive an invitation of Philippine Labor Secretary Erlinda Dimapilis-Baldoz through the Philippine Overseas Labor Office to meet Filcom leader in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This visit is the second time of Secretary Baldoz since she took office in 2010.
The first visit was in May last year upon the signing of the Labor pact between the Philippines and Saudi Arabia that established the commitment of the two governments to implement a standard employment contract that provide protection for Filipino Household Service Workers. However, most of the Saudis are complaining about the very expensive fees the local Saudi recruitment offices are charging in bringing domestic workers from Philippines.
OFWs in Saudi are also facing forward that this visit of Secretary Baldoz could pave a way to formalize an agreed standard employment contract for skilled and semi-skilled workers in the Kingdom through a bilateral labor agreement similar to that of the standard FHSW contract. This could prevent employers from substituting a contract for their own interest. It can’t be denied that contract substitution still rampant in the Kingdom despite of both countries good labor relation.
The Filipino Community is likewise grateful to the good Secretary Baldoz for inviting them in line with the Philippine Government agenda on reintegration program. The OFW reintegration program should be properly disseminated to the vast population of OFWs as their guide in their eventual return to the homeland.
The top Labor executive’s ardent desire to hold an audience with the Filipino Community in Riyadh tonight, Sunday, at 6 PM is indeed a serious move that the Aquino government is sincere in their reintegration program for OFWs and looking for an alternative source of income for those who decides to be back home for good. – BongA