Peace, Love not War

Sid Meier’s Civilization, a game to play 

 ***

U. S.  Sen. G.W. Norris

Peace is LOVE not WAR

Peace is LOVE not WAR

“To whom does war bring prosperity? Not to the soldier who for the munificent compensation of $16 per month shoulders his musket and goes into the trench, there to shed his blood and to die if necessary; not to the broken-hearted widow who waits for the return of the mangled body of her husband; not to the mother who weeps at the death of her brave boy; not to the little children who shiver with cold; not to the babe who suffers from hunger; nor to the millions of mothers and daughters who carry broken hearts to their graves. War brings no prosperity to the great mass of common and patriotic citizens. It increases the cost of living of those who toil and those who already must strain every effort to keep soul and body together. War brings prosperity to the stock gambler on Wall Street-to those who are already in possession of more wealth than can be realized or enjoyed.”  - U.S. Sen. George William Norris (April 4, 1917)

In this speech Senator Norris details his reasons for opposing a Senate resolution entering the United States in World War I. He criticizes British and German acts of war toward neutral third parties and the use of American citizens as “insurance policies to guarantee the safe delivery of munitions of war to belligerent nations.” Norris also criticizes opportunistic businessmen who seek to profit from the war.

***

The Game - CIVILIZATION  III

Civilization IV

Civilization IV

Sid Meier’s Firaxis Game “Civilization” is a widely renowned computer game in everyone’s personal computers. Kids, parents, professionals and people from all walks of life can play the game using only computer mouse. But the player brainpower in pursuit of winning the game is very important in order to build a Civilization that could stand the test of time.

Been playing Civilization III for two years now but I always ended up a loser. Only these past two weeks of my continuous long quest to win the game that I finally succeeded.

Civilization III is a game played by one player in a mind controlled game. The player chooses what nation he/she wants to play. Yesterday I played and selected Abraham Lincoln of the United States.

The player/nation starts from scratch. It needs workers or inhabitants to learn the secrets of farming, road-building and irrigation for them to settle down. The player/nation must build improvements to satisfy the needs of its people. The player monitors the Governor of each cities and emphasize how important are the food, peoples moods as well as commerce and production.

When a civilization develops, it can mobilize its economy for war. It starts with a Warrior (Stone Age) to Swordsman, longbow man and to high tech war equipments like warplanes, tanks and nuclear weapons. When a nation goes to war, it should have four types of combat units: ground/naval combat, bombardment, missile attacks, and air combat. But the player must have consistent amount of gold in the nation’s treasury to sustain military offensive and defenses against its enemies.

Winning the game can be achieved by purely military solution: conquer the world, civilization by civilization. If you eliminate all civilizations from the game, you win. Also, cultural victory which means make your whole civilization the envy of all any rivals, you win.

When your civilization builds an embassy in a rival’s capital city, or when a rival builds one in your capital, you can negotiate “Diplomatic Agreements” like trade embargo, military alliances such as mutual protection pacts and right of passage with friend nations against your enemies to win the game. 

Because of my militaristic way of winning and constant desire to keep my nation rich and powerful are maybe the contributing factor of my many failures or losses for almost two years of playing CIV. III. What I like most is to watch my warplanes bombarding enemy improvements and I enjoy rival nation to perish in the world by one drop of my missiles/atomic bombs.      

What I overlook is “Diplomacy“, the other area of winning the game which requires the player an excellent diplomatic skills. Like for instance, trading agreements to other civilized nations, more particularly offering them new technologies and resources, in exchange for something your nation don’t have. Building roads and access of  sea route for trading purposes. Another one is lending them gold to sustain their survival and helping them to build again their nation caused by the destruction of war.

There are many other diplomatic ways to win the game. But in order to achieve it, you must be getting elected to the head of the United Nations. All nations are required to build a U.N. building, though the first nation to build will be the host country of the symbolic U.N. building. After the United Nations Building is built there are periodic votes by the council to elect a leader and to be elected, and a candidate must win a majority of all votes. If you are the one, you win the game.

Yesterday night from 10:00 AM to 11:45 PM almost midnight, armed with diplomatic strategy or approach, AT LAST! I WON THE GAME! Now, I am at PEACE and NO TO WAR.   Sid Meier’s Firaxis Game “Civilization 1 to 4″ -  A game to play.  * BongA

***

The United Nations

U.N. Headquarters

U.N. Headquarters

Created in 1945 to maintain international peace and security, the United Nations was the second of two laudable efforts to establish an international authority on law and human rights between the self governing nations of the world. Headquartered in New York City, the United Nations was established at the end of World War II in response to the apparent ineffectiveness of the League of Nations to prevent another global conflict on the scale of “The War to End All Wars”. The organization was originally conceived in 1941 as the Atlantic Charter, an agreement signed between Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, but developed into a pact signed by 26 countries to try to stop the aggression of the Axis powers. In 1945, in a conference between “The Big Three”, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, the original charter was laid down. Throughout its history the United Nations has had great success in establishing many permanent international laws on subjects from human rights, international treaties, and worldwide decolonization. Although the United Nations does not have the power to enforce decisions or compel nations to take military action, the ability to compel member nations to impose economic sanctions against countries guilty of violating security orders gives it significant power in the world stage.

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OFW Livelihood Scam

The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh issued a press release to warn all OFWs in the Kingdom to be extra cautious regarding entities engaged in livelihood scam and confirm the legality of any existence of a corporation or association at the SEC before entering into transaction.

In the mentioned press release dated 24 June 2007, the embassy as per information received from Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila that “PGMA Unity Philcharity Fund Inc.,” an alleged Pangkabuhayan Program, is not registered with the SEC as corporation or partnership.

The said entity is alledgely engaged in a scam whereby it sends letters and certificates to OFWs stating that the latter won in a raffle drawn from roaming cellphone numbers. The OFW is then asked to remit by Western Union money transfer a certain amount in US dollar to the Philippines, for purposes of processing their prize. Likewise, the address of the said entity located in Ayala, Makati is fictitious.

The other side of Maltreatment and Abuse

We can’t deny that there are reports of maltreatment and abuse to our Filipina Domestic Helpers employed in foreign countries especially in the Middle East.

bruised%20smileyMaltreatment and abuse is a serious matter that needs urgent attention from government agencies that oversees the welfare of our less fortunate Filipina household helps.

Many of our runaway maids complains that they were maltreated by their employers, however, without any signs of physical abuse these could not be attributed to a maltreatment case. There must be a medical examinations required to identify if there is a convincing evidence of abuse to a person. Shouting and humiliating remarks is not a deliberate act of abuse or maltreatment. An employer has the right to scold or to reprimand a household help on a mistake or error to a certain task not according to what they expect.

Click the Photo and put yourself in her shoes

Click the Photo and put yourself in her shoes

To improve their dignity in the eyes of their employers, the Philippine Government in accordance with the new policy of the deployment of Filipino household service workers, made sure that FHSW are competent or experienced more particularly in the use of household equipments prior to their deployment. Training program for this purpose is necessary to upgrade the skills of Filipinos going abroad as domestic helpers.

Back to our subject matter, physical signs of abuse are very important as basis to prove such complain. Though, no proper meals, confinement, social isolation, dirty accommodations are some factors that can be recognized as psychological maltreatment.

Thus a complaint on maltreatment and abuse is a serious matter.

FHSW in Lebanon

FHSW in Lebanon

Some of our distressed female OFWs so with other nationalities employed as domestic helps complain of maltreatment against their employer in the absence of accurate occurrence of physical and psychological abuse. It means there was intent to make a false accusation in exchange of their desire to go home because of homesickness or stress.

As a community leader, I received calls from our kababayan asking for help due to maltreatment. What I am trying to imply here is; complain of maltreatment is very serious allegations. Filipino Community organizations and individuals willing to lend a hand to those in needs should be cautious and verify first the exact situation of any distress calls. Physical appearance and the way would be complainant narrates her ordeal in the hands of her employer are just a few of many things that we should observe in verifying the authenticity of any given story.

I have one experienced that after rescuing a call of maltreatment, the distressed OFW escaped from the care of Filipino Workers Resource Center and ran-away with her text mate boyfriend. After what had happen I entertained such grievances carefully, especially coming from a third party concern.

I am not saying that we will not heed of any such calls or request for assistance but we should be careful and see to it that our help are worthy enough.

I just want to remind those kababayan who wants to work as a domestic helper abroad that making a fool out of yourselves does not make any good, instead it may put you more in serious trouble. If you are really maltreated and abused, call your nearest embassy or consulate, POLO and OWWA offices or your relatives at home should make a personal appeal to DFA and other government entities that oversees the plight of OFWs.

More Than Just Sympathy “What, a man raping another man?”

 

What, a man raping another man?

This is something folks back home will be surprised to hear. Yes it’s weird, but it’s true; some men do rape other men in some parts of the world.

Dito sa Saudi Arabia, kapag wala kang bigote ang tingin sa iyo ng mga Arabo ay para kang isang babae. Ngayon kung medyo mistisohin ka pa, maganda ang katawan, matambok ang puwit, at laging bagong paligo at mabango, asahan mong pagtritripan ka nila dahil sa kanilang paningin isa kang sexy star (ala Coca Nicolas or Claudia Zobel).

Si Ed ay cashier noong araw sa Al Kharj branch ng aming company. Tuwing umaga trabaho niya ang ideposito ang collections of the previous day sa down town. Dahil may kalayuan din ang aming office sa downtown kung saan naroroon ang mga banko, kinakailangan niyang bumiyahe sakay ng taxi. Isang umaga, Yemeni ang driver ng nasakyan niyang taxi pabalik sa opisina. Dahil seguro guwapo at malinis sa katawan si Ed, pinagtripan daw siya ng driver. Hindi naman siya ginalaw. Inilabas lang naman nong driver ang ari niya at nilarolaro habang nagdradrive. Takot na takot si Ed ng dumating sa opisina. Sabi namin na pasalamat siya at hindi siya dinala sa disyerto. May mga storya kasi na sa disyerto daw kadalasan dinadala ng mga rapist ang kanilang biktima. At doon na nila iiwan pagkatapos abusuhin. Mula noon hindi na bumibiyahe si Ed ng mag-isa.

Reynaldo Cortez, a welder in one of the car care shops at Sinaya in Riyadh, was not as lucky. When a Pakistani driver tried to molest him sometime in 2003, he fought back, and in the process of defending himself stabbed to death his would be rapist.

For the offense, he was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. On appeal, the sentence was reduced to 10 years in October 2004. However in 2005, the High Court in Riyadh that gave the final verdict sentenced him to death. After that, the only way Cortez could be saved was through the grant of forgiveness from the family of his victim.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said they did their best to save Cortez. They said they negotiated with the family of the Pakistani driver and offered SR 100,000 blood money so that Cortez may be forgiven. They said they even hired the services of a Pakistani professional negotiator. But all those effort failed. All that the family of the victim wanted was to see the execution go through.

Last Wednesday, as we continue to celebrate our Independence Day as well as the Migrants’ Month, we were greeted with the sad news that the death sentence of Reynaldo Cortez was finally executed. In minutes, the world joined the Filipinos in the Kingdom in mourning. Another comrade has fallen.

Back in the Philippines, the sadness among the bereaved family and relatives of Cortez was aggravated by the news that the fallen hero’s body cannot be brought home, because it has to be buried before sunset on the day of the execution. The immediate burial was in accordance with traditions of Islam, which Cortez embraced during his stay in the Kingdom.

For not being able to bring Cortez’ body home, the Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia said in a phone patch interview that, “we can only sympathize with the family of Cortez.”

Had the family of the Pakistani driver accepted the SR 100,000 blood money offered by the DFA, Cortez would still be alive and free today. He would have flown back home to be with his family, and never to leave them anymore.

OFWs - Die in Vain

OFWs – Die in Vain

But the offer was rejected, and Cortez had to die. Instead of just paying the usual lip service and saying, “we sympathize with the family,” I think it will be more appropriate and better appreciated if DFA gives the SR 100,000, which was rejected by the family of the Pakistani driver, to the wife and six children that Reynaldo Cortez, our fallen hero, left behind.

I call on the various Overseas Filipino organizations in the Kingdom, and around the world, to officially ask the President to approve the release of funds required. After all, the amount is just a small fraction of what was spent for Dematera.

I think there is also a need to revisit the provisions of sections 24 to 26 of R.A. 8042, with the objective of assessing the effectiveness so far of the Legal Assistant for Migrants Workers Affairs’ Office as well as the status of the Legal Assistance Fund.

There is also a need to set up a Fund for blood money, so that the Post and the community need not beg around whenever the need arises. A certain percentage of the government’s savings from debt servicing, brought about by our dollar remittances, should be allocated for this purpose.

Reynaldo Cortez will not be the last to need help. In Saudi Arabia alone there are already three waiting in the death row. The time for government to act is now. ###

RP-ROK Relation

Yesterday, June 12, 2007 was the 109th Year Anniversary of our Independence from Spain. I already made an entry of it titled “A Glimpse of Freedom.” 

 Every year our Philippine Embassy/Consulate will invite the community to commemorate the said occasion and dubbed it as “Filipino Community Night”.  Unlike from previous years, I don’t feel like attending this year’s celebration. It maybe because I have more important things to do besides from the fact that I will be having a medical general check up this Friday or perhaps I am not in the mood to dine with our Embassy staff while those unfortunate OFWs at the deportation center in Jeddah are not comfortable with their present situation. 

 So instead of taking some still shots at the Embassy this coming Friday for my next blog entry, think it is an opportunity to take a glance of what was transpired in the other part of the globe in this Year’s Independence Day celebration.

 Republic of Korea

 Korea is not just a nice country, Koreans are loving and friendly people. I remember when I was in my elementary grade my favorite cousin from Butuan married a Korean guy and up to now they’re still very much deeply in love with each other.

 Filipinos too are fond of Korean Telenovelas; actually whenever I’m on vacation I loved watching it together with my family.  Here in Saudi Arabia, I met some Koreans in one of the gatherings I attended hosted by an American friend. They’re fun to chat with and have a sense of humor, a trait common to us Filipinos; the reason I think Sandara Park became famous in Philippine cinema especially to our young ones.

 Last June 8, 2007 at (Hyatt Hotel) Seoul, Korea a special celebration of Philippine Independence Day was hosted by Ambassador Susan Castrence and Embassy Staff. Diplomats from other countries and South Korea officials were invited together with few leaders from Filipino Communities. It so happen that our (UFWCD) United Filipinos Worldwide for Community Development President Mrs. Fe Kim based in South Korea were among those who attended the celebration. 

 Yesterday, June 12, 2007 was the 109th Year Anniversary of our Independence from Spain. I already made an entry of it titled “A Glimpse of Freedom.” 

Every year our Philippine Embassy/Consulate will invite the community to commemorate the said occasion and dubbed it as “Filipino Community Night”.  Unlike from previous years, I don’t feel like attending this year’s celebration. It maybe because I have more important things to do besides from the fact that I will be having a medical general check up this Friday or perhaps I am not in the mood to dine with our Embassy staff while those unfortunate OFWs at the deportation center in Jeddah are not comfortable with their present situation. 

So instead of taking some still shots at the Embassy this coming Friday for my next blog entry, think it is an opportunity to take a glance of what was transpired in the other part of the globe in this Year’s Independence Day celebration.

Ambassador Castrence with Mr. & Mrs. Park/Mr.& Mrs. Fe Kim

 

Mr. & Mrs. Fe Kim/Mr. & Mrs. Park with Labor Attache Sabulao

Diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the Republic of Korea (ROK) began in 1949, with the Philippines deploying Filipino soldiers to South Korea. Today there are approximately 50,000 Filipinos living in South Korea.

 Filipinos in ROK are small in numbers compared to Saudi Arabia where there are estimated 1 Million Filipinos

Diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the Republic of Korea (ROK) began in 1949, with the Philippines deploying Filipino soldiers to South Korea. Today there are approximately 50,000 Filipinos living in South Korea.

Filipinos in ROK are small in numbers compared to Saudi Arabia where there are estimated 1 Million Filipinos (OFWs and dependents) but I believed Korea in the future would be the next haven of overseas Filipino workers considering Philippine-ROK continuous strong ties both political and economic linkages.  

 There’s another celebration this coming Sunday (June 17, 2007) to be held at Hamilton Hotel, Iteawon, Seoul. This is a Joint celebration of the 109th Philippine Independence Day  and 12th year of Migrant Workers Day to be attended by the different Filipino communities with cultural presentation.

Filipinos (OFWs and dependents) but I believed Korea in the future would be the next haven of overseas Filipino workers considering Philippine-ROK continuous strong ties both political and economic linkages.   

 There’s another celebration this coming Sunday (June 17, 2007) to be held at Hamilton Hotel, Iteawon, Seoul. This is a Joint celebration of the 109th Philippine Independence Day  and 12th year of Migrant Workers Day to be attended by the different Filipino communities with cultural presentation.

By ofwempowerment Posted in Others

COA Performance Audit

Commission on Audit

Commission on Audit

We heard that the Commission on Audit would be visiting post overseas to conduct Performance Audit. It means to assess Government funds used by our posts and evaluate how the money is/was spent. The COA has the mandate not only on financial audit but performance audit as well.

 

Specific areas that they're going to assess are: Overseas Absentee Voting, ATN (Assistance to Nationals), LAF (Legal Assistance Fund) and overall affectivity in the delivery of programs and services to OFWs. The COA will then prepare a report that will be submitted to Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary. The report will also be made available to the public.

We welcome this very good news; perhaps the COA should include Philippine Overseas Labor Offices/OWWA as well as our Filipino Workers Resource Center.

I don't know if funds outside from Government coffers are included in their performance audit like LACSON Fund or other funds intended for the released of our jailed compatriots such as blood money not coming from our OWWA contributions.

TY Congen Lomondot & Consulate Staff

Today’s Arab News online “Number of Filipinos Seeking Deportation in Jeddah Swells.”

Our heartfelt gratitude to ConGen for a job well done. It is just a matter of diplomatic initiative that contributes a lot in the on going deportation process for our overstaying compatriots in the Kingdom.

 

To make it clear, the consulate issued statement that “this is not for workers who have yet to finish their contracts,” they added “those being called are Filipinos who have overstayed their visas while in the Kingdom for Umrah or Haj or for those who contracts have been finished.” It means those OFW runaways who have pending cases with their employers for abandoning their job are not yet off the hook. Their plight depends on the employers’ coordination to provide them Exit Visas as prescribed by the host country.  And it depends on how our diplomatic initiative effort works in this particular issue. Reliable sources from the Consulate inform me that they’re working on it. Thank you…

 

Though the main issue here is not the Government-to-Government negotiations to let our OFW in distressed leave the Kingdom but on how to accommodate those OFW runaways that keeps on flooding at our Embassy/Consulate every hours of the day.

 

OWWA Board of Trustees

 

The news item a week ago in which our Consulate personally asking Filipino community, individuals and good Samaritans to contribute something for the needs of our unfortunate OFWs are understandable enough that our Government are short of resources for their needs. This is the question that we keep on asking for many long years now, WHERE are the funds from various Government entities intended for this purpose? Why our Government cannot provide a better place for their stay, enough food to eat and things to use?

 

A million dollar question that keeps on reverberating in my ears as an Overseas Filipino Worker for a quite a time now…

Migrant Workers Day-Nothing to Celebrate

Respect and Protect Human Rights of Migrants

Respect and Protect Human Rights of Migrants

June 7, 1995 the Migrant Workers and Filipinos Act of 1995 or Rep. Act 8042 was signed into law.

12 Years since it was enacted into law yet the said act has done a little or not much has been done to the Overseas Filipino Workers. The both House in Congress has never given our clamor for amendments of certain provisions that would enhance the protection and welfare of OFWs. 

For instance, Magna Carta for Migrant Workers  of 1995 provision under III: Services, Section 19 Establishment of a Migrant Workers and other Overseas Filipinos Resource Center. - Within the premises and under the administrative jurisdiction of the Philippine Embassy in countries where there are large concentrations of Filipino migrant workers, there shall be established a Migrant Workers and Other Overseas Filipinos Resource Center with the following services…

Emabssy and POLO/OWWA officials with Filcom donations for Bahay Kalinga in Riyadh

Embassy and POLO/OWWA officials with Filcom donations for Bahay Kalinga (Filipino Workers Resource Center in Riyadh)

In Saudi Arabia, there are 3 Filipino Workers Resource Center provided under this provision, each in Eastern, Western and Central Region. The said proviso did not specify male or female distressed OFWs. Our female distressed OFWs are housed in this Center and our male runaways are roaming around without valid work permit or expired iqamas and could be apprehended by the host country’s authorities anytime of the day. Others seek refuge with friends and other kindhearted fellow OFWs unmindful or maybe aware that harboring runaways could put their lives at risk too. 

The establishment and operations of the Center are joint undertaking of various Philippine government agencies overseeing the plight of our Filipino migrant workers, however, facilities and required needs of our distressed OFWs were not being fully provided. Thus help and contributions from Filipino communities, organization and kindhearted individuals are very necessary to sustain their daily needs at the shelter.

Just recently a newly organized SEC registered group of overseas Filipinos named United Filipinos Worldwide for Community Development, UFWCD-Jeddah Chapter visited our distressed OFWs at the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah. Excerpt of the report by UFWCD-Jeddah, VP Jun Macaranas and the shocking revelations inside the consulate:

As I only write what we see/saw, together with my KFSHRC-Jeddah colleagues, upon entering the big gates opened (with a Saudi Police stationed outside the gate), the quadrangle of the Consulate, estimated at 1000 sq. meter wide, LAY OUR KABAYANS, all male, with “improvised beds” to spend the whole night under an open air of the Consulate’s quadrangle improvised beds: cartons, cloth, papers at any site of the sprawling estimated 1,000 sq. meter wide cemented ground, all looking sad, without any smile, ignorantly looking at us, who by their looks, we were all made SPEECHLESS, the first time I have been to the Consulate very late at night with these bodies sprawling at any position they could find convenience at any points on the ground seeing all our kababayans, OFWs at this “nakakaluhang” sight all of them males, numbering at estimated more or less 100 pinagkakakasya ang kani-kanilang mga katawan upang maiprotekta ang sarili sa hamog, sa lamok, at sa ibang kinakaya na lang nilang magiging masamang epekto ng kung anong sakit ang dadapo sa kanilang lahat sa pagtulog sa malamig na semento ng quadrangle ng Phil Consulate Jeddah.”   To read the full report of UFWCD VP Jun Macaranas click this link UFWCD-Hawak Kamay).

OWWA - BOT

OWWA - BOT

Where are the OFWs Millions or Billions of Pesos OWWA contributions? Why on earth our Government cannot provide or rent a better place for our unfortunate kababayans as mandated by the Magna Carta for Migrant Workers of 1995?

Nasaan na ang mga representative ng mga OFWs sitting at OWWA and POEA/DOLE Board? Are you doing your job? Or just receiving salaries doing nothing, sitting at your air-conditioned room while those unfortunate OFWs out there are hungry, no right place to stay and having sleepless nights.     

This is what I always keep on saying, Overseas Filipino Workers should be truly represented by a legitimate OFWs and must be given full rights to be heard in one voice; and these could only be materialized with a broader participation in body politics so that we will be representing our OFWs with equal footing in any legislative agenda for our welfare and protection. 

June 7 – Migrant Workers Day “Nothing to Celebrate”.

New PRC Regulation

Philippine Embassy

Press Release No. APV-26-2007 (4 June 2007)

Filipino Professionals in the Kingdom to benefit from New PRC Regulation

 

Professionals who had left the Philippines to work immediately after their examinations or before the results of the examinations were released, can now file their initial registration with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) in Manila without making a personal appearance.

 

The PRC through Resolution No. 2006-313 series of 2006 has amended its rules on personal filling up of entries of data in the Registry of Professionals by newly passed professionals subject to certain requirements and conditions.

 

Under the new guidelines, new registrants may take their professional oath before the Philippine Embassy or Consulate in the country where they are currently situated.

 

The concerned Professional will have to execute a Special Power of Attorney for their representatives in the Philippines to submit their oaths to PRC and undertake any action relative to their initial registration.

 

The professionals concerned shall then sign the Registry Book of Professionals at the PRC when they return to the country.

 

Noting that this new regulation will greatly favor professionals in Saudi Arabia who are not yet registered with PRC, Ambassador Antonio P. Villamor had the information circulated to all Filipino Community organizations.

 

During the recent “Embassy on Wheels” outreach service in the Eastern Province, a Filipino engineer was able to take his oath before consular officer and issue the necessary SPA for his representative in Manila to file his initial registration with PRC.

 

Ambassador Villamor also received positive feedback from some leaders of the community and urged those concerned to avail themselves of this facility provided by the PRC. END

OAV 2007 Assessments presented

OAV 2007 Assessments

4 June 2007-Riyadh, KSA

Jimmy Sotto, Francis Oca, Engr. Faisal Sharque, Engr. Robert Ramos & Engr. Jaafar Angkaya

Jimmy Sotto, Francis Oca, Engr. Faisal Sharque, Engr. Robert Ramos & Engr. Jaafar Angkaya

Filipino Community Leaders in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia gathered at Al Mutlaq Hotel last Friday, June 1, 2007. Guest of Honors aside from Ambassador Tony Villamor was Consul General Nestor Padalhin, Labor Attache Resty Dela Fuente and Vice Consul Reyes of Assistance to National Section.

 

 

 

The forum initiated by the OFW Congress-Riyadh tackles important issues more particularly the outcome of the just recently concluded Overseas Absentee Voting in Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Francis Oca ( OFWC Chair-OAV Advocacy)

Mr. Francis Oca ( OFWC Chair-OAV Advocacy)

Francis Oca, who was given the floor on the Filcom assessments of 2007 OAV, focuses on the issue that may contribute to the success or failure of the OAV exercise. These three areas are information dissemination, community participation, and election paraphernalia. He also emphasized in his presentation the contributing factors in which the Comelec, DFA and the Filipino Community need to address for the success of OAV in the next 2010 election. Mr. Oca was OFWC representative in the Congressional Committee Hearing on Absentee Voting in Congress held this year in Manila.

The assessment was presented, for comments and amendments, in a meeting of 45 members of the OFW Congress and representatives of various community organizations.

Ambassador Tony Villamor in his message to the Filcom leaders stresses a point that the result of the OAV relies much on the participation of every Filipino and their desire to vote in which it is a privilege and obligation to exercise their right of suffrage. He added that “the assessments should not be focused or based on the Kingdom low turn out of absentee voters rather to assessed the outcome in global perspective”, he mean the OAV overall turn out worldwide.

He also expresses concerns about the issue of the new Embassy policy in which he explained that there was no new policy under his administration. He pointed out that there should be a strict guidance in Filipino Community gatherings inside the Embassy compound in respect to the host countries customs and traditions. He added that “We are just guest in this country and we should abide with their laws and must comply with their rules and regulations”.

Labor Attache Dela Fuente, H.E. Ambassador  Antonio Villamor & ConGen Nestor Padalhin

Labor Attache Dela Fuente, H.E. Ambassador Antonio Villamor & ConGen Nestor Padalhin

Labor Attache Resty Dela Fuente in his short remarks invited all Filcom leaders and those members who wish to attend the “Colayco Special Lecture-Workshop” on Thursday, 7:30 PM, 07 June 2007 at Philippine Embassy.

Mr. Francisco Colayco, an accomplished Filipino businessman and the author of the 2006 NBS Bestseller “Wealth Within Your Reach”: “Pera Mo Palaguin Mo” will be in the Kingdom for a series of lecture discussions with the Filipino Community. Mr. Colayco’s lecture will emphasize productivity at work, positive work attitude and consciousness on individual savings and family financial management.

Further, the Labor Attache Dela Fuente announced that on June 15, 2007, 6:00 PM there would be a big night for the Filipino Community in Riyadh as part of the Filipino Migrant Workers Day and Philippine Independence Day celebration.