To: All Filipino Community Organizations in Saudi Arabia/ Fellow OFWs
This is to inform you-all that the Philippine Embassy has launched an ONLINE REGISTRATION for all Filipinos in Saudi Arabia, as per above Philippine Advisory 24-2011.
We all knew that not all Filipinos in the Kingdom have access in the internet, in view of this, the OFW Congress-Riyadh is requesting all Filipino community organizations to register the names of your members.
To those companies where there are large numbers of OFWs, one or two OFWs in the company can collect the names of their fellow OFWs and register it at once.
Hinihingi po namin ang “Bayanihan” ng lahat upang maging successful po ang proyekto na ito ng ating Embahada, POLO/OWWA. Isantabi muna po natin ang mga hindi pagkakaunawaan, kundi bagkus magtulongan para sa kapakanan at kagalingan ng ating hanay.
Maraming Salamat Po.
From: OFW Congress-Riyadh
Overseas Filipino Workers Congress
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
“OFW Congress-Riyadh is a forum of community leaders representing various Filipino organizations. It was primarily formed to advocate for national policy and program to address the issues and concerns of OFWs in general.”
The 2011-2013 (EXECON) Executive Council Member Organizations
|Engr. Robert Ramos||Dr. Carlito Astillero (MD)|
|Samahan ng Mangagawang Pilipino||Order of the Knights of Rizal|
|SAMAFIL (Al Babtain Group & Associates)|
|Ronnie Huertas||Mario Ben|
|Elite International School||Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan|
|Community Relations||External Relations|
|Engr. Resty Sibug||Cesar Gervacio|
|Philippine Society of Mechanical||Royal Guardians International|
|Engineers – PSME|
|Women (Director General)||Islamic Affairs|
|Nilda Ballesteros (RN)||Habib Batua|
|Philippine Nurses Association||Federation of Maranao|
|(Ministry of Health)||Association in Saudi-FEMAS|
|Women (Deputy Director General)||Government Relations|
|Alona Efondo Dela Cruz||Engr. Boggs Bolor|
|Al Habib Medical Group||Guardians-GMGI|
|Sports||Culture & Arts|
|Faizal Mercurio||Ruperto Civil|
|Black Python Martial Arts , Inc.||Artist League for Culture & Arts|
|Entertainment & Social Affairs|
|Celso M. Ditalo, CPA|
OFWC Induction Rites (24th of February 2011 at Philippine Embassy-Riyadh)
OFW CONGRESS-RIYADH PAST OFFICERS, INCUMBENT MEMBERS AND ACTIVE MEMBERS
WITH NATIONAL RECOGNITION:
Eufemio B. Bantugan, Jr., CPA (Phil); MFP - 1998, PICPA National Awardee as Outstanding CPA in Overseas Community Service for his active role as Tax Adviser to the Filipino Community in Saudi Arabia
Dr. Carlito L. Astillero (MD) - “Most Outstanding Filipino in Saudi Arabia” award by the Philippine Embassy in 1990, the “Bagong Bayani Award” by President Corazon Aquino in 1992, the “San Lorenzo Ruiz Award as Outstanding OCW” by President Fidel V. Ramos in 1994, and the Special Presidential “Banaag and Sikat Award” also by President Fidel V. Ramos in 1996
Engr. Robert Ramos - 2009 Bagong Bayani (New Hero) awardees in various fields by the Philippine-based Bagong Bayani Foundation, Inc. (BBFI)
Alex Veloso Bello (Accountant) - The Most Outstanding OFW 2010 land-based category, Region 8; MOFYA Model OFW Family Award 2010 in Region 8 (Regional level ); MOFYA 2010 National Special Awardee for community service.
Overseas Filipino Council International – serving our expatriates by becoming bridge builders, torch bearers, and pledge keepers. Filipino expatriates, whether immigrants or contract workers, are currently estimated at some eight million: close to ten percent of our homeland’s population. But our sheer size – growing at the rate of 3,000 per day in 2005 – has far outpaced our needs. We have become a class – “overseas Filipinos” – but have yet to become a community.
This is the task embraced by OFCI: serving our expatriates and thereby fashion a true, progressive community. A community responsive to the genuine needs, interests, and concerns of its members. And, ultimately, those of our homeland.
The bedrock of OFCI – our common purpose – is service. Our expatriates – specifically our contract workers – have time and again been lauded as the “new unsung heroes” of our Republic. The least we can do, by holding hands across the seas, is to facilitate the availability of the tools we require to make ourselves even more well-informed, self-reliant, and valuable to our families, to our host countries, to our expatriate community, and to our homeland by leaving a good legacy for the next generation. Join us. Our task is daunting. But we’re taking it on. Because we can. We mean it. Read more>>>>
OFCI’s hospitality Room
Several years ago, I was asked to teach Filipino cooking at the US Naval Submarine Base in Bangor, Washington State. My love for cooking did not stop at the Naval Base, I would go to American homes and proudly present our Filipino cuisine.
In 2005, while organizing the OVERSEAS FILIPINO COUNCIL in California, ANITA’S KITCHEN caricature was sent in through the internet by our President Dindo Generoso, from Australia. I fell in love with the picture, with my signature Hairdo, why not? So ANITA’S KITCHEN became the LOGO and the kitchen came alive VIRTUALLY. OVERSEAS FILIPINO COUNCIL, became OVERSEAS FILIPINO COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL and ANITA’S KITCHEN became the OFCI’s hospitality room. – nitz sese schon
read more about>>>> Anita’s Kitchen
PIA Press Release
Friday, December 17, 2010
Tacloban City (December 17) — For the first time, the Overseas Filipino Workers in Eastern Visayas have organized themselves into an association, on December 17, 2010 at the OWWA Region 8 Conference Room.
Mr. Alex Bello, this year’s Model OFW Family Awardee for Region 8, land-based category, informed the Philippine Information Agency that during the OFW Family Day, upon the suggestion of Board Member Roque A. Tiu, the group decided to meet on December 17 to formally organize into an organization.
Mr. Bello said that the OFWs could be a strong force in implementing changes in the Region, in the policies on OFWs and in helping other OFWs who are in need, even OFWs who are now back from abroad.
With Mr. Bello is the interim President, vice presidents for every province were also chosen. They are Teresita Contado; Reynaldo Tuazon of Samar, Rogelio Labarrete for Northern Leyte, Araceli Sevilla for Western Leyte, and Pablito Cuizon for Biliran.
Rosario Macapugas is the Secretary while Delia Reyes isTreasurer. Batasheba Dy was chosen as the auditor and Victor Quimbo and Nida Robin are the Marshalls.
Mr. Bello who is also this year’s National Special Awardee for community service, said that the association is named as Pagkakaisa OFWs Families in Region 8.
The name expresses the desire of the OFWs to unite together to help Region 8 and to help other OFW families who are in need.
The little help from each member will have bigger impact when added together, Mr. Bello said.
With the 26 years of being an OFW leader in Saudi Arabia, here is wishing Mr. Bello and the other officers good luck in their endeavors. (PIA 8)
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.”
I was invited yesterday to witness the mass induction of the newly set of officers, members and promoted Karate belters of the Black Python Martial Arts Association, Inc.! CONGRATULATIONS!
OFW Congress-Riyadh President, Alex Veloso Bello was present to induct the officers along with OFWC Executive Council Member Engr. Faizal Sharque. The induction rites was held at a resort yesterday October 1, 2010.
The association was organized in Year 1998 and registered as Filipino Community partner of the Philippine Embassy/POLO/OWWA in Year 2000. BPMA is also registered with Securities and Exchange Commission. It was founded by 7th Dan Black Belter “Boy Macion.” The main headquarter of the group is in Hinundayan, Souther Leyte.
The mass induction was also highlighted with kata’s and karate combat and judo exhibitions. Parlor games and gift giveaways contributed to the joyous occasion.
I would like to thank BPMA Grandmaster and Founder “Boy Macion” and officers for the certificate of appreciation they presented to the blogger during the ceremony. BPMA is always a partner of KAKAMPI-KSA and OFW Congress in many community activities since the 1990 up to present.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration is a Philippine government agency tasked with the care, protection and
assistance of Overseas Filipino Workers. Its policies have a tremendous impact on the lives of millions of Filipinos working overseas and the families they leave behind. With the new Aquino administration, there is a need for a review of the OWWA, its failures and successes, adherence to the regulations and implementation of needed reforms. Part of this reform is the creation of a new OWWA Board. This petition is to request President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, to consider the appointment of Francisco “Jun” Aguilar to the Board of the OWWA.
Francisco “Jun” Aguilar had spent thirteen years in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as an Overseas Filipino Worker from 1985 to 1998. He worked at the King Abdulaziz Military Academy as a technical analyst and later moved to the National Industrialization Company. As an OFW, he was witness to the distressed situations of Filipino workers whom he assisted as best as he could. It was an experience that will influence his unwavering dedication to improve the lives of the Filipino workers.
Upon returning to the Philippines in 1998, he formed the Filipino Migrant Workers Group, a principled recruitment agency. This is the only agency that does not charge a placement fee from applicants. He also encouraged savings and investment programs for the Overseas Filipino Workers and their families for their retirement and re-integration. He volunteers numerous hours on social-civic-political advocacies.
Mr. Aguilar’s experiences as a former Overseas Filipino Worker, a recruitment agency owner and as a humanitarian worker provide him with the appropriate know-how and mindset that will guide him as a progressive Board member. He can articulate on the perspectives of the workers, recruiters as well as clients and, therefore, effectively assist with the policy making of OWWA. With a proven track record of leadership, commitment and dedication to public service, he is the voice of the Overseas Filipino Workers.
We, therefore, request the newly elected Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino and his administration to appoint Francisco “Jun” Aguilar on the board of OWWA because of his merits. More importantly, his guiding principles exemplify those of the current administration with its mantra of change.
It is about time that a true bloodied OFW will be a given a hand to represent OFW Sector (land-based) in the OWWA Board, please sign the PETITION.
To know more about Engr. Francisco “Jun” Aguilar click here >>>>>
Thanks a lot!
People Power Volunteer Center “Voters Education”
MARIBOJOC, Bohol–THE explorer Pigafetta would have chosen this town over Mactan had it already sported a Hollywood-like sign on its mountain ranges.
But had this town did, it may have attracted not only Pigafetta –desperate to escape after his and Ferdinand Magellan’s fleet was pummeled in the Battle of Mactan– but also other explorers who may know only Bohol because of its famed chocolate hills.
That is ultimately what this project hopes to accomplish, according to mayor Leoncio Evasco: to lure back its former residents, or at least their resources, from abroad.
Evasco said he has secured commitment from the Maribojoc Association USA to construct a Maribojoc billboard —similar to what Hollywood in Los Angeles, USA, has— on the side of the mountain range that faces the Maribojoc Bay.
Evasco is the man behind such project that, he said, aims to raise tourism receipts and attract investors in his town, a five-minute ride northwest of Bohol’s capital city of Tagbilaran.
Evasco said he’s starting with Maribojocanons overseas as a target market.
“We want to raise awareness to the returning Maribojocanons about the town that they left, of what it has become today, and of the values and people that were lost here.”
Evasco spoke to the OFW Journalism Consortium last month to promote the project, which will be announced during the annual town fiesta on May 5.
The fiesta is the highlight of a town-wide reunion from April 10 to July 31 called Balik Maribojoc.
Aside from announcing the construction of the Hollywood-like sign, the reunion aims to showcase some of Maribojoc’s tourist spots.
One of this is Punta Cruz, Bohol’s remaining watch tower, which deterred Spanish pirates during the 19th century.
Punta Cruz is also symbolic for overseas Filipinos and their families in Maribojoc since it is here where the germ for the town’s version of diaspora philanthropy was seeded.
PUNTA Cruz is a historic site for the informal, town-wide group of families of overseas Filipinos who meet in this triangular, sturdy structure almost every month.
The last gathering in October of over-300 families affirmed Evasco’s belief in the possibility of tapping OFWs as source of social investment.
People just kept coming and the seats were not enough. Municipal government employee James Mabilin, then manning the entrance of the watch tower compound, couldn’t stop the influx.
The organizers said they expected representatives of only 200 migrant families.
Seafarers waiting for their next contract bankrolled lechon (roasted pig). College-schooled children of overseas Maribojocanons hosted parlor games around the grassy complex.
Amazed at the turnout, Evasco said he donated P5,000 for additional cash prizes for the parlor games.
“We never had this kind of a crowd, coming from OFWs [and their families] in our town,” Evasco said.
Still, those who joined the gathering represented only half of the total 742 overseas workers and emigrants from this town of 18,133 people.
The figure is based on Mabilin’s census of families with dependents and relatives abroad in Maribojoc’s 22 upland, lowland, and coastal villages.
While only half were represented in that gathering last year, it failed to dampen the spirit of Virginia Alindajao, 48, wife of an electrician in Saudi Arabia since 1993.
“I never realized that we OFWs and OFW families,” she said in Tagalog, “are just around waiting to get ourselves together.”
Alindajao is also one of the organizers of Punta Cruz Environmental Organization.
When the buzzword of forming an OFW group swept Maribojoc, she signed up.
Alindajao’s euphoria was shared by Laura Manuta, mayor Evasco’s sister and a former nurse in Germany and in Saudi Arabia.
Manuta is also a volunteer nurse for the Holy Cross Parish’s medical clinic since retiring in 1997.
She’s also president of the land-based OFW family circle group called the Maribojoc Land-based Migrant Workers and Beneficiaries Association.
On the other hand, the Maribojoc Seafarers and Beneficiaries Association has the town’s agricultural officer, seaman’s wife Eva Bolasco, as its head.
THE stronghold of Maribojoc’s OFW population, Mabilin told the OFW Journalism Consortium, is not the remittances plowing into the town, estimated to be between P52 to 84 million annually.
It is the OFW townmates’ alayon (bayanihan in Tagalog, or community spirit), Mabilin said.
Last December, the groups recommended foregoing a town-wide Christmas party to donate school supplies and slippers to children in the town’s poorest village of Candavid.
Filipino migration-and-development analysts have remarked the potential of luring the resources and bayanihan spirit of overseas Filipinos and their families right in the migrants’ rural hometowns.
Evasco and the OFW family circles that his office, the Municipal Manpower Development and Placement Office, facilitated to organize are seeking to make that spirit transform the town into an economic paradise.
Currently a fourth-class municipality whose income in 2008 was P61.358 million, this sleepy town lacked jobs, forcing some middle-class residents go to the provincial capital of Tagbilaran City, the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao (like Evasco himself) and Manila, and overseas.
Overseas Maribojocanons’ remittances that pass by the town’s only two pawnshops, as well as banks and money transfer outfits in Tagbilaran City (some 14 kilometers from Maribojoc), are the single biggest economic drivers of Maribojoc, says Evasco.
The lack of vibrant economic activities apart from retail trade, fishing, and farming made Maribojoc a fifth-class municipality previously.
“Nothing wrong if you go elsewhere,” two-year mayor Evasco recalled telling some Maribojocanons during casual conversations, “but come back home and bring with you the ideas and experience you learned elsewhere.”
Maybe after the Hollywood-like sign facing the sea, some would mimic Pigafetta’s journey but not accidentally landing in this town whose name was taken from a pine tree named “Malabojoc”.
by JEREMAIAH M. OPINIANO ( OFW Journalism Consortium)
ABB-SA Employees donates P121,612 for flood Ondoy victims in Philippines
By Bong Amora
RIYADH, 5 January 2010 – ABB (ASEA Brown Boveri) Electrical Industries Co. Ltd., Saudi Arabia employees has proven once again that colors, cultures, beliefs, languages and nations are not hindrance in time of unity and communal effort helping those in needs. ABB or ASEA Brown Boveri is the leading power and automation group in the world.
ABB-SA employees announced yesterday through Mr. Roland Suarez, ABB-SA QA Administrator who is currently in Manila that it has donated P121,612.00 to the victims of typhoon Ondoy in the Philippines.
Philippines was struck by a historic typhoon in September of last year putting over 26 provinces under a state of calamity. Some 80% of Manila was submerged, displacing 450,000 people. More than 120,000 are now still in makeshift shelters. The historic 85 kph typhoon “Ondoy” surpassed the highest 24-hour rainfall in June 1967 in Metro Manila.
The cash donation contributed by ABB-SA employees initiated by Filipino employees led by Mr. Alex Veloso Bello of ABB-SA Purchasing Department was handed to SAGIP Kapamilya of ABS-CBN Foundation last December 22, 2009.
Bello in his thank you email message to ABB-SA employees particularly to fellow Filipinos said “Typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng probably one of the worst natural calamities to hit our country, ruined a lot of things but not the Filipino spirit.” Bello is also the President of Overseas Filipino Workers Congress-Riyadh.
“Once again, we would like to thanks our ABB pinoys and to our non-Filipino colleagues/ boss/ friends, we thank you Sirs for giving Filipinos space in your heart. “ Bello added.
ABB-SA and its hundreds of employees mostly professional Filipino electrical engineers are always committed helping the country in time of calamities. ABB-SA employees were one of the biggest donors during the 2006 Philippine Landslide that hit Guinsaugon, Leyte where only 139 bodies have been retrieved and 973 remained missing and believed buried up to now beneath tons of mud. ABB-SA alone collected almost P 100,000.00 for the victims of one of the nation’s worst disaster ever experienced. The Filipino community around Riyadh collected a total of P 204,740 intended for the survivors and families of the victims. (click Philippine Landslide Survivors Get Donation From Riyadh Community)
Like so many Filipino migrants forced abroad, away from loved ones and sending remittances to keep Philippine economy afloat, the spirit of oneness (bayanihan) remains in Filipinos heart forever in times of needs.
The ABB-SA employees hope that their donations contribute in a small way to a happier New Year 2010.
To our friends and co-employees in different nationalities and cultures in the Kingdom, the more partnership, cooperation and solidarity, the further we are to a new world where there is an equality, peace, unity and justice. – Bong A.
Press Release (7 October 2009)
Filipino Community and their Organizations in Saudi Eastern Region united for a common cause: Gathering relief goods, cash for typhoon victims
Different Filipino Organizations in Al Khobar, Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia, have gathered yesterday night at Al Andalus International School to assess how far they have gone since first meeting on September 28, 2009 as a response to the call made by Migrante-Middle East to initiate a donation drive for typhoon “Ondoy” victims.
“The outpouring of support from OFWs in all professions is overwhelming; every participating organization had brought their own share of donations, in cash and in kind –a manifestation that helping the victims of typhoon is every body’s business, and so we did,” said Gerry de Guzman, Migrante-Al Khobar Chapter Secretary-General.
Last night Filipino Community leaders’ meeting was facilitated by Labor Attache David Des Dicang.
Aside from Migrante-Al Khobar, the following organizations were also present: Bulakenyo Community, Eastern Region OFW Congress, AFSCOM, Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity, Al-Andalos School (Teachers & Staff), the Filipino Pop (Filipino Pop Music Association) under Dr. Molina, Worley Parsons Co. Filipino Employees, Dammam Med. Tower, PAGASA Association, GUARDIANS Eastern Region Association, AAIS association, Dubaib & Sulaim Co. Filipino Employees, ABQIAQ community, JAL, SI Samahang Ilocano, PSME association, IECEP association, UFBF association, RASA association, Filipino Bowlers association, Ras Tanura Fil. Com. Association, ROFNA Bowling Association, ASOC association, RC Parishioners, Mrs. Mary Jane Tupaz, Dr. Ronaldo Molina, and the Social Development and Aid Organization (SDAO).
The meeting was attended by more than 80 OFW leaders.
“The cash on hand collected by the council and Filipino Community leaders as at 6:00p.m. October 4, 2009 is 31,978 (Thirty One Thousand nine hundred seventy eight) Saudi Riyal, while there are already 57 boxes of goods at the warehouse of Al-Andalus International School as reported,” de Guzman added.
The Filipino Community leaders agreed to cut the donations drive until October 10, 2009; cash donations will be remitted in the afternoon of October 10 as well as the boxes of goods.
The Filipino Community leaders have agreed to send their donations to the Local Government Units (LGUs) through its local Social welfare and development offices.
“We have indentified the most affected areas as recipient of the donations we have gathered like Cainta, Antipolo, San Mateo in Rizal Province, Dinalupihan in Bataan, Marikina and Pasig in Manila,” said Rod “Choie” De Leon, Migrante-Al Khobar Chairperson.
De Leon said it was agreed by the Filipino Community coordinating council that in order to be transparent in the distribution of their donation the POLO-Eastern Region will officially endorse Migrante International to be witness and could monitor the actual distribution of goods to the intended beneficiaries in every recipient LGUs.
“We have also asked POLO-Eastern Region to communicate with the Bureau of Customs not to confiscate the boxes of relief goods once it reaches the Philippines so that its distribution by the recipient LGUs could take effect without delay,” De leon added.
Migrante-Al Khobar had also get the consensus of the Filipino Community leaders to conduct a symposium on Migrants Rights and Welfare, and Human Rights activity on December 2009, Blood Letting Program and Fun Run for a cause, right after the donations drive for typhoon victims. - end -
The OFW Journalism Consortium: A Reader’s View
by ILDEFONSO F. BAGASAO
AMONG my peers, there seems to be a common observation in the reporting of any kind of news that media generally shows bias for sensational stories that whet the reading public’s appetite for such accounts but which incidentally also sells newspapers, broadsheets and tabloids.
News reportage on Filipino migrants is no exception.
Stories about overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) coming home in coffins, jumping out of the windows, committing suicides, of rape, torture, and other forms of maltreatment in foreign shores, continue to dominate our daily newspapers. One has to find balance and variety in reporting of this or any kind of news.
For one like myself engaged in advocacy for migrant empowerment, I continue to wonder; given that we have an estimated 10 million of our fellow citizens working and making a living overseas, there must be and, indeed, there should be success stories and other development-oriented diaspora activities initiated by migrants all over the world that mirror their sacrifices and continued love for their origin countries.
However, if one has not scoured papers, studies and reports, or participate in conferences of development, international and multilateral agencies, academic and research institutions, which monitor, support, assist or enhance these activities, the public remains unaware of the important contributions to the economic, cultural and human capital made by migrants to their countries of origin, and the enormous challenges that had to be surmounted by people who once upon a time made a momentous decision to migrate.
Which brings me to the work of the OFW Journalism Consortium, a small band of journalists who in the last few years since their formal organization, chose to focus on development-oriented migration journalism, bringing to the public stories, reports, and even person-to-person accounts, that may well have escaped our notice.
I am quite sure the OFWJC’s brand of journalism has enhanced the public’s level of awareness on core issues, concerns and challenges of Philippine migration, diaspora activities that highlight the overseas Filipinos’ love for their native land and, at the same time, has pointed out to policymakers where reforms should be directed.
As a migrant advocate since 1999 to the present, I know of no other media group, here or elsewhere, that is engaged in this type of journalistic work regarding migrants.
Their reports have often been quoted or cited not only in academic papers but even by local and foreign newspapers. Perhaps, these are indications their decision a few years ago to focus on migrant issues was a wise one.
Well, they don’t sell newspapers –they only write and report these stories.
If that is not commitment, I don’t know what is. end
Editor’s note: The author is president of the nonprofit Economic Resource Center for Overseas Filipinos (Ercof), and plays the bass guitar and keyboards.
When Filipinos heard or watched about Migrante’s activities in Philippines and other countries kadalasan mag comment kaagad yan “Leftist naman ang mga iyan”. Pag sinabing “Leftist”, usually you are referring to those who oppose on how the administration governs the country and its people. So if you’re opposing or contradicting a certain policies of the Government then those Congressmen and Senators who opposed the administration of GMA is Leftist! According to them “NO” – sila daw ay mga leaders belong to the “Opposition”. Huh! Sige na nga.
In Web definition, the word Leftist particularly in politics means “left-wing, political left, leftist and the Left are terms applied to positions that focus on changing traditional social orders and creating a more egalitarian distribution of wealth and privilege”.
Egalitarianism on the other hand is defined either as a “political doctrine that holds that all people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social, and civil rights, or as a social philosophy advocating the removal of economic inequalities among people”.
In the Overseas Filipino Community here in Saudi Arabia, Migrante is “an alliance of various OFW groups committed to protecting and upholding the rights and welfare of Filipinos in Saudi Arabia and their families in the home front” (source http://migrante-ksa.blogspot.com/).
“Kung wala sila walang maingay, walang kakalampag sa mga kinauukulan upang mabigyan ng kasagutan ang mga hinaing ng ating mga kapwa OFWs“.
For me, I don’t consider Migrante a leftist group; I consider them an organization committed to help others in needs especially to those whose rights have been violated.
Those fellow OFWs arrested by Saudi authorities were there in a right place and the right time. The meeting perhaps was called to update the status of their cases being handled or monitored by kind individuals belong to the group Kapatiran ng mga Mangagawang Pilipino sa Gitnang Silangan (KGS).
I knew some of them; they are the same OFWs who help us in the implementation of Philippine Embassy on-site mobile overseas absentee voting registration. They are the same ordinary OFWs who donate goods and food at Bahay Kalinga intended for our runaway maids. They are the same people I mingled inside the Philippine Embassy during Filcom events. They are the same people who help us for the orderly conduct of Absentee Voting in Philippine Embassy.
Now, they are the same group of OFWs that needs help from our Philippine Embassy/POLO/OWWA.
18 Migrante members arrested in Riyadh
By Dindo Amparo, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau Chief | 08/16/2009 10:11 AM
RIYADH – Eighteen members of Migrante International, an alliance of migrant organizations, were arrested by Saudi Police for holding an illegal “mixed gathering” in an apartment in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Migrante International is an alliance of migrant organizations.
Sources said 10 men and eight women were arrested, including Eric Jocson, chairperson of the Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan (KGS) in Riyadh.
The group was reportedly holding a meeting in the apartment in Badea district when police conducted the raid.
Saudi Arabia forbids the gathering of men and women in private and public places except for married couples and their families.
The arrested Migrante members are facing immorality charges, while the Filipino who rents the apartment unit where the raid took place is likely to be charged with harboring “runaways” or workers with absconding cases.
Meantime, five of those arrested were found without an “iqama” which is an official identity card for the Saudi residence permit.
related post: Immorality a Serious Offense ; Pasaway ; CP’s on PDOS ; Philippine Embassy cautions OFW’s ; 26 Filipinos arrested for possessing fake papers (marriage, iqamas) in Dammam ; Massive Fingerprinting Begins ;
Dear Mr. Abdullah,
Thank you for your comments in our entry below “PhilEmb-Ruh Invitation” dated February 28, 2009 @ 10:51 AM.
Allow me to reply your inquiry by posting this Philippine Embassy Press Release No. APV-11-2009 dated February 28, 2009. The said Press Release circulated to all Filipino Community leaders/organization in Riyadh was received via email today (Feb. 28, 2009) at 3:15 PM.
The Days to Remember – Nov. 27 to Dec. 4, 1998
by: OFW Congress-Riyadh
10 years ago, on November 27 and December 4, 1998, elections were held at the OWWA Center to select the 21 Executive Council members from among 78 duly-registered candidates. The Committee on Elections, consisting of the Philippine Embassy staff, supervised the election that was perceived by the community to have been free and honest.
It was a defining community experience when some 8,000 OFWs gathered to express their right of suffrage. (Many other compatriots were unable to vote because the OWWA Center could not accommodate the great number of people who gathered then.) Who would have imagined that we could hold such an exercise free of the goons, gold and guns so pervasive at home?
Former Consul Jesus Gary S. Domingo (now Minister, Philippine Mission to the United Nations, Geneva), who was chairman of the COMELEC, likened it “to a blooming in full of a flower in the middle of the desert, born under the most trying of conditions. It was unprecedented, an achievement that prides us all to say that we can hold such clean, free and honest election. It yielded us a rich harvest of goodwill and allowed us to look forward as a community united in our efforts to promote our common good.”
He cited further the parallelism between the OFW Congress and the Malolos Congress.
“The Malolos Congress established a government to unify the many islands of the country. The OFW Congress a hundred years later was born as a step in the struggle of overseas Filipinos to become part of the bigger Philippine society, to become a true and active partner in nation building, even while in the state of diaspora.”
On December 11, 1998, the inaugural session of the Congress was then held at the Philippine embassy grounds in Riyadh. As the first-ever deliberative assembly of OFWs in Saudi Arabia, and possibly elsewhere, the Congress served as the highlighting event of the Filipino community’s celebration of December as the OFW Month.
On January 14, 1999, at the Philippine Embassy, the Executive Council selected its officers and assigned portfolios to the Council members.
The Executive Council known as the EXECON convened a CONCOM (Constitutional Commission) who adopted and promulgated its Constitution and By-Laws.
On March 15, 1999 the OFW CONGRESS was formally established and promulgated its Constitution and By-Laws.
The structure of the OFW Congress definitely allows participation of organizations and individuals community-wide. In fact, the OFW Congress, through its General Assembly, is the forum for which organizations can discuss and resolve issues of common concern. The General Assembly has passed a number of resolutions and advocates OFW Issues and concerns.
Organizations, leaders and members alike, are welcome to participate in both the Central Committee and the General Assembly, for the common good, the rights and welfare of fellow OFWs. No matter if we are all volunteers to the tasks, our greater vision is to seek a better place under the sun for OFWs and their families in a progressive Philippines.
In Article II, Section 1 of its Constitution and By-Laws states the following:
The OFW Congress recognizes the enactment of Republic Act No. 8042 known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Act of 1995. It shall therefore, act as partners of the State in the protection of Filipino migrant workers and in the promotion of their welfare. Towards this end, the organization shall plan, initiate, advocate, and spearhead the drafting, lobbying, passage of motions, measures, resolutions and position papers on vital issues affecting the rights, welfare and economic well being of the OFW’s.
10 Years Ago – Nov. 27 to Dec. 4, 1998 “The Days to Remember”.
WHO: ALL INTERESTED FILIPINO WORKERS IN EASTERN PROVINCE
WHAT: FREE MEDICAL CHECK-UP ORGANIZED BY OFW CONGRESS-EP
In cooperation with
MOHD. DOSSARY HOSPITAL
WHERE: MOHD. DOSSARY HOSPITAL, AL- KHOBAR
WHEN: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2008 FROM 7:00AM – 5:00PM
FOR INQUIRY PLEASE CONTACT:
PETER MARFA, President ( 0502241594)
SANNY ACUZAR, Executive Vice President (0501044734)
MARY JANE TUPAS, Dir. General for Health (0507886413)
GEORGE PALENCIA, VP Welfare Affairs (0503373053)
DENNIS HIPOLITO, Dir. General for Education (0502947131)
LITO TOMAS, Dir. General for Information (050-812-4346)
FOR EARLY RESERVATIONS AND REGISTRATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE FOLLOWING:
BONG DIONISIO, Dir. General for Finance (0508220981)
MARTIN VALENZUELA, VP Strategic Planning (0502422157)
NOTE : THIS FREE MEDICAL CHECKS-UP IS FIRST COME FIRST SERVE REGISTRATION TO ACCOMMODATE 1,000 PERSONS. PLEASE MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS NOW.
Various OFWs organizations call for peace in Mindanao
RIYADH – More than thirty community organizations including the United OFW and the Integrated Mindanao Economic Forum (IMEF) has organized a consultative gathering here recently dubbed “Mindanao: Island of peace loving people and the land of prosperity”. The forum which was aimed to call for peace and immediate ceasefire in Mindanao was attended by large community here. The leaders of the said organizations expressed their deep concerns on the current situation in the second largest island in the Philippines .
IMEF Internal-Affairs Vice President, Saleh Ampaso Bucay expressed in his speech the negative effect of the situation in Mindanao especially on the economic aspect. “We just started implementing huge educational projects including scholarship, research and human development in the area, funded by well-known Saudi Prince and very worried that this will be affected by the ongoing problem” Bucay said.
The same concern has been raised by the National Chairman of the United OFW and President of the United Muslim Associations in Riyadh (UMA) Engineer Mohammad Elias Mua who asked for the immediate ceasefire of the ongoing fighting in the different Area in the Island . “This problem could be resolved economically” Mua said. He requested all peace loving among OFW’s here to address the issue seriously to the Philippine authority by all means of communications. “We were about to witness upcoming economic developments in Mindanao through Saudis and Gulf investments who are eying the Island for its rich resources and Halal product industry but we saddened by this unwanted happening” he added.
Engr. Mua in a separate meeting of the United OFW Mua called his compatriot OFWs and all OFW organizations worldwide to petition the President of the Republic of the Philippines, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, and all those concerned authorities to declare an immediate ceasefire to pave the way for deliveries of humanitarian aids; and immediate cessation of hostilities in respect to the sanctity of the Holy Month of Ramadan. He also asked for the immediate stop to the re-arming of civilian vigilantes on both sides to prevent escalation of hostilities; as well as the immediate disarming of the resurrected groups of Ilongo Land Grabbing Associations (ILAGA) whose killing spree before martial law spawned the emergence of the MNLF & MILF as counter forces. Finally he requests to urge both the opposition and the administration to agree on a common good for the final solution of the Mindanao problem.
“We all know and seen those intolerable sufferings of our families Muslims, Christians and Lumads in Mindanao as a result of the recent fighting” Mua elaborated. He said thousands of OFW dependents and relatives are in distress, and thousands of our brother OFWs is heavily affected. He goes on saying that not only is that but our national economy going down the drain again with a billion daily expenses in military operation and humanitarian activities. “Let us all unite our voices; this is one painful national crisis affecting the OFWs where we can show our solidarity” he said
Most of the participants expressed their worry about their family and properties in the effected areas and alarmed the gravity of revival of the settler-civilians vigilante group better known ILAGA which is allegedly arming themselves with the support of some powerful politicians and opposition in the Philippine senate.
The participants addressed their worried about this act “This will be a direct resumption of the civil war between Muslims and Christians in the same area and foreign investments will likely suffer heavily” one of the speaker said.
The gathering were attended by leading organizations Union of Muslim Associations (UMA) Federation of Maranao Associations in Saudi (FEMAS), Basak Consultative and Development Council (BCDC) and various community associations such as ALNAO, AMSUDA International, APO – Ranao, ASPIA, Big Water Royal, Diwan International, Ewaton International, Imarantaon International, Maging International, MAIDA, Makadarian, Malabang International, Malumbay International Masiu, Moriatao Diwan International, Pongamponga Balo-i Brotherhood Association (PBBA), Poonan International, Ranao – Alphans, Ranao Tennis Club (RTC), Saguiran International Shakba International, Tamparan Islamic Development Association (TAIDA), Tarakanians, Unayan International, Union of Ulama for Education and Information, West Unayan International Young Moro Professionals Network (YMPN).
Abdul Hannan Faisal Tago/Arab News