Libya Under Review: Deployment Of Filipino Workers To Iraq

Yesterday Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz  stated that the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) might amend the previous non-certification of the two countries.

The remaining 19 countries yet to get approval from the POEA governing board required under the Amended Migrant Workers Act, Libya and Iraq are among them.

Sending of Filipino workers to countries without certification as a safe destination by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is restricted by law.

Baldoz said the DFA has certified these countries following the recommendation of the Congressional Committee on Overseas Welfare Affairs.

Under the qualification, the POEA may continue to deploy OFWs to these countries, while the DFA continues to negotiate for the better protection of household service workers.

Of the 203 countries hiring OFWs, the DFA has certified 184 countries.

Previously, the DFA declared 41 hiring countries including Iraq as non-complaint, but eventually withdrew the non-certification and sought a three-month deferment in the implementation of the deployment ban.

A new requirement for a host country to be considered compliant is for it to have an existing bilateral agreement with the Philippine government.

Early this year, however, the government allowed deployment of returning workers to Libya.

source: philstar.com

China to execute Filipino on December 8


Manila, Philippines- An OFW faces once again a death sentence in China on December 8, after being arrested at Guilin International Airport while trying to smuggle 1.495 kilos of heroin into Guangxi province from Malaysia back in September 13, 2008.

The High People’s Court (HPC) of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region informed the Philippine Consulate-General in Guangzhou Wednesday that the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) in Beijing affirmed the lower court’s decision on the carrying out of the death penalty on the Filipino.

President Aquino has asked Chinese President Hu Jintao, that the 35 year old Filipino National be given a less severe sentence.

We have exhausted all legal efforts. We have exhausted all efforts and the sentence would be carried out on Dec. 8,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.

We recognize the decision of the judicial authorities in China. It was made based on the evidence that the Filipino national was carrying heroin and, therefore, based on their law, it was subject to the death penalty. Again, it was done in compliance with their legal processes, we respect that. And I believe that in the same manner that the three Filipinos who were previously executed, this should not cause a hiccup in Filipino-Chinese relations,” he added.

President Benigno S. Aquino III instructed Vice President Jejomar C. Binay to go to Beijing and appeal the scheduled execution of the Filipino.

Vice President Jejomar Binay is set to leave for China to personally hand over the letter appeal of President Aquino to Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Binay’s spokesman Joey Salgado said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is now making the necessary arrangements for Binay’s trip to China “at the earliest time possible.”

OFW Demand Stabilizes Philippine Economy

By: Kathleen Yu

Manpower resources are one of the Philippines’ greatest exports. Presently, over eleven percent of the population are employed as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and Filipino communities are found in almost every industrialized nation in the world. The OFW diaspora regularly injects dollars into the economy in the form of remittances from Filipino professionals working abroad sending money home to their families. This has assisted the Philippine government immensely, and kept the local economy afloat.

There are over 8 million registered Filipinos working abroad with the United States alone employing over 3 million Filipino migrants. Despite the global recession, Filipino professionals working in the US remitted over $17.3 billion in the last year alone, an estimated 5.6% increase from the 2008 figures. Saudi Arabia employs over 900,000 OFWs and the numbers are growing.

Overseas Filipino Workers are appropriately termed “modern day heroes” because of the sacrifices they make in leaving their families to work abroad. Most of them are blue collar workers, employed in jobs like caregiving, nursing and housekeeping.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is a government agency that monitors and assists OFWs working abroad. OFWs are required to register with the POEA, while in the process of applying for working visas and other permits to go abroad. The POEA is also tasked with registering and monitoring recruitment agencies in the Philippines to ensure that no OFWs are led into forced labor, and other forms of abuse.

According to corporate lawyer Amanda Carpo, legal counsel of Makati-based firm Kittelson and Carpo Consulting, “The number of overseas recruitment agencies setting up operations in the Philippines is growing at an exorbitant rate. This is primarily because OFWs are considered a global commodity. Higher salaries and superior living conditions have lured a large number of OFWs abroad, and more and more Filipinos are following in their footsteps. This bodes well for the Philippine economy, which can only stand to gain from an increase in OFW remittances.”

On the other hand, as the Philippines undergoes a change in government and the job market abroad gets continually more competitive the question arises as to whether or not Filipinos will continue to venture abroad, in search of greener pastures. With such a competitive overseas job market, OFWs may be returning home to the Philippines making for highly-skilled overseas trained employees. The Philippine government should be prepared to respond to these scenarios and to support the OFWs who have been and continue to be a positive force in the economy.

OFW Demand Stabiizes Philippine Economy

By: Kathleen Yu
Manpower resources are one of the Philippines’ greatest exports. Presently, over eleven percent of the population are employed as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and Filipino communities are found in almost every industrialized nation in the world. The OFW diaspora regularly injects dollars into the economy in the form of remittances from Filipino professionals working abroad sending money home to their families. This has assisted the Philippine government immensely, and kept the local economy afloat.

There are over 8 million registered Filipinos working abroad with the United States alone employing over 3 million Filipino migrants. Despite the global recession, Filipino professionals working in the US remitted over $17.3 billion in the last year alone, an estimated 5.6% increase from the 2008 figures. Saudi Arabia employs over 900,000 OFWs and the numbers are growing.

Overseas Filipino Workers are appropriately termed “modern day heroes” because of the sacrifices they make in leaving their families to work abroad. Most of them are blue collar workers, employed in jobs like caregiving, nursing and housekeeping.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is a government agency that monitors and assists OFWs working abroad. OFWs are required to register with the POEA, while in the process of applying for working visas and other permits to go abroad. The POEA is also tasked with registering and monitoring recruitment agencies in the Philippines to ensure that no OFWs are led into forced labor, and other forms of abuse.

According to corporate lawyer Amanda Carpo, legal counsel of Makati-based firm Kittelson and Carpo Consulting, “The number of overseas recruitment agencies setting up operations in the Philippines is growing at an exorbitant rate. This is primarily because OFWs are considered a global commodity. Higher salaries and superior living conditions have lured a large number of OFWs abroad, and more and more Filipinos are following in their footsteps. This bodes well for the Philippine economy, which can only stand to gain from an increase in OFW remittances.”

On the other hand, as the Philippines undergoes a change in government and the job market abroad gets continually more competitive the question arises as to whether or not Filipinos will continue to venture abroad, in search of greener pastures. With such a competitive overseas job market, OFWs may be returning home to the Philippines making for highly-skilled overseas trained employees. The Philippine government should be prepared to respond to these scenarios and to support the OFWs who have been and continue to be a positive force in the economy.

RP eyes OFW protection in Israel with honorary consul

OFWs Israel

OFWs Israel

The Philippine government expects to ensure more protection for overseas Filipino workers in Israel following the appointment of a prominent lawyer as new honorary consul general there.

Boaz Waksman was sworn in to office as the Philippine Honorary Consul in Ashdod with consular jurisdiction over Southern Israel last week, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

“Mr. Waksman, a prominent and practicing lawyer, is engaged in the tourism industry for the past 30 years. He owns and operates Ophir Tours Limited, one of Israel’s leading tourism companies with at least 24 branches in all of Israel,” the DFA said.

Citing a report from the Philippine Embassy in Tel-Aviv, the DFA said Waksman’s assumption of office took place after the Israeli Foreign Ministry gave its consent to his appointment.

Read more >>

DOLE: Good traits make Pinoys preferred abroad

Foreign employers hire Filipino workers not because they would take on any job for a cheap pay, but because of their unrivaled skills and good characteristics, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said Tuesday.

In a statement, he said overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have a number of traits that give them the edge over other nationalities.

Roque disputed a report which said that foreign employers favor OFWs “because of their willingness to do any kind of work even for the smallest pay.”

“Foreign employers prefer OFWs mainly because of their positive attributes such as their facility with the English language, their industry, flexibility, ability to learn easily, and their happy disposition,” Roque said in the statement.

Read more>>

Remittances hit $8.5 billion in first 6 months

MANILA, Philippines – Millions of Filipinos working overseas sent home a record high $1.5 billion in June, up 3.3 percent from last year, allaying fears that remittances will dry up amid the global slowdown.
reported yesterday.

The June data brought total remittances for the first half of the year to $8.5 billion, up 2.9 percent from a year ago, the
The June figure raises hopes remittances for the full year could top the previous record of $16.4 billion set in 2008.

“The continued growth of remittance flows since January this year accompanied by emerging signs of improving global economic conditions have affirmed the positive outlook for steady remittances for 2009,” BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said yesterday.

Read more…

RP-based ring trafficking Pinoys to Bahamas – DFA

A Manila-based ring is trafficking Filipino workers to the Bahamas via Cuba, and has yet to be stopped despite having made at least four such trafficking attempts since 2008, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Thursday.

The DFA said the information came from the Filipino Association in the Bahamas, which alerted the Philippine Embassy there of the ring’s operations.

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Saipan OFWs win discrimination suit

GARAPAN, Saipan – Adelyn Lubrico, an overseas Filipino worker in the US island of Saipan, was pregnant when she was fired from her job in 2006 as a quality control checker at a now defunct garment factory owned by the L&T Group of Companies in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

Lubrico’s fellow OFWs working in garment factories under the same group of companies were forced to work and eat in segregated facilities, denied adequate housing and, after they complained, were all replaced by Chinese workers.

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NGO eyes rogues gallery for illegal recruiters

MANILA, Philippines – Amid mounting complaints of would-be overseas Filipino workers losing their money for non-existent jobs, a non-government organization is proposing a rogues gallery for illegal recruiters.

The Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (Ideals) unveiled the proposed “Illegal Recruiter’s Facebook” on Tuesday during one of its roundtable discussions with sectors concerned with migrant workers in Quezon City.

Read more…