Migrant group slams mandatory psychiatric tests for OFWs

August 23, 2008

MANILA, Philippines—The proposal of the Department of Foreign Affairs
to subject all departing overseas Filipino workers to psychiatric
tests drew flak from a militant migrant group, which said the
government move “essentially typecasts OFWs as lunatics.”

Migrante International said it should be the DFA officials, not the
OFWs, “who should have their heads examined if they really believe
mandatory psychiatric tests could help prevent OFWs from snapping in
the workplace.”

“For the Arroyo government, those they have hailed as ‘bagong bayani
(new heroes)’ are lunatics,” complained Connie Bragas-Regalado,
Migrante chair said in a statement.

Regalado said the DFA should realize that deplorable working
conditions overseas; verbal, physical, emotional and sexual abuse;
torture and non-payment of wages are major factors that drive OFWs to
the brink of insanity.

“By refusing to acknowledge these realities and by conveniently
glossing over the fact that most of the time OFWs commit crimes to
defend themselves, others are just plain victims of frame-up; the
DFA, in essence, is condemning our OFWs,” Regalado said.

The Migrante leader slammed Vice President Noli de Castro and DFA
undersecretary for migrant workers affairs Esteban Conejos for even
considering such “a preposterous and anti-migrant proposal,”
adding, “It’s such a shame that those who are directly responsible
for pushing migrants’ rights are the ones who are blind and deaf to
the real issues OFWs face.”

“If we’re to follow the DFA’s rationale, then OFWs like Sarah
Balabagan, Mary Jane Ramos and Joselito Alejo are lunatics and not
heroes as they were hailed when they arrived home after their ordeal
overseas,” said Regalado, referring to OFWs who have been jailed for
committing crimes, but escaped execution because they were eventually
acquitted or pardoned.

The Migrante leader said a change of view was needed for both De
Castro, presidential adviser on OFWs, and Conejos, co-chair of the
Global Forum on Migrants and Development that the Philippines will be
hosting October 29-30 this year.

Regalado said Migrante will join other migrant workers groups from
other countries in a parallel International Assembly of Migrants and
Refugees, set for October 28-29, to challenge the GFMD “to face up to
the truth that migration can never lead to development. ”

– By Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 17:25:00 08/22/2008

————–

TUCP slams proposed psychiatric tests for OFWs

By Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Posted date: August 23, 2008

MANILA, Philippines — The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines on Saturday denounced as “downright ridiculous” a plan to require every Filipino seeking overseas employment, particularly domestic helpers, to undergo a mandatory psychiatric examination.

The labor group said administering psychiatric tests on such a large scale would be problematic and might just turn into a racket victimizing overseas Filipino workers.

TUCP general secretary Ernesto Herrera said the number of foreign-bound Filipino domestic helpers with potential psychiatric issues was insignificant compared to the overall volume of OFWs.

Herrera said many actually develop behavioral issues on the job overseas, indicating that psychiatric problems were “largely environmentally induced, not necessarily organic.”

“This is mainly due to vicious foreign employers who practically enslave their maids, and force them to work and live under inhuman conditions,” he said.

Herrera said some abusive employers resort to detaining their domestic staff and denying them normal access to the outside world.

“Naturally, the maids risk developing behavioral issues over time,” he said.

The office of the undersecretary for overseas workers affairs at the Department of Foreign Affairs has “strongly recommended” the mandatory psychiatric test to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration which licenses recruitment agencies.

It made the recommendation based on information that seven out of 10 Filipino maids on death row in the Middle East have had a history of mental illness.

Herrera doubted if any psychiatric test could be properly administered on a large scale, considering the volume of outbound Filipino domestic staff.

He said the country does not have adequate behavioral health care services so that there are not enough psychiatrists and mental health professionals to conduct the tests and process the results correctly.

“We simply do not have the competence. What will happen is that untrained personnel of diagnostic centers will end up administering and interpreting the test results,” he said.

http://globalnation.inquirer.net/news/breakingnews/view/20080823-156447/TUCP-slams-proposed-psychiatric-tests-for-OFWs


Recruiters accuse NGOs of not doing role in pre-employment of OFWs

August 10, 2008

My hair stands after reading this statement of Mr. Gan, president of the employment agencies federation.

Kailan pa kaya naging trabaho ng mga NGO ang pre-employment concern??

Hindi naman mga NGO ang nagpapadala ng OFW. Kung mag hugas-kamay lang din si Mr Gan sa kanilang obligasyon, dapat ipasara ng POEA ang employment agency ni Mr. Gan.

If Mr. Gan’s statement is the the statement of all employment agencies, this, is a very serious concern to all would be OFWs and OFWs.

What is the purpose of these employment agencies if they cannot provide proper pre-employment support to their contract workers?? As if milking the hapless OFW (mula Pilipinas hanggang sa overseas station nya) is not enough, employment agencies have the ‘pachyderm face’ to pass the pre-employment responsibility to NGOs. Na Wow.

Hindi lang pala gobyerno ang nang huhugas-kamay sa kanilang responsibilidad, kundi pati na rin mga employment agencies, na sya dapat unang mangalaga sa kanilang mga ipinapadala sa abroad.

Really, POEA and DOLE should remove the license of Mr. Gan’s employment agencies for so being anti-labor, anti-OFW.

This statement should be investigated by the Senate. This is serious. Very serious.

————–
Recruiters accuse NGOs of not doing role in pre-employment of OFWs
08/09/2008 | 04:26 PM
http://www.gmanews.tv/story/112604/Recruiters-accuse-NGOs-of-not-doing-role-in-pre-employment-of-OFWs

——————————————————————————–
MANILA, Philippines – An association of recruitment agencies in the Philippines accused non-government organizations (NGO), specifically migrant groups, of not doing their part for Filipino workers being deployed abroad.

According to Jackson Gan, spokesman of the Federated Association of Manpower Exporters, recruitment agencies have been taking care of OFWs’ pre-deployment issues, but migrant groups have been remiss in their duties on the workers’ pre-employment concerns.

“Hindi ninyo ginagawa trabaho ninyo (You’re not doing your job),” said Gan to the representatives of migrant rights advocacy groups Kanlungan Centre Foundation and the Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) last Wednesday during a technical working group meeting called by the House Committee on Workers’ Affairs.

“Lagi na lang kayong naghahanap ng problema o butas (You’re always looking for problems or loopholes),” Gan further told the migrant groups during the meeting.

But the migrant groups dismissed Gan’s claims, saying it was not their responsibility to handle pre-employment concerns of OFWs.

CMA Advocacy Officer Rhodora Abaño said her group did not have a program to handle the pre-employment concerns of OFWs and that CMA didn’t have to do such duty.

“We’re in advocacy so we only do information work,” Abaño told GMANews.TV in an interview on Thursday.

For its part, Kanlungan, through its lawyer Donnaliza Nicolas, said in an interview with GMANews.TV on Friday that she found Gan’s statements “funny.”

Nicolas said Kanlungan was not mandated by the government or anyone to address the said pre-employment concerns. “Our responsibility is to the migrant workers.” – Kimberly Jane T. Tan, GMANews.TV

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Reaction from Migrante/CMU:

I BEG TO DISAGREE THE ACCUSATIONS OF MR. JACKSON GAN. MIGRANTE IS ONE OF THE ORGANIZATIONS WHO VOLUNTARILY HELP OFWS WHO ARE IN NEED OF HELP, AND IT IS PROVEN IN MANY CASES, NO NEED TO MENTION

(PUBLICATIONS IN MAJOR NEWSPAPERS ATTESTED MIGRANTE’S ACTIONS IN HELPING OFW WORLDWIDE )

INSTEAD OF POINTING THE BLAMES TO NGOs, HE SHOULD LOOK FIRST THEIR UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR TO WOULD BE OFW ( THE POOR APPLICANTS HAVE TO PRODUCE ALL THE MONEY THAT RECRUITMENT AGENCIES WANTED ) i.e.

1.0 THE POEA APPROVED PAYMENTS TO ANY RECRUIMENT AGENCIES AS PROCESSING FEES IN EXCHANGE OF JOBS ABROAD IS ONE MONTH SALARY EQUIVALENT, HOWEVER, I PITY THOSE WOULD BE OFW WHO ARE HUNGRY OF JOBS OVERSEAS IN ORDER TO UPLIFT THEIR LIVES, WHEREAS, MAJORITY OF THE RECRUITMENT AGENCIES ARE CHARGING THREE TO FOUR FOLDS EQUIVALENT TO THEIR INTENDED MONTHLY SALARIES ( IMAGINE A POOR ORDINARY CARPENTER WHOSE CONTRACT IS USD 200 MONTHLY, THE SHARK AGENCY CHARGED STARTING P 30,000 PESOS, NOT TO MENTION OTHER CHARGES LIKE MEDICAL, TRADE TESTS, ETC. WHEREIN, THE AGENCY COLLECTS THEIR SHARE/COMMISSION FROM THESE ESTABLISHMENTS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE POOR WOULD BE OFW )

2.0 THE RECRUITMENT AGENCIES WHO CONDUCTS ‘PDOS’ ( PRE DEPARTURE ORIENTATION SEMINAR ) IS MISLEADING THE WOULD BE OFW BY NOT TELLING THE TRUTH, WHAT IS REALLY THE LIFE OF AN OFW IN ABROAD, THEY ONLY TALK ABOUT THE SALARIES THEY WILL GET ARE IN DOLLARS/BUCKS WHICH IS VERY ENCOURAGING TO WOULD BE OFW ( THESE RECRUITMENT AGENCIES ARE LIARS, THEIR ONLY ULTIMATE INTERESTS ARE THE FEES THEY HAVE TO COLLECT FROM THE POOR WOULD BE OFW )

3.0 TO MENTION A FEW OF THE PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED THAT RECRUITMENT AGENCIES HIDE DURING ‘PDOS’
– CHANGE OF CONTRACT UPON ARRIVAL TO EMPLOYER ( THE CONTRACT SIGNED BY BOTH PARTIES THAT SUBMITTED TO POEA WILL BE DISREGARDED – NO CHANCE TO WITHDRAW SINCE THE POOR OFW IS THINKING THE MONEY PAID TO THE SHARK AGENCY )
– THE ACCOMMODATION STATUS – THERE ARE EMPLOYERS WHO PROVIDE THEIR WORKERS NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE NORMAL LIVING CONDITIONS
– WEATHER CONDITIONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST (EXTREME HOT WEATHER CONDITION – you will feel the real hot weather when you are experiencing losing your consciousness AT 50 TO 54 DEG C )
– WAKE UP EARLY IN THE MORNING AT FOUR O’CLOCK TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE DAY’S WORK
– HAVING LUNCH AT JOBSITE WITH SANDS DURING SANDSTORM
– OWWA PERSONNEL ARE INUTILE WHEN PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED ( INSTEAD OF ASKING HELP TO OWWA, BETTER CONTACT A MIGRANTE MEMBER )

– MONTHLY SALARIES NOT RECEIVED ON TIME ( SOME EMPLOYERS DELAYS SALARIES )

– WORKING 10 HOURS PER DAY BY FORCE WITH NO OVERTIME PAY , INSTEAD OF 8 HOURS CONTRACT AGREED BY BOTH PARTIES SUBMITTED TO POEA

4.0 FROM ITEM 3.0 WHAT ASSISTANCE DO MR. JACKSON GAN CAN PROVIDE IN EXCHANGE OF THE RECRUITMENT FEES COLLECTED FROM THE POOR OFW

BASIS OF THE ABOVE, IT IS A NORMAL BUSINESS PRACTICE THAT THE RECRUITMENT AGENCY TO ASSIST OFW IN TIME OF DISTRESS, SINCE THEY COLLECTED THE FEES THEY WANTED , HOWEVER, IT IS MIGRANTE WHO IS AN ACTIVE ORGANIZATION READY IN EXTENDING ASSISTANCE TO OFW.

SHOULD ATE GLO CARES THE OFW, CONGRESS SHOULD CREATE A LAW CRIMINALIZING SHARK RECRUITMENT AGENCIES THAT DO NOT FOLLOW POEA POLICIES ON THE APPROVED ONE MONTH SALARY EQUIVALENT.

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‘Decking system’ on OFW medical exams opposed

May 22, 2008

05/16/2008 | 08:58 PM
MANILA, Philippines – The House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs will summon officials of GCC Accredited Medical Clinics Association (GAMCA) that was tasked to conduct medical examination to overseas Filipino workers (OFW) bound for the Middle East.

Zambales Rep. Milagros Magsasay said Friday that members of the panel have many queries regarding the operation of GAMCA.

Magsaysay said the panel is conducting an investigation on lowering the fees or expenses of OFWs.

In Wednesday’s hearing of the committee, migrant groups led by the Center for Migrant Advocacy, Global Filipino Nation, Migrante International, association of recruitment agencies as well as the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration have denounced the ‘decking system’ imposed by GAMCA.

GAMCA has a select 17 medical clinics arbitrarily all based in Metro Manila imposed by Middle East countries for the medical examination of OFWs bound to the oil rich region.

Representatives of the migrant groups scored the Department of Health for failing to implement the Administrative Order No. 5 signed by then Secretary Manuel Dayrit in 2002 suspending the implementation of the GAMCA Centralized referral system.

Jun Aguilar of the GPN said the decking system cause inconvenience to applicants aside from imposing exorbitant medical fees.

Migrant groups said the system makes it difficult for workers in the Visayas and Mindanao regions to undergo the medical exam since all the GAMCA clinics are in the Manila area.

Ellene Sana of the CMA welcomed the proposal that DOH will put up its own OFW medical clinic in every region.

However, Sana said the issue of medical exam for ME bound OFWs is beyond the DOH.

“Kailangan ng bilateral agreement because of the GAMCA. Kailangan ang tulong ng [Department of Foreign Affairs] DFA dito (We need bilateral agreements because of the GAMCA. We also need the DFA’s help in this),” Sana said.

Federated Association of Manpower Exporters president Eduardo T. Mahiya told the body that the recruitment agencies have long expressed their willingness to forego with the rebates.

Mahiya, concurrent president of OPAP (Overseas Placement Association of the Philippines), has opposed the GAMCA system since 1999 when it was first implemented by the medical association accredited by the GCC states medical technical committee.

Philippine Overseas Employment Agency Administrator Rosalinda Baldoz also expressed her opposition to the decking system with the inconvenience of workers being sent to distant clinics and the unnecessary examination involved in Phase 2 of the medical protocol, where the workers pay for it even they are not sure of passing Phase 1.

The congressional hearing was investigating in aid of legislation HR. 402, looking in to the excessive collection of fees on OFWS and HR 395, the shortage or lack of airline seats for departing OFWs. -Fidel Jimenez, GMANews.TV

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/95724/Decking-system-on-OFW-medical-exams-opposed


Hinaing ng mga Nigeria OFWs

May 21, 2008

This was last year 2007 efforts. And still no answer.

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Kagalanggalang at pinagpipitagang mga Lingkod ng Bayan,

Ikinagagalak po namin ang pagtawag ninyo sa amin bilang mga MODERN DAY HEROES. Bilang mga BAGONG BAYANI nawa eh pakinggan ninyo at paglaanan ng panahon itong aming mga sinasabi

  1. Correct me if I’m wrong, Pilipinas lang ang bukod tangi at nag iisang bansa ang naglabas ng TOTAL BAN papunta dito sa Nigeria. Kung sa bawat bansa na may makikidnap ay magpapalabas kayo ng Ban sa pangunguna pa naman ni Kabayang NOLI eh siguro marapat din na mag BAN kayo sa ibang bansa. Tama po ba? Nung nakaraang lingo ay may namatay na pinay sa Canada, o bakit di kayo mag impose ng Ban doon para maipakita sa ating mga kababayan sa Pilipinas na CONCERN kayo sa aming mga OFW. Siguro sasabihin ninyo na isolated case iyon. Eh kung sabihin din natin na ang nangyari kay G. Bacani ay isolated case din.

I doubt kung sakaling may ma rape sa Saudi ay mag impose kayo ng Ban doon. I doubt kung sakaling may namatay sa UAE ay mag impose kayo ng Ban doon.

  1. Sa bilang ng OFW sa lugar ng Niger Delta siguro eh maaaring meron na makasama na Pinoy sa makikidnap. Ratio and Proportion po, ganun kasimple. Pero bakit ang ibang mga nasyon ay di naglalabas ng total ban. May namatay po nung nakaraan na isang British National, pero bakit hindi sila naglabas ng ganyang kautusan. ILL- ADVISED.

  1. Kasabay ng pagkidnap kay G. Bacani ay nasawimpalad at namatay ang isa nyang kasamahan na Columbiano, PERO BAKIT hindi sila (Columbian Govt.) nag impose ng ban para sa mga overseas workers nila na nandito? Kayo lamang na mga administrador – Vice Pres, DOLE, POEA, NBI ang bigla biglang nagpalabas ng ganyang kautusan.

  1. Ang mga tao po dito sa embahada natin ay di man lamang hiningan ng inputs bago kayo nag implement ng ban na yan. May mga kasama po kami na nagtanong muna sa mga tao ng Embassy kung mag ba BAN ba, ng sa ganun eh hindi sana sila muna magbabakasyon gaya ng nangyari nung Pebrero ng taong ito. Since nagbigay sila ng GUARANTEE na hindi naman daw, sumulong ang iba naming kasamahan. Sa puntong ito lumalabas na TRINAYDOR sila. Nasaan sila, andun sa kanilang mga bahay, dumadalangin na sana ma-lift ang BAN. May iniaabot ba naman ang gobyerno sa kanila pra pangtustos sa kanilang araw araw na gastos. Saan sila ngayon kukuha ng pambayad sa eskwela, ang baon ng mga bata, ang pang monthly amortization sa bahay, sasakyan or lupa?

  1. Sa ginawa po ninyong ito ay inalisan nyo ng karapatan na magkaroon ng oportunidad na magtrabaho at iangat ang antas ng aming mga sariling buhay. Para kaming mga bata na inagawan ng kendi, buti sana kung may TOBLERONE kayong ipapalit dito, pero WALA naman. Ang nangyari tuloy ay napipilitan ang mga kumpanya na kumuha ng ibang lahi para sa sana eh mga posisyon at trabaho para sa Pilipino.

  1. Sabi ni Sen. Mar Roxas sa kanyang kolum sa ABANTE, “Payong kapatid lamang, siguro’y mas mainam na dito na lamang kayo makipagsapalaran sa ating bayan.”. Ang malaking katanungan po para sa amin ay kung sakali bang umuwi kami ng Pilipinas, may naghihintay bang trabaho para sa amin? May mga programa bang nakalaan para sa amin? Base sa nakaraang pag impose ninyo ng ban nung February 2007, may napala ba yung mga na-stranded dyan sa atin? May nakuha ba sila mula sa ipinagmamalaking OWWA, POEA at DOLE, wala po, ni SINGKONG DULING!

Madali pong sabihin para sa kanya dahil sa estado ng kanyang buhay. Pero naranasan na ba nyang pumila sa mga agency sa Malate, Singalong…Sa dami ng nag aapply gusto nyo bang makidagdag pa kami doon?

  1. Ang nangyayari na pagkidnap sa Niger Delta ay di natin pwedeng ikumpara sa sitwasyon ng Jolo, Sulu. Unang una, dito po ay ganitong sequenze ang nangyayari KIDNAP-RANSOM-RELEASE. Mas mainam pa rin kung tutuusin kesa sa pamumugot ng ulo na ginagawa ng mga bandido sa atin. Kahit po ang gobyerno ng America sa aking pagkakaalam (correct me again if I’m wrong) ay di naglabas ng Total Ban na magpunta dyan ang kanilang mga citizens, manapay isang ADVISORY LAMANG. Ano ang mararamdaman ninyo kung ang i-impose nila ay TOTAL BAN sa kahit saang sulok ng Pinas kasi magulo sa Sulu lamang.

Dito, inimpose nyo na buong Nigeria samantalang sa iisang lugar lang may nagaganap na kidnap for ransom na sitwasyon. Kung ikukumpara naman sa atin di hamak na dito di ka maga alala na ma-snatch ang celfone mo. Di ka kinakabahan pag naglalakad ka sa kalye na baka may holdaper. Subukan nyo pong magpunta dito para makita at maranasan nyo ang aming mga sinasabi. Ika nga ni Kasamang Manny G. Figueroa, bukas ang kanyang bahay para sa inyo.

  1. Ngayon, kung talaga naman na di na kayo matitinag sa inyong desisyon, siguro (I don’t know If everybody will agree with my proposal here), Papirmahin nyo na lang kami ng waiver, any OFW who will go to NIGERIA is obliged to sign it. Waiver na magsasabing kung may mangyari sa amin dito ay wala kayong sagutin. DAHIL SA TOTOO WALA NAMAN TALAGA KAMING AASAHAN SA INYO. Ano po ba ang napapala namin sa pagkuha ng OEC (Overseas Employment Certificates) ? Maliban sa libreng Kape sa airport, nakakatipid lang kami ng mga 600 siguro. (700 po kasi ang tax pag walang OEC minus 100 kaya 600 hindi pa kasama dito ang pamasahe at pagkain sa pagpunta sa POEA Centers). Isipin nyo din po na sa bawat bakasyon namin na kukuha kami nyang OEC ay isang araw ang nawawala sa amin.

Since tinuturing nyo rin naman na kami eh BAGONG BAYANI, sana maramdaman namin yun. Ikaw nga ni Sen. Roxas sa banding huli mas mainam pa rin ang gawa kaysa saita. Siguro panahon na rin na bigyan nyo kami ng proteksyon. Ito ang panahon para kayo ay magpa POGI. Dahil kayo ay mga mambabatas, bakit di kayo bumalangkas ng mga programa para sa mga OFW.

Muli po, correct me if I’m wrong kung ang mga sasabihin ko ay mali or ang mga programang aking babanggitin ay existing na pala. Ito ay sa kadahilanang hindi ko alam na meron na pala,or hindi lang siguro nabigyan ng wastong kaalaman ukol dito.

  1. Ang bawat OFW na umaalis ay natitigil ang pagbabayad ng SSS, maliban na lamang kung ikaw ay boluntaryong maghuhulog nito. Siguro dapat nating paalalahanan ang mga agency na i-discuss ito sa mga taong pinapaalis nila, dahil saying naman yung mga ilang taong paghuhulog mo tapos mababalewala na dahil di ka naman na inform. Maaari din naman sigurong i-obliga ng ating batas na magbabayad din ang OFW kaalinsabay ng pagbabayad ng kumpanyang kanyang pagta trabahuhan. Di po ba sa atin ay ganyan ang kalakaran, ang kumpanya at ang empleyado ay parehas na may share sa contributions. Bakit hindi rin natin ito gawin para sa mga BAGONG BAYANI?

  1. Sa kawalan ng proteksyon, marami pong cases na ang mga properties ng isang OFW (kotse, bahay, lupa) ay nahahatak ng bangko. Kahit pa sabihin halimbawa na 3 buwan na lamang ang di mo pa nahuhulugan, walang awa nila itong hahatakin. Sana po magkaroon naman ng kaunting konsiderasyon para sa isang BAYANI na tulad namin. Kaunting flexibility kumbaga. Alam kong maraming factor kayo na i-co consider pero sana mabigyan nyo ng panahon na pag aralan ito.

  1. Ang ibang mga nasyon na nagtatrabaho sa ibang bansa ay may mga insurances na kasama sa benefits nila dahil obligado ang kumpanya na mag provide nito. Bakit ang Pilipinas ay walang ganito?

  1. Ang embahada po ng Pilipinas sa Nigeria ay nasa Abuja samantalang ang entry point po ng mga OFW ay nasa Lagos (ang pamasahe po papunta dito ay humigit kumulang sa 100 US Dollar or 4400 pesos). Siguro yung nabanggit ni Se. Roxas na budget ay maaari nyang ilaan dito. Maglagay ng kahit isang munting opisina sa Lagos.

  1. Bigyan ng proteksyon ang buying power ng OFW. Isarado sa 50 pesos = 1 dollar hanggat di tumataas ang dollar rate.

  1. Bigyan ng wastong kaalaman ang mga OFW tungkol doon sa MULTIPLE OEC? Sa mga di po nakakaalam, meron daw na multiple OEC, ibig sabihin kung sa loob ng isang taon ay 2 o mahigit pa na lumalabas ka ng bansa, pwede ka ng kumuha ng maramihan nito. Meron nga ba nitong multiple OEC? Bakit di ini-explain or ipost man lang sa mga POEA Centers? Kung ang isang OFW ay may 15 days na bakasyon, 1 araw nito ay gugugulin nya sa pagpunta sa POEA para makakuha ng OEC. Bakit hindi po kaya natin ilagay yung POEA for 24 hours operation sa NAIA. Yung tipong paglabas namin ng eroplano ay pwede ka ng kumuha ng OEC. Yung sinasabi ni Sen Roxas na dagdag na budget eh siguro pwedeng ilaan sa mga empleyado na magta trabaho sa ganitong purpose.

Pagkalampas po ng Customs sa NAIA sa banding kanan ay may booth doon ang POEA, nakasulat po na napakalaki 24-HOURS ON DUTY. Ng itanong ko sa Security Guard, eto ang kanyang sagot “Ay hanggang 5pm lang po sila”. Kalimitan po 10 or 11 PM dumadating ang mga OFW na galing sa Nigeria, kaya siguro marapat na totohanin ang ganitong programa na 24 HOURS na may POEA para dun na kami kukuha ng OEC. Sayang din naman kasi ang oras, pagod sa pagbyahe at gastos sa pagpunta sa POEA sa Ortigas or sa mga branches nila. Tama po ba?

Sana mabigyan nyo ng pansin itong aming hinaing. Salamat po. Yun lang.

Nagmamahal,

PBB (Pilipino Bagong Bayani)


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.