Non-machine readable passports to be phased out by late 2015 – DFA

January 5, 2014

Non-machine readable passports to be phased out by late 2015 – DFA

The use of all non-machine readable passports will not be extended beyond 31 October 2015 and must be completely phased out by 24 November 2015, the Department of Foreign Affairs said recently.

Citing its own regulations and the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), DFA said all Filipino nationals holding machine readable-ready passports (MRRP, green passports) and machine readable passports (MRP, maroon passports) will no longer be allowed to apply for an extension of the validity of these passports after 31 October 2014.

All Filipinos are told to apply for a new e-Passport as soon as possible before the expiry of their current MRRP (green) or MRP (maroon) passports. Those who fail to do so will likely encounter difficulty at immigration checks when traveling through any ports of entry around the world after October 2015, DFA said.


New Philippine Ambassador to Nigeria/West Africa

February 7, 2010

Article posted February 03, 2010 – 10:34 AM
Contrary to the fate suffered by his predecessor, it took only five minutes for newly appointed Civil Service Commission Chairman Francisco Duque III to get the nod of the bicameral Commission on Appointments on Wednesday morning.

Rep. Eduardo Zialcita noted that Duque had performed excellently as Health secretary. “It is heartwarming to note that he has been appointed [to] a very sensitive position and considering his track record, we are assured that civil service will be in the correct hands,” he added.

The fact that he is not a lawyer was not raised during the hearing, unlike what happened when the nomination of former CSC Chairman Ricardo Saludo was discussed last year. Duque is a doctor. [See: Saludo appointment as CSC chair nixed by CA]

The former health secretary promptly thanked the appointments committee on constitutional commissions and offices headed by Rep. Rodolfo Plaza.

“I would like to express my most profound gratitude and appreciation for your motion to submit for plenary my nomination. It will be a source of inspiration,” said Duque, who vowed to initiate “meaningful reforms” at the commission.

Duque will be presented to the plenary later in the day for the confirmation of his nomination.

The other appointees approved by the CA committees were:

– Evelyn San Buenaventura, commissioner of the Commission on Audit

– Bahnarim Guinomla, ambassador to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives as Chief of Mission, class 1

– Linglingay Lacanlale, ambassador to Thailand and permanent representative to the United Nations economic and social commission for Asia and the Pacific, as chief of mission, class 1

– Bayani Mangibin, ambassador to Iraq as chief of mission, class II

– Eva Betita, ambassador to Brazil, Colombia, Guyana and Suriname as chief of mission, class II

– Lourdes Yparraguirre, ambassador to Austria, Croatia, Slovenia and the Slovak Republic, as chief of mission, class II

– Nestor Padalhin, ambassador to Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, the Central African Republic, Cote Equatorial Guinea, Gabonese Republic, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo, as chief of mission, class II

– Romeo Manalo, ambassador to Italy

– Cecilia Rebong, chief of mission, Class I, at post in New York

– Patricia Ann Paez, chief of mission, Class II — RSJ/NPA/LBG, GMANews.TV

Low-skilled OFWs top dollar remitters

June 17, 2009

By Veronica Uy

Posted date: June 17, 2009

MANILA, Philippines—Contrary to popular belief, low- and semi-skilled overseas Filipino workers are the top source of dollar remittances of the country, according to an analysis of remittance data made by the Institute for Migration and Development Issues.

In her analysis of the data from the National Statistics Office from 2001 to 2007, Beverly Jane Bulanday, an intern at the institute, found that the collective remittances of male and female low- and semi-skilled OFWs comprise the biggest among the other skills level categories.

She concluded that OFWs who fall under the categories “trades and related workers, plant and machine operators and assemblers, and laborers and unskilled workers” are the “major drivers of the country’s ‘remittance economy.’”

“Every time government authorities release monthly data on billion-dollar remittances from overseas Filipinos, the rise of these flows of monies is attributed to increasing salaries from professionals and technical workers,” Bulanday said.

“But findings from the annual Survey on Overseas Filipinos have always shown that female domestic workers and male production workers are the top overseas Filipino remitters,” she said.

The survey shows that from 2001 to 2007, except for 2006, male plant and machine operators and assemblers were the top remitters (P7.92 in 2001, P8.73 billion in 2002, P9.55 billion in 2003, P11.7 billion in 2004, P10.4 billion in 2005, and P14.5 billion in 2007). In 2006, male trade and related workers topped the list, remitting P13.1 billion.

The same survey shows that female laborers and unskilled workers, which is the category of household services, dominated the top remitters list from 2001 to 2007: P6.45 billion in 2001, P7.322 billion in 2002, P7.434 billion in 2003, P9.32 billion in 2004, P9.73 billion in 2005, P12.674 billion in 2006, and P13.08 billion in 2007.

In contrast, male and female “officials of government and special interest organizations, corporate executives, managers, managing proprietors, and supervisors” were remitting only between P46 million and P4 billion through the same period.

Bulanday explained that low- and semi-skilled OFWs contribute the biggest amount of remittances because they comprise the biggest number of migrant Filipino workers.

“This is simply because job markets abroad call for such occupations for foreign workers. This trend will all the more continue even as there are efforts to attract more skilled workers in developing countries, and there are continued restrictions to the movement of low-skilled or semi-skilled labor,” she predicted.

As such, Bulanday called on the government and other stakeholders to focus their attention on these workers, especially in terms of protecting their rights and welfare.

“An approach as regards their and their families’ management of remittances that understands their being semi-skilled and low-skilled workers abroad is called for. They remit frequently (though in lesser amounts), they also try out micro to small enterprises, and have to repay debts incurred prior to their migration overseas,” she said.

Bulanday said most low- and sem-skilled OFWs send money back home to support their families’ basic needs, to repay debts, and to invest in their children’s education.

RP no longer UN’s model-country in OFW protection

April 27, 2009

04/27/2009 | 04:37 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The United Nations Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers has stricken out the Philippines as model state for its failure to fulfill customary duties under the UN standards, migrants group based in Europe has said.

Grace Punongbayan of Migrante Europe chapter said the Philippines was deleted as a model state at the meeting of the Steering Committee for the Campaign For Ratification of the Migrants Rights Convention presided by Ms. Carla Edelenbos, secretary of the Committee on Migrant Workers, at the UN headquarters in Geneva last April 8.

The document being referred to, where the Philippines was deleted as a “positive case study of state ratification and implementation” is the “Guide on Ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and members of Their Families.

The steering committee approved the deletion after Rev. Cesar Taguba of the Ecumenical Ministry for Filipinos Abroad and Migrante-Europe cited several instances wherein the Philippine government failed to meet its obligations under the Convention.

Present during the meeting, among others, were representatives from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), International Labor Organization (ILO), International Catholic Migration Commission, and the World Council of Churches.

Meanwhile, Migrante International, at the opening of the 10th session of the United Nations Committee on Migrant Workers held April 20 in Switzerland, called attention to the violations by the Philippine government of the rights of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and its non-compliance with the provisions of the UN Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (UNCPMWMTF).

Among the countries under review by the UN steering committee were Azerbaijan, Colombia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Punongbayan, together with a representative of Migrante Switzerland, both member organizations of Migrante International, gave oral interventions in behalf of the Manila-based international alliance.

Migrante International earlier submitted a written report before the start of the 10th session to the Committee that was distributed to the members of the Commission and posted on the website of the UNCMW.

In the report, the group noted that in 2005, the deployment of documented OFWs breached the one million mark. It said the average number of workers sent abroad daily was 3,000 making the Philippines top-three among migrant-sending countries.

“Approximately a tenth of the population live and work in 194 countries and territories around the world, with concentrations in North America, Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Europe. This migration which started by waves in the course of Philippine history has become an almost daily phenomenon since the government initiated its labor export program (LEP) in the 1970s. What was initially meant as a temporary measure to address the country’s unemployment problem has become a regular fixture, massive and systematic in scope, and bruited about as a tool for national development,” Migrante International said in a statement.

Remittances from migrants have kept the Philippine economy continuously afloat. From $659 million in 1984 remitted OFW money hit a staggering $16 billion by the end of 2008.

“These remittances were earned at tremendous costs to Filipino migrants and their families who had to endure long years of separation and suffer from various forms of exploitation, abuse, discrimination, violence and terrorism,” Migrante said.

During the question and answer portion of the UN committee discussion, Punongbayan stressed that despite the enactment of Republic Act (RA) 8042 and the ratification by the Philippine government of the UNCPMWMTF, the government on many occasions violated the rights of OFWs and is guilty of non-compliance with the provisions of the said convention of which the country is a signatory. – GMANews.TV