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EXECUTIVE CHECK-UP: Health Tips ni Dr. Willie T. Ong

KUNG ikaw ay edad 40 pataas, kailangan mo ng check-up. Kung wala ka pang 40, pero may lahi ka ng sakit sa puso, diabetes o kanser, kailangan mo din magpacheck up ng maaga.

Heto ang mga dapat tandaan:

Magpa-blood test bawat taon – Heto ang mga tests na dapat gawin. Complete blood count (para mala man  ang dami ng dugo), creatinine (para sa kidneys), uric acid (para sa arthritis), cholesterol (para sa puso), fasting blood sugar (para sa diabetes), at SGPT (para sa atay).

Urinalysis – Para masuri ang kidneys at malaman kung may impeksyon sa ihi.

Chest X-ray – Para makita ang baga at puso. Kaila ngan ito kapag naninigarilyo ka o laging may ubo.

ECG – Para malaman kung may sakit sa puso.

Bantayan ang prostate – Kapag nagkakaedad ang lalaki, lumalaki ang prostate. Minsan ay nagiging kanser pa ito. Ipa-check ang iyong PSA test para malaman kung may diperensiya o wala.

Bantayan ang colon cancer – Para makaiwas sa colon cancer, kumain ng maraming gulay at prutas. Pag lampas ng edad 50, kailangan magpasilip sa puwit (sigmoidoscopy o colonoscopy). Ipa-check din ang dumi (stool exam with occult blood) para makasiguro na walang dugo sa dumi.

Ihinto ang paninigarilyo – Halos 60% ng kalala kihan ay naninigarilyo. Ang sigarilyo ay nagdudulot ng kanser sa bibig, lalamunan, baga at prostate. Mag-ingat.

Limitahan ang pag-inom ng alak – Huwag mani wala sa mga sabi-sabi na mabuti ang red wine para sa iyo. Kapag nasobrahan ka sa alak ay masisira ang iyong atay, bituka at utak.

Mag-ehersisyo – Ang tamang pag-e-ehersisyo ay 30 minutos hanggang 1 oras, at gawin ito ng 3-5 beses sa isang linggo. Huwag din magpataba.

Alamin ang BP –Ang normal na blood pressure ay 120 over 80. Kapag lu mampas ka sa 140 over 90, ang ibig sabihin ay may altapresyon ka na. Magpa tingin sa doktor.

Magbawas ng stress – Masama ang stress sa ating katawan dahil nagla labas ito ng cortisol. Ang cortisol ay nakasisira sa ating mga organo.

Magpabakuna – Para sa mga edad 50 pataas, kailangan ninyo magpa ba kuna laban sa Pulmonya at Trangkaso. Ang tawag dito ay pneumonia vaccine at flu vaccine. Sa mga kaba taan, magpacheck din kung kailangan ninyo ng Hepatitis B vaccine.

Hindi mahal ang magpa-check up. Sa katunayan ay mas hahaba pa ang iyong buhay. Sana ay makum binsi natin ang mga lalaki na alagaan ang kanilang sarili. Good luck po!
Executive check-up: Sa lalaki
DOC WILLIE Ni Dr. Willie T. Ong (Pilipino Star Ngayon) Updated December 24, 2009 12:00 AM

Filed under: Health Tips, Healthy Living


The ‘Star’ of hope

SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star)

Mang Senen Masagca was at The Philippine STAR office last Tuesday to claim his first prize in our Christmas contest. The 57-year-old tricycle driver had a dazed look in his eyes, like he couldn’t believe his luck. He wore a white T-shirt that could use some serious washing. Mang Senen was obviously a man of meager means but among the 25 winners, he stood 10-feet tall.

Mang Senen said he sent nine entries to the contest, hoping one of them would be picked for a prize. He had submitted entries to our last three Christmas contests but never got lucky – until now.

Here’s the bundle that Mang Senen took home as the first prize winner – P10,000 cash from the Herma Group, P10,000 cash from Harbour Centre, P5,000 cash from Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines vice president Manny Lopez, SM gift certificates worth P5,000 from Philippine Taekwondo Association president Robert Aventajado, Burger King gift certificates worth P3,000 from PBA chairman Lito Alvarez, a Samsung B2100 cellphone from Games and Amusements Board chairman Eric Buhain, a Shell trolley traveling bag and Shell Cross pen from Shell vice president Bobby Kanapi, a Blackwater men’s watch and Ever Bilena ladies’ watch from DSS Productmakers chairman Dioceldo Sy, a Nike media pouch and tumbler from Mae Dichupa, an Adidas inflatable, a Chris Sports gift pack from Arleen Lindo, a PLDT Smart jacket and a DVD of “Tropa Ng Tagumpay” from Smart Sports executive director Patrick Gregorio, a Philippine team travel bag by Everlast from Philippine Sports Commission chairman Harry Angping, cheese and wine from international boxing matchmaker Jun Sarreal, Ever Bilena silkening body spray, Blackwater body spray, Magnolia Purewater, Magnolia fruit drink, Magnolia Healthtea, Alaska E-Cow stuffed toy, Alaska autographed basketball, a Disney stationery set from Larc and Assets PR, an umbrella from North Harbour Center, a PLDT Smart mobile charger, a Molten basketball from Sonia Trading (Anil Buxani), Spalding Never-Flat basketball from Philippine Basketball League commissioner Chino Trinidad, an Air21 notebook, a Shell organizer, a Metro Pacific key holder, an NBA on BTV luggage tag from Solar Sports, magazines from Emerald Headway, PBA annuals from commissioner Sonny Barrios and T-shirts from the PBA, Northern Cement, Alaska, Rain Or Shine, Barako Bull and San Miguel Beer.

Mang Senen lives in a rented room on Sinagtala Street, Project 8, Quezon City, with his wife Maria Cristina, 44, and their six-year-old daughter Cristine Shane, a Grade 1 student of Ramon Magsaysay Elementary School in Bago Bantay. He pays a rent of P1,800 a month for the room.

* * * *

In 1991, Mang Senen decided to give up taking odd jobs as a cook in clubs and restaurants to become a full-time tricycle driver. A year later, he got married. Mang Senen paid a down of P21,000 for the tricycle and a monthly amortization of P4,000 for 1 1/2 years. He has plied the SM North EDSA-Bago Bantay route for nearly 20 years.

The only appliances in the Masagca family’s rented room are a TV set, a DVD and an electric fan – nothing else. To augment their income, Mang Senen’s wife cooks for neighbors and passers-by.

Mang Senen finished only up to Grade 5 while his wife reached second year of college. They’re both from Gubat, Sorsogon.

“It was my wife who encouraged me to join the contest,” said Mang Senen in Pilipino. “I’d never won a contest before. We buy The Philippine STAR twice or thrice a week depending on how much we earn. We usually just borrow the newspaper from our neighbor Mang Mariano. I found out I won when I got a call from Mr. Henson’s office. I couldn’t believe it.”

With his cash prize of P25,000, Mang Senen said he’d like to open up a small sari-sari store or put a down for another tricycle or start an e-load wallet.

“All I want for Christmas is a comfortable life for my family and a good future for our daughter who’s an honor student and very intelligent,” said Mang Senen whose parents have passed away – his mother died of natural causes at 72 and his father of a heart attack at 42. He is one of six children. His three brothers work as a mason, bartender and appliance technician.

Of course, the Masagcas are sports fans and avid readers of the STAR’s sports section.

“I like basketball and boxing,” said Mang Senen. “Manny Pacquiao is my idol – he’s the best in boxing. My wife is a fan of Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA and her PBA favorite is James Yap of Purefoods.”

For the Masagcas, this Christmas will be brighter than ever before, thanks to their “Star” of hope.


Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Processing of returning OFW extended

MANILA, Philippines—To accommodate the many returning overseas Filipino workers who need to process their overseas employment certificates during the holidays, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has extended this service.

Administrator Jennifer Jardin-Manalili said the POEA Balik-Manggagawa Processing Center in the POEA main office in Ortigas shall be open on December 26 (Saturday) and December 30 (Rizal Day) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in anticipation of the influx of OFWs after Christmas Day.
Manalili said returning OFWs who are in the provinces may also have their exit clearance processed at the POEA regional offices but only during regular work days.

The POEA regional offices are located in San Fernando City, La Union; Baguio City; Clark Field, Pampanga; Calamba City; Legaspi City; Tacloban City; Cebu City; Iloilo City; Bacolod City; Davao City; Cagayan De Oro City; and Zamboanga City.

Manalili said OFWs should present their valid passports, working permits, and other relevant employment documents for verification by POEA officers.

The Balik-Manggagawa program is for OFWs on vacation or on leave, and are returning to the same employer. The term also refers to OFWs who will join/return to the same employer who has transferred to another jobsite; who have partially served their present employer; and undocumented OFWs (tourists, dependents, students, and businessman) who became OFWs and have partially served the same employer.

First Posted 09:26:00 12/24/2009

Filed under: Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner, POEA-Advisory

Free shuttle rides to malls offered to arriving OFWs

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino overseas workers arriving during the height of the Christmas season have the option to meet their welcoming relatives at nearby SM malls instead of slugging it out at congested parking areas of international airports in Manila, Pampanga and Cebu.

Sy-led SM malls, in partnership with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), are offering free shuttle rides to OFWs arriving via 3 international gateways: Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, and Cebu International Airport.

OFWs can opt to meet up with their relatives in SM malls–Mall of Asia in Pasay City, SM Clark and SM Cebu–to avoid heavy traffic at these airports. Baggage handling is free. OWWA Administrator Carmelita S. Dimzon said welfare officers abroad have sent flyers and e-mail messages to OFWs coming home through these airports to register and avail of the free service dubbed “Pamaskong Salubong Program 2009.”

The Manila-bound flights selected are arriving from Taipei (China Airlines, Eva Air and Cebu Pacific); Singapore (Singapore Airlines, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific); Hongkong (Cathay Pacific, PAL, and Cebu Pacific); Inchon (PAL, Gulf Air, Qatar Airways); Dubai (Emirates); and Kuwait (Kuwait Airways).

The Salubong program started on December 18 and will end on January 15, 2010.

Source: | 12/23/2009 7:43 PM

Filed under: Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner,

3 OFWs win P200,000 each from OWWA raffle

MANILA, Philippines – Two engineers and a household service worker who arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) got lucky this Christmas season as they each won P200,000 from a raffle program.

The winners of the 15th Pamaskong Handog Program for OFWs of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) were Berlin Garcia Cruz, 48, Clodita Mortilla, 50, and Rexson Genetiano, 30.

“The Pamaskong Handog Program is the country’s way of making our OFWs feel that we, their countrymen, are inspired by them and that we acknowledge their sacrifices. This is why OWWA is strongly committed to this program which is now on its 15th year,” said OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon.

Garcia is an engineer in Saudi Arabia who arived on board Gulf Air GF 154 from Bahrain. Mortilla is employed as a household service worker in Italy and was on board a Cathay Pacific CX 907 flight from Hong Kong while Genetiano is an engineer in Singapore who arrive on board Jetstar 3K561 from Singapore.

Garcia, of Morong, Rizal, won a savings account of P200,000 from Banco de Oro. He said he plans to spend most of his prize money for the education of 3 of his 5 children.

Mortilla won P100,000 in gift certificates from Land Bank of the Philippines, and another P100,000 in a savings account from the Development Bank of the Philippines.

The native of San Pascual, Batangas said she will make plans on how to spend the money. Mortilla has been working for 23 years in Italy. She has a 17-year old twin. She came home with her husband to visit her ailing father-in-law.

Genetiano won P100,000 from Globe Telecoms in G-Cash, and another P100,000 in gift certificates from Duty Free Philippines. He has been working in Singapore for 3 years. He and his wife Evangeline plan to save the prize he won.

The lucky winners were chosen through raffles from among OFW arrivals at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport and the Mactan-Cebu International airport.

Aside from Dimzon, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque, Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Alfonso Cusi and executives of the corporate sponsors of the program congratulated and presented the prizes to the lucky winners.

source: | 12/23/2009 7:51 PM

Filed under: Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner,

Parol-Making Workshop in Illinois

23 December 2009—The Philippine Consulate General in Chicago reported that the 4th Annual Parol Making Workshop was held at the St. John Brebeuf Church in Niles, Illinois last December 13.

The workshop was conducted by Art Commissioner of Arlington Heights and renowned Filipino-born artist Fred De Asis.

One hundred participants attended the one-day workshop, some coming from neighboring states of Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Mr. De Asis taught participants how to make the traditional Filipino Christmas ornarnents or parols using thin wooden sticks, tissue paper, rubber bands, glue and other ornaments.

Other activities in the workshop included a brief talk on the parol’s historical tradition and its significance in Filipino culture and Filipino Christmas carols.

There were also raffle draws, freshly-brewed salabat, lots of kakanin, and presents fo children. Tagalog Christmas ballads were rendered by a local band soloist Nina Mae Vidal, and special prizes awarded to the best parol in three age categories

The Christmas parol-making workshop is done annually to promote Filipino Christmas activities and spirit.

It also emphasizes the value of worlking together and helping each other especially during Christmas season.

Source: DFA

Posted: 23 Dec 2009 02:02 AM PST

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

MAYON VOLCANO UPDATES – 23 December 2009

Mayon Volcano (13.2576 N, 123.6856 E) continued to show an intense level of activity during the past 24-hour observation period.. Seismic activity remained elevated in number and size as the seismic network detected 1,051 volcanic earthquakes and continuously recorded harmonic tremors. Many of these volcanic earthquakes were recorded at maximum deflection. Sixty six (66) ash explosions were observed during times of good visibility. These explosions produced grayish to light brown ash columns that reached height from 100 to 1000 meters above the summit before drifting towards southwest.

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emission rate remained very high and was measured at an average of 6,737 tons per day (t/d) yesterday. Two hundred eighty (280) audible booming and rumbling sounds were intermittently heard for the past 24 hours. Red hot lava also continuously flowed down along the Bonga-Buyuan, Miisi and Lidong gullies.

Alert Level 4 remains hoisted over Mayon Volcano, meaning a hazardous eruption is possible within days. Thus, PHIVOLCS-DOST reiterates that the Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) from the summit of 8-km on the southern sector of the volcano and 7-km on the northern sector should be free from human activity. Areas just outside of this EDZ should prepare for evacuation in the event hazardous explosive eruptions intensify. Active river channels and those perennially identified as lahar prone in the southern sector should also be avoided especially during bad weather conditions or when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall. PHIVOLCS–DOST is closely monitoring Mayon Volcano’s activity and any new significant development will be immediately posted to all concerned.

Source: PHILVOLCS – Mayon Volcano Bulletin 10

23 December 2009 – 0700hrs.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Gov’t probe, action into use of Pinoys as ‘drug mules’ sought

Gov’t probe, action into use of Pinoys as ‘drug mules’ sought
Manila Bulletin
The senator’s Sagip OFW office has in fact rescued a number of Filipinos victimized by drug cartels. “We could not possibly rescue every single Filipino who
See all stories on this topic

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates


Mayon Volcano (13.2576 N, 123.6856 E) continued to show an intense level of activity during the past 24-hour observation period. Seismic activity remained elevated in number and size as the seismic network detected a total of 1,266 volcanic earthquakes.

Many of these volcanic earthquakes were recorded at maximum deflection and have continuously occurred since 12:21 PM, 20 December 2009. Harmonic tremors were still continuously being recorded.

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emission rate remained very high and was measured at an average of 6,529 tons per day (t/d) yesterday. Visual observation was hampered by thick clouds covering the upper and middle slopes of the volcano since 6:00 AM yesterday.

However, an intensified crater glow was observed during a short cloud break last night. Audible booming and rumbling sounds were still intermittently heard for the past 24 hours. Red hot lava also continuously flowed down along the Bonga-Buyuan, Miisi and Lidong gullies. The lava front has reached about 5 kilometers downslope from the summit along the Bonga-Buyuan gully.

Alert Level 4 is hoisted over Mayon Volcano, meaning a hazardous eruption is possible within days. Thus, PHIVOLCS-DOST reiterates that the Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) from the summit of 8-km on the southern sector of the volcano and 7-km on the northern sector should be free from human activity.

Areas just outside of this EDZ should prepare for evacuation in the event hazardous explosive eruptions intensify. Active river channels and those perennially identified as lahar prone in the southern sector should also be avoided especially during bad weather conditions or when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall.

PHIVOLCS–DOST is closely monitoring Mayon Volcano’s activity and any new significant development will be immediately posted to all concerned.

Source: PHILVOLCS – 22 Dec 2009

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Government may resume deployment of OFWs to Lebanon next year

Government may resume deployment of OFWs to Lebanon next year
Philippine Star
Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Jennifer Manalili said no schedule has been set for talks on the lifting of the ban.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates


Time blew so fast and now its  22nd of  December  and we’re  just 2 days away from Christmas.  Are you coming home for the holiday?  Sana po para makasama naman ninyo ang inyong mga mahal sa buhay sa araw ng Pasko. Hiling po namin na sana maging mapagpala at maligaya ang inyong bakasyon. Dios mabalos po saindo gabos!

Filed under: Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner,

RP Embassies in Beirut, Damascus Assisting Filipino Survivors of Ship Sinking Off Lebanese Coasts

21 December 2009 – The Philippine Embassy in Beirut continues to closely monitor the situation of Filipino seafarers who were onboard Panamanian cargo ship Dany F II which sank off the coast of Tripoli, Lebanon in the evening of December 17 due to stormy weather conditions.

In a report to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Charge d’Affaires, a.i. Mohd. Noordin Pendosina Lomondot stated that the Embassy immediately dispatched Labor Attache Nathaniel Lacambra and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration welfare officers to Tripoli to extend assistance to the affected Filipino seafarers.

The Embassy is also in close coordination with the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants and the Lebanese Ministry of the Interior.

The Philippine Embassy in Damascus has also informed the DFA that the seafarer who was rescued in Tartus, Syria is already in their custody..

Philippine Embassy in Damascus Charge d’ Affairs, a.i, Marlowe A. Miranda has reported that the seafarer has undergone medical examination and is in good condition. They have also prepared the travel documents and are ready to process the exit visa for his repatriation.

Thirteen Filipino seafarers were rescued, with 12 safely housed in Tripoli and one in Tartus. They are Danilo Policarpio, Wilson Vicente , Lezer Gepulgani, Michel Olivia, Edgardo Pucan, Jonathan Rada, Rafael Tarroza, Erasmo Galanza, Leolen Babao, Rogelio Dequina, Joebert Benoman, Jowey Quinto and Jason Magsino.

There is one Filipino casualty reported, 3rd Engineer Alex Crisostomo.

Meanwhile, seven Filipino seafarers are missing. They are Manuel Calaor, Leonardo Tiongson, Fuller Edgar, Manuel Bordas Jr., Benedicto Cruz, Enrico Librada and Vilter Amit.

The next of kin of the fatality and the missing seafarers have been notified by their manning agency of the incidents.

The cargo ship Dany F II was on its way from the Uruguay capital of Montevideo to the Syrian port of Tartus carrying thousands of sheep and cattle when it was hit by Thursday night’s storm and altered course for Lebanon. END

source: DFA

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

OFW remittance growth may continue slide next year — ADB

OFW remittance growth may continue slide next year — ADB
The growth in money sent home by Filipino workers abroad may slow next year as Asia continues to reel from the slowing global economy, the Asian Development
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Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Department of Foreign Affairs-20Dec2009

13 Filipino Seafarers in Panamanian Cargo Ship Rescued

Posted: 20 Dec 2009 04:46 AM PST

20 December 2009—The Philippine Embassy in Beirut reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that 13 out of 21 Filipino seafarers survived the sinking of the Panamanian cargo ship Dany F II off the coast of Tripoli, Lebanon in the evening of 17 December 2009 due to stormy weather conditions.

The rescued Filipino seafarers are Danilo Policarpio, Wilson Vicente, Lezer Gepulgani, Michel Olivia, Edgardo Pucan, Jonathan Rada, Rafael Tarroza, Erasmo Galanza, Leolen Babao, Rogelio Dequina, Joebert Benoman, Jowey Quinto and Jason Magsino. The twelve are safely housed in Tripoli while one is in Tartus, Syria.

There are also seven Filipino seafarers reported missing and one Filipino casualty. Their names are currently being withheld until their next of kin have been informed.

Charge d’Affaires, a.i. Mohd. Noordin Pendosina Lomondot reported that the Philippine Embassy in Beirut is coordinating closely with the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants and the Lebanese Ministry of the Interior. Labor Attache Nathaniel Lacambra and OWWA welfare officers are in Tripoli to extend assistance to the affected Filipino seafarers. The Department of Foreign Affairs continues to closely monitor the situation.

The Dany F II was on its way from the Uruguay capital of Montevideo to the Syrian port of Tartus carrying thousands of sheep and cattle when it was hit by Thursday night’s storm and altered course for Lebanon. END



Philippine Parol to Light Up Mansion House in Dublin

Posted: 19 Dec 2009 07:00 PM PST

20 December 2009 – A parol (traditional Filipino lantern) will light the Mansion House in Dublin this Christmas, according to the Philippine Embassy in Dublin.

Lord Mayor Cllr Emer Costello accepted the lantern on behalf of the people of Dublin from Philippine Ambassador to Dublin Ariel Y. Abadilla at the Mansion House last December. The lantern will then shine from the Lord Mayor’s Residence for Christmas.

“One of the things I’ve most enjoyed about being Lord Mayor is meeting people from every walk of life and from all parts of the city. People from all over the world now live in Dublin and the Filipino community are very prominent in social, cultural, business and community circles. It’s a pleasure to accept this beautiful lantern which says to the many Filipinos here that although they are far from their birth home this Christmas they have a home here in Dublin,” said Lord Mayor Costello.

“As a symbol of the Filipino people’s friendship and gratitude to the City of Dublin and the Irish people, the first resident Embassy of the Philippines in Ireland is delighted to mark the historic significance of its establishment in June of this year by presenting to the Lord Mayor, a ‘parol’ or traditional Philippine Christmas lantern. The lantern that we present to the Lord Mayor is the most recognizable Christmas ornament for Filipinos wherever in the world they may be. The “parol” is intricately designed and handmade with “capiz” or shells. The ‘parol’ reminds Filipinos of the star of Bethlehem that guided the Magi on their way in search of the Infant Jesus,” Ambassador Abadilla added.

World International Ministries Choir, a Filipino choral group, will perform Filipino carols at the event. END



RP Embassy in Ottawa Hosts International Human Rights Roundtable Discussions

Posted: 19 Dec 2009 06:45 PM PST

20 December 2009 – In celebration of International Human Rights Day, the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa organized an International Human Rights Roundtable Forum last December 10.

The roundtable discussion was held at the Conference Board of Canada and attended by Asia-Pacific Heads of Missions, their Deputies, members of academe, and other guests.

“I am very thankful that we had this occasion to share our thoughts on Human Rights as we celebrate International Human Rights Day,” Philippine Ambassador to Ottawa Jose S. Brillantes said.

According to him, the Philippines is one of the strongest advocates of International Human Rights in international fora, and the event reflects how the country views the importance of upholding human dignity around the world.

“I am particularly thankful that we had occasion to tackle the cultural rights of immigrants and migrant workers, as the world’s labor markets open up to international labor,” Ambassador Brillantes added.

Ambassador Brillantes was recently re-elected to the UN Committee on the Protection of Migrant Workers and their Families at the United Nations in New York.

The forum’s main speaker was Dr. Ed Broadbent, who spoke on “The Growing Inequality and the Ignoring of the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.” Dr. Broadbent was the leader of the federal Nationalist Democratic Party (NDP), a former Member of Parliament of Canada, and a co-author of many Canadian and international documents on human rights and the social-democratic process.

Discussions focused on the Asia-Pacific region, as Ambassador Brillantes is the Dean of the Asia Pacific Heads of Missions while Minister and Consul General Joseph Gerard B. Angeles is the Dean of the Asia Pacific Deputies.

Many current human rights issues were discussed during the Forum, particularly cultural rights as they pertain to immigrants and migrant workers, and the countries which receive them. END



Pasko Sa Apapa Held

Posted: 19 Dec 2009 06:35 PM PST

20 December 2009 – The consular team from the Philippine Embassy in Abuja attended the annual Filipino community Christmas party entitled “Pasko sa Apapa,” held in Parkland, Apapa, Lagos last December 12.

Chargé d’Affairs Alex V. Lamadrid delivered his Christmas message and expressed the Embassy’s appreciation for the Filipino community in Apapa’s support, as well as for the fund-raising initiatives of the community in Lagos for the benefit of typhoon victims.

He also encouraged all qualified voters to participate actively in the 2010 national elections from April 10 to May 10 next year.

About 450 Filipinos from Ikeja, Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Agbara and Apapa, Lagos gathered celebrate the event.

The Pasko celebration teatured different events, Christmas caroling, exchange gifts, and games for adult’s and children.

The team, which also included Consular Officer Alimoden S. Emam and Protocol Officer Efren E. Pasculado, also provided consular services to the Filipino community in Lagos that day.

Services offered including processing and renewals of passports, certifications, authentications, and visa applications of Nigerian dependents of Filipinos in Lagos. END



Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Filipino advocacy group installs 5th Congress

Filipino advocacy group installs 5th Congress
Saudi Gazette
OFW Congress will focus on providing the tools necessary to enable returning OFWs to succeed in their reintegration process,” Tupas said.
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Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Fresnido’s career-best nets athletics seventh gold

Fresnido’s career-best nets athletics seventh gold
Philippine Star
The 5-11, 37-year-old native of Bulusan, Sorsogon showed he had still enough power in a 87-kg frame ás he cast the javelin to a distance òf 72.93 meters,
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Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

RP Consulate General in Macau with Filipino Community in Momentous Charity Walk

17 December 2009 — The Philippine Consulate General in Macau led the very first Filipino community contingent at the 26th Charity Walk for a Million held last December 13. They marched together with over 40,000 participants and raised a record US$1.3 million for charity.

Participating Filipino associations included the Benguet Association, Philippine Airlines, CFC-FFL, Mountain Province Association, Quezonian, Association of Filipino Pharmacists in Macau, Batangueño, Looking Unto Jesus, Door of Hope Ministries, Banco de Oro Express Padala, Chinoy’s Express, Diastar, Freedom in Christ, El Shaddai, Jesus Blessed Rock, Legion of Mary, Sto Niño de Cebu, New Hope of Life, The Loved Flock, KAMI, and OFW Foodmart.

“We are very happy to join the Charity Walk as a community and this is our first time. By participating in this event, the Filipino community expresses its solidarity with the Macau society in contributing to a worthy cause for the benefit of the needy and less fortunate,” Consul General Jaime Victor B. Ledda told the Filipino community before the march.

He also expressed appreciation to the Filipino associations for their gallant participation and to the Abot Tanaw for its sponsorship of the delegation’s uniform.

Filipinos have been participating in the event for several years as individual employees of companies, schools, hotels or casinos. However, this marked the very first time that Filipinos walked together as a community in the event.

According to the organizers, the Charity Walk this year drew the largest number of participants from local associations, schools, companies and other entities that banded together and produced the biggest charity contribution ever in the history of the march.

The Macau government gives great importance to this singular event where the whole society comes together as one with no less than Macau SAR’s Chief Executive Edmund Ho, joined by other senior officials, heading the charity walk.

Launched in 1984, the Charity Walk for a Million has become a socio-civic tradition in Macau held every second Sunday of December.

It is organized by the Fundo de Beneficencia dos Leitores do Journal Ou Mun (Macau Daily News Readers Charity Foundation) to raise funds for public welfare causes, particularly senior citizens and poor students.

Participants walk some three kilometers from the Kum Yam Statue in Nape, pass by the Macau Tower and finish at the A-Ma Temple in Barra where the groups are greeted and acknowledged by well-wishers, band music and a lion dance.

Source: DFA-Posted: 16 Dec 2009 05:40 PM PST

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

First Licensure Exams for Nurses and Midwives Conducted in HK

17 December 2009 – A total of 117 examinees took the first-ever licensure examinations conducted by the Philippines Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) for nurses and midwives, according to the Philppine Consulate General in Hong Kong.

The examinations were held at the Bayanihan Center, Kennedytown, Hong Kong from December 12 to 13.

Of this number, 90 took the nurses exams while 27 took the midwifery exams.

The Nurses Examinations covered the following subjects: Nursing Practice I: Foundation of Nursing and Professional Nursing Practice; Nursing Practice II: Community Health Nursing and Care of the Mother and Child; and Nursing Practice III-V: Care of Clients with Physiologic and Psychosocial Alterations.

On the other hand, the 27 examinees for the Midwifery tests covered the following areas: Obstetrics, Fundamentals of Health Care, Infant Care and Feeding, Primary Health Care, Professional Growth and Development.

Commissioner Ruth Raña Padilla headed the PRC delegation along with Chairman of the Board of Nursing Carmencita M.. Abaquin and Chairman of the Board of Midwifery Alejandrino R. San Pedro. They were assisted by five other PRC officers.

The examinations were conducted in coordination with the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong, Filipino Nurses Association-Hong Kong and the Integrated Midwives of the Philippines-Hong Kong.

Source: Department of Foreign Affairs – Posted: 16 Dec 2009 05:32 PM PST

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates


Official candidates for 2010 polls in Sorsogon out

by Bennie A. Recebido

Sorsogon Province (December 17) — The list of official local candidates in this province for the May 2010 national and local polls was finally made public by the Commission on Election (Comelec) provincial office here.

Comelec record showed that six has filed their Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) for the gubernatorial slate with former Gov. Raul Lee, and incumbent Sorsogon 2nd District Congressman Jose Solis, Amadeo Brin, Ramon Gallinera, Felizardo Garil and Antonio Imperial composing the list.

Incumbent Governor Sally Lee withdrew her candidacy to give way to her husband Raul.

Six candidates are also running for vice governor, including former Bulan town Mayor Guillermo De Castro, incumbent Sorsogon 1st District Board Member Rosario Diaz, former Vice Governor Antonio Escudero, Jr., former Sta. Magdalena Mayor Nida Gamos and Mirafe Godisan.

Nineteen candidates are vying for the provincial board in the first congressional district, while seventeen contenders for the second district.

Former Casiguran town Mayor Edwin Hamor will be running against incumbent Congressman Salvador Escudero III for Representative of the first congressional district.

Six candidates namely incumbent Sorsogon 2nd District Board Member Arze Glipo, incumbent Bulusan Mayor Juan Guysayko, Flocerfida de Guzman, Edmundo Escalante, Rosario Gavanzo and Ricardo Golpeo signified their intention to run in the second congressional district.

Former allies and both incumbent Mayor Leovic Dioneda and Vice Mayor Edmundo Atutubo will vie for the top position in Sorsogon City.

On the other hand, Robert Ante Lee Rodrigueza, son of Governor Lee, goes against incumbent City Councilor Roel Sta. Ana for the vie mayoralty race.

Atty. Calixto L. Aquino, Jr., Comelec Sorsogon supervisor, meanwhile said Sorsogon City has registered the highest voters’ registration turnout with 83,829, followed by Bulan, 46,125; Pilar, 37,924; and Gubat with 29,816. Sta Magdalena comes last with 9,831 voting population.

“With the recent withdrawal of one mayoralty candidate in Prieto Diaz, the total number of candidates in the province that filed their CoCs lowered down to 601.

The province has 395,371 registered and qualified voters for May 2010 elections.

Sorsogon province is composed of fourteen towns and one city. It has 2,503 established voting precincts in its 541 barangays. (PIA Sorsogon) [top]

Filed under: Upcoming Events, What's Happening Here?,

OWWA vows to help stranded overseas workers

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Wednesday assured families that stranded overseas Filipino workers will be flown home immediately after they obtain the exit clearance required by the host government.

OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon made the assurance during a dialogue with Migrante International, an alliance of Filipino migrant groups, and OFW families, who asked for the immediate repatriations of stranded OFWs.

“OWWA funds are sufficient to buy the plane tickets but what takes time is the process required under the immigration rules of foreign countries. OWWA has no control over foreign laws,” Dimzon told families of some OFW workers.

Dimzon also briefed the OFW families as well as the Migrante International of the one-country approach of the Philippine government to help in negotiating with foreign employers to return passports of OFWs and waive objections for departures.

She said that under Gulf laws, migrant workers become illegal or overstaying aliens once their employers reported them as having absconded from their jobs.

The OWWA administrator said that because they are now police and not labor cases, the OFWs are subject to arrests and detention and daily fines and penalties for overstaying.

Dimzon said that they can only be deported only if they have settled with employers.

“There is no problem with getting plane tickets. Because runaway OFWs have no or little money left, OWWA also pays the fines and penalties to hurry things up,” said Dimzon.


December 16, 2009, 6:21pm

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Irosin municipal fire station intensifies ‘Ugnayang Barangay’ program

Irosin municipal fire station intensifies ‘Ugnayang Barangay’ program
Philippine Information Agency
by BA Recebido Sorsogon Province (16 December) — As part of the Bureau of Fire Protection’s (BFP) mitigation and disaster preparedness program,
See all stories on this topic

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Misa De Aguinaldo has begun!

Let’s all be excited as we prepare to commemorate the birth of our Lord JESUS CHRIST.  This is the day#1 of a nine-day Beautiful tradition of “Misa de Gallo” or Simbang Gabi, Let us pray for the healing of our country so that 2010 will be a prosperous year for everyone.

Please extend your prayer to our OFW’s for their hopes & wishes may come true this year. Guys, alam namin kung gaano nyo na rin na miss ang pinas. yung ingay ng mga batang nangangaroling, yung puto bumbong or bibingka, , salabat, tsokolate-tablea & pilinuts at higit sa lahat ang makasama ang pamilya sa araw ng PASKO.

So, Here’s SorsogonUnited handog para sa mga PINOY OFW’s from around the GLOBE..GODSPEED!..MABUHAY PO KAYONG LAHAT!!

Filed under: Kumustahan, Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner, , , ,

Dolphin Salvaged in Brgy Purog Bulusan Sorsogon December 15 2009

Dolphin Salvaged in Brgy Purog Bulusan Sorsogon December 15 2009

Dolphin Salvaged in Brgy. Purog, Bulusan, Sorsogon December 15, 2009

Dolphin Salvaged in Brgy. Purog, Bulusan, Sorsogon December 15, 2009

Dolphin Salvaged in Brgy. Purog, Bulusan, Sorsogon December 15, 2009

Originally posted by : AGAPBULUSAN

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates,

Albay to evacuate 47,000 around Mayon

Read Full Story – Philippines
In the municipality of Daraga, at least 810 families or 4100 people have been evacuated from the villages of Banadero and Matnog. The PDCC is still awaiting

By Rey M. Nasol
Inquirer Southern Luzon
First Posted 00:57:00 12/15/2009

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay, Philippines— (UPDATE 3) Albay Governor Salceda has recommended the immediate evacuation of 47,285 residents (9,946 families) from 45 villages around Mayon Volcano on Tuesday morning after Mayon’s alert level was raised from 2 to 3 Monday night.

The preemptive evacuation will cover Tabaco City, and the towns of Malilipot, Daraga, Camalig, Guinobatan and Ligao, Office of Civil Defense-5 director Raffy Alejandro said in a phone interview.

The figure comes from a total of 20 villages composed of 2,728 families or 12,803 people within the six-kilometer permanent danger zone, said Cristina Ador, statistician of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office.

She added that there are also 25 villages with 7,218 families or 34,482 persons at the 6- to 8-km extended danger zones at the southeast quadrant of Mayon affected by the evacuation orders.

As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, at least 1,801 families or 7,881 persons have evacuated from the villages of Quirangay, Sua, Cabangan, Tumpa, Salugan and Anoling in Camalig town, Ador said.

In the municipality of Daraga, at least 810 families or 4100 people have been evacuated from the villages of Banadero and Matnog.

The PDCC is still awaiting the statistics of evacuees from the towns of Guinobatan, Ligao and Camalig where ashfalls were also reported, Ador said.

Glowing lava fragments were seen continuously detaching from the crater of the volcano, which came to rest on the upper and middle slopes, about 3 km from the summit, said a bulletin from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology during the past 24-hour observation period.

Seismographs recorded 83 volcanic earthquakes compared to 43 on Monday while the sulfur dioxide emission rate increased to 757 tons per day from the previous 535, the bulletin added.

During the emergency meeting of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council and the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council on Tuesday morning, all municipal or city and barangay (village) disaster coordinating councils around Mayon have been ordered to immediately convene and activate emergency operation and execute evacuation procedures.

Officials asked affected households to prepare emergency provisions like clothing, basic utensils, and beddings.

The joint AFP-PNP Task Force Mayon was tasked to assist in the evacuation of the population involved and strictly enforce checkpoints at strategic areas to ensure that nobody enters the danger zone at any time.

“A major eruption of Mayon might occur within the period of two weeks if ever the abnormalities would continue and further intensify,” said Alex Baloloy, science research analyst.

He said a team of geologists, volcanologists and other scientists from the central office in Diliman, Quezon City just arrived this morning to help the observatory center closely monitor Mayon.

Mayon Carlos Baldo of Camalig, one of the Albay towns affected, told the joint PDCC-RDCC meeting that residents in affected barangays are now at the holding areas and awaiting transportation support for the massive evacuation efforts.

In Guinobatan town, Mayor Juan Garcia appealed for dust masks and evacuation vehicles as the volume of ashes that fell on the town last night seemed like “we were having a white Christmas.”

In a telephone interview, Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said the towns of Bonga, Mabingit, and Buyuan are the ones in immediate danger due to the direction of the lava flow.

Solidum added that there is a possibility that the alert level would be raised even higher if Mayon Volcano will show hazardous explosions.

“We cannot estimate if there will be a bigger explosion but as long as there is lava coming out of the volcano, then there is a possibility that the alert level will be raised higher,” he said..

He noted that in Mayon Volcano’s history, most eruptions are explosive in nature.

Meanwhile, Phivolcs has recommended the evacuation of residents living within the 6-kilometer permanent danger zone around the volcano and local authorities and the provincial disaster coordinating council have implemented the preemptive measure.

“What we recommend, they (local officials) follow,” Solidum said.

The Phivolcs chief said that most of the earthquakes recorded between 8 a.m. Monday until 8 a.m. Tuesday were due to “falling lava fragments.”

“From time to time you will see incandescent lava fragments rolling on the south east side of the volcano,” Solidum told

Scientists are now collating the ash explosion intervals, aside from sulfur dioxide emissions, volcanic quakes, crater glows, “bulging” of the slopes and steaming activities.

Prior to this Monday’s episode, the seismic network around Mayon Volcano recorded an explosion-type earthquake at 7:59 p.m. on Friday, which lasted for three minutes.

Phivolcs’ Monday bulletin said its seismographs recorded 43 volcanic quakes, the highest number of such quakes since alert level 2 was raised last July 10 this year.

“But sulfur dioxide emission registered only 535 tons per day, a bit higher than the minimum of 500 tons per day and is causing us a special concern to reconsider all the available parameters pertaining to Mayon’s abnormalities,” science research analyst Alex Baloloy said.

He added that the intervals between minor ash explosions that Mayon manifested in the past weeks were considered a new parameter that might warrant raising alert status from level 2 to level 3.

Baloloy said residents along the volcano’s slopes such as in Camalig town at the western side, part of Daraga at the southwestern side, and this city claimed they heard rumbling sounds during the explosion.

Katherine Evangelista,

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Pag-IBIG Fund targets 1-M OFW members by 2010

Pag-IBIG Fund targets 1-M OFW members by 2010
By Prix D. Banzon

Davao City (15 December) — The Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) popularly known as Pag-IBIG Fund is set to increase its membership of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to one million in 2010.

This was revealed by HDMF vice president for Southern Mindanao operations Jose W. Banzon, Jr. during the “Handog ng Pag-IBIG Fund sa OFW” last Friday at SM City Davao entertainment center.

Pag-IBIG Fund’s current membership for OFWs accounted to 470,000 and they aim to double the membership by 2010.

Meanwhile Banzon said with the huge contribution of OFWs to the country’s economy and as their gesture of recognizing these efforts they came up with fitting tribute to them by letting them understand further the benefits they get from the Fund as members and a simple celebration in time for the Christmas season.

Citing figures from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Banzon said that total remittances of OFWs from 2003 to 2008 amounted to US$ 70..5 billion or P3.2 Trillon. Figures for 2009 accounted to P284 billion or equivalent to 71 percent of the national budget of the Philippine government for 2010.

The BSP figure showed a projection of $17 b remittances or a growth rate of 4.2 percent compared to last year’s total remittances amounting to US$16 billion.

He said 10 percent of the Philippine population are working abroad of about 8.5 million are OFWs against the country’s population of 85 million.

“Without overseas employment and their accompanying remittances we might not have hope for the global financial crisis,” he said.

He said other countries were mostly affected by the global meltdown unlike the Philippines where OFW remittances is a big contribution to the Philippine economy.

Pag-IBIG Fund he said has set up offices around the globe within the Philippine embassies and consular offices that will cater to queries and other services of OFWs.

With the passage of the new law or Republic Act 9679, the OFWs in 2010 are covered by Pag-IBIG Fund as compulsory members.

Once a member of the Fund, it will be to the advantage of the OFW as they enjoy the benefits and services from multi-purpose loan to housing loan and earnings of dividends, he said.

The OFW has to pay only $5 monthly contribution and they could avail among others of a housing loan with six percent interest rate per annum for a house and lot package of P300, 000. However there are other types of packages that they can choose from depending on their needs, he said.

Banzon said their contribution could earn at least 4.5 percent and tax free unlike investing the money in time deposit with 2.5 percent interest less tax of 20 percent what is left is 80 percent or a net of 2 percent.

Linda Moreno, HDMF vice president for Philippine International Operations Group said they will be opening more offices abroad especially so that they had been getting regularl queries from OFWs.

As much as possible she said they wanted to make Pag-IBIG Fund services be more accessible to them.

Atty. Marie Antoniette D. Diaz, assistant manager for Pag-IBIG Fund Davao also explained that with the Fund now being exempted from paying taxes to the national government at about P3 billion, the fund can be used to more programs including payment of dividends to the members.

She also said that under RA 9679 as mandated, membership shall cover all employees who are members of the Social Security System and Government Service Insurance System and shall cover also those employees receiving with salaries P4,000 and below and those employees waived by companies.

She said the new law applies to all Philippine-based employees and overseas Filipino workers. (PIA) [top]

Filed under: Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner, Overseas Jobs

More OFW Households save & invest

Due to fears of displacement and possible unemployment as the effects of the global financial slowdown continue to unfold, families who rely on remittances sent home by a family member working abroad are learning to save or invest.

In a recent survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), 44.8 percent of 524 respondent families which rely on remittances in the fourth quarter 2009 allotted portions of remittances to savings.

The ratio was 39.9 percent during the third quarter.

The central bank said the percentage has significantly increased from only 7.2 percent in the first quarter of 2007.

Households using remittances for investment also went up from 2.3 percent in the first quarter of 2007 to 7.1 percent in Q4 2009.

But the ratio is slightly lower than the 7.6 percent registered in the third quarter.

“OFW households utilize their remittances primarily for savings, food, education, medical expenses and debt payments in Q4 2009,” BSP said.

The survey said 95.2 percent of respondents spent remittances on food and other household needs.

Of the households, 65.8 percent used remittances for education expenses, 62.2 percent for medical expenses, and 49.2 percent for debt payments.

The percentage of OFW households that utilized remittances to purchase consumer durables and motor vehicles was broadly steady at 26.0 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively from 26.5 percent and 6.8 percent in Q3 2009.

Those that apportioned part of their remittances for amortization or full payment for houses dropped to 10.5 percent from 12.1 percent in the previous quarter.

BSP deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo earlier said the results of the survey “reflect the uncertainties in the global economy.”

“Most OF families are concerned that the global economic slowdown that is resulting to recession in most of the developed economies may result to displacement of OFWs,” Guinigundo said.

But the BSP said the fears might be exaggerated.

It said remittance flows were shored up by the continued strong global demand for professional and skilled Filipino workers and the wider access of overseas workers and their beneficiaries to a broader array of financial products and services.

BSP said these factors support the optimistic outlook for sustained growth in remittances through the rest of 2009.

Remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks rose significantly to $1.4 billion in September 2009, posting a year-on-year increment of 8.6 percent.

As a result, cumulative remittances for the nine-month period increased by 4.2 percent to reach $12.8 billion.

By : Jimmy Calapati

Filed under: Kwentong OFW, Livelihood, OFW Corner, Overseas Jobs,


Passport Advisory

Hi Guys, Please take note of the new DFA Passport advisory specially for those who would like to apply/ might find this helpful. Maray na aldaw po sa gabos!

Click here for the Passport Advisories

Filed under: DFA-advisory, Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner,

Migrante seeks repatriation of stranded OFWs

Migrante International will push anew for the immediate repatriation of some 250 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) stranded for six months in Doha, Riyadh, and Jeddah when it meets with Labor Secretary Marianito Roque and OWWA administrator Carmelita Dimzon this Tuesday.

The alliance of Filipino migrant organization said 51 workers in Doha deportation center, 89 in Annasban Co. in Riyadh and over a hundred in Jeddah deportation center are hoping to be repatriated before Christmas.

Some five OFWs stranded at the Malaz Jail in Jeddah, and another three are also expecting for immediate repatriation. “We and the families of these workers will insist to Dimzon and Roque to fast track action before Christmas ends,’’ said Connie Bragas-Regalado, Migrante chairperson.

“Secretary Roque should prompt his officials to hurry in order to bring home distressed OFWs before Christmas Day,’’ she said.

Regalado said the OWWA administrator had made a promise to provide assistance, including plane tickets for stranded for stranded Filipino workers.

By: Shianee Mamanglu –

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

DoLE eyes psycho-social counseling for seamen

The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said Monday it plans to provide psycho-social counseling and support services to families of abducted seafarers in Somalia and the Gulf of Aden.

“The department also intends to give emergency financial assistance to the families as part of its measures to help the sailors and address the impact of piracy affecting mostly Filipino seafarers,’’ said Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito Roque.

“These are just among the measures that were discussed with the tripartite partners in the manning industry. The tripartite meeting will serve as a blueprint to protect seamen from the continuing hijacking incidents in Somalia area,’’ according to Roque..

“The piracy in Somalia has come to an alarming proportion affecting not only the Philippines, but other European countries and the United States as well. We hope for strict monitoring of compliance to the rules set by the POEA Governing Board Resolution No. 5 s. of 2009,’’ he added.

According to a POEA Board resolution, ship owners, managers and manning agencies hiring Filipino seafarers should ensure that vessels transiting through the Gulf of Aden “shall pass only within the Maritime Security patrol area;’’ submit an appropriate security plan to all ships passing through the area; and provide training to their crew on how to avoid, react and cope with piracy and other related incidents.

Manning agencies are also required to immediately report to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the DoLE any incidents of piracy involving their ships and share their experiences in handling these incidents.

Roque said he already instructed the Philippine Overseas Employment Authority (POEA) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to spearhead this effort to put in safety nets to protect the country’s sailors.

“While some have measures in place, we want to set stronger safety nets for our seamen,” he said.

The Philippines is the largest supplier of seafarers in the global labor industry

December 14, 2009, 7:00pm

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

2 soldiers killed in NPA attack in Sorsogon

2 soldiers killed in NPA attack in Sorsogon INQUIRERnet Philippine
NAGA CITYTwo soldiers including an Army officer were killed in an attack staged by the New People’s ArmyNPA in Barangayvillage Tigkiw in Gubat Sorsogon

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

DepEd Bicol holds 2nd regional leadership training

By: BA Recebido

Sorsogon City (14 December) — The Department of Education (DepED) division office here has successfully conducted on December 2-4 the 2nd Regional Training for Student Government Officers (SGO) highlighting disaster preparedness and management and emergency response for SGOs in Bicol region.

Divina Diaz of DepEd Sorsogon City, regional training coordinator, said that the three-day training held was in line P.D. 1566 which provides for the capability enhancement and establishment of a community disaster preparedness plan, and in addition to the organization of a division/school-based emergency response team where students can be active members.”

At least 400 participants, composed of student leaders and teacher-advisers from the secondary schools division of the six provinces of Bicol region, attended the affair.

During the plenary session on the first day, PIA Information Center Manager Irma Guhit presented the state of Bicol environment while Sorsogon City Fire Marshal Chief Inspector Renato B. Marcial refreshed the participants on Basic Safety Fire Tips.

The succeeding days were highlighted by massive trainings on Basic First Aid, Basic Mountaineering Skills, Team Building and Water Safety Survival Skills spearheaded by the City Division School Nurse in partnership with the City Disaster Coordinating Council and the Composite Response and Rescue Team (CCRT), a private local organization here.

“We enjoyed the training because it has increased our awareness on common emergencies and equipped us with the latest skills and strategies towards emergency care,” said most of the participants.

The students also added that the demonstration on proper handling of emergency cases provided to them were both fun and worth learning.

Diaz said that soon after the training they will organize and mobilize division/school-based volunteers and response teams that would assist in the disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and rehabilitation. Eventually, this will become the disaster coordinating council auxiliary of their respective divisions.

Diaz also averred that Sorsogon City is playing host to this year’s training since the current Regional Supreme Student Government Federation President, Sailyn Guarin, is from Sorsogon National High School.

“Hosting the regional training, at the same time, would give the city and the province as well, a better opportunity to showcase and promote its tourism products and services,” she added.

The first regional training for SGOs was conducted last year in the town of Guinobatan in Albay province. (PIA Sorsogon) [top]

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

BFP enjoins student leaders to support fire safety programs

BFP enjoins student leaders to support fire safety programs
Philippine Information Agency – Philippines
by LG Funtanares Sorsogon City (14 December) — In their effort to strengthen their fire safety advocacy to the community, the Bureau of Fire Protection

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Watchdogs Warn Central Bankers Against Guam Remittance Scheme


Watchdogs Warn Central Bankers Against Guam Remittance Scheme
Guam News Factor – Guam,USA
issuances by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), but noted that the POEA had yet to approve any new job orders for Guam.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

POEA-Advice for vacationing OFWs

Advice for vacationing OFWs – Philippines
Or, you may apply for your OEC at the POEA main or regional offices early The POEA noted that the number of OEC applicants double during this season.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates


Facebook accounts hacked

By: Channel NewsAsia – Saturday, December 12


SINGAPORE: Right before her eyes, Julie Chiang watched the computer screen as someone used her Facebook account — pretending to be her, asking her friend for money and claiming she had been mugged in London.

“It was surreal to watch the conversation happen right in front of me,” said Ms Chiang, who had been woken up in Singapore by her friend’s phone call on Friday morning.

“He told me he was on Facebook now, talking to ’me’, and I was saying I needed money to go home.”

The hacker even used Ms Chiang’s husband’s name, which could be found on her Facebook profile, in the conversation.

Even as the unfolding scam began to dawn on her, a second friend living in New Zealand messaged her to say she was having the same conversation.

Reports of such incidents — known as a 419 scam — though few, are on the rise among Facebook users.

Fraudulent individuals collect log—in information through phishing sites and access Facebook accounts to send inbox or chat messages or to update the person’s profile. And they claim to be stranded in a foreign country and ask friends to send money, usually through a money transfer service.

“While the total number of people who have been impacted is small, we take any threat to security seriously and are redoubling our efforts to combat the scam,” said Facebook in a blog post in September.

The scam had previously been perpetrated through emails.

But more cyber criminals are leveraging on social engineering as a means of deceiving users, said systems engineering manager Ronnie Ng from Symantec Singapore.

“Social engineering takes advantage of our natural tendency to trust one another, rather than relying solely on technological means to steal information,” he said.

Indeed, Ms Leong Su—Lin, who was chatting with “Julie” yesterday morning, said the scam seemed believable because it was a “live” conversation.

“Someone was actually responding to the questions I was asking; it wasn’t an automated thing, which is why I went along with it,” Ms Leong, 32, told MediaCorp from New Zealand.

“They were also hitting on a ’soft spot’ by saying she was hurt. I was very concerned, so although she sounded a bit strange, I thought maybe it’s because she was still traumatised.”

But something felt amiss. “I thought it was strange she was on Facebook and not at the police station or at an embassy,” she said.

Mr Ng said people need to be more aware of where they post personal information and who they allow on their social networks. In addition, online users should be careful of clicking on links from unknown senders and use up—to—date security software, he advised.

“They should also be on their guard if they receive suspicious messages from friends, such as requests for money,” he said. “Users should always double—check with their friend. When in doubt, do a search on the Internet to see if it’s a known scam.”

Thankfully for Ms Chiang’s friends, they did just that, and she has since reported the incident to Facebook. “I’ve not heard of this happening, so it’ll be good for more people to know about it,” she said.

The online conversation

(5:17:46 PM) Julie Chiang: Terence and I are stuck in London at the moment

(5:17:55 PM) Derrick Lim: are u there for a holiday?

(5:18:16 PM) Julie Chiang: Vacation

(5:18:27 PM) Julie Chiang: Got mugged at gun point last night …

(5:19:00 PM) Julie Chiang: All cash,credit card and cell were stolen off me

(5:19:11 PM) Julie Chiang: I also got injured

(5:19:19 PM) Derrick Lim: oh no ….

(5:19:45 PM) Derrick Lim: what injury?

(5:20:01 PM) Julie Chiang: Little bruises all over my neck

(5:21:45 PM) Julie Chiang: I need your help to get back home?

(5:21:57 PM) Derrick Lim: my help? ….

(5:22:38 PM) Julie Chiang: Our flight leaves in less than 3hrs from now and we’re having problem settling hotel bills

(5:23:02 PM) Julie Chiang: I need you to loan me few bucks to settle the bills and get a cab to he Airport

(5:23:59 PM) Derrick Lim: ok

(5:24:42 PM) Julie Chiang: You can have it wired to my name and Location through western union ….

(5:27:27 PM) Derrick Lim: can u email me the details?

(5:27:45 PM) Julie Chiang: sure

(5:27:52 PM) Julie Chiang: Name Julie Chiang

(5:28:19 PM) Julie Chiang: Location — London, United Kingdom

(5:28:28 PM) Julie Chiang: You can try it online right now

(5:30:18 PM) Julie Chiang: Visit

(5:30:58 PM) Derrick Lim: ok

(5:31:18 PM) Julie Chiang: You will have to do it with your credit card

(5:31:22 PM) Derrick Lim: yes

— TODAY/so

Filed under: Computer Matters, OFW Corner, OFW Scam, Illegal Recruiter, Scam, Social Network, Sorsogon News Updates, What's Happening Here?,

Overseas Employment Scams Awareness

Overseas Employment Scams

Source :

Job seekers, interested in overseas employment that promises high pay, good benefits, free traveled adventure, should be aware that there are unscrupulous operators who have devised elaborate and very convincing scams to bilk unwitting, and often desperate applicants.

Before getting swept away with promises of exotic job opportunities, make sure you have thoroughly investigated the matter and know the potential risks involved in obtaining overseas employment.

Typical Overseas Employment Scams

Unlike legitimate employment firms that have permanent addresses, many unscrupulous operators run their so-called job placement firms from out-of-state, and may provide only a post office or mail drop address. Although there are legitimate firms with post office or mail drop addresses, job applicants should be aware that this practice, when used by unscrupulous operators, makes it easier for the operators to avoid scrutiny by their clients.

In many instances, law enforcement officials investigating a suspicious firm have found a “fly-by-night” operation. The scam headquarters, with little more than a desk and a telephone, may be based in one state, but operate out of other states, making it more difficult for the officials to track the operation.

Typical overseas job scams, include:

  • Firms that charge advance fees. These operations usually advertise in newspapers and magazines. The ads most frequently offer construction jobs, one of the industries hardest hit by a weak economy. Consumers who call the number, provided in the ad, are generally told that there are immediate openings available for which they are perfectly suited. But to lock in the job, they are told, they must pay a placement fee in advance.These up-front charges can range from $50 to several thousand dollars. Firms that charge these advance fees often are so eager to get the money in their hands and avoid using the U.S. mail service that they may send a courier to pick up the deposit, or require that it be sent via overnight delivery, at the applicant’s expense.However, more often than not, these firms actually have little, or no, contacts with employers and can offer minimal assistance, despite their service charges.Job seekers should not be duped by a firm’s promise of a refund, if no job or lead materializes. Most of these firms that require payment in advance do not stay around long enough for dissatisfied customers to get their money back.
  • Firms that charge a fee once they provide a job lead. A disreputable firm may fabricate job leads, or bring in a third-party to impersonate a potential employer, in order to get an applicant’s fee.
  • “900” number operators. A “900” number connected with employment opportunities may charge a high flat fee, or per-minute rate. In some instances,”900″ number operators may fail to disclose the cost of each call or, if printed, display it in fine print. As a result, callers may not be aware of how much they are spending. Some unscrupulous operators may even increase their fees by creating delays while the caller is on the line.In one case, for example, a consumer answered an advertisement instructing job applicants to call an”800″ toll-free number for more information. The message on that number directed the caller to dial a”900″ number to find out about job openings. The”900″ number, however, merely directed the caller to send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to have a job application mailed out. The consumer complied; received only a one-page generic job application, and was billed $39 for the phone call.The FTC now requires, among other things, that operators of “900” numbers provide information on the cost of the call up front. When calling a “900” number, be sure you understand the charges before continuing with the call.
  • Job listing services. There are many firms that make no promises to place you in a job. They merely sell a list of job opportunities, providing little assurance about the accuracy of the information.For instance, the information may be sold via a newsletter that features photocopied help-wanted ads from newspapers around the world. Many of the ads may be months old, soliciting jobs that already have been filled. In addition, the ads may not have been verified to ensure that the jobs actually exist.Some ads may be from countries with strict quotas that discourage the hiring of foreign citizens. Other publications may promise access to information on job opportunities, but provide nothing more than a listing of employers in various regions.

How to Avoid Employment Scams

Many job seekers have lost money to disreputable advance-fee placement firms. If you decide to use an overseas job placement firm, the best way to avoid being scammed is to learn as much as you can about the operation:

  • Ask for references. Request both names of employers and employees the company has actually found jobs for. Scam artists will typically defend their refusal to provide the information, claiming it is a” trade secret.” Or, they frequently claim that if they told you where the openings are, you would circumvent their services. These schemers may also cite privacy concerns as the reason for refusing to provide the names of people they have placed.
  • Check out reliability. Contact the local Better Business Bureau, as well as the state’s consumer protection agency, to find out if any complaints have been filed against the firm.
  • Avoid firms that operate solely via telephone or mail. Any reputable placement firm will almost certainly need to meet you before it can market you effectively to an employer. Be suspicious of any operation that claims it can place you with an employer, without meeting and interviewing you.Be particularly wary of firms that operate outside of the state where they advertise. In many instances, unscrupulous operators purposefully seek to distance themselves from their clients in order to avoid closer scrutiny. If they are ultimately challenged, the distance complicates an investigation by law enforcement authorities.
  • Find out how long the employment company has been in business. Also, ask what is the firm’s present financial condition. Compare the company, and the services offered, with other similar firms before you pay a fee.
  • Get  all promises in writing. Before you pay for anything, request and obtain a written contract that describes the services the firm intends to provide. Determine whether the firm is simply going to forward your resume to a company that publicly advertised a listing, or if it will actually seek to place you with an employer. Make sure that any promise you receive in writing is the same as what was stated in the initial sales pitch.
  • Research any information the firm provides to you before you make a commitment. Make certain the job actually exists before you pay a firm to “hold” a slot for you, and definitely before you make plans to relocate.Some unfortunate job seekers have been instructed to meet at a particular place to fly to their new jobs, only to find no airline tickets, no job, and often, no more company.
  • Check with the embassy of the country where the job is supposed to be located. Make certain that, as a citizen of another country, you are eligible to work there.
  • Ask if you will be eligible for a refund, if the leads the firm provides you are unacceptable, or do not work out for any other reason. If the firm has a refund policy, ask for specific written details that spell out whether you can expect a full refund, and if there are any time limits for receiving your refund.Even if you are promised a refund in a written agreement, read the fine print. A disreputable firm may include “red tape” that protects its interests, not yours.For example, one common scam is to include a requirement that job seekers check in regularly with the firm, at their own expense. Clients who unwittingly fail to make the required contact may forfeit their opportunity for a refund. However, they are not told this until they ask for the refund.

If You Are Scammed

If you have been victimized by an employment scam, you can help prevent these types of incidents from recurring by reporting it to the proper law enforcement authorities. They may be able to put the unscrupulous operator out of business and, in extreme cases, fine them heavily or even put them in jail.

Tips To Remember

  • Be very skeptical of overseas employment opportunities that sound “too good to be true.”
  • Never send cash in the mail, and be extremely cautious with firms that require a money order. This could indicate that the firm is attempting to avoid a traceable record of its transactions.
  • Do not be fooled by official-sounding names. Many scam artists operate under names that sound like those of long-standing, reputable firms.
  • Avoid working with firms that require payment in advance.
  • Do not give your credit card or bank account number to telephone solicitors.
  • Read the contract very carefully. Have an attorney look over any documents you are asked to sign.
  • Beware of an agency that is unwilling to give you a written contract.
  • Do not hesitate to ask questions. You have a right to know what services to expect and the costs involved.
  • Do not make a hasty decision. Instead, take time to weigh all the pros and cons of the situation. Be wary of demands that “you must act now.”
  • Keep a copy of all agreements you sign, as well as copies of checks you forward to the company.


Overseas Job Scams © 1995

Copyright 1995 by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

Sample email job scams

Top 10 Internet Scams

Filed under: OFW Corner, OFW Scam, Illegal Recruiter, Overseas Jobs

DFA warns OFWs of re-emerging Internet scam

The infamous and prolific Nigerian scam, also known as the “419 Scam,” has re-emerged and is targeting unwitting overseas Filipino workers, the Department of Foreign Affairs warned on Wednesday.

In the scam, an OFW’s hacked e-mail account will send several mails to his/her contact list soliciting money from unsuspecting friends and relatives. The e-mails, purportedly from the victim claiming he/she was robbed while in Nigeria, asks to remit US$2,500 in order for her to return to Manila.

“The public is advised not to send any money or divulge personal information, particularly bank accounts or credit card number if they receive similar e-mails,” the DFA said.

According to the DFA, a Filipino national was the latest victim of the Internet-based modus operandi that has been ranked by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency as the top Internet scam of 2007. [See: Detailed list of the top 10 Internet scams preying on OFWs]

This current 418 scam is a variant of the previous Nigerian modus operandi, where a woman in Africa who claimed that her husband had died, offers to leave millions of dollars of his estate to a good business.

“In every variation, the scammer is promising obscenely large payments for small unskilled tasks. This scam, like most scams, is too good to be true. Yet people still fall for this money transfer con game,” the POEA said.

Meanwhile, the DFA reiterates its warning to OFWs and their families who might be lured to remit money just to ‘save’ their loved ones. [See: Primer on Internet Scams]

“The public is advised not to send any money or divulge personal information, particularly bank accounts or credit card number if they receive similar e-mails,” the DFA said. – Joseph Holandes Ubalde, GMANews.TV

Filed under: Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner, OFW Scam, Illegal Recruiter

Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon-Kapusong Totoo School supplies given to poor students

GMA truly touching peoples lives! Kapusong Totoo donated school supplies to poor student here.  As such, We wanted to let you know how much we appreciate all the efforts GMA put into the realization of this project. Once again, thank you very much for your generous support and Merry X-MAS & Happy New year to all the staff of Kapusong Totoo..MABUHAY PO KAYONG LAHAT!! Dios mabalos!!

Filed under: Education, Encouragement, Get Involved, Inspiration, People who inspired Us, Public Service, Touching Heart, Touching Lives, Youth Community Service Groups

Rehired OFWs boost deployment in five years

MANILA-Contracts for overseas work over a five-year period benefited more rehired land-based overseas Filipino workers, government data reveal.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) five-year data also revealed that last year, the number of re-hired land-based OFWs reached a five-year high of more than half-a-million (597,426) from less than that in 2004 (419,505).

The data further shows that on average, rehired land-based migrant workers make up nearly 46 percent of the Philippine total of deployed land- and sea-based OFWs.

POEA’s 2008 Statistical Compendium, uploaded on its website only last month, said the country deployed last year a record 1.2 million OFWs.

Rehired land-based OFWs are those who returned to the country and were deployed overseas on new contracts.

Four years ago, their share in the total 933,566 deployed overseas was only at nearly 45 percent (419,505).

Meanwhile, newhire land-based OFWs consistently make up 30 percent of annual OFW deployment.

Newhire workers deployed means the POEA has provided new jobs for would-be overseas workers, as securing jobs for overseas employment is part of the Macapagal-Arroyo government’s strategy to generate one million new jobs for Filipinos every year since 2004.

The POEA deployed 284,912 newhire land-based OFWs in 2004. It grew by 32 percent to 376,973 last year.

The number of seafarers was decreasing in the last two years, even as the figure reached a high of 274,497 in 2006.

On a five-year average, deployed seafarers make up 24.27 percent of total OFW deployment.

Rehired land-based OFWs also make up the most number of overseas work contracts processed by the POEA in 2006 to 2008, the agency’s publicized data revealed.

Compared to the overseas work contracts processed by the POEA for newhire land-based OFWs and seafarers, rehires got almost all of the processed work contracts.

All processed work contracts for rehires were secured nearly a hundred percent (96.09%) or 470,390 of the total 489,528 contracts three years ago. It dipped by three percent by 2007 but swung back up to nearly 98 percent last year (or 597,426 of 610,561 work contracts).

The rehires seem to have elbowed out the newhires from the job market in 2006 as only 81.97 percent of the latter got contracts from the 387,533 new overseas work contracts made available for them that year. However, contracts for newhires last year reached a higher processing approval, having nearly 95 percent of the total 394,977 new work contracts secured by newhires.

Many work contracts for seafarers, however, remain vacant. Some 80,832 seafarers’ work contracts were unfilled in 2006, and the figures reached 123,054 the year after and to 197,143 last year.

Still, the country supplies the most number of merchant marine fleet in the world with a quarter of the global total.

The POEA said it has processed more than 1.2 million work contracts for land- and sea-based jobs in 2006. The number rose by just above a hundred thousand in 2007 but nearly 1.5 million work contracts last year.

Still, there were contracts that were not supplied with workers: 162,823 in 2006, 228,254 in 2007; and, 228,282 in 2008.

Year-on-year growth rates for deployment reached their highest in 2008 for both newhire and rehired land-based OFWs (20.34 and 20.01, respectively), as a negative growth rate for seafarers’ deployment is now on its second straight year.

Prior to POEA’s release of its annual statistical compendium last month, some recruitment agency leaders were reported by the media as displeased at the long time of the compendium’s release: nine months coming into the new year.

Last January, when POEA administrator Jennifer Manalili gave an unofficial 2008 deployment total of 1,376,823, recruitment consultant Emmanuel Geslani was quoted as saying that the rise of the total number of deployed OFWs “was unheard of in the history of OFW deployment”.

In a meeting last June at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, POEA middle-level officials said the agency revalidated all work contracts processed and workers deployed to come up with the final count of 1,236,013 deployed land- and sea-based OFWs for 2008.

OFW Journalism Consortium

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

RRPP backs Sorsogon relocation project

MANILA, Philippines – The Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project (RRPP), as part of its community development assistance program and disaster mitigation response, is supporting the Sorsogon provincial government’s relocation project to prevent casualties during typhoons.


RRPP’s participation is in response to the appeal of Sorsogon Gov. Sally Lee for assistance in developing the relocation site. As initial support, the RRPP has turned over a financial contribution.


The provincial government has noted that rising water levels, flooding and landslides severely impact on specific coastal sites and other disaster-prone areas, and as a long-term solution, it identified a safe and socio-economically viable relocation site in Magallanes town for residents from these places.


Lee received RRPP’s donation from Cecille Calleja, vice president of Rapu-Rapu Minerals Inc. (RRMI).


The RRPP is located on Rapu-Rapu Island in Albay, facing Sorsogon across the Albay Gulf. It is owned and managed by RRMI and Rapu-Rapu Processing Inc., producing powdered concentrates of copper and zinc with gold and silver by-products.

Source: (The Philippine Star) Updated December 11, 2009 12:00 AM

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates,

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