OFW Ako, Diplomat lang Kayo!

I posted an entry in this blog two years ago titledDiplomat Ako, OFW lang kayo!upon reading an online news that Department of Labor and Employment at home urged overseas Filipino workers to expose discourteous officials from Philippine mission abroad so that they may be punished. The entry was made referring to a top Philippine diplomat based in Riyadh telling to an OFW “diplomat ako, OFW lang kayo!” during altercation on the usage of Philippine Embassy grounds for FilCom activities.

Though a year before DOLE made that announcement, Sen. Manny Villar already filed Senate Bill 1879, to impose penalties on Philippine consular officials and other government personnel for failure to act on complaints of, or to give assistance or render service to migrant workers, their families and overseas Filipinos in distress. He also filed Resolution No. 248, urging the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to conduct an inquiry on the allegations of bad attitude, negligence and incompetence of some Philippine embassy and consular personnel stationed in various countries in handling cases of distressed OFWs.

The bill as per  Senate web site was substituted by Senate Bill 3286 which failed to become part of the amended provisions of the now Republic Act No. 10022. It is very unfortunate that R. A. 10022 does not reprimand, castigate or penalize any diplomatic corps of bad attitude, negligence and incompetence in attending to the cases of Filipino migrant workers in distress.

That is why our diplomats more particularly our Honorable Labor Attaché’s around the globe knows where they stands. They continue to be rude, indifferent to our unfortunate OFWs, unmindful of their acts, babbling like a parrot, waiting for their new post somewhere in Europe and America. Huh! You should be posted in the war torn Afghanistan instead.

That is also why OFW in distress turns from the help of fellow OFWs and Filipino Community organizations because they’re afraid to visit our embassy, POLO/OWWA offices because of their uncaring, unsympathetic, insensible attitude towards OFWs, more particularly those in need of help.

And now, YOU ask me to shut up and to stop minding these people(unfortunate OFWs) who seek our help?  Atty. Labor Attaché, please be reminded that Section 1. Par. (h) of Section 2 of Republic Act. No. 8042, as amended says “The State recognizes non-governmental organizations, trade unions, workers associations, stakeholders and their similar entities duly recognized as legitimate, are partners of the State in the protection of Filipino migrant workers and in the promotion of their welfare. The State shall cooperate with them in a spirit of trust and mutual respect. The significant contribution of recruitment and manning agencies shall from part this partnership.” 

Hongkong OFW Agnes Tenorio

Bakit mo ako pinapatigil sa pagtulong at pag-refer sa inyong tanggapan (POLO/OWWA) tungkol sa kanilang problema at hinaing?  Kung babaliktarin ko at sabihin sa iyo ang mga katagang ito “OFW Ako, Labor Attaché lang Kayo!” What would be your reaction? You should not treat us like the way Philippine Labor Attaché to Hongkong Romulo Salud treated OFW Agnes Tenorio. Wala kang karapatang patigilin ako. We are the “true unsung heroes” and “the savior of our nation”, don’t you know that – Atty. Labor Attaché?

 I respectfully request the Vice President and Presidential Adviser on OFW Affairs Jejomar Binay in your upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia and so with DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, to please evaluate the individual performance of the members of the diplomatic corps, especially officials from the office of POLO/OWWA to determine the merits of their continuing tour of duty. I am so sure that some of the “wheat should be separated from the chaff” or else kawawa ang mga OFWs na nangangailangan ng agarang tulong sa ating mga magigiting na diplomats.

Salamat po!

related post: http://ofwempowerment.wordpress.com/category/hit-u-hard-a-little/

The Al Khobar “Embassy on Wheels”

Please also be noted that the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh will be closed from 14 November to 19 November 2010 in observance of the Eid El-Adha Holidays.


A N N O U N C E M E N T :


VP calls for Multi-Agency Response to OFW Concerns

Posted: Saturday, October 23, 2010

Philippine Vice President and Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns Jejomar Binay

Vice President and Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) Concerns Jejomar C. Binay today called for a multi-agency response to the concerns of OFWs, noting the multitude of issues facing them.
Binay has met with officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to know their respective functions, and discuss the welfare, concerns and issues that OFWs face abroad.
“Sa aking naririnig, di nagkukulang o nagpapabaya ang pamahalaan sa pagtulong sa mga kababayan nating pumupunta sa abroad. Titingnan namin kung paano pa makatutulong at ano pa ang mga pagkukulang na dapat naming mapunan,” Binay said.
During the briefings, the three agencies informed Binay that the main concerns of OFWs include repatriation, illegal recruitment, excessive collection of placement fees, and legal assistance among others.
Binay said close coordination of agencies will be essential in addressing these concerns. He added that it will also help the government to avoid overlapping of duties and responsibilities, and the wastage of funds.
“Nais ko ring hingin ang partisipasyon ng mga lokal na pamahalaan sa pagtugon sa mga pangangailangan ng ating mga OFW. Naniniwala akong malaki ang maitutulong nila dahil mas kilala nila kung sino man ‘yong mga mamamayan nilang nangibang-bansa para magtrabaho,” Binay said.
Meanwhile, Binay mentioned the government will give assistance to the family of OFW Marlon Cueva, who was found dead in the lavatory of a Gulf Air plane. The family of Cueva, who is an OWWA member, will receive P120,000 monetary assistance, a negosyo cart franchise and a scholarship for one of his three children.
POEA records showed that the Philippines is the premiere manning capital of the world with over 3,500 workers deployed daily. In 2009, around 1.4 million Filipinos went to work abroad, mostly in the Middle East.

ofwempowerment blog: one year stats

To our ofwempowerment readers,

Data Stats

Please note that  one (1) year viewing statistics for ofwempowerment blog as of yesterday 18 October 2010  has so far recorded a total of 32,765 direct hits to our “homepage” ; and the highest viewed entry was Iqama Rules, Jawasat Procedures, Repatriation Advisories  seconded by New Saudi Labor Law.  

The record also showed that July 20, 2010 was the highest hits recorded by “day” with 537 pages viewed by our readers across the globe.

For the recorded statistics re: “Comments“, the New Saudi Labor Law got the highest number of 331 followed by Iqama  Rules, Jawasat Procedures, Repatriation  Advisories with a total of 169 and  70  for OFW Guide.  

Thanks a lot!  Maraming maraming Salamat Po sa inyong patuloy at mainit na pagsusubaybay!   


Top Posts for 365 days ending 2010-10-18 (Summarized)

Summarize: Year   From 2009-10-18 to 2010-10-18 

Title Views  
Home page 32,765 More stats
Iqama Rules, Jawazat Procedures, Repatri 6,475 More stats
New Saudi Labor Law 4,350 More stats
OFW Guide 1,909 More stats
Rep. Act #10022 1,861 More stats
About Me 1,153 More stats
Employee Benefits: End of Service Gratui 1,132 More stats
Top 10 Misconceptions About Islam 1,124 More stats
Salient Features of the Saudi Labor Law 867 More stats
Loan Assistance to OFWs 836 More stats

Busiest day: 537 views on Tuesday, July 20, 2010

KSA Exit & Re-entry Visa Online (Internet and SMS based services)

KSA Exit and Re-entry Visa Online (Internet and  SMS based services)


The WorldWideWeb

The Saudi Passport Department has launched a service to enable exit and re-entry visas to be issued online. This  was one of the new Internet-based services being introduced for both Saudis and expatriates. Although the department’s website (www.gdp.gov.sa) is in Arabic, there is an option to display forms and instructions on how to complete them in English language.

All who wish to benefit from these services can simply fill in forms through registering on the website and the forms could be filled without needing to visit the centers.

An initial one-off registration, however, needs to be completed and delivered to a local passport office.

Apart from the basic information section, the Ishaar services could be used for notifications regarding a passport.

The Muqueem services are for companies and institutions that need to complete paperwork regarding their employees, while there is a separate section for individuals. read more>>>>>

Open Reply to Rose

Dear Rose,

Hindi ako taga OWWA, isa rin po akong OFW na katulad ninyo. Nais ko rin pong mag for good pero hindi pa sapat ang naiipon para makapagsimula. Nakapag loan na rin ako sa OWWA pero ito ay sa contruction ng fence sa aking bahay, maliit lamang pero nakatulong na rin sa akin ang OWWA. I’ll share you a little about OWWAs OFW reintegration program.

OWWA has already an existing livelihood program for returning OFWs who don’t want to work abroad again. This program is a joint undertaking of OWWA and National Livelihood Support Fund (NLSF). The program helps OFWs to become an entrepreneur when they decide to return into the mainstream of our society. It is not just only for individuals but also to organizations. Possible business opportunities are 1) general merchandise and buy and sell, groceries etc. 2) repair shops, carenderia, parlors etc., 3) Meat and fruit processing etc 4) agri-business.

All OFWs and their dependents can avail for a loan, all you need to do is to visit OWWA Regional office near in your area. I advice you na sa ngayon palang na andito ka, papuntahin mo na ang member ng iyong pamilya or asawa para magtanong sa mga kailangan kung paano maka avail sa loan para sa pag uwi mo handa ka na sa iyong gagawin.

If ever you’re residing Laguna, instruct your family members to visit ATIKHA in San Pablo, Laguna. This NGO or Non-government organization helps OFW and OFW family members in determining viable business in your area. They will give training and assist you to start the operation. If you have time please visit this site:    http://www.atikha.org/index.php 

Good luck and please share this message to our fellow OFWs.

Salamat sa pagbisita.


P.S. To my readers and fellow OFW, I just want to share with you a Video taken at ATIKHA web site. The title of this Video  is  “Migrants’ children struggle with absence of loved ones.”