Canada urged to rethink immigration laws for Pinoy live-in caregivers

March 5, 2009

03/05/2009 | 05:48 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Juana Tejada’s dying wish was to stay in Canada until her last breath. Now that the 39-year-old caregiver’s request for permanent residency was granted, Tejada’s lawyers are asking the Canadian government to amend laws for live-in caregivers hoping to settle permanently there.

Immigration lawyer Rafael Fabregas told GMANews.TV via e-mail on Thursday that they are urging the Canadian government to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act so that live-in caregivers would no longer be required to pass a second medical exam before they are granted permanent residence.

In their joint letter to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, and David Tilson, M.P., chair of the Standing Committee on Citizenship, Fabregas and fellow lawyer Guidy Mamann wrote:

“As you know, foreign live-in caregivers are required to pass a stringent medical examination before being issued a visa to work in Canada. When they seek permanent residence after years of working here, they should not be required to pass a second medical exam because such a requirement, as evident in Juana’s case, can have a grossly unfair and inhumane outcome.”

Tejada was lured to work in Canada in 2003 under the Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP), which grants foreign workers permanent residency— and an opportunity to petition their entire family — upon fulfillment of their three-year assignment as well as necessary medical and criminal clearances.

But when doctors discovered her illness during a routine medical check-up in 2006, she was told by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to leave because the treatment for her advanced cancer – discovered four years after arriving in Canada – would cause an excessive demand on Canada’s medical services.

Determined to give her family a better life, Juana appealed to waive the good-health requirement for humanitarian reasons. Her petition was denied twice.

“I have paid my dues to earn my permanent residency. I have worked hard to try to give my family a better life,” Juana told the Toronto Star in an earlier interview

Eventually, following a public campaign, CIC yielded and granted Tejada her permanent residence.

“Many Canadians have relied heavily, and continue to rely heavily on the services that live-in caregivers provide to their loved ones,” read the letter, “It is only fair that live-in caregivers should also be able to rely on Canadians to take care of them in their time of need.”

A press conference led by Fabregas will be held on March 6, at 11 am at the offices of Mamann, Sandaluk, located at 82 Richmond Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M5C 1P1 to discuss the proposed amendments.

Canada is one of the top destination countries of Filipino health care workers along with the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The country had always been known to be lenient to foreign workers, and has even encouraged them to permanently stay with their family after fulfilling their contracts for some time. – GMANews.TV


Immigration eases rules on returning OFWs to Nigeria

December 18, 2008

12/18/2008 | 09:09 PM

MANILA, Philippines-  Janette Alican risked a good job in Nigeria to be with her family this Christmas.

The total deployment ban imposed by the Philippine government bars
Filipinos from going to the oil-rich African nation due to the spate of kidnappings ? both in Nigeria’s soil and seas ? in 2006.

Earlier this month, Alican, who holds a resident visa in Nigeria, flew from the capital city of Abuja to Manila. Now, she fears she can’t go back to the German company in Abuja that employed her.

“I feel like I’m being imprisoned in my own country,” she tearfully said during a forum Thursday on the UN Migrant Workers’ Convention, a joint undertaking of the state Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the civil society group Center for Migration Advocacy (CMA).

“The President left for Qatar to get jobs there. I have a job in Nigeria,why can’t I get back there?” she said.

Lawyer Edgardo Mendoza, chief Immigration Regulation Commission, assured returning migrant workers like Alican that they could re-enter Nigeria as long as they present the necessary documents.

In an interview with GMANews.TV on Thursday, Mendoza said migrants who have secured a Balik-Manggagawa (Return to Work) permit from the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) and a resident visa could return to the African country.

Mendoza added that the POEA would issue a guideline soon on the issuance of special permits to returning workers in Nigeria.

Mendoza refused to comment whether the special permit would extend to three other countries with existing total deployment bans, namely: Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon.

There is also no word on the state of the workers who want to return to Jordan where a temporary suspension of deployment on domestic workers is implemented.

Karen Gomez-Dumpit, director of the CHR’s Government Linkages Office
promised to personally assist Janette by finding out if the rule is
subjective or not.

“What if you encounter an Immigration officer who is ignorant of the rule, how can you explain to him that you can leave?” Dumpit said during the forum.

If successful, Alican would leave for Nigeria on the 27th.

Recruiters have sought the lifting of deployment bans to Lebanon, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Iraq, saying the Philippines is losing out on job opportunities for Filipino workers.

Jackson Gan, vice president of the Federated Association of Manpower
Exporters, said that there are less demand for Filipinos in countries where workers are freely deployed.

The Philippine government imposed a deployment ban on Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan due to security threats to Filipino workers.

The deployment of domestic workers to Jordan was suspended due to the
upsurge of abuses against Filipino household service workers in the Middle Eastern country. – GMANews.TV

Balik-Tanaw (2006): Nigerian envoy visits Hundred Islands

November 7, 2008

2006 Nigerian Ambassador visits Hundred Islands, Alaminos PangasinanNigerian envoy visits Hundred Islands
Date posted: 9/3/2006

Nigerian Embassy Head of Mission S.A. Dada Olisa wasn`t able to come with the twenty foreign ambassadors who visited the city and its pride, the Hundred Islands National Park, almost two years ago.

Though he certainly heard a lot about the city from the diplomatic community through the fond memories and experiences the envoys’ had during their brief visit here.

The articulate and jolly Charge the Affaires was here last Wednesday to have a first hand knowledge and experience on the current tourism and economic potentials of Pangasinan particularly the City of Alaminos.

xxxThe dignitaries first called on Mayor Hernani A. Braganza at his office were they exchanged pleasantries and talked about economic policies and some domestic issues.

Braganza, also a former Press and Agrarian Reform Secretary, briefed the honored guests on the city’s history, other vital facts and the current developmental thrusts outlined in his 10-Point Agenda.

[Full Story]