Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Collecting Money from Recruiters for Repatriation

Am I the only one thinking that this is a stupid idea? Since when did employment agencies become responsible for the evacuation of citizens? Isn't that the responsibility of the country's government? Next thing you know, they'll be asking the airlines for money because they transported them there. Then, the travel agencies because they sold the plane tickets to them. 

I have a novel idea -  only the Philippine government should pay for this evacuation. 
WHY? They had the final say, didn't they. They approved them to work in Libya, didn't they? 

When will the insanity end? 

Serenity now!

OWWA to collect P143M from recruiters for OFW repatriation

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) on Tuesday said it will be collecting P143 million from recruitment agencies for the expenses they incurred for the repatriation of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) from strife-torn countries.

"As of today po, meron po kaming collectibles na P143 million from the licensed recruitment agencies whose employees we repatriated," OWWA administrator Carmelita Dimzon said during Tuesday's Senate hearing on the situation of OFWs abroad.

She said that they have yet to draft a notice to the recruitment agencies but that they will soon inform the various firms of their debts.

She noted, however, that some employers and recruitment agencies had repatriated on their own accord around 3,000 of the 9,000 OFWs affected by the political unrest in the Middle East.

"Kaya natutuwa po ang DOLE dito dahil ito po yung example ng responsible employers (The Department of Labor and Employment was happy for this example of responsible employers)," said Dimzon.

Section 15 of Republic Act 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 says that "the repatriation of the worker and the transport of his personal belongings shall be the primary responsibility of the agency which recruited or deployed the worker overseas."

Request from recruiters

However, Philippine Association of Exporters Inc. (Pasei) president Victor Fernandez said they shouldn't have to shoulder all the expenses regarding the repatriation of OFWs.

"Ito po ay binabalikat pa rin namin dahil sa pagkakaayos ng batas... yun po ang nakikita naming hindi po makatwiran (We have been shouldering this because that is what the law says but we don't think it's fair)," he said during the same hearing.

He said there should be a limitation on until when they'll be responsible for the repatriation of the workers they send abroad, noting that there are workers who enter into new contracts with other employers without telling them.

Because of this, he said they still shoulder the responsibility over these workers even after they have already switched employers, with whom they have no ties with.

Fernandez likewise said that if the government cannot afford to repatriate a certain number of OFWs, they certainly can't be expected to. "Hindi po namin kakayanin (We won't be able to handle it)," he said.

OWWA fund

Senate foreign relations committee chairman Sen. Loren Legarda, for her part, asked the OWWA why it can't just use its P13-billion trust fund for repatriation purposes.

RA 8042 says that the OWWA shall "undertake the repatriation of workers in cases of war, epidemic, disasters or calamities, natural or man-made, and other similar events without prejudice to reimbursement by the responsible principal or agency... in cases where the principal or recruitment agency cannot be identified, all costs attendant to repatriation shall be borne by the OWWA."

Dimzon, however, said that they cannot "unilaterally" spend the OWWA fund because it is the money of their members. The P13-billion trust fund is sourced from the $20-contribution of OFW employers for every two-year contract.

But she said that their board of trustees had already earmarked P500 million as contingency fund for OFWs, members and non-members, who need to be repatriated. "In times of crisis, we cannot distinguish from a member and a non-member," she said.

She added that they will also collect an amount from the Department of Foreign Affairs for the repatriation of OFWs who are non-OWWA members and are not identified with any licensed recruitment firm.

Dimzon said that OWWA operates on an annual budget and that they were allocated P1.2 billion for 2011, which they use for the operating expenses of their 37 posts abroad and 17 regional offices nationwide. -

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Whose Life should we respect?

When opponents of the death penalty advocate the right to life even for criminals who commit murder, rape without remorse, whose life are they fighting for? What about people who peddle drugs?

I sympathize with this mother of death row inmate in China. However, her daughter was complicit in spreading drugs to addicted people who sometimes end up dead.

So, should we value her life when she did not value others by being a part of a drug smuggling ring?

Do you really believe her that she did not know that there were "commercial" quantities of drugs in the lining of the empty suitcase she was carrying? Who will carry an empty suitcase for someone without becoming suspicious? 

PLEA FOR LIFE Basilisa Ordinario pleads with the Chinese government to spare the life of her daughter Sally Ordinario-Villanueva. China has set Sally’s execution for March 30 after she was convicted for being a drug mule along with two other Filipinos.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Why No to Death Penalty?

This logic makes us look ridiculous. These Filipinos already know the laws in the country before they committed the crime. They get the death penalty and we try to get them out. if they were in the Philippines, they would be paying for their own lawyer. yet, when they are sentenced to death in another country, our media make them look like martyrs who left the country to give their country a better life. What about the crime they committed? If other countries sentence their own citizens to the death penalty, what excuse will they tell their own people if they exempt Filipino OFW's and other nationalities who commit crimes? And this guy comes up with a logic that the reason we should not have the death penalty is it will weaken our position in negotiating for our OFW's who committed crimes in other countries? We should not even be fighting for these people. One of those sentenced to death in China said that he transported a package which he thought were office supplies? What, they have no paper clips in China?

Drug mules are criminals. There was intent on their part. The drugs were not planted in their bags. 

Now, those kidnapped by pirates are a different matter. They are victims. Sure they know the risks when they work the ships. Even if the ships do not pass close to Somalia, they can still get kidnapped. Apparently, the pirates are now getting bolder and operating far from Somalia because the area close to the Gulf of Aden is now being patrolled by some countries. 

Let us not put kidnap victims and drug mules together. The first one deserve all the government assistance they can get to be free. Drug mules should be left on their own.


THE INCREASING number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) facing execution for crimes committed in their host countries “serves as another compelling reason” for Congress to resist calls to revive the death penalty here, House Assistant Majority Leader and Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas said.

“If Congress reinstates capital punishment, the Philippine government will naturally lose the moral high ground to boldly appeal to foreign governments for clemency on behalf of OFWs meted out death verdicts,” Gullas said.
He said the Philippine government would find it “extremely difficult, if not impossible to seek leniency for OFWs facing execution, if we ourselves are putting our own convicts to death.”
“We have between eight and 11 million OFWs across the globe. Unfortunately, many of them are in countries that still subscribe to the death penalty and actively carry out judicial executions,” Gullas pointed out.
“Thus, many OFWs accused of serious criminal offenses are actually exposed to the hazards of capital punishment,” he warned.
“If the government wants to save the lives of our OFWs facing possible execution abroad, Congress should avoid the temptation to return the death penalty,” Gullas said.
China has postponed the execution of three Filipinos convicted of drug trafficking, following a strong appeal by the Philippine government, including a visit by Vice President Jejomar Binay to Beijing.
Three Filipinos—Ramon Credo, Sally Ordinario-Villanueva and Elizabeth Batain—are to be executed via lethal injection in China next week.
Migrante International, a nongovernment organization, previously reported that at least 79 other Filipino workers are on death row in China.
More than 120 other Filipino workers are also facing possible death sentences in other countries, Migrante said.
Gullas said at least 139 countries have already abolished the death penalty in law or practice.
“However, at least 58 other countries still support the penalty, and many of them still carry out executions,” he added.
He said the countries still using the death penalty and hosting large numbers of OFWs include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Oman, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan and Libya.
Saudi Arabia alone publicly beheaded at least 69 felons in 2009, making it the No. 2 most active executioner of convicts, next only to China which put to death more than 1,000 criminals that year,” Gullas said.
In Asia, Gullas said Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan still adhere to capital punishment and they all host a lot of OFWs.

Naku Ha

RUMOUR: Fil-Am Actress Vanessa Hudgens has more
nude pictures
by Vincent Villanueva 
More nude Vanessa Hudgens pics! Can you just release a sex tape already! ...please?


China in Spratly Islands?
Apparently, China has been seen in the vicinity of the Spratly islands. Now, the Philippines is asking China what it is doing there. After China postpones the death penalty of 3 OFW’s convicted of drug smuggling, what leverage do we still have to demand that China stay out of Philipine territory? They let our government save face without us asking what do they want in return. Aquino sent Bnay to China to fight for the 3 convicted drug smugglers and then he sent Mar Roxas to Taiwan to fix the deportation mess. As Efren Padilla said in his GMA7 blog, it is like the three stooges just going through the motion. We just want to earn “pogi” points, instead of doing what is good for the long term of ur country. As our bald, overaged, single, wanna-be-playboy,Porsche-driving president believes, “image is everything.” 

Turmoil in the Middle East
Apparently, our ofw’s in the Middle East are asking our government to fly them home or get them out of the hot spot. I am just wondering, do they even want to go home? Everytime there is a problem where our ofw’s work, talk of rescue gets one-sided coverage of the news where all the news blame the government. Well, I am sure our government just goes through the motion, and nothing more. But I also believe that a majority of the ofw’s do want to leave the areas. Paano kung hindi na sila makabalik? Kung ako naman kasi ang ofw, parang ayoko ring umalis. Baka kapag umalis ako, iba na ang kunin ng boss ko. Besides, and mga gulo naman nasa city areas at ang mga trabahador naman natin nasa mga lugar na malayo sa urban areas, hindi ba? Iyon nga lang, may mga nagtatrabaho rin sa mga hotel at bahay na malapit sa gulo. Sa mga yon, stay inside the hotel and houses na lang. If they have to go home, take another route na lang.  

Filipino Nurses in Libya want to Stay
When coalition forces started their military action against Libya, the Libyan government increased their pay. Sino nga naman ang aalis? Ano naman ang babalikan nila sa Pilipinas? Government corruption and red tape para lang makalabas uli. Lagayan para lang makalabas ng Pilipinas. Bakit ako babalik sa Pilipinas kung iyong lang ang nandoon? Wala ring trabaho. And law and order sa Pilipinas magulo rin. Sa Libya, kaya lang nagkagulo dahil sa coalition forces. Sa Pilipinas, magulo kahit walang gulo. Ehe, ano ba itong nasabi ko? Hindi lkang nurses ang gustong mag-stay. kahit ibang ofw nag-stay din. Kaunti lang nga daw ang na-repatriate ng Philippine government dahil lahat daw ng nakausap ng mga government officials, sabi they will stay. So, ano pa magagawa mo? 

Bad Luck, left and right, 
My dad suffered a stroke. He is now in the hospital, unable to move the left side of his body. His mind is still lucid and aware. Or more aware of families, grandchildren, or where things are in the house. His mind seems to have gotten sharper. He remembers a baby shower that we are supposed to attend to. Had he been normal, he probably would not have remembered that.  Strange. Then, a friend, Rudy Castro passed away. Sabay sabay naman. 

How the gov’t gets your money
Just when you thought you are getting your money back from the govenrment, they find a way to get it back to them. When you go to a nursing home, they charge you money. When your pension is at least $1800, you qualify to get in one of the government nursing homes. If you have a pension of at least $2500, you get into a private nursing home. In short, they give it to you with the right hand while their eft hand picks your pocket. Government is good business. We should al start one.
Jumping the line into a nursing home
The problem is that the waitng list for public nursing home is very long. The one for private is shorter. Sabi ng social worker na na-overheard ko, some people line up sa private nursing home and then they claim, they cannot afford it pala, so they say. What the nursing home does is look for a space sa public nursing home. The intention is to get inside ahead of everyone else. Hindi ka nga naman puwedeng i-kick-out. Now, they make you sign a 1-year contract for private home before they let you in. If you want to change it afterwards, then it is ok.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rudy Castro Passes Away

Dear Friends,

This is to inform everyone of the untimely death of our friend and photographer Rudy Castro yesterday.

Further information will be announced soon.

Our sincere condolence and deepest sympathy to his family!

Let us include him in our prayers

Eternal rest grant unto his soul, Oh Lord, and let Perpetual Light shine upon him, and may he rest peace, amen.