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Advancing OFWs’ welfare, protecting Filipinos abroad

Overseas Filipino Workers, or OFWs, are indeed modern-day heroes. They help boost our economy, but more importantly, they help uplift the lives of their families to give them a better future and also showcase Filipinos' talents, skills, and work ethic to the world. I was in London, United Kingdom last week for an official trip upon the invitation of the British Group Inter-Parliament Union. Led by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and co-head of delegation Senator Grace Poe, we embarked on several meetings aimed at strengthening relations of the Philippine Senate with our counterparts in the UK parliament to exchange best practices in policymaking while enhancing bilateral relations, fostering economic security, exploring areas of cooperation between the two countries, and promoting the welfare of Filipinos working there. As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, I also expressed my gratitude to the UK for donating vaccines during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, we thanked them for other development assistance extended by the UK to the Philippines and for their help in strengthening the Bangsamoro Region. As vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Migrant Workers, I also maximized the visit to highlight efforts in promoting the welfare of more than 200,000 OFWs in the UK, particularly the more or less 40,000 Filipino nurses working there. We were able to raise to the UK policymakers the concerns of Filipino nurses regarding their rights to proper benefits, just compensation, and a safe working environment. We should be proud of Filipino medical frontliners in the UK, particularly nurses who are among the world’s finest. Take, for example, May Parsons, a Filipina-British nurse who became known globally for administering the first COVID-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial and receiving the UK's George Cross Award. I have co-sponsored a Senate resolution earlier recognizing and commending her achievement. After our official meetings, I met with a group of OFWs, some of them were fellow Dabawenyos, Filipino Muslims, Ilonggos, and Ilocanos, among others. The stories they shared were proof of how resilient our OFWs are. Despite their sacrifices, homesickness, and worries about their families in their hometowns, they maintain their cheerfulness and positive outlook. I brought some good news to our OFWs by informing them about the establishment of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) through Republic Act No. 11641, a legislation for which I am proud to be one of the authors and co-sponsors in the Senate. This measure streamlines the organization and functions of all government agencies related to overseas employment and migration to better address the needs and concerns of migrant workers. I have also filed Senate Bill No. (SBN) 2297 to institutionalize the OFW Hospital and ensure its continuous operation in San Fernando City, Pampanga, primarily intended for OFWs and eligible dependents. More importantly, a Malasakit Center is operational there to help reduce their out-of-pocket expenses. The establishment of the DMW, the OFW Hospital, and its own Malasakit Center are just a few of our dreams that are now realities for Filipinos to benefit from. These are testaments of our commitment to promote the welfare of migrant workers and their dependents. However, we acknowledge that there is more work to be done. That is why we continue to listen to their concerns, serve them to the best of our abilities, and pursue initiatives to further their cause. I have also filed SBN 2414, which seeks to establish OFW wards in Department of Health (DOH) hospitals if enacted into law. While our efforts continue to safeguard the welfare of Filipinos abroad, our commitment to serve Filipinos facing challenges in their communities remains unwavering. This week, we had groundbreaking ceremonies for Super Health Centers in Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte; Brgy. Labangon in Cebu City; Pitogo, Zamboanga del Sur; and in Tigbauan, Iloilo. Through the collective efforts of DOH, LGUs, and fellow lawmakers, we continue to advocate for establishing more community health facilities to help bring public health services closer to those needing medical attention. We have also assisted 1,000 indigents in Llanera, Nueva Ecija, with the office of Cong. Jose Padiernos; 500 members from various sectors in Barangay Mintal, Davao City; 1,900 in Caloocan City, with the office of Congresswoman Mitch Cajayon-Uy. In Cebu City, we also distributed aid to 1,700 residents of the South District with Congressman Edu Rama; 450 in Nagcarlan, Laguna, with Mayor Elmor Vita and Councilor Rey Comendador; and 333 in Pulupandan, Negros Occidental, in collaboration with the Malasakit@Bayanihan group. We also aided 1,000 United Senior Citizens Association members of Quezon City, with Congresswoman Mila Magsaysay, Senator Robin Padilla, and private sector volunteer organizations. My office also extended additional aid to 93 displaced workers in Lumban, Laguna; 210 in Pilar; 217 in Carmen and Batuan in Bohol. DOLE also gave qualified beneficiaries temporary employment. We also supported 200 scholars during their TESDA Orientation in Daet, Camarines Norte. There are also 43 residents of Davao City and nine in La Paz, Agusan del Sur, who were victims of fires and 32 victims of flooding in Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat. They were provided separate assistance and the livelihood kits they received through the DTI program, which we advocated for before and continue to support. We also supported 283 victims of past fires in Cagayan de Oro City by giving separate aid in addition to the emergency housing assistance received from the NHA through a program we pushed for so that they could buy materials like nails, roofing, and other necessities for home repairs. My office also provided immediate help to victims of recent fires, such as 50 families in Baseco, Manila City, and 11 families in Brgy. Alabang, Muntinlupa City. No one is exempt from facing life’s hardships. However, our OFWs have shown us how resilient Filipinos can be. Let us learn from them and, more importantly, do our part in uplifting their lives by advocating for their welfare, promoting their rights, protecting their families, and providing the genuine public service they deserve. The post Advancing OFWs’ welfare, protecting Filipinos abroad appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource: tribune tribuneOct 22nd, 2023

Marcos offers Namibia agri boost help 

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the Philippines can significantly help Namibia in advancing its agricultural industry's growth, Malacañang said on Friday. In a statement, the Palace said Marcos made the offer during the acceptance of credentials from Namibia's Non-Resident Ambassador to the Philippines, Herman Pule Diamonds, at Malacañan earlier this week. Marcos told Diamonds that the Philippines possesses its own rice institute and educational institutions specializing in agricultural research and development. "We take pride in the fact that many of the agriculturists and agronomists around Southeast Asia trained with us and we can claim credit for some of the success that they are enjoying now. So, I think that is something that we could certainly look into," he added. Marcos also discussed matters of trade and industry and technical cooperation as Namibia and the Philippines try to fortify bilateral ties. "What is left to us now is for us to find those complementarities. Those areas that we can help each other," Marcos said. In response, Diamonds expressed Namibia's interest in broadening its trade and investment portfolio and acknowledged that the Philippines possesses technological advancements that its country still needs to acquire. “So, my task is to see how we can perhaps, maybe turn this around and make most space for us to cooperate [in terms of] trade and investment. So, this is the reason why we are here … So, I was the one saying look here we have to diversify. And that is precisely what I’m looking at coming,” Diamonds said. “So, we are mostly in those areas. We also have the same challenges. As the Philippines [there are] technologies, which we do not have. So, this is also an area where we can see technical cooperation,” he added. The Ambassador also expressed his appreciation for the Philippine government in ensuring the welfare of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and the Filipino community in Namibia. Responding to Namibia’s observation about Filipino workers abroad, President Marcos took pride in the Filipinos’ hospitality as he emphasized that they are very industrious employees around the world. “We’re very proud of our overseas workers. They do a great deal for our country and they have polished and made our reputation all over the world and again, we’re very proud of them,” Marcos said in response to Diamond’s remarks about the OFWs. The post Marcos offers Namibia agri boost help  appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 6th, 2023

PBBM to continue Toots Ople’s mission for OFWs

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. over the weekend assured the overseas Filipino workers that the government would carry on the late Migrant Workers Secretary Susan "Toots" Ople's unfinished mission of promoting their welfare. In his latest vlog, Marcos said he was disheartened over the death of the Migrant Workers chief due to breast cancer, describing Toots as a public servant who truly serves her fellow Filipinos. The President added that Ople's unwavering determination and care for Filipino workers serve as a source of inspiration for them to carry on with her incomplete mission. "Her commitment and concern will inspire us to continue the mission she left behind for our migrant workers. Our OFWs can rely on the fact that we will not stop, but instead, continue the work started by our beloved Susan Ople,” Marcos said. Because of her commitment to advancing the welfare of Filipino workers, Ople was, in Marcos' opinion, the only person he could have trusted to oversee the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW). Marcos stated that when he became a senator in 2010, he and Ople collaborated to extend assistance to OFWs facing issues abroad. "I really saw that this person's life revolves around just this thing. (Ople) is always thinking about how they can work to protect our OFW," Marcos said. Hence, Marcos named Ople the first DMW secretary in 2022. Even though Ople had only been the DMW's secretary for a little over a year, the President claimed that she would be remembered for dedicating her life to Filipino workers. "Her entire life is a testament to the work she did for our migrant workers, laborers, and women workers. She is indeed the true champion of these sectors," Marcos said. Meanwhile, Marcos is expected to lead the necrological rites for Ople on Monday, 28 August, at the Kalayaan Hall in Malacañang. The Chief Executive will receive the DMW leader's remains along with members of Ople's family for the closed-door private service. Then, after leaving the Palace, her remains will be brought to the DMW for one last open viewing. The post PBBM to continue Toots Ople’s mission for OFWs appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 27th, 2023

DFA on Del Rosario: ‘Consummate diplomat, inspiring leader’

Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, who ushered the Philippines’ case against China in the 2016 landmark decision that cemented Manila’s claim over the West Philippine Sea, passed away at 83, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced Tuesday. In a statement, the DFA said Del Rosario died while en route to San Francisco in the United States. It did not elaborate further on the cause of the passing of the agency’s former chief. The DFA described Del Rosario as a “staunch advocate of protecting and advancing national security and promoting the rights and welfare of Filipinos both in the Philippines and abroad.” He joined the Cabinet of late President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III as DFA secretary from 2011 to March 2016. Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo also extended his condolences to the family of the country’s former top diplomat. “I extend my deepest condolences to the loved ones of Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario. He was a consummate diplomat and an inspiring leader who led the DFA with integrity and unwavering commitment to public service. You will be missed, Mr. Secretary,” said Manalo. 2016 Arbitral Ruling During his stint as the DFA chief, Del Rosario led the country’s arbitral case before the Hague-based court and challenged China’s historic nine-dash claim in the South China Sea. On 12 July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration favored the Philippines’ claims in the West Philippine Sea – a landmark decision that the People’s Republic of China continues to reject. Even after his stint at the DFA ended, Del Rosario continued to speak against Chinese activities in the WPS, which earned the ire of Aquino’s successor, former President Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte and Del Rosario traded barbs at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021, after the latter said that ranking Chinese officials helped the former president win in the 2016 elections. In response to Del Rosario’s allegation, the Duterte administration accused Del Rosario of being a “traitor” for ordering the withdrawal of Filipino ships during the 2012 standoff with China in Scarborough Shoal. The former DFA chief explained that he mistakenly believed that China would keep its promise to call off its ships in a deal that was brokered by the United States. Before taking the helm of the DFA under the Aquino administration, Del Rosario also served as Philippine Ambassador to the United States under former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from 2001 to 2006. Diplomats pay tribute As the news spread about the passing of Del Rosario, the international community also expressed its condolences to the family of the former DFA chief. Czech Ambassador to the Philippines Jana Treybalová Šedivá said: “He was a source of inspiration and I learned so much from him.” “You will be missed also by Czech friends and colleagues, dear Albert,” she added. European Union Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Veron described Del Rosario as "soft-spoken" but an "indefatigable diplomat and patriot whose role in strengthening EU-Philippines relations was critical." Likewise, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko expressed his gratitude to Del Rosario for his contributions to the Philippines-Japan bilateral relations. “His contributions to the Philippines-Japan relationship as symbolized by the conferment of a Japanese Decoration last year and his leadership to uphold the rule of law in the sea will never be forgotten,” Koshikawa said. Last November, the Japanese government conferred on Del Rosario the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, citing him for becoming an “instrument” in building the Japan-Philippines bilateral relationship toward becoming a “strategic partnership”. “Especially, he has significantly contributed in ensuring the safety of ships navigating the waters around the Philippines by strengthening the maritime security relations between both nations,” it said. It also acknowledged Del Rosario’s role in the historic victory of the Philippines in the special arbitral tribunal that favored the country against the People’s Republic of China in 2016. The Order of the Rising Sun is awarded by the Emperor of Japan to individuals, both Japanese and foreign, in recognition of long and/or especially meritorious service. Australian Ambassador to the Philippines HK Yu also mourned the passing of Del Rosario, whom she described as a “good friend” to Australia. “Secretary Del Rosario will always be remembered for his support for UNCLOS and the rules-based international order,” YU said. Del Rosario is survived by his wife Gretchen and his children. The post DFA on Del Rosario: ‘Consummate diplomat, inspiring leader’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 18th, 2023

DMW aims to deploy skilled workers in Austria

The Department of Migrant Workers announced on Wednesday its goal to deploy Filipinos to Austria during the signing of an agreement governing the recruitment of Filipino professionals and skilled workers in the healthcare, information technology, tourism, and hospitality sectors. The Memorandum of Understanding was led by DMW Officer-in-Charge Hans Leo Cacdac and State Secretary Susanne Kraus-Winkler of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Labor and Economy (BMAW). The signed MOA will provide employment opportunities for Filipinos while addressing Austria’s shortage of skilled workers. “Through this agreement, we aim to facilitate the deployment of Filipino professionals and skilled workers to Austria in a manner that is safe, ethical, sustainable, and mutually beneficial. Our workers, in return, will contribute to addressing the labor shortage in Austria and to sharing their expertise and commitment to the economic development of Austria,” Cacdac said. According to Kraus-Winkler, Austria had an excellent experience with qualified workers from the Philippines. “Austria is focusing on attracting skilled workers abroad. The Philippines is the first country which Austria has entered into a memorandum of understanding with that covers all areas of mutual cooperation on recruitment and vocational training. Austria has many decades of excellent experience with qualified workers from the Philippines, and we are truly grateful for the reliable support,” Kraus-Winkler said. Cacdac added the partnership reaffirms the long-standing friendship, cooperation, and mutual respect between the Philippines and Austria, particularly in the field of labor and employment. Under the agreement around 500 Filipino workers will be deployed annually to meet Austria’s demand of around 75,000 to 200,000 job openings across all industries, including sectors of healthcare, construction and engineering, information technology, and tourism and hospitality. The MOU guarantees heightened protection of the rights and welfare of Filipino migrant workers, as well as assistance while they undergo skills assessment, education, and equivalence training and licensing in Austria.The DMW and BMAW also committed to developing a framework for work-based vocational training and other measures to increase technical capacity to upgrade the skills and expertise of Filipino workers. Both countries vowed to combat illegal recruitment and human trafficking as well as ensure adequate access to legal assistance and social protection for OFWs. The post DMW aims to deploy skilled workers in Austria appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 25th, 2023

Bong Go appeals for immediate action to protect OFWs caught in Israel-Gaza Conflict

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go has issued an urgent appeal to various government agencies, including the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), to conduct immediate action to account Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) affected by the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. As Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Migrant Workers, Go emphasized the need for a swift and comprehensive inventory of affected OFWs, particularly those who may have been victims of violence. There is also a need to plan for their immediate repatriation when necessary. "The safety of our kababayans is paramount. I urge the DMW, DFA, and POEA to act swiftly and ensure that every Filipino worker is accounted for," said Go. The senator also appealed to OFWs to ensure their safety by coordinating with the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv. "I understand that many of you have built lives abroad, but your safety should always come first. Please coordinate with our embassy and avail yourselves of the government's assistance," Go advised. According to a recent report by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), around 200 OFWs based in the Gaza Strip are currently being monitored due to the conflict. The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) has also released a statement on President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s directive to DMW and OWWA to locate and account for all OFWs and their families in Israel. The government is also closely coordinating with the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Migrant Workers Office (MWO) in Israel to ensure their safety and welfare. Meanwhile, DMW has opened a hotline, as well as several mobile numbers, to accept calls and queries from OFWs and the Filipino community who are in need of government assistance. Go urged OFWs to make use of these channels to protect fellow Filipinos. The senator is a long-time advocate of OFW welfare. He was one of the authors and co-sponsors of Republic Act No. 11641, which created the DMW. "The DMW Act was designed to protect our OFWs. Now, more than ever, it's time to put this law into action to protect our kababayans," Go emphasized. As the Israel-Gaza conflict continues to escalate, Go said that the Philippine government should take all necessary steps to ensure the safety and well-being of OFWs caught in the crossfire. "I call upon all relevant agencies to work hand in hand in this endeavor. Let us set aside bureaucracy and focus on immediate action. Lives are at stake here,” he urged. “Proteksyunan natin ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino nasaan man sila sa mundo lalo na ang mga itinuturing nating modern-day heroes na OFWs na nagtatrabaho para mayroong maitustos sa pamilya nilang naiwan,” he added,” Go concluded.   The post Bong Go appeals for immediate action to protect OFWs caught in Israel-Gaza Conflict appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 9th, 2023

BI operations at NAIA looked into by Anti-Trafficking Council

The Bureau of Immigration said on Sunday that the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) conducted an inspection visit to immigration operations on Friday evening at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3. BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco shared that immigration operations at the NAIA 3 were presented to the IACAT. The said inspection, conducted by Department of Justice Undersecretary and IACAT in-charge Nicholas Felix Ty, aimed to review procedures on departure formalities as part of the inter-agency’s regular assessment. During the inspection, Usec. Ty confirmed that the BI is implementing the same procedures as it had in the past. Earlier this week, the IACAT released revised guidelines on departure formalities to streamline requirements for departing Filipinos. Tansingco reiterated that the new guidelines pose no additional requirements for departing tourists. Tansingco said that in the updated guidelines, regular tourists are only required to have a passport valid for at least 6 months, a valid visa if one is required, a boarding pass, and a confirmed round-trip ticket. The BI Chief stressed that the guidelines list requirements for other categories of departing Filipinos as well as those who may undergo secondary inspection. Tansingco also said that in the past, only Filipinos that are subjected to secondary inspection due to red flags may be required to show additional supporting documents, which are now specified in the guidelines. He added that the new guidelines issued by the IACAT would ensure that immigration officers look at specific requirements and do not require frivolous documents. Previously, the IACAT highlighted the importance of the guidelines in protecting all departing Filipinos from human trafficking and illegal recruitment. The guidelines on departure formalities have been in place since 2012 and were later revised in 2015. Tansingco also stressed that there is no new policy for departing tourists being implemented by the BI, and for departing tourists, especially Filipinos, there is no need to worry. The DOJ and the Department of Social Welfare and Development jointly chair the interagency IACAT. Their members are from the BI, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the Department of Tourism, the Department of Migrant Workers, the Commission on Filipinos Abroad, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Philippine National Police. The International Justice Mission, the Coalition Against Women Trafficking-Asia and the Pacific, and the Blas Ople Policy Centre and Training Institute are non-governmental groups that are also members of the council.     The post BI operations at NAIA looked into by Anti-Trafficking Council appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 27th, 2023

Warm welcome for First Couple

MALAYSIA — First Lady Marie Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos expressed her gratitude to the Filipino community in Kuala Lumpur for its warm welcome during her and the President’s visit to the Malaysian capital. “It was wonderful to see our kababayans (fellow Filipinos) in KL! Thank you for the very warm welcome!” Marcos said in an Instagram. The First Lady accompanied her husband, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., their son Ilocos Norte First District Representative Sandro Marcos, and Cabinet officials on their visit with the Filipino community. President Marcos assured the overseas Filipino workers in Malaysia that he would protect and promote their rights and welfare as he seeks to strengthen the Philippines’ ties with the host country. “First and foremost, there are so many Filipinos here. We have to make sure that you are well taken care of, have a decent livelihood, and have good opportunities,” he said. “That’s why we are here. We have to bolster the relations between the Philippines and Malaysia,” the Chief Executive added. Marcos recognized the vital importance of OFWs in nurturing positive international relations and upholding the Philippines’ favorable image abroad. He underscored that in addition to their significant financial contribution through remittances, Filipino expatriates play a crucial role in promoting the economic progress of their host countries. Further, he gave his assurance to the Filipino community that the government would safeguard their interests and take action to resolve any challenges they may experience. The President emphasized that his administration is dedicated to realizing its national objectives, which include attracting increased foreign investments, controlling inflation, and enhancing agricultural productivity to ensure a stable food supply. The post Warm welcome for First Couple appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 26th, 2023

‘Wonderful to see our kababayans in KL!’ — FL

MALAYSIA – First Lady Marie Louise "Liza" Araneta Marcos expressed her gratitude to the Filipino community in Kuala Lumpur for their warm welcome during her recent visit to the Malaysian capital as part of the state visit of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. "It was wonderful to see our kababayans (fellow Filipinos) in KL! Thank you for the very warm welcome!" Marcos said in an Instagram post. The First Lady accompanied her husband, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., Ilocos Norte First District Representative Sandro Marcos, and other Cabinet officials as they visited the Filipino Community in Malaysia. In a speech, the Chief Executive assured overseas Filipino workers in Malaysia that he would protect and promote their rights and welfare as he seeks to strengthen the Philippines' ties with the host country. "First and foremost, there are so many Filipinos here. We have to make sure that you are well taken care of, have a decent livelihood and have good opportunities," Marcos Jr. said. "That's why we are here. We have to bolster the relations between the Philippines and Malaysia," the President added. Marcos recognized the vital importance of OFWs in nurturing positive international relations and upholding the Philippines' favorable image abroad. The President highlighted that in addition to their significant financial contributions through remittances, Filipino expatriates also play a crucial role in promoting the economic progress of their host countries. He gave his assurance to the Filipino community in Malaysia that his government would safeguard their interests and take action to resolve any challenges they may be experiencing. The President emphasized that his administration is dedicated to realizing its national objectives, which include attracting increased foreign investments, controlling inflation and enhancing agricultural productivity to ensure a stable food supply. The post ‘Wonderful to see our kababayans in KL!’ — FL appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 26th, 2023

Go: Prioritize health care, pro-poor schemes

With the National Expenditure Program still in the hands of the executive branch and set to be submitted to Congress in July, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, as vice chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, highlighted the importance of allocating sufficient funds to pro-poor initiatives. In an ambush interview after aiding poor residents in Silay City, Negros Occidental, on Wednesday, 7 June, Go particularly emphasized the significance of healthcare funding. The senator firmly believes that prioritizing healthcare is crucial, as it directly impacts the well-being of the people, especially the underprivileged. Recognizing the significant contributions of overseas Filipino workers to the nation, Go also underscored the necessity of providing a sufficient budget for the Department of Migrant Workers. The senator believes in supporting and protecting the welfare of OFWs, who play a vital role in the country’s economic growth. Believing that all Filipino migrant workers should be given the necessary support and benefits that they rightfully deserve, Go was instrumental in the enactment of Republic Act 11641, creating the DMW. The Senate version of the Act, Senate Bill 2234, was co-authored and co-sponsored by Go. Furthermore, Go, who is chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, emphasized the importance of investing in sports to engage the youth and deter them from drug abuse. He then assured the Filipino people that he will work diligently to ensure that these programs receive adequate funding and that people’s money will not go to waste. Go, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, led the inauguration of the 158th Malasakit Center inside Diosdado P. Macapagal Memorial Hospital in Guagua, Pampanga last Friday, 9 June. In his speech, He expressed gratitude to his fellow public servants, including Department of Health Secretary Teodoro “Ted” Herbosa, Governor Dennis Pineda, and Vice Governor Nanay Lilia Pineda, for sharing the same advocacy in ensuring that no Filipino is left behind when it comes to medical care. Meanwhile, Vice Governor Pineda took the opportunity to commend Go for initiating the Malasakit Centers program that has helped more than seven million Filipinos, according to the DoH. She then highlighted the significance of Go’s efforts in transforming the healthcare landscape in Pampanga and beyond. The Vice Governor also emphasized that the Malasakit Centers have become instrumental in alleviating the financial burden of medical expenses, ensuring that no one is left behind in their pursuit of proper healthcare. The post Go: Prioritize health care, pro-poor schemes appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 10th, 2023

OFWs leave indelible mark in every globe corner — BBM

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday honored overseas Filipino Workers on Migrant Workers Day, saying they are the country’s modern-day heroes. In a video message, Marcos said OFWs have left an indelible mark in every corner of the globe, uplifting both their host countries and the Philippines. “Your contributions have enriched the lives of countless individuals and societies,” Marcos said. “Despite the miles that separate us, your heart and soul remain firmly rooted in our homeland and your unwavering love for our nation shines bright,” he added. The government, he said, understands the challenges that OFWs face, such as being far from their loved ones, having to adjust to new cultures, and having to overcome barriers. He assured them that his administration will continue to foster stronger ties with countries that host migrant workers to ensure their safety, welfare and well-being.   Building dreams Marcos also urged OFWs to continue to work hard and build their dreams. “As you commemorate this day, may your dreams be fulfilled, your families blessed, and your hearts filled with the knowledge that you are cherished and valued,” he said. National Migrant Workers Day is celebrated on 7 June. It was declared a special non-working holiday by President Fidel Ramos in 1995. The day is in recognition of the contributions of OFWs to the Philippine economy and society. Filipinos working abroad remitted the record-breaking amount of $31.4 billion as of 2022, providing significant support to the Philippines’ economic recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas last February showed. The figures indicated a growth of 5.1 percent from the $29.9 billion recorded in 2020 when remittances experienced a slight decline due to the impact of Covid-19 on global economies. The pandemic resulted in the suspension of new worker deployments and compelled many OFWs to return home. The increase in remittances can be attributed to the resumption of OFW deployments as more economies reopened, as stated by the central bank. Analysts also suggested the adoption of digital remittance channels has facilitated money transfers and improved the recording of remittance transactions.   Agreements galore Meanwhile, the Department of Migrant Workers on Tuesday celebrated the occasion by signing numerous agreements with various government and private agencies that would benefit OFWs in terms of livelihood and financial literacy opportunities. The post OFWs leave indelible mark in every globe corner — BBM appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 7th, 2023

PBBM praises OFWs on Migrant Workers Day

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday honored Overseas Filipino Workers on Migrant Workers Day, saying they are the country's modern-day heroes. In a video message, Marcos said OFWs have left an indelible mark in every corner of the globe, uplifting both their host countries and the Philippines. "Your contributions have enriched the lives of countless individuals and societies," the Chief Executive said. "Despite the miles that separate us, your heart and soul remained firmly rooted in our homeland and your unwavering love for our nation shines bright,” he added. Marcos said the government understands the challenges that OFWs face, such as being far from their loved ones, adjusting to new cultures, and overcoming barriers. Hence, he assured that his administration will continue to foster stronger ties with countries that host our migrant workers, ensuring safety, welfare, and well-being. Marcos also urged OFWs to continue to work hard and build their dreams. "As you commemorate this day, may your dreams be fulfilled, your families blessed, and your hearts filled with the knowledge that you are cherished and valued," he said. The National Migrant Workers Day is celebrated every 7 June. It was declared a special non-working holiday by President Fidel Ramos in 1995. The day is a recognition of the contributions of OFWs to the Philippine economy and society. Filipinos working abroad remitted a record-breaking amount of $31.4 billion in cash as of 2022, providing significant support to the Philippines' economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic, data released by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed last February. The figures indicate a growth of 5.1% from the $29.9 billion recorded in 2020 when remittances experienced a slight decline due to the impact of COVID-19 on global economies. The pandemic resulted in the suspension of new worker deployments and compelled many overseas Filipino workers to return home. The increase in remittances can be attributed to the resumption of OFW deployments as more economies reopened, as stated by the central bank. Analysts also suggest that the adoption of digital remittance channels has facilitated easier money transfers and improved recording of remittance transactions. The post PBBM praises OFWs on Migrant Workers Day appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 7th, 2023

Philippines ex-foreign minister who stood up to China dies at 83

Albert del Rosario, the Philippines' former foreign minister who stood up to Beijing in the South China Sea, has died at the age of 83, Manila said Tuesday. Del Rosario, who served under Philippine president Benigno Aquino from 2011 to 2016, died while en route to the United States, the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that did not specify the cause of death. Born in Manila in 1939, he went on to graduate with a degree in economics from New York University and later became a fierce critic of China. Del Rosario was "a staunch advocate of protecting and advancing national security and promoting the rights and welfare of Filipinos", the foreign ministry said. "He was a consummate diplomat and an inspiring leader who led the DFA with integrity and unwavering commitment to public service," Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo tweeted. Relations with Beijing soured during his tenure, which was marked by a fierce standoff in 2012 in Scarborough Shoal, a chain of reefs and rocks 240 kilometers (150 miles) west of the main Philippine island of Luzon. He was behind two prominent legal cases against Beijing, including a 2013 case at an international tribunal that eventually struck down China's claims to most of the resource-rich South China Sea waterway. Del Rosario continued his criticism of China after leaving office by holding public forums organized by his think tank and writing opinion columns in local newspapers. In March 2019, del Rosario filed a complaint against Chinese officials at the International Criminal Court, alleging "crimes against humanity" over the supposed environmental fallout of Beijing's activities in the South China Sea. The complaint was eventually dismissed because China is not a state party to the Rome Statute that established the court. Months after filing the ICC case, he was denied entry to Hong Kong in what critics called retaliation for his criticism of Beijing. The post Philippines ex-foreign minister who stood up to China dies at 83 appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 18th, 2023

Solons seek contingency plan for Taiwan OFWs

Senators on Monday urged the government to provide a contingency plan for overseas Filipino workers in Taiwan as a precautionary measure in case the geopolitical tension between Beijing and Taipei further worsens. Senator Francis Tolentino suggested that a simulation of the evacuation of more than 150,000 OFWs in Taiwan should be part of the country’s Balikatan Exercises. “I advise the head of the Balikatan Gaming Exercise — Philippine side — to include in their practice next year how we evacuate [OFWs] using ships from Taiwan to Cagayan or Batanes in case —for contingency,” Tolentino said in an ambush interview. He pointed out that sea evacuation is the most feasible type of evacuation plan to quickly repatriate OFWs working in Taiwan following a report from The Washington Post that the self-ruled island is “highly vulnerable” to air attack from China’s People’s Liberation Army-Air Force and “is unlikely to thwart Chinese military air superiority in a cross-strait conflict.” The vice-chairperson of the Senate Committee on National Defense also said that the participation of commercial vessels in the evacuation simulation should be also considered to hasten the repatriation of affected OFWs in case a full-scale conflict between Beijing and Taipei escalates along the Taiwan Strait. Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero echoed the same sentiments, adding that the government should have contingency plans for every country that hosts Filipinos. “That should be given for every country where we have OFWs. Being prepared for any contingency is part of the readiness that our embassies and consulates should always be ready to do,” Escudero said in a statement. ‘Proactive’ Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva underscored that the national government’s policies must remain proactive, particularly when dealing with OFWs’ safety and security. “We expect the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to act now and come up with a contingency or a safety and security plan which include repatriation, relocation and reintegration to prepare our OFWs in case of any eventuality, natural or otherwise,” Villanueva said. “We have included repatriation and reintegration programs in the DMW act, which we principally authored and sponsored, to ensure readiness and quick response to such contingencies,” he added. He also said the safety of OFWs should be the country’s top priority not only in Taiwan but to every Filipino abroad. “The government needs to assure that all concerned agencies are doing everything they can to ensure that the rights of all OFWs, not only those in Taiwan but all our kababayans abroad, are well protected and their welfare is on their top priority,” he said. Senator Jinggoy Estrada also said at the government must exhaust all means to ensure the safety of OFWs in Taiwan. “It would be prudent on the part of the government to always have contingency plans for Filipinos living and working not only in Taiwan but anywhere in the world if evacuation is needed,” Estrada said in a statement. “I do not see anything wrong if we will prepare for unwanted scenarios while we are hoping that diplomacy and dialogue between Taiwan and China will prevail,” he added. China considers Taiwan, an ally of the United States, as part of its territory, to be retaken one day -- by force, if necessary. Last week, Beijing conducted a three-day live-fire drills near Taiwan, in response to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s recent trip to the United States. Earlier this day, Manila Economic and Cultural Office Chair Silvestre Bello III said the 158,410 Filipinos in Taiwan are “well protected” on the island nation. The post Solons seek contingency plan for Taiwan OFWs appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 17th, 2023

Cebu-Based Filipino Homes Launches Global Partners Facility Against Scammers in Real Estate

Cebu-based Filipino Homes intensified its campaign against scammers in buying real estate properties with the launching of their “Global Partners” facility in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The facility will help in particular Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) or Filipinos living abroad access to right information pertaining to property investments in the Philippines and other related […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2024

CEB, UFG vow OFWs support

Cebu Pacific on Saturday, 28 October 2023  announced that it has entered into a partnership with United Filipino Global, a non-government organisation that helps Filipino migrant workers, to collaborate on projects aimed at improving the welfare of overseas filipino workers. CEB and UFG on 27 October 2023  signed a memorandum of understanding  indicating the provision of free flights for chosen OFW beneficiaries and support for OFW kids’ scholarships. In the event of natural disasters, emergencies, or life-threatening circumstances, the airline will also organise special flights to deliver humanitarian aid and transport to affected OFWs. In addition, CEB will organize informational campaigns to update OFWs on safe and responsible air travel procedures. Internship programs The airline will also provide financial assistance to OFW families so they may be able to send their kids to internship programs for to become future flight attendants and crew members. CEB chief marketing and customer experience officer Candice Iyog said that Cebu Pacific looks forward to this partnership with UFG with the objective of assisting OFWs. The partnership of CEB with UFG is a testament to the airline’s commitment to uplifting the lives of OFWs by connecting them to a wide international network and offering the quickest way back to the Philippines. UFG president Gemma Sotto said that with this collaboration, they are “praying” that their upcoming programs will be felt and received. CEB has already mounted several flights in recent years to provide free transport to distressed OFWs back to the Philippines. In 2021 alone, CEB repatriated over 11,000 Filipinos from Dubai and the Middle East affected by Covid-19 lockdowns through a series of Bayanihan flights. The airline currently flies to 35 domestic and 25 international destinations spanning across Asia, Australia and the Middle East. The post CEB, UFG vow OFWs support appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 28th, 2023

Prioritize OFW repatriation, reintegration — Go 

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has reiterated the urgency of providing repatriation support and eventually, reintegration plans for overseas Filipino workers returning from Israel and Lebanon, in the light of escalating tensions in the region. Go, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Migrant Workers, said a comprehensive repatriation and reintegration program should be in place to cater to the varying needs of returning OFWs. “It’s about empowering our OFWs to restart their lives here with dignity and hope,” Go remarked. Once the OFWs return home, Go called on the government to ensure that reintegration programs are made readily available for them to overcome the trauma they experienced and be able to recover.  “Our kababayans are coming home under distressing circumstances. It is the government’s responsibility to extend all possible support to these modern-day heroes,” Go said. “Aside from possible employment opportunities, the government must be ready to provide assistance for their physical and psychological well-being, temporary housing if needed, and the welfare of their families as well,” he added. The Philippine government has approved voluntary repatriation for Filipinos in Lebanon amid brewing tension in the region while the situation in Israel is particularly concerning, with Israel intensifying its bombings in Gaza. With this, Go emphasized the need for both the government and OFWs to take proactive steps to ensure their safety. The senator urged the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Migrant Workers and other relevant agencies to closely monitor the situation and provide timely updates to OFWs and their families. In another development, Go has urged various government agencies to amplify and accelerate their interventions for the most affected sectors of society as the country grapples with the economic challenges posed by high inflation rates. This call to action comes in the wake of a recent and concerning study conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas indicating that high inflation is expected to persist until 2025. Meanwhile, Go expressed his strong support and commendation for the 150 scholars currently enrolled in the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority program in Daet, Camarines Norte. The educational venture was initiated in collaboration with the Philippine Academy of Technical Studies Inc. The post Prioritize OFW repatriation, reintegration — Go  appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 25th, 2023

Repatriation, reintegration efforts must be prioritized for returning OFWs — Bong Go

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go has reiterated the urgency of providing repatriation support and eventually, reintegration plans for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) returning from Israel and Lebanon, in the light of escalating tensions in the region. Go, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Migrant Workers, said a comprehensive repatriation and reintegration program should be in place to cater to the varying needs of returning OFWs. “Unang una, siguraduhin natin ang kanilang kaligtasan. Tulungan dapat silang makalikas sa ligtas na lugar at maiuwi sa kanilang mga pamilya dito. Pagkatapos ay dapat mayroon tayong handa at maayos na sistema ng suporta na makakapagbigay ng job counseling, skills retraining, at mga serbisyo sa mental health, at iba pa. It's about empowering our OFWs to restart their lives here with dignity and hope,” Go remarked. “Mahirap ang pinagdaanan nila doon. Nawalan na sila ng trabaho, may trauma pa yan dahil sa kaguluhan na naranasan nila. Ibigay dapat sa kanila ang sapat na suporta at pag-aaruga pag-uwi nila sa kanilang inang bayan upang makabangon muli,” he stressed. Once the OFWs return home, Go called on the government to ensure that reintegration programs are made readily available for them to overcome the trauma they experienced and be able to recover. “Our kababayans are coming home under distressing circumstances. It is the government's responsibility to extend all possible support to these modern-day heroes," said Go. “Aside from possible employment opportunities, the government must be ready to provide assistance for their physical and psychological well-being, temporary housing if needed, and the welfare of their families as well,” he added. The Philippine government has approved voluntary repatriation for Filipinos in Lebanon amid brewing tension in the region while the situation in Israel is particularly concerning, with Israel intensifying its bombings in Gaza. With this, Go emphasized the need for both the government and OFWs to take proactive steps to ensure their safety. The senator urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), and other relevant agencies to closely monitor the situation and provide timely updates to OFWs and their families. “Our OFWs are hailed as modern-day heroes, and it's only fitting that we ensure their safety wherever they are in the world. Once they return to the Philippines, the government must also be prepared to provide them with the necessary support as they reintegrate into society, bringing with them skills and experiences acquired overseas,” he said. Furthermore, the senator emphasized the need for local government units (LGUs) to play an active role in the reintegration process. He encouraged LGUs to work closely with national agencies in identifying the needs of returning OFWs within their respective localities and to develop localized reintegration programs. Go said the reintegration support should be a priority as it greatly impacts not only the returning OFWs but also their families and the local communities they will be rejoining. The senator also conveyed his condolences to the families of OFWs who have lost their lives in the conflict. The remains of Loreta Alacre, an OFW killed by Hamas militants, recently arrived in Manila. Another Filipino caregiver was wounded but managed to escape the Hamas attack. Go has been a staunch supporter of the welfare of OFWs and was one of the authors and co-sponsors of Republic Act No. 11641, which led to the establishment of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW). "The DMW Act was designed to protect our OFWs. Now, more than ever, it's time to put this law into action to protect our kababayans," Go emphasized. Go also filed Senate Bill No. (SBN) 2414 or the "OFW Ward Act.” If passed into law, every hospital under the Department of Health (DOH) across the country will have a specialized ward for OFWs and their family members who require hospitalization. Go has also filed SBN 2297, which seeks to institutionalize the OFW Hospital in Pampanga and ensure its continuous operation by providing sufficient support through necessary funding, personnel, and equipment. The bill aims to improve healthcare services for OFWs and their families by strengthening the existing facility and allocating necessary funds for its maintenance and operation. The post Repatriation, reintegration efforts must be prioritized for returning OFWs — Bong Go appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 25th, 2023

Hamas’ direct order: Attack civilians

Hamas terrorists who raided southern Israel were given explicit orders to pillage, kill, and take hostages, including seizing the elderly, women, and children, an interrogation of captured gunmen revealed. A joint announcement by the Israel Securities Authority and the Israel Police said Hamas terrorists from the Nukhba Unit who took an active part in the massacre on 7 October were questioned. The terrorists made statements indicating the intent of the terror leaders and the marauders: • “Whoever kidnaps a hostage and brings them to Gaza gets a stipend of  $10,000 and an apartment;” • “The instructions were to kidnap elderly women and children;” • “Cleanse the houses, and kidnap as many prisoners as possible;” • “Her dog came out, I shot him;” • “We took a 15-year-old girl, took a selfie with her;” • “Her body was lying on the floor, I shot her. The commander yelled at me, said I was wasting bullets on a corpse,” and • “We finished, then we burned 2 houses.” In the recordings of the interrogation, the main points that came up repeatedly were that the senior commanders of the military wing of Hamas, of company commander rank and above, stayed behind, protecting themselves in safe houses, while they sent their people to fight, die or be arrested in Israel. In the ISA investigations, terrorists provided detailed information on the morning of the raid and the massacre, including information used to attack targets in the Gaza Strip. In the joint statement, the security forces of Israel ensured the settling of all accounts with terrorists who participated in “the massacre on 7/10.” 120 OFWs going home Meanwhile, 120 Filipinos working in Israel have requested the government’s help to return to the Philippines. Department of Migrant Workers officer-in-charge Hans Leo Cacdac said the agency is processing the repatriation requests. “When I say process, we are calling them twice or thrice to make sure that they really want to go home. Second, we are ensuring that they’ve finished their contracts and that they’re really scheduled to go home,” Cacdac said. “As for the others, we make sure that their separation from their employers was okay and that there was no job abandonment,” he added.          Jing Villamente The post Hamas’ direct order: Attack civilians appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 24th, 2023

DSWD aids more Filipino repatriates from Israel

The Department of Social Welfare and Development on Sunday said it has provided assistance to the second batch of Filipino repatriates who arrived in the Philippines from Israel on Friday, 20 October. The second batch, consisting of 18 individuals, was welcomed by Assistant Secretary for Statutory Programs Ada A. Colico, together with other government officials, upon their arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3. As of Saturday, 21 October, a total of 34 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been assisted by the DSWD through the provision of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program. Each repatriated OFW received P10,000 cash aid and food assistance worth P10,000. “The DSWD will continue to monitor the situation of our fellow Filipinos who arrived from Israel. We will also provide other augmentation support if needed,” DSWD Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Romel Lopez said. “We will also endorse them to their respective DSWD Field Offices for possible provision of additional services,” Lopez added. Aside from the DSWD, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) also vowed to provide livelihood, financial support, and job facilitation through its reintegration program. The post DSWD aids more Filipino repatriates from Israel appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2023

90 OFWs repatriated from Saudi

A total of 90 Filipinos — 87 overseas workers and three children — arrived from Saudi Arabia past noon on Saturday, disembarking from Philippine Airlines flight PR 655 at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. The repatriates were among the overseas Filipino workers who had sought the government’s help to return home following issues with their stay in the oil-rich nation. More OFWs will be repatriated from Saudi Arabia once issues with the processing of their papers are resolved, Department of Migrant Workers spokesperson Toby Nebrida said. “Others were not able to join due to delays in the administrative processing of their papers, but they will follow as soon as this is done and be home in the next few days,” Nebrida said. The DMW’s Migrant Office in Riyadh has provided $200 to each of the repatriates, who also stand to receive additional financial assistance and medical checkups, referral services, and psychosocial evaluations. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, or OWWA, will provide hotel accommodations and transportation to the repatriates who will go back to their provinces. The post 90 OFWs repatriated from Saudi appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 21st, 2023