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

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>>>>

Finding Out Who Among Them – 2016 National Election


In Philippine May 2016 National Election, registered Overseas Absentee Voters should focus on finding out who among in the national candidates for President to Vice President and Senators  worthy of our vote.  

The OFW sector should be well represented by those legislators who are really concerned with issues in relation to the general welfare of Overseas Filipinos or OF. Please note that I referred Overseas Filipinos as Filipino Immigrants with dual citizenship, Filipino migrant workers and land based and seafarers.

Sad to say that there are few OFW supporters in the legislative body  of our government.  In the 16th Congress, the House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs are comprised of  35 members, the 4 among them are identified as OFW advocates.  Bills authored and co-authored by those OFW advocates are still pending or referred to another house committee for evaluation. Some of those bills even lasted for 2 to 3 years on their shelves. Undoubtedly, it will never be deliberated or acted upon or even reach on the second reading or be included in the order of business.  Remember, that every House Bills are still subject of Senate action which undergoes the same legislative procedures.

Would the above scenario be corrected? Yes! Why not? The legislator who is an OFW advocate, an author or just a co-author of the bill can influence the members of the committee being referred, to speed up the process by conducting  immediate public hearings on the proposed legislation.  Non-government organizations, expert on migration, OFW/Seafarers organizations (overseas and at home) or individuals whose advocacies focused on the main issues and concerns of OFWs should likewise be pro-active to pressure the members of the committee to move to the next level of the process.  Sorry to say that some of our OFW advocates in the House and the Senate are busy focusing on other matters in their other areas or field of expertise. Some of those bills can be included in the lists of the “Silliest Proposed Laws Philippine Lawmakers Tried to Pass.” 

According to “The Action Guide for Advocacy and Citizen Participation”, Policy advocacy is an initiative to focus exclusively on the policy agenda and a specific policy goal. These advocates usually assume that policy change will produce real change on the ground.

So, in the coming national election, I arrived into a simplest form of identifying those politicians in line with our cause by rating them on how they managed to support on certain OFW issues at the House and the Senate. Others can be identified on how many bills they authored or co-authored during their incumbencies.  How many of those bills signed into law, how many resolutions they filed for the general welfare of Filipinos overseas.   

I personally categorized the following 2016 aspiring candidates at the national level into four (4) categories:        

  1. PRO-OFW – A politician who advocates, argues, defend, participate or justify policies in relation to the general welfare of Overseas Filipinos/ OFWs.
  2. CONSIDERATE –  A politician with a specific position on certain issue or concerns in relation to the welfare of Overseas Filipinos.
  3. MODERATE – A politician whose legislative agendas focused on another field of advocacies and rarely participate on issues and concerns of OFWs. 
  4. UN-RATED –  To be rated or categorize later on.

candidates

CLICK HERE for the Official candidates for Senator in the May 9, 2016 national elections.

CLICK HERE for the organizations participating in the 2016 party-list elections.

OFWempowerment Survey Result “2016 Presidential hopefuls for OFWs”


In the 2016 Philippine Presidential Election, there are five (5) Presidential hopefuls for the highest position in the land; who among them you think have a heart for OFWs?

Our ofwempowerment blog survey (see title above) received an overwhelming response from our OFWs in 20 countries around the globe including in the Philippines. The OFWs in Saudi Arabia are the highest numbers of participants.

I decided to close the survey because most of the 5 Presidential hopefuls in the list had already filed their certificate of candidacy with the Commission on Election. The remaining hopeful Davao Mayor Rod Duterte has yet to file his COC pending echoes among the Philippine electorate whether the famous “crime buster city executive” will change his mind later and join the race. However, yesterday 16 October 2015 was the last day of filing and I think the good Mayor filed his COC seeking a new mandate from the Davawenos as Mayor of Davao. But his supporters “refused to accept the truth” that Duterte is not running for Presidency. 

I would like to emphasize to my readers that our online survey doesn’t reflect the entire sentiments of the OFWs around the globe. However, if majority of us participate in future online surveys like ours, it will become more reliable in the days to come. That’s one of the many reasons why I am advocating online voting as an alternative venue for Filipino overseas absentee voters to participate in Philippine national election.

Well, the result of our survey is pasted below, thank to polldaddy.com.

result

Rodrigo-Duterte-660x600

Photo by Inquirer

You may wonder why OFWs supports Duterte if he runs for the highest position in the land? Very simple, we need an iron fist in our national governance, a public official that can eliminate corruption once and for all. A leader who understand others ideals but opposes armed struggles. A President who knew the real needs of poor Filipinos. A leader like Duterte has an iron hand that can discipline Filipinos to follow the rule of law.

But to most of us OFWs, WE still feel that something will never be the same in this country, whoever in power. Sad to say that too little had really changed and coming back home as strangers to the land we long for is the most discouraging moment of our life.

Many OFWs think Mayor Rod Duterte can reform the nature of the political system in our country unfortunately, this guy is a man of honor who never changes a decision he had already made. Not unless a divine anointing prevails. To Duterte Harry, WE the OFWs salute you!    

Fabricating OFW Distress Call could face serious consequences


There are many kinds of OFW Distress call or information, those in need of immediate assistance through rescue effort and or a formal complaint in form of a letter or email or personal visit to our Philippine Embassy, POLO/OWWA as may believe proper under such any given circumstances.

In an imminent danger to an OFW in distress, a form of a rescue is sought. But a call or an information from an OFW in distress and or a third-party should be cautiously investigated prior to a plan rescue. Our diplomatic corps or the concerned agencies mentioned above will verify the veracity of any given distress calls. Though a frightening, frantic, desperate or threatening circumstances must be acted immediately.

Some distress calls may also be through a formal letter or email complaint addressed to our Philippine Embassy, POLO/OWWA. It can be relayed from a representative like friends, wife, husband, brother, sister,  relatives or from  NGO on behalf of the OFW in distress.

Our Philippine Embassy, the Philippine Overseas  Labor Office, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration are there to assist when OFW distress call or information is receive as mandated by R.A. 10022, the Migrants Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act as amended.   

However, may I remind our readers and fellow OFWs that fabricating stories, claims or complaint just to gain sympathy from the concern government agencies could face serious consequences, not only to the so-called OFW in distress but also to the one who give false information. Criminal liability awaits to those OFWs or to the third-party involve who make up accusations against their employer, if proven otherwise.   

There are many OFWs out there who are truly in need of an immediate help, therefore misrepresenting and or a mere allegation to make a complaint could hamper other genuine distress calls that our Embassy/POLO/OWWA may attend to.  

lovers quarrelTo those OFWs with marital problems, like non remittance of salaries and philandering OFW spouses, my post “hold departure order” can give you an insight on what to do. But make sure that you have the legal right to file a formal complaint against your spouse. If you and your partner are not legally married, talk to your lover in the lover’s lane, open up with each other, try to solve the issue of lover’s quarrel and close the matter amicably. Lastly, don’t disturb others’ lives because there are more people in desperate and in difficult situation that in need of more attention to deal with.   – BongA

 related posts:

https://ofwempowerment.com/2013/08/23/not-anymore-a-question-of-morality/

https://ofwempowerment.com/2007/06/21/the-other-side-of-maltreatment-and-abuse/

https://ofwempowerment.com/2009/08/09/kumakatok-lang-po-distress-call/ 

DTI warns OFWs to deal with Accredited and Legitimate Cargo Freight Forwarders


Department_of_Trade_and_Industry_(Philippines)_(emblem)

(13 May 2015) Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) warns Overseas Filipino workers who will send their balikbayan boxes and their consignees in the Philippines should book their packages only with reliable and Philippine Shippers Bureau or DTI-PSB accredited freight forwarders and Philippine agents to ensure that their packages will reach their destinations.

DTI also warned cargo senders from abroad against very low door-to-door rates  or “promo rates” that some foreign principals offer. “With low rates, they [foreign principals] do not have enough funds to bear the cost of transporting cargoes, and they fail to remit delivery funds to their Philippine freight forwarders, causing the shipments to be  abandoned at the ports and not being delivered to consignees.

For consignees in the Philippines who have not received their packages from freight forwarders, they may contact DTI (02-751-3330) or go to PSB office to file an immediate claim or complaint.”

OFWs around the globe are advised to check or visit this link:  http://www.dti.gov.ph/dti/index.php/resources/listings  from time to time and see the  list of Blacklisted  Sea Freight Cargo Forwarders around the globe.

OFWs in Saudi Arabia are advised  NOT TO DEAL   with any  Seafreight Cargo Forwarders  other than the list of DTI accredited freight forwarders listed below.

Again, the list below are updated list (March 06, 2015) from DTI list of Accredited Cargo Freight Forwarders in Saudi Arabia. – BongA

DTI-PSB  list of Accredited Cargo Freight Forwarders in Saudi Arabia

DTI-PSB list of Accredited Cargo Freight Forwarders in Saudi Arabia (save as the image or list to your PC and Print for clear copy) *** also take note the expiry date of their license to operate.

 

OEC-BM Online Processing


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H.E. Ezzedin Tago & Hon. POEA Admin Cacdac

H.E. Ambasador Ezzedin Tago & Hon. POEA Admin Hans Cacdac

During the Filipino Community meeting with DOLE Secretary Baldoz at the Philippine Embassy, the Honorable POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac was with her. Admin. Cacdac announced to the attendees about the POEA OEC-BM Online Processing. It is indeed a good project by the POEA, and I salute POEA Admin Cacdac for this very useful initiative.

 I humbly request our government particularly those agencies overseeing the plight of OFWs to start planning or think something that could be beneficial for us OFWs rather than issuing a Memorandum Circular forcing us OFWs to pay P550 terminal fee in the cost of an airline ticket. 

By the way, thanks to the court ruling last November 19 issued by Judge Tingaraan Guiling of Pasay RTC Branch 109 by declaring MIAA’s Memorandum Circular No. 8 as “unenforceable” for a mere reason that  the Memorandum Circular did not comply with the legal requirement that it must be published in the Official Gazette or any newspaper of general circulation 15 days before its implementation.

I’m sure MIAA will file a motion for reconsideration if allowed by court and I just hope our court will later rule the MC No. 8 with finality that it is “unconstitutional” in violation to Republic Act 10022 (Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of. 1995) that prohibits the collection of travel tax and terminal fee for OFWs who possess valid Overseas Exemption Certificates.

Back to OEC-BM Online Processing, I tried to apply online but unfortunately the facility only caters OFWs to POEA offices in the Philippines. It means up to this writing, those OFWs who wish to set an appointment for your OEC to POLO offices at the site of employment has yet to be operational online. You can see below screen shot of the online facility in red arrow showing that the said locations are “coming soon”. To those OFWs already in the Philippines, please try to point your location to your areas where you are now and check the availability of the given dates to set an appointment after you’ve done filling out the online form.

Surely it can lessen the waiting time because an OFW has the slot, but just to make sure you’ll be there on time and you have all the necessary documents with you like passport and previous payment receipts as required in obtaining an Overseas Employment Certificate.

To those who haven’t visited the site online, please click this link: OEC Balik-Manggagawa Online Processing  and simply follow the instruction.

Frequently Asked Questions: click here >>>>BALIK-MANGGAGAWA (BM) ONLINE   PROCESSING SYSTEM

To POEA, MABUHAY Kayo! Keep up the good work in the service to OFWs. – BongA

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Fig. 1- POEA Appointment Offices outside PHL “Coming Soon”

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Fig. 2 – Slots Available in POEA Cebu Office

FilCom leaders pleased Secretary Baldoz Second visit in Saudi Arabia


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FilCom leaders pleased Secretary Baldoz Second visit in Saudi Arabia

Philippine Labor Secretary Erlinda Dimapilis-Baldoz

Philippine Labor Secretary Erlinda Dimapilis-Baldoz

30 November, 2014, RIYADH: Filipino Community leaders are really delighted to receive an invitation of Philippine Labor Secretary Erlinda Dimapilis-Baldoz through the Philippine Overseas Labor Office to meet Filcom leader in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This visit is the second time of Secretary Baldoz since she took office in 2010.

The first visit was in May last year upon the signing of the Labor pact between the Philippines and Saudi Arabia that established the commitment of the two governments to implement a standard employment contract that provide protection for Filipino Household Service Workers. However, most of the Saudis are complaining about the very expensive fees the local Saudi recruitment offices are charging in bringing domestic workers from Philippines.

OFWs in Saudi are also facing forward that this visit of Secretary Baldoz could pave a way to formalize an agreed standard employment contract for skilled and semi-skilled workers in the Kingdom through a bilateral labor agreement similar to that of the standard FHSW contract. This could prevent employers from substituting a contract for their own interest. It can’t be denied that contract substitution still rampant in the Kingdom despite of both countries good labor relation.

The Filipino Community is likewise grateful to the good Secretary Baldoz for inviting them in line with the Philippine Government agenda on reintegration program. The OFW reintegration program should be properly disseminated to the vast population of OFWs as their guide in their eventual return to the homeland.

The top Labor executive’s ardent desire to hold an audience with the Filipino Community in Riyadh tonight, Sunday, at 6 PM is indeed a serious move that the Aquino government is sincere in their reintegration program for OFWs and looking for an alternative source of income for those who decides to be back home for good. – BongA

Labor Ministry launches portal for expatriates


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Labor Ministry launches portal for expatriates

In a bid to prevent workers’ rights violations in the Kingdom, the Ministry of Labor has launched an exclusive Web portal to educate workers about their rights and how to avail them.

640x392_79058_157084The Web portal  www.laboreducation.gov.sa  launched on Tuesday aims to boost awareness about workers’ rights and the rules that regulate the relationship between the employee and employer in the Kingdom. While the Web portal’s Arabic version has comprehensive information, the English version is still under construction, according to sources in the Labor ministry.

The Web portal comes in the light of several reports of exploitation of expatriate workers in particular, due to lack of legal knowledge. The portal provides useful information related to the contact details of relevant authorities, workers’ rights, contractual obligations and wages, working hours, training, qualification, work responsibility, disciplinary rules and the calculation of end of service benefits.

It also makes provision for special rights for people with disabilities and women workers.

Sources pointed out that one can also lodge a formal complaint through the Web portal. The sources said that the Labor ministry which is fully automated through an electronic system now intends to extend the same facility for workers to improve the working environment and guarantee the rights of employer and employee.

Taken from: Arab News Saudi Arabia News/JEDDAH: Irfan Mohammed/Published — Wednesday 17 September 2014