Thank you and Best Wishes

Best Wishes for the Holiday Season and a Happy New Year! 

 

Most especially to the following friends who greeted me and to those who set aside a little time of their busy hours replying my text and email greetings:

 

USEC Rafael Seguis of DFA

OWWA Administrator Marianito Roque

OWWA Welfare Officer Arman Roa

Frank Naval of United OFW

Director Mar Dumia of DFA

Mr. Kiwi Soon former Mandaue City Councilor

Ninong Fred and Ching Castolome

Ka Mario Ben of Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan

Rudy Dianalan of KASAPI Congress-Jeddah

Alex Bello of OFW Congress-Riyadh

Mike Bolos and Ellene Sana of CMA

Davao City Councilor Peter Lavina

Atty. Loloy Compendio

Atty. Fred Pamaos of JLP Law Firm

Ka Francis Oca

Ka Elias Bonite of BOWACC

Me Ann

KAKAMPI-KSA

JFCM 

PPP E-group Members

Mr.Romy Pia

Mrs. Leah Lopez Ybanez my childhood friend

Monette Go my dear highschool classmate

My townmate Sir Gerry Ampo

My Cousin Mr. Pol Amora

My highschool friend Mrs. Melinda Diolata Urmaza

 

And to those (my apology)I forgot to mention.

 

Maraming Salamat Po! Wishing you the best of health and God Bless- Us. 

By ofwempowerment Posted in Others

A Christmas Letter from Prison

To my fellow OFWs incarcerated in different jails around the globe more particularly those in various prisons in Saudi Arabia and especially those in Death Row, Wishing you-ALL, A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Rodelio "Dondon" Lanuza

Rodelio "Dondon" Lanuza

To my friend DONDON  (in death row) who despite from his situation greeted me a Happy Holiday by way of text-The Lord God is with you. Just continue to trust Him that someday you will be spared from all the trials you’ve been through.

You may not read this holiday greetings but one thing for sure those who read these – will render a short prayer for all of you.  ****

 

 

A Christmas Letter from Prison

Behind Bars

Behind Bars

“I don’t have to tell you how greatly I long for freedom, and for all of you. But for decades you gave us such incomparably beautiful Christmases that my grateful memory of them is strong enough to outshine even this rather dark one. It is times like these that show what it really means to have a past and an inner legacy independent of the change of times and conditions. The awareness of being borne up by a spiritual tradition that lasts for decades gives one a strong sense of security in the face of all transitory distress…

From the Christian point of view, spending Christmas in prison doesn’t pose any special problem. Most likely, a more

Letter from Prison

Letter from Prison

 meaningful and authentic Christmas is celebrated here by many people than in places where only the name of the feast remains. Misery, pain, poverty, loneliness, helplessness, and guilt have an altogether different meaning in God’s eyes than in the judgment of men. God turns toward the very places from which humans tend to turn away. Christ was born in a stable because there was no room for him at the inn: a prisoner can understand all this better than other people. It’s truly good news for him; in believing it, he knows he has been made a part of the Christian community that breaks down all spatial and temporal frontiers, and the walls of prison lose their meaning…”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote a Christmas Letter to his parents while in prison  at Christmas in 1943 during WWII. He was hanged on April 6, 1945, one month before the German surrender.

A Short Tale of Three Migrants

To celebrate December 18 (Migrants’ Workers Day), the PMRW (Phil. Migrants’ Rights Watch)  organized a forum entitled migrants voices which featured three OFW returnees sharing their personal lives as migrants.

Mike Bolos and his Bay Spa

Mike Bolos and his Bay Spa

Mike Bolos

, CMA (Center for Migrant Advocacy) member of the board, shared his quarter-of-a-century journey  through the desserts of Saudi Arabia. A migrant “by accident”, he left for Saudi in the 1980s with very little preparation for himself besides what he knew of the people around him in Pampanga who left for abroad for greener pastures. He  experienced  the typical ups-and-downs of a typical OFW, in Saudi at that, such as discrimination, non-recognition of his skills, prolonged separation from his family. His two children were 4 and 5 years old when he left them the first time. He missed their growing up years definitely.

Now back in the Philippines, Mike reflects on his 25 year-journey abroad- “Based on my experience, I would enjoin the OFWs now to exert everything possible to preserve their families at all costs. Knowing then what I know now, I would have done things differently to preserve my own. Despite the distance, the OFWs should try to be as close to their children as possible so that they will not be “mapariwara”.

It appears to me that the risk is high and the probability is great that the children may not grow up like those with both parents around them most of the time. In which case, is the social cost worth it? But other OFWs would say they had no choice.”

Mike today is a successful businessman  and still continue to get involve  in the migrant advocacy, he is currently a member of the board of CMA. He is CMA’s resource person on OFWs and Saudi Arabia/Middle East. Also, an  active in the overseas absentee voting campaign.

Mary Joy Barcelona

Mary Joy Barcelona

The other OFWs who willingly shared their tears and triumphs abroad were Mary Joy Barcelona, who went to Japan to make her dream of becoming a teacher come true. But it brought her only miseries and  more tears.  She came home battered but not beaten. She pursued her studies despite the odds. Perhaps, she was not meant to be a teacher so she shifted to another course. This month, she graduated  from PUP with a degree on BS Entrepreneurial Management.

Mary Joy says….. click here   and to read more about her>>>>>>

By ofwempowerment Posted in OFW Life

10,003 Hits

Today 18 of December 2006, I have reached a marked of

10,003 hits!

Maraming Salamat Po sa Inyong Lahat!

Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon!

 

OFW Empowerment (Funchain, Bravenet Stats Counter)

from April 2006 to Dec. 18, 2006

 

Cumulative Statistics

10,003

Total Uniques

5,307

Uniques / Page Views

Counter Start Date

from April 24, 2006 to Dec. 18, 2006 

 **********************************************

 

OFW Empowerment (Blogger.com STATS4U Counter)

from  March 2006 to December 18, 2006

 

1.

Saudi Arabia

699

47.2 %

2.

Philippines

402

27.2 %

3.

United States

114

7.7 %

4.

Spain

30

2.0 %

5.

Canada

23

1.6 %

6.

Hong Kong S.A.R.

22

1.5 %

7.

United Kingdom

21

1.4 %

8.

United Arab Emirates

13

0.9 %

9.

Australia

12

0.8 %

10.

Singapore

10

0.7 %

 

Unknown

49

3.3 %

 

The rest

85

5.7 %

 

Total

1480

100.0 %

By ofwempowerment Posted in Bloggers

OFW Voices & Migration story

From New Jersey, Filipino community leader Robert Ceralvo said in an e-mail to abs-cbnNEWS.com that, “I hope we learn from this experience-every OFW should leave enough money and provisions for themselves, for emergencies like this one, just enough to buy a fare to bring them home or to safety.”

Passport

Passport

At the same time, he said, “Our government should also re-think their strategy of sending our OFWs to far-away lands, in order to send back their dollar earnings. 

The [Overseas Workers' Welfare Administration] (or our government) should allocate reasonable funds for quick evacuation and repatriation of our compatriots in time of crisis.”

Edna Aquino, who set up the Center for Filipinos in London, added in another e-mail message that, “It (the Lebanon crisis) exposed the political bankruptcy of the Philippine government in not getting its acts together which then affected its ability to urgently respond to a crisis situation involving its citizens abroad.”

But Saudi Arabia-based Filipino community leader Manuel “Bong” Amora said in turn that it is not just the government’s response that is central to the Lebanon crisis.

“The vulnerability of Filipino overseas workers of violence particularly our Filipina domestic helpers continue to worsen year by year. Our government and policy makers’ response (to) the issue has not been comprehensively explored or little has been done.”

In another e-mail message, Amora narrated a recent news story about two Filipino domestic helpers gang raped in Kuwait.  He said this just shows how the government ineffectively addresses the rampant activities of illegal recruiters coddled by big-time syndicates and crooked officials.

“The story conveys how helpless our [Filipino] maids in foreign countries are and how they are susceptible to maltreatment and abuse. It does not only give damage to the reputation of working women sector but to the whole country as well,” Amora said.

He added: “Does our government have to wait for another Sarah Balabagan in the making to attract international attention before we can have a concrete measures to prevent such inhuman act to our Filipina household workers?”

From New Hampshire, Marvin Bionat who formed ‘Talsik’, a movement to keep an eye on the government and allegations of corruption, said the horror story of 2006 was, “Filipinas jumping out of windows to escape the cruelty of their employers and their decision to stay abroad anyway.”

“Why do Filipinos have to leave the country even if it means breaking up their families and facing the desolation and dangers of exile?  Lack of opportunities and the desperate need to get out of the rut plus a general hopelessness that the government can’t do much to help create the conditions of progress continue to drive young and bright Filipinos/Filipinas away to foreign shores,” Bionat said.

By: JULIE JAVELLANA-SANTOS, abs-cbn NEWS.com 18/12/06. Read more…  

Lebanon OFWs top migration story for 2006

Lebanon OFWs top migration story for 2006

By JULIE JAVELLANA-SANTOS
abs-cbnNEWS.com

Former migrant worker Rosie Mamaoag will be spending Monday, the International Day of Migration, thanking her stars that she was able to come home in July courtesy of the Philippine government.

When the Philippine government first sounded the call for overseas Filipino workers in Lebanon to evacuate because of a bombing war between the Israelis and the Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, her female employer started locking her and her fellow domestics up.

“Sabi niya sa akin, hindi ka uuwi except kung patay ka na (She told me I won’t be able to come home except in a coffin),” she narrated.

“Malapit kami sa bundok at nakikita namin ang mga bomba na sumasabog sa mga apartment na malapit sa tabing dagat. Safe nga daw kami pero gabi-gabi nakikita namin mula sa balkonahe ang mga sumasabog at naririnig namin ang mga eroplano na dumadaan (We lived near the mountains and so we can see the bombs exploding in the apartment houses near the sea. We were told we were safe but every night we see bombings from the balcony and hear the airplanes passing overhead),” she said.

Agnes left Beirut with nothing on her back. While on an errand, she ran away to the Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal parish church in Beirut, where most of the Filipinos were temporarily lodged.

“Ayoko nang bumalik doon. Sana madamay na sa bomba ang mga employer ko (I don’t want to go back there anymore. I hope my former employers were hit by the bombings),” Agnes said.

Horror stories of Filipinas caught in southern Lebanon’s hostilities between the Hezbollah and the Israelis dominated much of 2006.

Although the war lasted only a few months in the middle of the year, it was easily the most poignant and repugnant, picture of Philippine migration for they year.

OFW voices
From New Jersey, Filipino community leader Robert Ceralvo said in an e-mail to abs-cbnNEWS.com that, “I hope we learn from this experience – every OFW should leave enough money and provisions for themselves, for emergencies like this one, just enough to buy a fare to bring them home or to safety.”

At the same time, he said, “Our government should also re-think their strategy of sending our OFWs to far-away lands, in order to send back their dollar earnings.

The [Overseas Workers' Welfare Administration] (or our government) should allocate reasonable funds for quick evacuation and repatriation of our compatriots in time of crisis.”

Edna Aquino, who set up the Center for Filipinos in London, added in another e-mail message that, “It (the Lebanon crisis) exposed the political bankruptcy of the Philippine government in not getting its acts together which then affected its ability to urgently respond to a crisis situation involving its citizens abroad.”

But Saudi Arabia-based Filipino community leader Manuel “Bong” Amora said in turn that it is not just the government’s response that is central to the Lebanon crisis.

“The vulnerability of Filipino overseas workers of violence particularly our Filipina domestic helpers continue to worsen year by year. Our government and policy makers’ response [to] the issue has not been comprehensively explored or little has been done.”

In another e-mail message, Amora narrated a recent news story about two Filipino domestic helpers gang raped in Kuwait. He said this just shows how the government ineffectively addresses the rampant activities of illegal recruiters coddled by big-time syndicates and crooked officials.

“The story conveys how helpless our [Filipino] maids in foreign countries are and how they are susceptible to maltreatment and abuse. It does not only give damage to the reputation of working women sector but to the whole country as well,” Amora said.

He added: “Does our government have to wait for another Sarah Balabagan in the making to attract international attention before we can have a concrete measures to prevent such inhuman act to our Filipina household workers?”

From New Hampshire, Marvin Bionat who formed ‘Talsik’, a movement to keep an eye on the government and allegations of corruption, said the horror story of 2006 was, “Filipinas jumping out of windows to escape the cruelty of their employers and their decision to stay abroad anyway.”

“Why do Filipinos have to leave the country even if it means breaking up their families and facing the desolation and dangers of exile? Lack of opportunities and the desperate need to get out of the rut plus a general hopelessness that the government can’t do much to help create the conditions of progress continue to drive young and bright Filipinos/Filipinas away to foreign shores,” Bionat said.

OFW representation needed
But Vic Barrios, chairman of the San Francisco-based Global Filipinos, said, “The most important issue for 2006 is the glaring need for Philippine authorities to recognize in concrete terms the important role and requirements of global Filipinos. While global Filipinos receive accolades as ‘economic heroes’ who keep the country afloat, they have been marginalized given the absence of a crisis-responsive government safety net and non-recognition of their rights to participate in the Motherland’s governance.”

Definitely, Barrios said, “a quick-response capacity requires that global Filipinos should be actively involved in the Motherland’s governance. Overseas/global Filipinos are political orphans. Is it understandable, then, that there are no mandated public servants who regard them as their constituencies. This anomaly needs to change, as well. Only global Filipinos in legislature can genuinely be concerned with the needs of global Filipinos.”

Remittances
Aquino said the issue of OFW remittances should not be forgotten as it was also a highlight of 2006.

“Migrant workers’ remittances continue to be consistently on the rise but government continues to lack a comprehensive long-term strategy on the export of its labor that would address its over-dependency on these remittances to prop up the economy,” Aquino said.

OFW remittances for the first 10 months of the year have reached $10.3 billion for 2006. Remittances last year totaled $10.6 billion.

Idelfonso Bagasao, founder of the Economic Resource Center for Overseas Filipinos (ERCOF), who shuttles between Manila and Brussels (Belgium), said “the biggest story is the one that is not most written about, and that is the resiliency and capacity of OFWs and their families to survive and bend with the wind despite the adversities, the social costs and insensitivity of politicians, alongside an increasing trend for volunteerism and willingness to share resources and skills.”

“This not an issue for OFWs but more for government, because if this trend continues, then one day, government may wake up to find itself extinct and totally useless,” he said.

OFW remittances today make up almost 10 percent of the country’s gross national product and at more than $8 billion for the first 11 months of the year, is about to surpass the 2005 figure of $10.6 billion.

But OWWA head Marianito Roque told abs-cbnNEWS.com that aside from the horror stories from Lebanon, the top migration issue for 2006 was the trafficking of these workers to the war-torn country.

Roque once said that roughly 2/3 of the OFWs who arrived from Lebanon were not even documented as migrant workers. A few were even minors. It was no wonder that others, like 18-year old Sabel Abano, were thankful when their passports were destroyed in the bombings.

Ellene Sana, executive director of the Center for Migrant Advocacy, said the Lebanon evacuation was indeed the country’s top issue, but all it did was highlight how unprepared the government was in dealing with that issue.

“The government did not learn their lessons from the past. They should have been prepared because of what happened during the two gulf wars and the creation of the Middle East Preparedness Team,” she said.

What happened instead was that government effort was uncoordinated. “They did not even know where some of the OFWs were,” Sana lamented. She added that the Philippine government did not even know where to source resources for the evacuation. Most OFWs in Lebanon were repatriated through the International Organization of Migration.

“Watak-watak ang naging response nila (Their response was uncoordinated),” she added.

Eager to escape Beirut, Abano said: “Mas masahol pa ang mga babaeng employer kaysa sa mga lalaki. Pag may nagawa akong mali, hinihila ako sa buhok at pinapaulit. Sinasagot ko nga lang at hindi naman nakakaintindi ng Ingles o ng Tagalog ang babaeng amo ko. (Female employers are worse than the male ones. Whenever I do something wrong, she pulls my hair and orders me to do it again. I answer back because she cannot understand Tagalog or even English anyway).”

She hopes never to go through that again. But if the need arises, she just might have to find pack her bags and find overseas work again. One thing is for sure, though, it will never again be in Lebanon.

Aginaldo Para sa Bayan Conference

                

 The AIM Policy Center, in collaboration with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and the Overseas Filipinos WorldNet (OFWNet) Foundation, Inc., wishes to invite you on International Migrants’ Day, 18 December 2006, for the activity “Aginaldo Para sa Bayan 2: Overseas Filipino Resources for Philippine Investment and Development Projects”. The activity will take place at the Grand Ballroom of the Philippine Plaza Hotel in Pasay City from 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Joining us will be 500 participants coming from the overseas Filipino (OFs) community, government agencies, the diplomatic corps, Philippine-based business entities, NGOs and civil society.    

Through this activity, we seek to:

 

1. Follow through on positive outcomes generated from the inaugural Aginaldo Para sa Bayan in 2005;   

2. Present overseas Filipinos with opportunities for channeling their remittances to promote Philippine development particularly in the following sectors: banking and insurance; telecommunications and IT-enabled services; health and local government investment; real estate and retirement; franchising as well as education, S&T and publishing.  

 

Concept Paper:

 

Overseas remittances have possibly become the single biggest change agent of economic life in the Philippines.  Last year alone, overseas Filipinos sent in US$10.68B-which made the country the 4th top global recipient, after China, India and Mexico.  The amount accounts for approximately 10% of the GNP. 

 

The record US$10.68B in money flows coursed through banks in 2005 was 2nd only to manufactured exports in terms of foreign exchange receipts and is bigger than ODA, FDI, portfolio investment and tourism receipts combined.  Growing at approximately 13% over the past five years, migrants’ remittances-especially when the country is faced with balance-of-payments crises-invariably tide the Philippines over year in, year out. 

 

Although the country has probably seen off two to three generations of Filipino emigrants, it has seemingly not optimized the ways by which to channel emigrants’ finances or energies to benefit those left behind.  Although some government agencies as well as non-government organizations are pursuing activities such as financial literacy and livelihood projects for overseas Filipinos (OFs) as well as offering up various financial instruments e.g., rural banks, BSP survey and analysis, etc.), the projects seem to be discrete and have taken varied directions without achieving the kind of cohesion that makes an impact on a national scale, especially given the magnitude of remittances that the Philippines gets and their potential impact on, say, filling the infrastructure finance gap.

 

Through the Aginaldo Para sa Bayan-2, we hope to bring together the overseas Filipino community with members of Philippine-based business and NGOs as well as LGUs to explore ways by which remittances can be harnessed as a developmental tool for the country. 

 

Please contact Mia Denopol, a Program Manager with the AIM Policy Center , at telephone numbers: (632) 892-4011 local 2144, 751-9182 or at email address rdenopol@aim.edu . You may also contact Rino D. Paez of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas at 561-8321 locals 600-604, for confirmation of attendance.

 

Blog Exposes unsecured Online Webcam

Axis Communications, is the maker of a wide variety of security cameras that can be connected to the Internet for remote viewing. Their products are excellent as they provide clear quality video streams that runs relatively fast. The purpose of the cameras can be used for security purposes, to all sorts of monitoring. From security your house perimeter, watching the nanny for abuse, monitoring business activities and a lot more

 

 

One problem though is that maybe not only the owner may be the viewer of the webcam, but maybe a lot more. This can be a problem with security where a potential robber can monitor in real time when would be the best time to rob a house or business. Or this camera can be used for voyeurism purposes by unsuspected viewers.

 

Read more…

By ofwempowerment Posted in Others

One Year Ago

13 12 2006

One year ago, 13 December 2005, I made my first blog post “Tax Exemption a Token Gift“.

It all started when I read “Nasipit to Anywhere” a blog authored by my townmate who is a lawyer, writing current events direct from our beloved hometown Nasipit (Agusan, Del Norte). Actually at that time I’ve been reading blogs already particularly from famous blogger politician Peter Lavina.

Happy 1 Year Anniversary

Happy 1 Year Anniversary

Blogging under blog name “OFW Empowerment” with the abovementioned first entry using widely known template blogger.com followed by “OFW Representation“. Despite busy hours of my job, I have done my homework at home and it became a hobby. And as an active member of the Filipino community in Riyadh, I was determined to write about OFWs issues and concerns mixed up a little bit with politics.

In late April of 2006 it occurred to me that I was doing it anyway, why not continue doing it. Then I shifted to Funchain an easy to use blogger guide created by fellow Filipino an IT expert from Davao Mr. Jason Banico.

OFWs the Best Political Electorate” that was published online at Inquirer 7 supplement under Network Highlights INQ7 @ 5 was one of my first entries using Funchain. The said entry was based and inspired from my previous posting “OFW Representation”.     

I immediately was on the receiving end of encouragement from colleauges in the Industrial areas-Riyadh, and so with my readers like Davao City Councilor Peter Lavina, Atty. Loloy Compendio and Atty. Fred Pamaos- all fellow bloggers. Then the traffic started climbing and the rest is history.

And of course I want to thank all of the readers and commenters in here. To my wife Minda and daughter Angel. Also, to my brod Doods and dear friend Ms. Ellene Sana of  CMA – Thank you so much! 

I know I’m not everybody’s cup of tea for the fact that I am neither a journalist nor a writer, but for one thing, it’s self-deserving and this blog is dedicated to all Overseas Filipinos.

Happy Anniversary To OFWEmpowerment blog!

International Human Rights Day

Poverty is a cause and a product of human rights violations

 

It is this double edge that makes poverty probably the gravest human rights challenge in the world. The links between human rights and poverty should be obvious:  People whose rights are denied-victims of discrimination or persecution, for example- are more likely to be poor. Generally they find it harder or impossible to participate in the labour market and have little or no access to basic services and resources. Human Rights and Poverty  

 

To: Migrant Workers around the Globe.

 

Today, December 10, 2006 is “International Human Rights Day

 

International Convention on the protection of the rights of all migrant workers and members of their families; Part III: Human Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, Article  13.2 states: 

 

Migrant workers and members of their families shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art or through any other media of their choice“.

You made my day complete

In Saudi Arabia, Saturday is the first working day of the week and I hate Saturday’s because it is the busiest day of the week too. Exhausted with all work done, I am glad that there was still time for the day to browse and read entries from my favorite links. Here are some entries worth reading today.

 

Without Borders “Global Warming creates uncertainties for the Philippine Economy” a piece about how are we prepared for the new reality fostered by global warming.

 

Atty. At Work “Congratulations, Chief Justice Reynato Puno“,  the acceptance speech of Chief Justice Puno on his appointment. Excerpt of the statement provided below and I hope he mean it.

 

I accept the appointment with a clear awareness of the defining role of the judiciary as our people confront turning points after turning points in life. The Judiciary may not have the power of the sword, may not have the power of the purse, but it has the power to interpret the Constitution, and the unerring lessons of history tell us that rightly wielded, that power can make a difference for good“.

 

I also have the chance to glance “Tinalikuran na ba ng mga OFWs ang OAV“? this month entry of my friend’s blog “Ka Ambo” and it touches the coldness of our fellow OFWs based on the low turn out of OAV registrants in the last Overseas Absentee Voters registration.

 

And lastly, I wear a smile reading the “balak” or “poem”  titled “Ngadto sa Tikasan nakong Textmate” by Michael Obenieta.  A Bisayan poem about a date with a textmate.

 

All of them, made my day complete.    

By ofwempowerment Posted in Bloggers

12 Years Without Christmas

November 24, 1993 when I first came to work in Saudi Arabia. I am so lonely then because it is only about a month to go its Christmas. Yet for the reason that I was so eager to work abroad to earn a dollar, I set aside the Holiday season and faced a new beginning as an OFW in a foreign land. Knowing now that up to this year 2006, I already missed Christmas for 12 long years.  

It is also sad to say that in this country we never felt the spirit of the season. It is not because we don’t want to feel it but it is an obligatory sign of respect to Islamic faith, culture and traditions of the host country. Christians like me should adhere to the restrictions on our holiday celebrations. Although, Saudi authorities are not so strict nowadays compared to the past years, still it is good for us not to show any kind of disrespect to their way of life. Therefore, we always have Christmas without decorations and no Christmas gatherings. Though some quarters may have a small party but we have to limit the time of the celebrations. After that, back to normal and continue our work the next day as if it is just nothing was celebrated.

As what I have mentioned, it’s been 12 long years that I haven’t spent the Yuletide Season with my family and friends and how I really wished to be with them for the holiday.

My daughter once texted me how she wished to be with me in time of Christmas but I can’t do nothing except praying that someday I and my family will be together attending “Simbang Gabi” and have a solemn “Noche Buena”.

I replied her text and say “Anak ang importante buo ang pamilya natin kahit wala ako sa piling ninyo“. 

However the most sacred message about Christmas is to reaffirm our faith in which we will serve God to its fullest in our everyday lives – is a Holiday Season of the true meaning of Christ’s birth.

By ofwempowerment Posted in OFW Life

Power, Lust & Greed

What the House is doing to its rules will never be tolerated in any self-respecting organization. But a self-respecting House is an oxymoron. I remember Palace pekingese Alex Magno asking, “As the world rushes aid to the victims of the Leyte landslide, why are the political players of Manila more engrossed with power grabs?” Magno should point to Carlos Imperial, Joey Salceda and Luis Villafuerte — and ask Edcel Lagman in particular, who loftily told TV host Ricky Carandang that a parliament would lead to greater accountability and responsibility – “Et tu, Brute?” For what are we seeing but a power grab? As Willy Prilles Jr. observed from Naga City, “If there is one Philippine institution today that Typhoon ‘Reming’ should have destroyed, it has to be the House of Representatives.”  Inq7.net: Nocturnal Deliberation by: Manuel L. Quezon III

 

Instead, the giant Philippine flag at the session hall served as a sorry backdrop to the antics of these sleepwalkers on the nation’s payroll. Obviously, subtlety is not a virtue for these congressmen who displayed lust at its most brazen on national television. Good thing the show was aired past our children’s bedtime. Manila Standard : Editorial 

 

Despite the 67% public rejection, the pro-administration congressmen pushed for a Charter Change through Con Ass (Constituent Assembly, although some folks say it is the big CON by the biggest ASS#*%^), which cannot be done sans Senate participation. They not only spit on our faces by defying public opinion but they do so while violating a clear provision of the law for the Congress and the Senate to vote separately. Philippine Star: Where do they get their Con Ass arrogance? By: William Esposo 

 

As advocates of the parliamentary system of government, the House has in effect acted as a parliament even before a revised constitution can be ratified by the people. Tempo: Where there’s a will “Editorial”

 

The so-called representatives running the House do not really represent their constituents. Instead, many of them represent their own greed and the interests of the vested groups bribing them to do their bidding. ABS-CBN News: House display of naked power makes us cringe By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR. 

Filipino Household Service Workers

FHSW going to their destinations

FHSW going to their destinations

The Phil. Overseas Employment Administration introduced new areas of reforms in recruiting and deployment of Filipino Domestic Workers. Be noted that our Filipina Domestic Helpers has its new name  – HSW ( Filipino Household Service Workers ).

 

Areas of Reforms are as follows:

 1. Pre-qualification of Foreign Placement Agencies. The POLO shall issue a PQ certificate

2. Verification of additional Job Orders for HSW and low/semiskilled female workers and their individual employment contracts

3. Pre-qualification of the Applicant HSW

4. Minimum age requirement of 25 years old

5. Increase in Salary – Increase to US$400 as the entry level or the minimum monthly salary

6. Exemption from the POEA placement fee policy – No placement fee in any form including salary deduction

7. No License Issuance for Applicants with HSWs as New Market

* moratorium in the issuance of new POEA license for applicants using DH as its new market.

For your background reference, below are Top Ten Destinations of Filipino Household Service Workers for the Year 2005 with corresponding monthly salary.  

     
SL COUNTRY NUMBERS MONTHLY
# DESTINATION DEPLOYED (YR.2005) SALARY
1 CYPRUS 982 US $ 325.00
2 HONG KONG 17,514 HK $ 3,400.00
3 SINGAPORE 2,429 S $ 350.00
4 JORDAN 2,748 US $ 150 TO 200
5 LEBANON 11,735 US $ 150 TO 200
6 KUWAIT 19,707 US $ 150 TO 200
7 KSA 9,227 US $ 150 TO 200
8 UAE 9,113 US $ 200
9 QATAR 4,998 US $ 200
10 OMAN 1,419 US $ 200 TO 300
11 TAIWAN No Figures NT $ 185,840
       

 Taken from Center for Migrant Advocacy. Here to read more..

Objectives of the Reforms: To ensure that only qualified, adequately protected and properly documented household service workers are deployed to pre-qualified foreign placement agencies and employers.