EOW should delve deeper to improve services


The Consular Outreach Missions or “Embassy On Wheels” popularly known as “EOW” that are currently implemented by our Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and Philippine Consulate in Jeddah is an effort to bring its services closer to OFWs. The services include  Passport Services (new, renewal, releasing, extension), Notarials, Authentication and Certifications, Police clearance Endorsement, Civil Registry and among others.

The EOW provides services to those OFWs in far flung areas in the eastern and the western Region of Saudi Arabia where there are many OFWs.  Main cities in this regions are chosen as venue for the EOW and the online appointment was set up to avail the services.

However, our blog received numerous negative comments about our fellow OFWs expectations when in comes to the online booking appointment for passport related services.

Let us just be considerate that Saudi Arabia is hosting almost a million OFWs and the lack of bigger venue may be the reason why our consular outreach program cannot accommodate those OFWs wishing to have their passport renewed. A quota or a number of confirmed appointment is necessary and that is why the schedule for consular outreach through online appointment is usually full for about two to three months in advance. In my understanding once it is full,  the online appointment system is block for those who wish to avail the system.  

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There were also confusing announcement through media that appointments for consular outreach services or “Embassy on Wheels” (EOW) will be made available five (5) days before the actual schedule.  The actual schedule is announced in advance through the Philippine Embassy and Philippine Consulate websites.

The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh alone extends 183,484 consular services in 2015 and most of it are passport related services. While the effort is very laudable, implementing it efficiently using the online appointment system is a whole different ball game. Our DFA/Embassy/Consulate should find solutions both the online appointment and the actual scheduling. Perhaps delve deeper how to improve its outreach program and introduced a larger venue and or setting an online system that could accommodate a greater range of available slots based on the scheduled appointment dates.

Fellow OFWs should also be aware of their passport expiration dates and book appointment online six months prior to its expiration and check our Philippine Embassy (http://riyadhpe.dfa.gov.ph/) and Philippine Consulate (http://jeddahpcg.dfa.gov.ph/) websites for update and change of EOW schedules. Also note that our Embassy/Consulate is doing their job and continue their unwavering commitment to serve the Filipinos in Saudi Arabia.  – BongA

Philippine Consulate Officials meet with Labor and Saudi Binladin officials to resolve case of Stranded OFWs


11 August 2016 – Consulate officials led by Consul General Imelda Panolong met with Mr. Abdullah Bin Mohammed Alolayan, General Director of the Ministry of Labor (MOL) in Makkah region, to discuss the cases of stranded Filipino workers in light of the recent directive of Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, to hasten the resolution of cases of stranded expatriate workers. During the meeting Mr. Alolayan said that the MOL has already dispatched teams to the different camps of Saudi Oger to assist the stranded workers of the company. They have been providing food, water and medical assistance to the workers of Saudi Oger in all its camps in Jeddah.

Philippine Consulate General officials and SBG officials discussing status of Filipino stranded workers.

To resolve the case of the stranded workers in Saudi Oger, Mr. Alolayan said the workers have the option to either go home on final exit or transfer to another company. The Saudi government, through MOL and Immigration (Jawazat), will renew expired residence permits (Iqama), and provide exit visas and plane tickets to the workers who wish to leave. MOL noted that several companies have approached them offering to absorb workers from Saudi Oger. MOL shall facilitate the matching of the job requirements of these companies with those workers who want to be transferred. For workers with unpaid salaries and benefits, they may issue a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) in favor of the Consulate to process the entitlements due them. Workers who are not affected and do not experience delays in their salaries may continue to work. Mr. Alolayan promised to coordinate closely with the Philippine Consulate to facilitate the early resolution of the cases of the stranded Filipino workers.

Also present during the meeting were Consul Rodney Jonas L. Sumague, Labor Attaché Jainal T. Rasul, Jr. and Mr. Muhammad Mahmour S. Qassim (Translator/Interpreter/Conciliator).

From L to R: Labor Attaché Rasul, Mr. Alolayan (General Director of the Ministry of Labor (MOL) in Makkah region), Consul General Panolong and Consul Sumague

From L to R: Labor Attaché Jun Rasul, Mr. Alolayan (General Director of the Ministry of Labor (MOL) in Makkah region), Consul General Panolong and Consul Sumague

Prior to the meeting with MOL, Consul General Panolong, Consul Sumague, Labor Attaché Rasul and Welfare Officer Angel Cruz, Jr., met with officials of the Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) to discuss the cases of affected Filipino workers in the company. Present during the meeting representing SBG were Mr. Khaled J. Thabet, HR Support Services Manager; Mr. Abdullah Y. Balkhair, Talent Management and Development Manager; Mr. Abdulrahman Alsurawi, Head of Complaints Unit; and Ms. Rocel Castro-Samillano, Recruitment Coordinator.

Mr. Thabet informed the Consulate officials that 2,429 Filipino workers are presently still working under SBG in the whole of K.S.A. while 1,069 have signified their intention to go home. Their exit visas and final settlement of benefits are expected to be issued in 2-3 weeks.  He gave the assurance that SBG is able to facilitate the exit visas, paying remaining salaries and benefits and providing plane tickets to their workers who want to go home. They may execute a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) in favor of the Consulate to follow up their entitlements if they are unable to wait for its release.  Mr. Thabet added that SBG continues to regularly provide food to their workers. Nevertheless, they will investigate reports that there are some project camps which have not been given food and water as raised by the Consulate officials.

On the future of SBG, Mr. Thabet said the company is optimistic that it will recover very soon. Consul General Panolong noted that the 2,429 Filipino workers who opted to continue to work is a positive sign that augurs well for the recovery of the company. Mr. Thabet responded that SBG feels fortunate that the Filipino workers are staying and he further assured the Consulate officials of closer coordination to address the concerns of Filipino workers. END

Taken from: PCG Website

Stranded OFWs – The Truth Behind 


We lauded the personal visit of DOLE Secretary Bebot Bello, POEA Administrator Hans-Leo Cacdac and other government officials in Saudi Arabia to look deep into the matter of the reported stranded OFWs of Saudi Oger Co. Ltd., and Saudi Binladdin Group; and so with the alleged negligence of the Philippine mission in Saudi Arabia to act on the issue at hand.

What is absolutely true is that the problem of unpaid salaries or delayed salaries, and keeping of OFWs passport by their employers and many other complaints have been there for many years now.

056379cde844ea95584b72ea3ce2ad58The POEA should give more teeth on the Rules and Regulations for the accreditation of Saudi employers to hire OFWs. Likewise, the recruitment agencies should be more cautious in selecting Saudi employers and crafting recruitment agreement with more favorable conditions in the interest and welfare of aspiring OFWs bound for Saudi Arabia.   

I believed that our Philippine Overseas Labor Office, the OWWA and Philippine mission in general are doing their job of negotiating those companies involved in the said disputes, to come up with a comprehensive solution to the workers’ grievances.

Saudi Oger Co., Ltd., and the Saudi Binladdin Group are big companies in Saudi Arabia and was established many decades ago. These companies employed thousands of Filipino workers way back in the 70s, 80s and 90s during the blooming period of construction and infrastructure projects in Saudi Arabia. There were many OFWs returned home who had benefited working in these companies. Though, like the huge companies in other parts of the world, Saudi Arabia today  faces economic challenges. We cannot blame those companies to have their internal situation be remedied first to be able to deal with their respective worsening financial problem.

On the other side, some of our stranded OFWs refused to go home exploring the possibility of reaching a settlement agreement with their employers and collect those unpaid salaries, end of service benefits, among others. For them, waiting is the best option rather than go home without nothing to bring to their families back home.

In Saudi Arabia, expatriate workers can only leave their employers once the exit clearance is issued. In the present situation, the Philippine government should request through a special arrangement with Saudi Immigration and Deportation to issue a block exit visa for all those stranded OFWs who wants to be repatriated. For those who refused, the government should convince them to go home and all those repatriated should be provided with livelihood opportunities.

The Philippine Labor Office should continue and exert more effort in the negotiating table with their employers until such time that a settlement is reached. The monetary settlement of their delayed salaries and End of Service Benefits will be sent to the OFWs once available.

Many foreign diplomats I met when I was working in a Saudi government institution says “the most hardship posting they have been is in Saudi Arabia.” How much more to a Labor Attache who takes care of thousands if not almost a million of their nationals? To be fair, those Philippine Labor Attaches’ in Jeddah and Riyadh are experienced and seasoned labor attaches’, they have been posted back to Saudi Arabia several times after the end of their tour of duties in other countries. They solved many OFWs grievances and complaints unrecognized but it is in the Filipino nature that we forget the good deeds for one honest fault.

For me, to address the problem of our stranded OFWs is not by recalling our Labor Attaches who knows the real situation at hand, but to order them to prioritize our distressed OFWs grievances and come up with a concrete solution at the earliest possible time. We couldn’t solve the entire problem by replacing our current labor attache’s to a new ones who are not familiar with the situation. Perhaps, we will give them the opportunity to do something or to prove their worth as our representative overseeing the plight of our OFWs – at least for now, prior recalling them back home.

Nonetheless, I should say that the Philippine mission in Saudi Arabia should be reprimanded for failing to provide to our stranded OFWs with monetary aid, food and shelter on time of their needs. – BongA 

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Goodbye Maam Rose and Thank you so much!


Like previous heads of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), outgoing Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz will be remembered for their achievements in crafting policies for the general welfare of the Overseas Filipino Workers.

Ougoing DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz

Outgoing DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz

Like former Secretary Marianito Roque’s conceptualization of the assignment of Welfare Officers to Philippine Missions as frontline providers of welfare services to OFWs; Secretary Baldoz will be remembered in shaping the Household Service Reform Package for the protection of domestic workers’ rights; and the comprehensive reintegration assistance, programs  and services for returning overseas Filipino workers (OFW).

For her six (6) year term as head of DOLE, there are many important policies she initiated for the genaral well-being of the OFW sector.

But more than that, Baldoz is a key figure in the International Labor Organization (ILO). She is the first national from an ASEAN country to chair the ILO Tripartite Committee on the Application of Standards.

ILO Director General Guy Ryder described Secretary Daldoz as “wonderful internationalist.”  

Maam, you are one of the many leaders who have come and gone yet your legacy remains, surely you will be remembered by OFWs more particularly those who are in distress that benefited the government’s program under your care.”

Thank you so much and wishing you further success in your future endeavors, may in private and in public service.

IIEE Fellow named PRC’s “2016 Outstanding Professional of the Year Award”


CEBU CITY – Engr. Dominico “Doods” Amora, has been chosen by the Professional Regulation Commission as the recipient of the “2016 Outstanding Professional of the Year Award” in the field of Electrical Engineering profession. “Doods” Amora will be honored at the 43rd Anniversary of the Philippine Regulation Commission (PRC). The awarding ceremonies will be held on June 22, 2016 at the Fiesta Pavilion of the Manila Hotel, One Rizal Park, Manila.

Engr. Dominico Amora (PEE)

Engr. Dominico Amora (PEE, FIIEE)

The awardee, known as “Doods” in the industry circle, is a Professional Electrical Engineer (PEE) with 41 years in the electrical engineering profession. Doods work-life have been deeply rooted in the Industry of various sorts where from the lowest ranks, Doods rose himself to the heights of what he is today.

He graduated Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) in 1974 at the Cebu Institute of Technology, Cebu City (now CIT University). He placed 2nd in the Professional Electrical Engineering board examination in 1983. Doods was awarded in 2003 as CIT’s “Most Outstanding Alumnus in the field of Engineering Consultancy”.

He was also a college instructor in EE Professional Subjects (Power Systems, Power Plant Design, Electrical Systems Design, Mechanical & Electrical Equipment) at the University of San Jose Recoletos (USJR-Cebu) from 1989 to 1992.

His five years working experience started at Nasipit Lumber Company/Philippine Wallboard Corporation,  once a large wood-based manufacturing complex in Northern Mindanao (during the wood processing heydays). It was with this company that Doods learned the rudiments of real-life electrical practice. Starting as Trainee Engineer, Doods scaled to the position of Assistant Shift Operations Electrical Engineer for the Power Plant and Wood Processing Factories before he transferred employment.

He was later employed by the Beer Division of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) in 1979, where he spent 15 years in the Mandaue Brewery (Mandaue City, Cebu),  and two (2) years in the construction, commissioning and initial operation of the Davao Brewery (Sta. Cruz, Davao Del Sur). Versatile as he was in various jobs, he did planning, designing and executing projects works, among others. He did as well handle maintenance, operation and asset management as part of his previous function.

In 1994, he was transferred to the SMC Corporate Headquarters in Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, where he earned his promotion as Manager-Electrical & Instrumentation Engineering of the Corporate Technical Services (CTS), a Division under the Office of the SMC President), a position he held until his retirement in January of 2000. For five years in this position he handled & oversaw electrical operation, maintenance, design and construction of electrical systems covering all Philippine Breweries (Polo, San Fernando, Mandaue, Bacolod & Davao Breweries) & Offshore Plants (Hong Kong, Shundie, Guangzhou, Baoding, Indonesia & Vietnam Breweries).

Engr. Doods Amora w/ Hon. Francis V. Mapile (BEE-PRC)

Engr. Doods Amora with Hon. Francis V. Mapile (BEE-PRC)

Along the way while in SMC for 21 years, Doods reaped some 40 awards & citations befitting an outstanding employee. His professional training as well as the application of his experiences revolved not only within the country, but also in Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China (Guangzhou, Shundie, Baoding) and Jakarta, Indonesia. Doods also entrusted as a Consultant for Electrical Systems Design, Setting-up Maintenance and Energy Management Systems for other SMC affiliate Plants.

While in SMC, Doods had been a consistent Model Supervisor Awardee, many times a Grand Awardee and, later Hall of Famer in the Corporate innovation Program. He also became a leading personality in the formation, formulation and implementation of best industry practices in Quality, Efficiency and Total Productive Maintenance Programs of the corporation.

In February of Y2000, Doods retired from SMC and joined Lear Corporation, a multinational company, as Plant Manager of Plant 222, located in Mactan Export Processing Zone (Lapulapu City) with corporate offices in Southfield, Michigan, USA. In less than a year, Doods achieved a series of global breakthroughs in automotive wire harness manufacturing, among which was the sought-after ‘World’s Lowest Cost Per Unit Product’ of consistent quality. Leading some 1,350 employees, Doods steered the company to achieve 300% production throughput reckoned from previous plant history’s bests. Doods after a year left Lear Corporation to start his own electrical consulting firm  based in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines.

For having his forty one years of exemplary service and dedication to the Electrical Engineering profession in the Industry, Engr. Dominico Amora, versatile in various jobs, is multi-awardee befitting an outstanding electrical engineer. On top of being a Consultant in various fields in electrical engineering, he is also deeply involved in Continuing Professional Education where his mentorship and self-written training books in Electrical Design Practices have helped hundreds of young engineers catapult their competencies. Some of them are now Overseas Filipino Workers gainfully employed around the world, mostly in the Middle East, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Kazakstan, UK, Canada and USA.

His notable accomplishments and contributions to the profession amply demonstrates his highest degree of professionalism and leadership when he earned numerous awards of national scope as the IIEE’s “Most Outstanding Electrical Practitioner in the field of Industry,” an award he received in 1996. In 2002, another IIEE National Award was conferred on him as the “Most Outstanding Electrical Practitioner in the field of Consultancy”.

He had been president of IIEE Cebu Chapter in 1986 and later organized the IIEE-North Cebu Chapter which under  his leadership baton had reaped series of honors in IIEE’s “Best Conference Awards.” He was  a former Regional Governor of the Institute of  Integrated Electrical Engineers, Region 7 and was cited as “Most Outstanding Regional Governor” in 2003.

In 2009, Doods was nationally elected as Governor-at-Large and became IIEE’s National Auditor. In 2012 the IIEE College of Fellow conferred him “Grade of Fellow”, a distinction coveted amongst the electrical engineering community of the country.  Doods then became a Member of IIEE College of Fellows since 2012.

He also served as a member of the IIEE Legislation & Legal Affairs Committee (LELAC) in an active role in the drafting and crafting of the proposed new Electrical Engineering Law, now in Congress (HB 5826) and in Senate (SB 2963).

The prestigious Professional Regulation Commission award is the highest award bestowed by the Commission upon a professional who demonstrated high levels of competency, integrity and significantly contributed to the advancement in their field of their profession, and to the effective discharge of the profession’s social responsibility through meaningful contribution/participation in socio-related activities.

The awardee is married to Merlita Rivas Amora, a registered nurse and blessed with two children, Kristine May Amora Zabala, a Cabin Crew of Qatar Airways and Kristoffer R. Amora,   a Sr. Device Firmware Developer at Fortify Technologies Asia, Inc.,Philippines.

DOFW  “even a shot in the dark may win”


Rodrigo Roa Duterte will soon assume office on June 30, 2016, as the new President of  the Philippine Republic,  the day most OFWs are waiting not because we will celebrate this historic day of his presidency, but OFWs is longing for the promises he made, and that to protect the rights and welfare of the Filipino migrant workers.

Duterte won the heart of the OFWs, the reason why we voted him overwhelmingly in the last election.  The OFWs made the choice and perhaps the President should not ignore this very important sector who saved the nation from economic difficulties.

Department of the Overseas Filipino Workers

Department of the Overseas Filipino Workers

The new President’s good intention for the creation of a Department of OFWs is the answer to the woes and the grievances of the Overseas Filipino Workers.

The proposed Department of OFWs shall be the primary agency tasked with the enforcement of the rights of OFWs as provided under the Republic Act 10022 known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act.

Although, President Duterte’s promise is a do-able in nature, but sometimes foreseen political hurdles will go along the tedious process. In politics, there are diversifying ideas against a reasonable and credible proposal, however I believed “even a shot in the dark may win” – all we need is to be united, consensus in our advocacy  and have a concerted effort among our ranks.  

Secondly, the President’s power to directly influence congress to prioritize the pending bills for the establishment of the Department of OFWs may help to make this dream a reality. – BongA

Note: Below are the pending House Bills at the Philippine House of Representatives (17th Congress) for the creation of the Department of OFWs and/or the Department of Migration and Development.

HB00227

 [Text As Filed] 

 AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE DEPARTMENT OF OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS (DOFW), DEFINING ITS POWERS AND FUNCTIONS, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFORE AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Principal Author/s: SINGSON, ERIC D.

Main Referral: GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION

Status: Pending with the Committee on GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION since 2016-07-26

HB00822

[Text As Filed] 

 AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE DEPARTMENT OF OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS (DOFW), DEFINING ITS POWERS AND FUNCTIONS, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Principal Author/s: YAP, ARTHUR C.

Main Referral: GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION

Status: Pending with the Committee on GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION since 2016-07-27

HB02334

[Text As Filed] 

AN ACT ESTABLISHING DEPARTMENT OF OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS (DOFW), DEFINING ITS POWERS AND FUNCTIONS, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFORE AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Principal Author/s: COJUANGCO, CARLOS O.

Main Referral: GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION

Status: Pending with the Committee on GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION since 2016-08-09

Stop Insulting Expat Workers


An article in a local Arabic daily focused on the increasing control which expatriate workers have over the Saudi retail sector. The writer Saad Al-Dosari “laments the fact” that retail markets are controlled by expatriates and he adds that most expatriate workers are illegal or undocumented workers!

He says that expatriate workers are a “virus” and asks why the campaigns of the Ministry of Interior have not succeeded in eradicating this “menace”.

Khaled-Al-Maeena

Khaled-Al-Maeena

He states that the ongoing control of the retail sector by expatriate workers kills any job opportunities for Saudi nationals and negatively affects the Kingdom’s economy. In observing our Arabic press, I have noticed that from time to time negative and racist comments have been made by some writers against expatriates. It may be that these journalists are suffering writer’s block or that they can think of nothing else to write about. However, it should be made clear to them that the use of a term like “virus” is a racist comment. Perhaps the attitude of these Saudi writers is: “Expatriates are an easy target so why not have a go at them?”

Mr. Al-Dosari does not ask why the retail sector cannot retain any Saudi workers. And it appears that he has made no effort to ask the owners of shops for an explanation. Well, I will tell Mr. Al-Dosari that there is a shop and many others that I know of which closed because the Saudi employees did not turn up for work. At a well-known supermarket in Jeddah, six of eight checkout counter clerks were missing on a recent Friday morning. Probably gone fishing!

As for the absence of Saudi women in the retail sector, the writer should be well aware that the mere thought of women working in retail makes the self-appointed guardians of our morals scream and shout. To them the sight of a woman at the sales counter is like waving a red flag in front of a bull. read more>>>>

Stop Insulting Expat Workers : By: Khaleed Almaeena (Editor-at-Large / Saudi Gazette)

No to Vote Buying!


I posted in our blog a couple of years back how to minimize or eradicate vote buying in our country during elections. One ideal solution is to educate voters how important our right of suffrage is. It is our obligation as a citizen in our country to participate in an honest to goodness election that in the long run could shape up the shattered bits of our Philippine politics.   

According to Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, “we can educate voters as much as we can, but we cannot legislate good behavior”.  I totally agree with Mr. Jimenez, but how can we eradicate or perhaps lessen the impact of vote buying and voter behavior?  

picsmeme-conscience-quotes-05Vote buying usually occurs in a hot contested barangay and municipalities where voters are nominal in counts. Poor electorate or poverty stricken areas are more susceptible to vote buying. A single candidate will see to it that voters receive monetary consideration during the election period, spending millions of peso budget for that purpose ranging from PHP 100.00 to a PHP 1,500.00 per voter in the rural communities. Two Million Pesos in a PHP 500.00 each for a mere 4,000 population of registered voters in a small municipality.  

In a partisan politics, usually a party will set aside a certain bigger budget to buy votes in return for a block vote in favor to the members of the whole party. Therefore, a contesting group with huge financial machineries will make sure that the highest bid is realize in favor to their respective parties.  

It is also normal that a monetary favor can influence the result of votes even in areas where populations are of consanguinities to each other. “Money is thicker than blood” shall we say are more important in Philippine election rather than what a sincere relative or a candidate can offer for the progress of their locality in general. Recent elections in the Philippines revealed that at least a major and well organized parties bought votes during election.

The Comelec has a well in place guidelines, punishments and other  prescribed measures to be taken based on the complaints of vote buying, however the sweet smell of victory by any means doesn’t stop politicians from buying votes especially when  automated voting system is introduced in the country. 

Vote buying doesn’t only corresponds of directly offering or accepting cash monies on the spot, it means “Any person who promises money or anything of value in order to induce anyone to vote for or against any candidate or withhold his vote in the election.”

The Comelec admits in the rappler.com online article that “with the automated voting system in the country, candidates could no longer influence canvassers and teachers on the outcome of the election report, since machines do the work, so politicians and their coordinators had to focus on what they could affect and that’s through vote buying.”

In order to control vote buying, non-government organizations and concern citizen who still believes that our votes are sacred should be vigilant during the election period. Who are those in target for monitoring? Coordinators or individuals connected to political parties or candidates and so with our population at large should be monitored. Report those electoral payoffs and identify those persons involved and file a complaint with the Comelec. Don’t forget to use the high technology gadget in reporting those to be implicated, such as photos of the transaction, taped conversation that can be uploaded to social working sites, blogs and media as well. Politicians mobilize propagandas during campaign periods in networking sites and why we could not mobilize ourselves in exposing politicians who buy votes and voters accepting monies in favor of their votes?

Once and for all, to avoid vote buying, the continuing voter education should be focused at an early school age of every Filipinos. The school is the best venue and student participation in the primary and secondary levels in choosing their student leaders is a must that will represent the student organ in the governance of the Academe; with emphasis on choosing the right candidates that could eventually become the future leaders in our country.   

Politicians choose one form of electoral investment strategy – the VOTE BUYING and the result can affect the lives and welfare of the poor Filipinos and the country as a whole. “NO TO VOTE BUYING! BE VIGILANT, REPORT AN ELECTION FRAUD!”  – BongA

Overseas Filipinos Urge to Vote


According to the DFA-Overseas Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS), there will be over one million active registered overseas absentee voters (ARVs) for the Overseas Absentee Voting in the May 2016 elections.

DFA-OVS chair Undersecretary Rafael Seguis said that “this is the first time in the history of Philippine overseas voting that we will have over one million active overseas registered voters for an election. Their desire to actively participate in our political process could be a sign that our democracy has reached a new level of maturity.”

Your+Voice+Your+Vote+logoAs a mature voter, this is our turning point to make a difference in who wins in the coming election. This is the time that we will show our unity and to prove that our sector has the strength to change the electoral outcome of Philippine politics. We, therefore, urge our fellow registered absentee voters to  exercise our right of suffrage this coming April 9, 2016 to May 9, 2016 and have our opportunity  to be heard in the ballot.

As we belong to a democratic country, we have our freedom of choice and could not be dictated by anyone. We should look at candidates based on our faith, and supporting the candidates whose values we feel best align with our own.

In today’s Philippine politics, we should not look for a party system, and be identified either of those parties. It’s very important to find out what the candidates stand for the welfare of our sector.

Deuteronomy 1:13 says “Choose some well-respected men from each of your tribe who are known for their wisdom and understanding, and I will appoint them as your leaders.

From: Ofwempowerment Blog

Gulf countries changing recruitment pattern


The economic downturn of some Middle Eastern countries due to the fall of oil prices will lead to a budget deficit in 2016 and succeeding  years to come.  New economic reforms such as massive job cuts will also affect employment opportunities of  overseas Filipino contract workers.  Massive retrenchment of employees in oil and gas sectors in the Middle East will also influence other sectors like real estate and financial institutions.   A domino effect will follow, that could touch other small business sectors as well.

RepCover-Compensation2016Businesses in the affected countries will find alternative ways to maintain their budget by way of hiring local employees rather than hiring expatriate workers. Some employers in production and construction industries are now taking the conventional approach by hiring employees with modest wage that could sustain profitable outcome of their production. 

Gulf countries are also changing recruitment patterns, “following robust hiring activity in the first half of 2015, firms across the region have become increasingly cautious in hiring. Faced with a cooling business environment, many have limited recruitment to replacement hiring only. A significant number are undertaking restructuring, merging job roles or outsourcing entire departments to reduce costs and improve efficiency. With all hiring under scrutiny, there is growing demand for multi-tasking generalist candidates who can undertake a wide range of duties,” according to the research titled “2016 Employment and Salary Trends in the Gulf” by Gulf Talent, a leading job site for professionals in the Middle East and Gulf region.

A number of companies surveyed by GulfTalent mentioned plans to make some staff redundant in 2016, with firms in Saudi Arabia expected to witness the most job cuts, given the country’s higher dependence on oil revenues and the extent of planned austerity measures. – BongA (3/19/2016)

How to be an Entrepreneur from Employee while Working Abroad?


aaFor sure all that glaze and curiosity was there, the moment you landed in this country with a zillion dreams to professionally accomplish what you desired throughout your career. Indeed, making a move to any foreign land is all about the right opportunity at the right time. However, there are many who beg to differ and think otherwise.

It sure does entice you to move abroad and enjoy perks with the best of global corporations. Growth seems good and so are the chances to progress in the field without any hitches. This does give you a moment to rejoice, but is being your own boss is all you’ve been boggling your head over?

Well, it was for sure tricky back in your country and would certainly won’t be a child’s play while working abroad. Considering the shift and a zillion constraints you’ve to heed to, here are a few tips that will make the process highly comprehensive and organized.

Localize your Idea to Make the Right Fit

For you have worked for sufficient time in the country, it should be fairly easy on your part to understand the cultural and working preferences of those working and living around you. This stands imperative as diving into the local culture is the first pre-requisite to be fulfilled by any budding entrepreneur. Look around you at work, there are a number of people who belong to the country and can mentor you during the initial stages. They can help you guide what the consumers in the country desire and the right hacks that would make your la highly workable.

If it doesn’t happen this way, look up at various social media websites and find people in your vicinity. Join meetup groups and customize your idea to suit the audience preferences in the country. Study the market and find out the kind of startups that have been gaining thrust in the country. In case you have a different plan, find common factors that can connect you to the audience at a personal level.

Dig in Deep for Infrastructure

The best part about scoring a job abroad is that you get to earn your own network. Be it the initial workforce you need or the references that will help you score investors, there’s ample you can accomplish, just with your network.

However, one major factor you’re ought to miss during the entire process is the infrastructure you need to develop for your business to bloom. Dig deep into the market and find out about factors like political schemes, logistics, transportation, economic stability and other utilities. These would surely make a huge difference later in the game. Make sure you have everything covered from the get go!

Study Your Competition

It’s surely great if you are thinking about making a switch to a business in the same field. This would give you a head start on all the knowledge bank one requires to build prior to the launch. However, even if you’re not, competition is one thing you need to be highly watchful about.

Probably, there are a multiple other startups working on the same idea with a different approach. Not only this, also study about the companies that came with a similar concept to yours and failed in the country. Find out the reasons and keep them in due consideration during the future steps.

Keep the Laws on your Tips

The biggest hitch while making a shift to your startup abroad is the set of laws you’ve to deal with. Your company getting subjected to unfamiliar regulations is the last thing you desire. Hence, make it a point to have ample legal exposure prior to your agreement with various investors and distributors. Get solid contracts with all your partners and stay on the secure side.

Things are numerous to be said and done. However, the right preparation with appropriate research will only make the right shift from job to startup happen in a smooth way.

Author Bio: Anshuman Kukreti is an ofwempowerment blog article contributor. He is professional writer and a keen follower of the global job market. An engineer by qualification and an artist at heart, he writes on various topics related to employment across the globe. Reach him @ LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.

POEA chief to presidential bets: Help OFWs innovate


12.10.2015: MANILA, PhilippinesPhilippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Hans Leo Cacdac advised presidential candidates to put on their agenda innovations in existing electronic systems for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“Off the top of my head, [they should include in their platforms the] further enhancement of electronic systems so it’s easier for OFWs to update their registration profiles. It’s easier for government agencies to keep track who are the documented OFWs, as to who are licensed recruiters, who are the illegal recruiters,” Cacdac told Rappler in an interview on Wednesday, December 9.

Various electronic programs are already in place that aim not only to ease registration processes for OFWs but to protect them from illegal recruitment as well.

poeamnpowerThe POEA has an online portal where Filipinos seeking employment overseas may register through the POEA’s Government Placement Branch. Licensed recruiters are likewise required to register online. (READ: POEA to recruiters: Use ‘electronic systems’ in hiring OFWs)

In partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment, the POEA also implements a program called Balik Manggagawa Online Processing System, which allows vacationing OFWs who are rehired by their employers to secure an overseas employment certificate digitally.

Licensed recruiters are also required by the Philippine government to have an official Facebook page to serve as a communication platform for deployed house service workers, to prevent disputes, to endorse complaints, and to submit reports to the POEA. (PODCAST: Ethical recruitment of OFWs)

“We still could do so much more in terms of improved access, meaning how to get into the system, overcoming certain glitches with respect to certain cases where some OFWs get disconnected as soon as they are connected, uploading of photographs, facilitation of the electronic payment facility, small things like that,” said Cacdac. (READ: ‘Slow’ gov’t process makes OFWs fall for illegal recruiters)

The POEA chief also said the presidential candidates should make OFW concerns an election issue.

“I think OFW concerns matter to not just the OFWs themselves but [for] many Filipino families. Their welfare and protection is utmost,” Cacdac said.

POEA records show that in 2014, there were 1,832,668 OFWs – 1,430,842 land-based and 401,826 sea-based.

‘Push the OFW agenda’

For the POEA chief, OFWs would need the next president to have a “strong stance” in the protection of the rights of migrant workers as well as the facilitation of ethical recruitment.  to read more>>>>