POEA: DFA recommends deployment ban in Ebola-hit countries (sunstar)

September 24, 2014

POEA: DFA recommends deployment ban in Ebola-hit countries
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

THE Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said on Wednesday that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has recommended the imposition of a total deployment ban in Ebola-hit countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.

In his Facebook account, Cacdac related that the DFA has given a recommendation of a “modified total deployment ban” in the three West African countries afflicted with the Ebola crisis.

“Kaunting pasensya po muna as we clarify with the DFA and DOH kung ano ang current Ebola health crisis situation at kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng ‘modified total deployment ban’ na inirekomenda ng DFA,” Cacdac said.

Department of Health (DOH) representative Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy said officials of the POEA, DOH and other concerned agencies such as the DFA, Bureau of Immigration (BI), and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) are set to meet on Thursday.

“The POEA invited us to an inter-agency meeting tomorrow to discuss the latest in the Ebola health crisis,” said Lee Suy.

The move comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) expressed fears that the number of Ebola infections could triple to 20,000 by November.

Present data showed that the Ebola has infected more than 5,800 people, including 2,800 deaths.

Cacdac said that they only want to adopt a preventive action that will prevent OFWs from acquiring the dreaded disease.

“We are doing this as a preventive action for OFW protection and their families, and for the general health and welfare of the public,” said the labor official.

“This is in line with the government policy of preventing any OFW of Filipino citizen from getting the Ebola virus disease,” Cacdac said. (HDT/Sunnex)

 

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POEA gets new old boss

December 28, 2011

POEA gets new old boss
28-Dec-11, 12:19 PM | Veronica Uy, InterAksyon.com

MANILA, Philippines — There’s a minor shakeup at the Department of Labor and Employment as Undersecretary for Labor Relations Hans Cacdac is moved back to head the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), where he was deputy administrator before his appointment as labor undersecretary.

Cacdac replaces Carlos Cao for still unclear reasons, although sources said the long lines for getting the overseas employment certificates — a subject of many complaints from leaving migrant Filipino workers as well as their recruiters and employers — may have been one of the reasons for his replacement. Cao’s lackluster performance at the height of the repatriation of OFWs during the Arab Spring may have also been a factor.

Cacdac took his oath a week ago, and will assume the post on Monday, Jan. 2, at least two independent sources confirmed to InterAksyon.com. The sources asked not to be identified as they are not authorized to speak in behalf of the appointing authority.

Cacdac, a labor lawyer before joining government service, successfully advocated for the adoption of the International Convention on Domestic Workers in Geneva, among other achievements.

The POEA, together with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), is involved in helping regulate overseas employment. The POEA issues licenses to recruitment agencies.

He will be replaced by Rebecca Chato, a career official who was recently director of the Bureau of Labor Relations

Meanwhile, the Federation of Free Workers lauded the appointment of Chato, saying her “vast experience in social dialogue and her ability to relate to both employers and workers in a just and fair manner will be of great contribution to the DOLE’s effort of promoting industrial peace.”

“Chato deserves this new promotion, She is not afraid of tackling contentious labor relations issues,” said lawyer Sonny Matula, FFW national president.

FFW sees her as a labor advocate who knows the details in the complaints by different Philippine trade union groups at the International Labor Organization against the Philippine government over extra-judicial killings of labor leaders in 2009 and violations to freedom of association and right to collective bargaining.

Matula said Chato is helping craft “more out-of-the-box solutions” in these areas.


New Philippine Ambassador to Nigeria/West Africa

February 7, 2010

AMITA O. LEGASPI, GMANews.TV
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


Blacklist abusive employers, not runaway Pinoys in KSA – group

June 26, 2009

JOSEPH HOLANDES UBALDE, GMANews.TV
06/24/2009 | 08:45 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Instead of blacklisting runaway overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), abusive employers in Saudi Arabia should be barred under the new employment policy there, a migrants’ advocacy group said.

In a letter to Philippine officials in Saudi Arabia, Migrante’s Middle East chapter said the new policy puts the blame wrongly on foreign workers instead of employers who are subjecting these workers to various forms of maltreatment and labor malpractices.

“It should be erring and abusive employers that need to be blacklisted in hiring our workers, not the other way around,” said Migrante regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona.

Based on Migrante Saudi Arabia’s records, there were 1,793 cases of OFWs requesting repatriation as of December 31, 2008. Of the total, 566 ran away from their employers, while 1,019 were in various “distress” situations.

“We believe running away from abusive employers is the only way out for our distressed OFWs to save their lives. They should not be punished as they are the victims here,” Monterona added.

A GMANews.TV source in Saudi Arabia explained that under the new policy, all entering expatriates will be scanned for fingerprints for the kingdom’s database. Employers could no longer ask immigration officials to take a foreign employee’s name out of the blacklist. The SR2,000 fine for blacklist removal is also not applicable.

Deportees are required to take a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight out of the country, “”but the deportee will surely be delayed in his return because of the long process and difficulty in booking a (Saudia) flight,” said the source, who has assisted many workers in the Middle East in leaving abusive employers.

Welfare Officer Romualdo Exmundo of the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah said some runaway OFWs have even left the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration shelter at the consulate in Jeddah to join other expatriates who are staying under an overpass in Khandara District, in the hope that immigration police would arrest and deport them.

The other runaway workers are from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Indonesia.

But the GMANews.TV source said trooping to the Al Khandara bridge can only expedite the deportation of runaway maids, and not males or skilled workers.

Police records would have to be checked first for runaway men and skilled workers before they get deported. They also need their employer’s go-signal before they are allowed to leave the country, the source warned. – GMANews.TV

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/165758/Blacklist-abusive-employers-not-runaway-Pinoys-in-KSA–group


DoLE partially lifts ban on deployment of HSWs to Jordan

August 5, 2008

Bakit kaya na i ignore tayong mga OFW dito sa Nigeria?

Kita nyo naman, tanggal na ban sa Jordan. Sunod nyan sa Lebanon.

Kahit marami pa na DH/HSW ang namatay at inabuso sa mga bansang arabo, pero gustong-gusto pa rin ng gobyerno magpadala ng mga ka awa-awang mga DH doon.

Eh bakit sa Nigeria patuloy ang travel at employment ban??

Bakit?

Kasi po, ‘love’ tayo ni Ate Glo. Ayaw nyang mapapahamak tayo kahit na malayo tayo sa kapahamakan. (Oh di ba kapahamakan lang dadanasin mo kung nanatili ka sa pinas, kaya swerte tayo andito sa Nigeria, malayo
sa magulo at hirap-buhay na bansang pinas).

Yung mga DH at HSW, hindi ‘love’ ni Ate Glo. Kaya ayan, lift na ang ban sa Jordan at Middle East countries — graveyard ng mga kawawang kababayan natin.

Ilan nga bang DH/HSW ang na abuso at namatay sa mga ME countries na ito, kumpara sa Nigeria?
========

DoLE partially lifts ban on deployment of HSWs to Jordan

By Veronica Uy
INQUIRER.net

Posted date: July 31, 2008

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment has
partially lifted its ban on the deployment of household service
workers (HSWs) to Jordan, exempting those returning to work with the
same employer from the ban.

In Department Order No. 93-08, Series of 2008, Labor Secretary
Marianito Roque granted the partial exemption, “provided that the
salary of the returning HSWs shall in no way be lower than the
prescribed monthly pay for Filipino household service workers of
$400.”

In an earlier DO No. 88-08, Series of 2008, DoLE suspended the
deployment of Filipino HSWs to Jordan effective Jan. 21, 2008
following reports of abuse, as the number of distressed workers being
housed in the Filipino Workers Resource Center in Jordan increased.

With the new department order, Roque directed both the Philippine
Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Philippine Overseas
Labor Office (POLO) in Jordan to resume processing the employment
documents of qualified returning HSWs.

He also instructed the two government agencies to disseminate the
information and to monitor the terms and conditions of employment of
the HSWs returning to the same employers in Jordan.

The DoLE set the monthly pay of HSWs to $400 to ensure that only
legitimate and capable employers can avail of the services of
Filipino HSWs and eventually eliminate abuse and exploitation against
them.

http://globalnation.inquirer.net/news/breakingnews/view_article.php?
article_id=151837


OWWA: P70m Lost in Loans to OFWs

May 16, 2008

OWWA: P70m Lost in Loans to OFWs
Gloria Esguerra Melencio, Arab News

MANILA, 7 May 2008 — Acting Labor Secretary and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrator Marianito Roque admitted in a congressional hearing that the agency has lost P70 million to unpaid loans of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Roque explained that he suspended the OWWA assistance under its pre-departure loans program because the OFW debtors failed to pay back their loans to the agency.

A total of P100 million fund was allocated to this pre-departure loan program to assist leaving OFWs to process their work visas and other pertinent documents that entails expenses.

He admitted this financial condition during the public hearing of the House Committee on Overseas Filipinos over the weekend.

John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator, criticized OWWA for “covering up its mismanagement of funds” by blaming the loses on OFWs who allegedly took loans while processing their deployment abroad.

“OWWA is only covering up its misuse and mismanagement of funds of the P10 billion collections from $25 annual membership fee,” he emphasized.

Monterona said that the pre-departure loans program had already been suspended by the OWWA Governing Board in 2003.

He said that a similar incident happened in 2002 when then OWWA Administrator Virgilio Angelo admitted that a P260 million loan intended for the OFWs’ welfare and loan programs was also lost as unpaid loans.

“This is only to justify the transfer of a P4-billion OWWA Medicare fund to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation prior to the 2002 presidential election,” he said.

Monterona also said the OWWA has yet to reveal its list of OFW debtors.


Repost: Petitio to lift the employment ban against Nigeria

May 4, 2008

This is a report of last year’s petition, which until now, has not been acted upon by DFA, DOLE, POEA. The total ban against Nigeria is still in place.

Last week of April 2008, Energy Sec. Angelo Reyes visited Nigeria. The Filipinos in Lagos had an audience with him and presented him with position papers and petitions, including this one.

It is really unfortunate that the government would shrug-off the potential of Nigeria as a major employment destination for white-collar Filipino workers and as a place for business opportunities.

All just because Malacanang wants to avoid embarassment when their are OFWs kidnapped or killed in SOutheast Nigeria.

Tsk. tsk.tsk.

===============

PETITION TO LIFT THE BAN

ON FILIPINO WORKERS GOING TO NIGERIA

This is in reference to the continued ban of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) to Nigeria.

Late last year, the Philippine government declared a total ban of workers going to Nigeria on the account of the successive kidnapping incidents in Nigeria’s oil areas which involve OFWs. The action may have been justifiable at that point. The ban affected not only New Hires but vacationing OFWs as well, even those OFWs who are working in Lagos and non-oil areas.

Early in 2007, upon the strength of the petition of some expatriate companies in Nigeria, the OFW association in Nigeria and endorsement of the Philippine Embassy, the Total Ban was scaled-down to Partial Ban, allowing only the vacationing OFWs with valid work visa to return to Nigeria.

After the resolution of the kidnapping issue, which involved not only Filipinos but other nationals as well, the Philippine government still maintained the ban on New Hire.

Recently, returning OFWs to Nigeria found themselves barred by Immigration and POEA officials at the NAIA because they were told a total ban is in effect. An unnamed official at the Abuja Philippine Embassy said the embassy is not aware of any memo about a total ban. We heard that it was the DFA Secretary, no less, who asked for Total Ban on the day an abducted Filipino was released.

By declaring a ban on Nigeria on issue of security of the country, the Philippine government is no less insulting the capabilities of the host country to maintain its internal peace and order. The present administration of His Excellency President Yaradua is doing huge effort to secure the oil areas and guaranty the safety of all expatriate workers.

The OFWs themselves in the oil-areas have sent numerous letters to the Philippine embassy assuring the embassy that they feel safe with the present security efforts implemented in their workplace.

One thing is certain in our minds, the kidnapping incidents in specific areas of Nigeria is not a mirror of the entire country’s state of security.

We assure the government and our loved ones that Nigeria is a decent and relatively safe country to work and stay.

In fact, it baffles us why only the Philippines impose a ban, where other countries only gave caution or warning to their citizens working alongside Filipinos.

The recent news about DOLE and DFA calling for Filipinos in Nigeria to come home shows just how the DFA and POEA handles the OFWs situation – by knee-jerk reaction and ‘play-safe’ policy.

We, the OFWs in Nigeria, believe that the imposition of a ban is not and never the solution to this issue of kidnapping, which for the record, also involved other nationalities. The continued ban is just hurting every Filipinos’ chances of getting a decent work and a chance to contribute to the Philippine economy.

We oppose the new plan of the DFA to impose, yet again, a total ban to Nigeria, despite the recommendation of the Philippine Embassy here to lift the ban. We will avail ourselves of all means possible to get the attention of the government to have the ban to Nigeria lifted the soonest.

We also strongly request that the DFA open and maintain a Consular Office in Lagos, considering that Lagos is the entry and jump-off point of incoming OFWs.

For a reality check, we invite Vice-President Noli de Castro, DFA USec Conejos, DOLE Sec Brion and POEA Administrator Baldoz to come and visit Lagos and have a dialogue with the OFWs here so they will know the real situation and sentiments of the Nigeria OFWs — sentiments and information that may have not been made available through government official channel.

To this end, we affix our signatures to show our solidarity in calling on the government to completely lift all ban to Nigeria.

Mabuhay ang OFWs !!! Sama-sama sa kaunlaran !!!