SORSOGON UNITED

When we unite, We make our life better

The Inaugural Address of Benigno S. Aquino III

(Official English translation provided by Aquino media bureau)

His Excellency Jose Ramos Horta, Former President Fidel V. Ramos, Former President Joseph Estrada, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and members of the Senate, House Speaker Prospero Nograles and members of the House, justices of the Supreme Court, members of the foreign delegations,Your Excellencies of the diplomatic corps, fellow colleagues in government, aking mga kababayan.

My presence here today is proof that you are my true strength. I never expected that I will be here taking my oath of office before you, as your president. I never imagined that I would be tasked with continuing the mission of my parents. I never entertained the ambition to be the symbol of hope, and to inherit the problems of our nation.

I had a simple goal in life: to be true to my parents and our country as an honorable son, a caring brother, and a good citizen.

My father offered his life so our democracy could live. My mother devoted her life to nurturing that democracy. I will dedicate my life to making our democracy reach its fullest potential: that of ensuring equality for all. My family has sacrificed much and I am willing to do this again if necessary.

Although I was born to famous parents, I know and feel the problems of ordinary citizens. We all know what it is like to have a government that plays deaf and dumb. We know what it is like to be denied justice, to be ignored by those in whom we placed our trust and tasked to become our advocates.

Have you ever been ignored by the very government you helped put in power? I have. Have you had to endure being rudely shoved aside by the siren-blaring escorts of those who love to display their position and power over you? I have, too. Have you experienced exasperation and anger at a government that instead of serving you, needs to be endured by you? So have I.

I am like you. Many of our countrymen have already voted with their feet – migrating to other countries in search of change or tranquility. They have endured hardship, risked their lives because they believe that compared to their current state here, there is more hope for them in another country, no matter how bleak it may be. In moments when I thought of only my own welfare, I also wondered – is it possible that I can find the peace and quiet that I crave in another country? Is our government beyond redemption? Has it been written that the Filipino’s lot is merely to suffer?

Today marks the end of a regime indifferent to the appeals of the people. It is not Noynoy who found a way. You are the reason why the silent suffering of the nation is about to end. This is the beginning of my burden, but if many of us will bear the cross we will lift it, no matter how heavy it is.

Through good governance in the coming years, we will lessen our problems. The destiny of the Filipino will return to its rightful place, and as each year passes, the Filipino’s problems will continue to lessen with the assurance of progress in their lives.

We are here to serve and not to lord over you. The mandate given to me was one of change. I accept your marching orders to transform our government from one that is self-serving to one that works for the welfare of the nation.

This mandate is the social contract that we agreed upon. It is the promise I made during the campaign, which you accepted on election day.

During the campaign we said, “If no one is corrupt, no one will be poor.” That is no mere slogan for posters — it is the defining principle that will serve as the foundation of our administration.

Our foremost duty is to lift the nation from poverty through honest and effective governance.

The first step is to have leaders who are ethical, honest, and true public servants. I will set the example. I will strive to be a good model. I will not break the trust you have placed in me. I will ensure that this, too, will be the advocacy of my Cabinet and those who will join our government.

I do not believe that all of those who serve in our government are corrupt. In truth, the majority of them are honest. They joined government to serve and do good. Starting today, they will have the opportunity to show that they have what it takes. I am counting on them to help fight corruption within the bureaucracy.

To those who have been put in positions by unlawful means, this is my warning: we will begin earning back the trust of our people by reviewing midnight appointments. Let this serve as a warning to those who intend to continue the crooked ways that have become the norm for too long.

To our impoverished countrymen, starting today, your government will be your champion.

We will not disregard the needs of our students. We will begin by addressing the glaring shortage in classrooms and educational facilities.

Gradually, we will lessen the lack of infrastructures for transportation, tourism and trade. From now on, mediocre work will not be good enough when it comes to roads, bridges, and buildings because we will hold contractors responsible for maintaining their projects in good condition.

We will revive the emergency employment program established by former President Corazon Aquino. This will provide jobs for local communities and will help in the development of their and our economy.

We will not be the cause of your suffering or hardship. We will strengthen collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and we will fight corruption in the Bureau of Customs in order to fund our objectives for the public welfare, such as:

· Quality education, including vocational education, so that those who choose not to attend college or those who cannot afford it can find dignified livelihood;

· Improved public health services such as PhilHealth for all within three years;

· A home for every family, within safe communities.

We will strengthen the armed forces and the police, not to serve the interests of those who want to wield power with impunity, but to give added protection for ordinary folk. The armed forces and the police risk their lives daily so that the nation can live in peace and security. The population has doubled and yet their numbers remain unchanged. It is not right that those who make sacrifices are treated pitifully.

If there was a fertilizer scam in the past, today there will be security for farmers. We will help them with irrigation, extension services, and marketing their products at the best possible prices.

We are directing Secretary Alcala to set up trading centers that will directly link farmers and consumers thereby eliminating middlemen and opportunities for corruption. In this way, funds can be shared by farmers and consumers. We will make our country attractive to investors. We will cut red tape dramatically and implement stable economic policies. We will level the playing field for investors and make government an enabler, not a hindrance to business. This is the only means by which we can provide jobs for our people.

Our goal is to create jobs at home so that there will be no need to look for employment abroad. However, as we work towards that end, I am ordering the DFA, POEA, OWWA, and other relevant agencies to be even more responsive to the needs and welfare of our overseas Filipino workers.

We will strengthen the process of consultation and feedback. We will strive to uphold the constitutional right of citizens to information on matters of public concern.

We relived the spirit of people power during the campaign. Let it take us to good and effective governance. Those who believe in people power put the welfare of others before their own.

I can forgive those who did me wrong but I have no right to forgive those who abused our people.

To those who talk about reconciliation, if they mean that they would like us to simply forget about the wrongs that they have committed in the past, we have this to say: there can be no reconciliation without justice. When we allow crimes to go unpunished, we give consent to their occurring over and over again. Secretary de Lima, you have your marching orders. Begin the process of providing true and complete justice for all.

We are also happy to inform you the acceptance of Chief Justice Hilario Davide of the challenge of strengthening and heading a Truth Commission that will shed light on many unanswered issues that continue to haunt our country.

My government will be sincere in dealing with all the peoples of Mindanao. We are committed to a peaceful and just settlement of conflict, inclusive of the interests of all — may they be Lumads, Bangsamoro or Christian.

We shalI defeat the enemy by wielding the tools of justice, social reform, and equitable governance leading to a better life. With proper governance life will improve for all. When we are all living well, who will want to go back to living under oppression?

If I have all of you by my side, we will be able to build a nation in which there will be equality of opportunity, because each of us fulfilled our duties and responsibilities equally.

After the elections, you proved that it is the people who wield power in this country.

This is what democracy means. It is the foundation of our unity. We campaigned for change. Because of this, the Filipino stands tall once more. We are all part of a nation that can begin to dream again.

To our friends and neighbors around the world, we are ready to take our place as a reliable member of the community of nations, a nation serious about its commitments and which harmonizes its national interests with its international responsibilities.

We will be a predictable and consistent place for investment, a nation where everyone will say, “it all works.”

Today, I am inviting you to pledge to yourselves and to our people. No one shall be left behind.

No more junkets, no more senseless spending. No more turning back on pledges made during the campaign, whether today or in the coming challenges that will confront us over the next six years. No more influence-peddling, no more patronage politics, no more stealing. No more sirens, no more short cuts, no more bribes. It is time for us to work together once more.

We are here today because we stood together and believed in hope. We had no resources to campaign other than our common faith in the inherent goodness of the Filipino.

The people who are behind us dared to dream. Today, the dream starts to become a reality. To those among you who are still undecided about sharing the common burden I have only one question: Are you going to quit now that we have won?

You are the boss so I cannot ignore your orders. We will design and implement an interaction and feedback mechanism that can effectively respond to your needs and aspirations.

You are the ones who brought me here – our volunteers – old, young, celebrity, ordinary folks who went around the country to campaign for change; my household help who provided for all my personal needs; my family, friends, colleagues at work, who shared, cared, and gave their support; my lawyers who stayed all hours to guard my votes and make sure they were counted; and the millions of Filipinos who prevailed, kept faith, and never lost hope – I offer my heartfelt gratitude.

I will not be able to face my parents and you who have brought me here if do not fulfill the promises I made.

My parents sought nothing less, died for nothing less, than democracy and peace. I am blessed by this legacy. I shall carry the torch forward.

My hope is that when I leave office, everyone can say that we have traveled far on the right path, and that we are able to bequeath a better future to the next generation. Join me in continuing this fight for change.

Thank you and long live the Filipino people!

__________________________________________________________

INAUGURAL ADDRESS AS DELIVERED BY PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO III

Ang pagtayo ko dito ngayon ay patunay na kayo ang aking tunay na lakas. Hindi ko inakala na darating tayo sa puntong ito, na ako’y manunumpa sa harap ninyo bilang inyong Pangulo. Hindi ko pinangarap maging tagapagtaguyod ng pag-asa at tagapagmana ng mga suliranin ng ating bayan.

Ang layunin ko sa buhay ay simple lang: maging tapat sa aking mga magulang at sa bayan bilang isang marangal na anak, mabait na kuya, at mabuting mamamayan.

Nilabanan ng aking ama ang diktadurya at ibinuwis niya ang kanyang buhay para tubusin ang ating demokrasya. Inalay ng aking ina ang kanyang buhay upang pangalagaan ang demokrasyang ito. Ilalaan ko ang aking buhay para siguraduhin na ang ating demokrasya ay kapaki-pakinabang sa bawat isa. Namuhunan na po kami ng dugo at handa kong gawin ito kung muling kinakailangan.

Tanyag man ang aking mga magulang at ang kanilang mga nagawa, alam ko rin ang problema ng ordinaryong mamamayan. Alam nating lahat ang pakiramdam na magkaroon ng pamahalaang bulag at bingi. Alam natin ang pakiramdam na mapagkaitan ng hustisya, na mabalewala ng mga taong pinagkatiwalaan at inatasan nating maging ating tagapagtanggol.

Kayo ba ay minsan ring nalimutan ng pamahalaang inyong iniluklok sa puwesto? Ako rin. Kayo ba ay nagtiis na sa trapiko para lamang masingitan ng isang naghahari-hariang de-wangwang sa kalsada? Ako rin. Kayo ba ay sawang-sawa na sa pamahalaang sa halip na magsilbi sa taumbayan ay kailangan pa nila itong pagpasensiyahan at tiisin? Ako rin.

Katulad ninyo ako. Marami na sa atin ang bumoto gamit ang kanilang paa – nilisan na nila ang ating bansa sa kanilang paghahanap ng pagbabago at katahimikan. Tiniis nila ang hirap, sinugod ang panganib sa ibang bansa dahil doon may pag-asa kahit kaunti na dito sa atin ay hindi nila nakikita. Sa iilang sandali na sarili ko lang ang aking inaalala, pati ako ay napag-isip din – talaga bang hindi na mababago ang pamamahala natin dito? Hindi kaya nasa ibang bansa ang katahimikang hinahanap ko? Saan ba nakasulat na kailangang puro pagtitiis ang tadhana ng Pilipino?

Ngayon, sa araw na ito – dito magwawakas ang pamumunong manhid sa mga daing ng taumbayan. Hindi si Noynoy ang gumawa ng paraan, kayo ang dahilan kung bakit ngayon, magtatapos na ang pagtitiis ng sambayanan. Ito naman po ang umpisa ng kalbaryo ko, ngunit kung marami tayong magpapasan ng krus ay kakayanin natin ito, gaano man kabigat.

Sa tulong ng wastong pamamahala sa mga darating na taon, maiibsan din ang marami nating problema. Ang tadhana ng Pilipino ay babalik sa tamang kalagayan, na sa bawat taon pabawas ng pabawas ang problema ng Pinoy na nagsusumikap at may kasiguruhan sila na magiging tuloy-tuloy na ang pagbuti ng kanilang sitwasyon.

Kami ay narito para magsilbi at hindi para maghari. Ang mandato ninyo sa amin ay pagbabago – isang malinaw na utos para ayusin ang gobyerno at lipunan mula sa pamahalaang iilan lamang ang nakikinabang tungo sa isang pamahalaang kabutihan ng mamamayan ang pinangangalagaan.

Ang mandatong ito ay isa kung saan kayo at ang inyong pangulo ay nagkasundo para sa pagbabago – isang paninindigan na ipinangako ko noong kampanya at tinanggap ninyo noong araw ng halalan.

Sigaw natin noong kampanya: “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” Hindi lamang ito pang slogan o pang poster – ito ang mga prinsipyong tinatayuan at nagsisilbing batayan ng ating administrasyon.

Ang ating pangunahing tungkulin ay ang magsikap na maiangat ang bansa mula sa kahirapan, sa pamamagitan ng pagpapairal ng katapatan at mabuting pamamalakad sa pamahalaan.

Ang unang hakbang ay ang pagkakaroon ng tuwid at tapat na hanay ng mga pinuno. Magsisimula ito sa akin. Sisikapin kong maging isang mabuting ehemplo. Hinding hindi ko sasayangin ang tiwalang ipinagkaloob ninyo sa akin. Sisiguraduhin ko na ganito rin ang adhikain ng aking Gabinete at ng mga magiging kasama sa ating pamahalaan.

Naniniwala akong hindi lahat ng nagsisilbi sa gobyerno ay corrupt. Sa katunayan, mas marami sa kanila ay tapat. Pinili nilang maglingkod sa gobyerno upang gumawa ng kabutihan. Ngayon, magkakaroon na sila ng pagkakataong magpakitang-gilas. Inaasahan natin sila sa pagsupil ng korapsyon sa loob mismo ng burukrasya.

Sa mga itinalaga sa paraang labag sa batas, ito ang aking babala: sisimulan natin ang pagbabalik ng tiwala sa pamamagitan ng pag-usisa sa mga “midnight appointments.” Sana ay magsilbi itong babala sa mga nag-iisip na ipagpatuloy ang baluktot na kalakarang nakasanayan na ng marami.

Sa mga kapuspalad nating mga kababayan, ngayon, ang pamahalaan ang inyong kampeon.

Hindi natin ipagpapaliban ang mga pangangailangan ng ating mga estudyante, kaya’t sisikapin nating punan ang kakulangan sa ating mga silid-aralan.

Unti-unti din nating babawasan ang mga kakulangan sa imprastraktura para sa transportasyon, turismo at pangangalakal. Mula ngayon, hindi na puwede ang “puwede na” pagdating sa mga kalye, tulay at gusali dahil magiging responsibilidad ng mga kontratista ang panatilihing nasa mabuting kalagayan ang mga proyekto nila.

Bubuhayin natin ang programang “emergency employment” ng dating pangulong Corazon Aquino sa pagtatayo ng mga bagong imprastraktura na ito. Ito ay magbibigay ng trabaho sa mga local na komunidad at makakatulong sa pagpapalago ng kanila at ng ating ekonomiya.

Hindi kami magiging sanhi ng inyong pasakit at perwisyo. Palalakasin natin ang koleksyon at pupuksain natin ang korapsyon sa Kawanihan ng Rentas Internas at Bureau of Customs para mapondohan natin ang ating mga hinahangad para sa lahat, tulad ng:

· dekalidad na edukasyon, kabilang ang edukasyong bokasyonal para makapaghanap ng marangal na trabaho ang hindi makapag-kolehiyo;
· serbisyong pangkalusugan, tulad ng Philhealth para sa lahat sa loob ng tatlong taon;
· tirahan sa loob ng mga ligtas na komunidad.

Palalakasin at palalaguin natin ang bilang ng ating kasundaluhan at kapulisan, hindi para tugunan ang interes ng mga naghahari-harian, ngunit para proteksyunan ang mamamayan. Itinataya nila ang kanilang buhay para mayroong pagkakataon sa katahimikan at kapayapaan sa sambayanan. Dumoble na ang populasyong kanilang binabantayan, nanatili naman sila sa bilang. Hindi tama na ang nagmamalasakit ay kinakawawa.

Kung dati ay may fertilizer scam, ngayon ay may kalinga ng tunay para sa mga magsasaka. Tutulungan natin sila sa irigasyon, extension services, at sa pagbenta ng kanilang produkto sa pinakamataas na presyong maaari.

Inaatasan natin na ang papasok na Secretary Alcala ay magtayo ng mga trading centers kung saan diretso na ang magsasaka sa mamimili – lalaktawan natin ang gitna, kasama na ang kotong cop. Sa ganitong paraan, ang dating napupunta sa gitna ay maari nang paghatian ng magsasaka at mamimili.

Gagawin nating kaaya-aya sa negosyante ang ating bansa. We will cut red tape dramatically and implement stable economic policies. We will level the playing field for investors and make government an enabler, not a hindrance, to business. Sa ganitong paraan lamang natin mapupunan ang kakulangan ng trabaho para sa ating mga mamamayan.

Layunin nating paramihin ang trabaho dito sa ating bansa upang hindi na kailanganin ang mangibang-bansa para makahanap lamang ng trabaho. Ngunit habang ito ay hindi pa natin naaabot, inaatasan ko ang mga kawani ng DFA, POEA at ng OWWA at iba pang mga kinauukulang ahensiya na mas lalo pang paigtingin ang pagtugon sa mga hinaing at pangangailangan ng ating mga overseas Filipino workers.

Papaigtingin namin ang proceso ng konsultasyon at pag-uulat sa taumbayan. Sisikapin naming isakatuparan ang nakasaad sa ating Konstitusiyon na kinikilala ang karapatan ng mamamayaan na magkaroon ng kaalaman ukol sa mga pampublikong alintana.

Binuhay natin ang diwa ng people power noong kampanya. Ipagpatuloy natin ito tungo sa tuwid at tapat na pamamahala. Ang naniniwala sa people power ay nakatuon sa kapwa at hindi sa sarili.

Sa mga nang-api sa akin, kaya ko kayong patawarin at pinapatawad ko na kayo. Sa mga nang-api sa sambayanan, wala akong karapatan na limutin ang inyong mga kasalanan.

To those who are talking about reconciliation, if they mean that they would like us to simply forget about the wrongs that they have committed in the past, we have this to say: there can be no reconciliation without justice. Sa paglimot ng pagkakasala, sinisigurado mong maulit muli ang mga pagkakasalang ito. Secretary de Lima, you have your marching orders. Begin the process of providing true and complete justice for all.

Ikinagagalak din naming ibahagi sa inyo ang pagtanggap ni dating Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. sa hamon ng pagtatatag at pamumuno sa isang Truth Commission na magbibigay linaw sa maraming kahinahinalang isyu na hanggang ngayon ay walang kasagutan at resolusyon.

Ang sinumang nagkamali ay kailangang humarap sa hustisya. Hindi maaaring patuloy ang kalakaran ng walang pananagutan at tuloy na pang-aapi.

My government will be sincere in dealing with all the peoples of Mindanao. We are committed to a peaceful and just settlement of conflicts, inclusive of the interests of all – may they be Lumads, Bangsamoro or Christian.

We shall defeat the enemy by wielding the tools of justice, social reform, and equitable governance leading to a better life. Sa tamang pamamahala gaganda ang buhay ng lahat, at sa buhay na maganda, sino pa ang gugustuhing bumalik sa panahon ng pang-aapi?

Kung kasama ko kayo, maitataguyod natin ang isang bayan kung saan pantay-pantay ang pagkakataon, dahil pantay-pantay nating ginagampanan ang ating mga pananagutan.

Kamakailan lamang, ang bawat isa sa atin ay nanindigan sa presinto. Bumoto tayo ayon sa ating karapatan at konsensiya. Hindi tayo umatras sa tungkulin nating ipaglaban ang karapatan na ito.

Pagkatapos ng bilangan, pinatunayan ninyo na ang tao ang tunay na lakas ng bayan.

Ito ang kahalagahan ng ating demokrasya. Ito ang pundasyon ng ating pagkakaisa. Nangampanya tayo para sa pagbabago. Dahil dito taas-noo muli ang Pilipino. Tayong lahat ay kabilang sa isang bansa kung saan maaari nang mangarap muli.

To our friends and neighbors around the world, we are ready to take our place as a reliable member of the community of nations, a nation serious about its commitments and which harmonizes its national interests with its international responsibilities.

We will be a predictable and consistent place for investment, a nation where everyone will say, “it all works.”

Inaanyayahan ko kayo ngayon na manumpa sa ating mga sarili, sa sambayanan, WALANG MAIIWAN.

Walang pangingibang-bayan at gastusan na walang wastong dahilan. Walang pagtalikod sa mga salitang binitawan noong kampanya, ngayon at hanggang sa mga susunod pang pagsubok na pagdadaanan sa loob ng anim na taon.

Walang lamangan, walang padrino at walang pagnanakaw. Walang wang-wang, walang counterflow, walang tong. Panahon na upang tayo ay muling magkawanggawa.

Nandito tayo ngayon dahil sama-sama tayong nanindigan at nagtiwala na may pag-asa.

The people who are behind us dared to dream. Today, the dream starts to become a reality. Sa inyong mga nag-iisip pa kung tutulong kayo sa pagpasan ng ating krus, isa lang ang aking tanong – kung kailan tayo nanalo, saka pa ba kayo susuko?

Kayo ang boss ko, kaya’t hindi maaaring hindi ako makinig sa mga utos ninyo. We will design and implement an interaction and feedback mechanism that can effectively respond to the people’s needs and aspirations.

Kayo ang nagdala sa akin sa puntong ito – ang ating mga volunteers – matanda, bata, celebrity, ordinaryong tao, na umikot sa Pilipinas para ikampanya ang pagbabago; ang aking mga kasambahay, na nag-asikaso ng lahat ng aking mga personal na pangangailangan; ang aking pamilya, kaibigan at katrabaho, na dumamay, nag-alaga at nagbigay ng suporta sa akin; ang ating mga abogado, na nagpuyat para bantayan ang ating mga boto at siguraduhing mabilang ang bawat isa; ang aking mga kapartido at kaalyado na kasama kong nangahas mangarap; at ang milyun-milyong Pilipinong nagkaisa, nagtiwala at hindi nawalan ng pag-asa – nasa inyo ang aking taos-pusong pasasalamat.

Hindi ko makakayang harapin ang aking mga magulang, at kayong mga nagdala sa akin sa yugto ng buhay kong ito, kung hindi ko maisasakatuparan ang aking mga binitawang salita sa araw na ito.

My parents sought nothing less and died for nothing less than democracy, peace and prosperity. I am blessed by this legacy. I shall carry the torch forward.

Layunin ko na sa pagbaba ko sa katungkulan, masasabi ng lahat na malayo na ang narating natin sa pagtahak ng tuwid na landas at mas maganda na ang kinabukasang ipapamana natin sa susunod na henerasyon. Samahan ninyo ako sa pagtatapos ng laban na ito. Tayo na sa tuwid na landas.

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay ang sambayanang Pilipino! (June 30, 2010)

via:http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/insights/06/30/10/president-benigno-aquino-iiis-inaugural-speech-june-30-2010

Filed under: Government, Politics, Sorsogon News Updates, What's Happening Here?,

MAHIGIT ANIM NA LIBONG ELEMENTARY PUPILS NABIYAYAAN NG EDC AT NGCP

(Bennie A. Recebido, PIA Sorsogon)

Dala ang paniniwalang malaki ang papel ng edukasyon sa paghubog sa mga kabataan at pagsulong ng bansa, muling isinagawa ng Energy Development Corporation Bacon-Manito Geothermal Production Field ang kanilang taunang pamamahagi ng mga school supplies sa mga mag-aaral sa elementarya kabilang na ang mga day care at kindergarten pupils sa siyam na host barangays nito dito sa lungsod ng Sorsogon.

Limang libo’t anim na raan at siyam na mga mag-aaral ang nakatanggap ng kwaderno, sulatang papel, lapis, pangtasa, krayon, gunting, ruler, ballpen at iba pang mga school supplies noong nakaraang Huwebes at Byernes, June 24 at 25.

Ayon kay EDC Community Relations Officer Ed Jimenez, naging aktibong katuwang nila sa distribusyon ang mga kapitan ng siyam na barangay na kabilang sa kanilang host communities pati na rin ang mga school principals at guro ng mga elementary schools doon.

Sinabi ni Jimenez na maliban sa pamamahagi ng mga school supplies ay taunang aktibidad din nila ang pagsagot sa miscellaneous fees ng mga elementary schools ng kanilang host barangays na may layuning matulungan ang mga magulang sa gastusin sa kanilang mga pinaaaral na mga anak.

Samantala, tulad ng EDC-BGPF ay naghayag din ng pledge of support si National Grid Corporation of the Philippines Regional Corporate Communications Officer Nelson Bautista sa school principal ng Bibincahan Elementary School sa pamamagitan ng pamamahagi ng mga school supplies sa mga mag-aaral dito.

Siyam na raan apatnapu’t limang mga mag-aaral naman mula kinder hanggang grade six ang nakatanggap ng assorted school supplies mula sa NGCP noon namang nakaraang Byernes, June 25.

Ayon kay Bautista, ang pamamahgi ng mga school supplies ay bahagi ng kanilang “Balik Eskwela Project 2010”.

Sinabi ng opisyal na ang Bibincahan Elmentary School ang napili nilang pamahaginan sapagkat nakalagay diumano sa malapit dito ang kanilang transmission towers.

Naroroon upang maghayag ng pasasalamat ang kinatawan ng City DepEd at ang mga opisyal ng paaralan.

Naging emosyonal naman ang mga magulang ng mga bata sa kabutihang-loob na natanggap ng mga mag-aaral. Malaking tulong diumano sa kanila ang mga kagamitang ipinamahagi upang higit na ganahan ang mga anak nila na mag-aral ng mabuti.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

NGCP LAUNCHES “BALIK ESKWELA” TO HELP COMMUNITIES

More than 73,000 elementary students from 174 public schools in selected barangays nationwide received school supplies this month from the “Balik Eskwela” Project of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

The privately-owned power transmission utility and system operator selected the schools from among the thousands of barangays throughout the country where transmission towers, lines, substations and other NGCP facilities are located.

Direct beneficiaries are thousands of elementary public school students who each received a school bag with 10 notebooks and 3 pencils.

Distribution of school supplies began on June 15, 2010, the first day of the new schoolyear. Ceremonial handover programs were held simultaneously today in the following areas: North Luzon (Pila, Laoag City), South Luzon (Bibincahan, Sorsogon and Oas, Albay), Visayas (Gov. Jaro, Tacloban), and Mindanao (Cabligan, Davao; Jasaan and Aplaya, Misamis Oriental).

National Grid Corporation of the Philippines Regional Corporate Communications Officer Nelson Bautista said that about 27 elementary schools bebefited from this program: 7 schools from Cam. Norte (Talisay, Vinzons, Labo, Batobalani, Paracale), 6 schools from Cam Sur (Lupi, Libmanan, Pamplona, Tigaon and Buhi), 7 schools from Albay (Daraga, Polangui, Oas, Manito) and 7 schools from Sorsogon (Sorsogon City, Sta. Magdalena and Irosin).

“Balik Eskwela” aims both to support students and their families who may not afford to provide for a few school supplies and also to ensure the safety of children and other residents living in communities near transmission facilities.

To help minimize the incidence of electrocution and/or pilferage of tower and line parts in communities, NGCP volunteers at the “Balik Eskwela” activities educated the children, teachers, and some parents on line safety and security. The distributed notebooks carry similar information and reminders from NGCP.

NGCP is counting on the support of its partners in the power industry as well as residents and officials of host communities to ensure that reliable and safe electricity is delivered to all its customers.

Residents near transmission facilities are encouraged to help monitor and protect the towers and lines from theft and pilferage, which make the system vulnerable to power outages, as well as to observe established right-of-way easement areas to prevent grassfires, forest fires, electrocution and other accidents.

NGCP said all measures are being done to ensure that transmission lines, substations and other facilities across the country are in good condition and able to deliver whatever power is available from the generating plants. The corporation operates 19,425 circuit-kilometers of high-voltage transmission and sub-transmission lines and 23,853 mega volt amperes of substation capacity in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. (NGCP, PIA)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

MAHIGIT ANIM NA LIBONG ELEMENTARY PUPILS NABIYAYAAN NG EDC AT NGCP

SORSOGON CITY (June 28) – Dala ang paniniwalang malaki ang papel ng edukasyon sa paghubog sa mga kabataan at pagsulong ng bansa, muling isinagawa ng Energy Development Corporation Bacon-Manito Geothermal Production Field ang kanilang taunang pamamahagi ng mga school supplies sa mga mag-aaral sa elementarya kabilang na ang mga day care at kindergarten pupils sa siyam na host barangays nito dito sa lungsod ng Sorsogon.

Limang libo’t anim na raan at siyam na mga mag-aaral ang nakatanggap ng kwaderno, sulatang papel, lapis, pangtasa, krayon, gunting, ruler, ballpen at iba pang mga school supplies noong nakaraang Huwebes at Byernes, June 24 at 25.

Ayon kay EDC Community Relations Officer Ed Jimenez, naging aktibong katuwang nila sa distribusyon ang mga kapitan ng siyam na barangay na kabilang sa kanilang host communities pati na rin ang mga school principals at guro ng mga elementary schools doon.

Sinabi ni Jimenez na maliban sa pamamahagi ng mga school supplies ay taunang aktibidad din nila ang pagsagot sa miscellaneous fees ng mga elementary schools ng kanilang host barangays na may layuning matulungan ang mga magulang sa gastusin sa kanilang mga pinaaaral na mga anak.

Samantala, tulad ng EDC-BGPF ay naghayag din ng pledge of support si National Grid Corporation of the Philippines Regional Corporate Communications Officer Nelson Bautista sa school principal ng Bibincahan Elementary School sa pamamagitan ng pamamahagi ng mga school supplies sa mga mag-aaral dito.

Siyam na raan apatnapu’t limang mga mag-aaral naman mula kinder hanggang grade six ang nakatanggap ng assorted school supplies mula sa NGCP noon namang nakaraang Byernes, June 25.

Ayon kay Bautista, ang pamamahgi ng mga school supplies ay bahagi ng kanilang “Balik Eskwela Project 2010”.

Sinabi ng opisyal na ang Bibincahan Elmentary School ang napili nilang pamahaginan sapagkat nakalagay diumano sa malapit dito ang kanilang transmission towers.

Naroroon upang maghayag ng pasasalamat ang kinatawan ng City DepEd at ang mga opisyal ng paaralan.

Naging emosyonal naman ang mga magulang ng mga bata sa kabutihang-loob na natanggap ng mga mag-aaral. Malaking tulong diumano sa kanila ang mga kagamitang ipinamahagi upang higit na ganahan ang mga anak nila na mag-aral ng mabuti. (Bennie A. Recebido, PIA Sorsogon)


Read more via: http://pia-sorsogon.blogspot.com/2010/06/mahigit-anim-na-libong-elementary.html

Filed under: Education, Sorsogon News Updates,

OMAHAN, LINAOG KAN MGA ARMADO SA BRGY CABID-AN

By Rex Bien Bolima/DZMS

Liwat na naka-iskor an mga mararaot na elemento sa ciudad nin Sorsogon matapos na laogon kan mga ini an sarong farm sa brgy kan Cabid-an sa esteng parte o distrito kan ciuddad kan nakalihis na aldaw. Sa impormasyon na narecibe kan dzms news, bigla na sanang nagdeklarar nin hold-up an dowang armadong lalaki na lunad nin sarong motorsiklo kan maglaog ini sa farm na sinasabing pagsadirihon ni kabise. Dahilan sa pagkangarat dae na nagibo pang makapanlaban an 10 ng persona digde na nagresulta sa pagkakatabag kan saindang gamit. Sa inisyal na imbestigasyon kan mga awtoridad naglolowas na dae mababa sa 10mil de pesos an natabag na kwarta kan mga suspek sa mga biktima kan siring na insidente.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates,

SELEBRASYON KAN CITY FIESTA, SIMPLE SANA

By Rex Bien Bolima/DZMS

Mantenidong simple an mga aktibidad na pinagigibo sa ciudad may relasyon sa kafiestahan sa aga ninda san pedro asin san pablo, an banal na patron sa centro kan ciudad nin Sorsogon. Mantenido man na matoninong an pinagigibong beer plaza asin nightly band shows sa capitol kiosk na enot ng pinagponan kan nakalihis na hunio 17. Apesar kaini nagkaigwa man nin Fiesta Caravan asin Baratillo Grande sa capitol grounds asin sa kanto kan Rizal Street pasisiring sa Sorsogon City Pier.  Mientrastanto magtatapaos man sa aga an siyam na aldaw na pagnonobena sa dowang patron kan mga deboto sa sts. peter and paul cathedral. Sa aga deklaradong fiesta official sa bilog na ciudad dahilan kan siring na aktibidad.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

NPA rebels gun down village chief, militia man in Bicol—military

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels gunned down a female village chief in Camarines Sur and a militiaman in Sorsogon in two separate incidents Sunday, an Army official said Monday morning.

Maritess Toldanes, the village chief of Pulang Daga in Balatan, Camarines Sur, was gunned down by three communist rebels outside her residence at around 1:30 p.m., while Rodrigo Felonia, 35, a militiaman in Poblacion Sur, Barcelona, Sorsogon, was shot dead while on his way home around 9:30 a.m., said Leiutenant Colonel Ernesto Cruz, commander of the 42nd Infantry Battalion.

Cruz added that Toldanes succumbed to gunshot wounds on his head and chest. Army investigators found spent shells for a .45-caliber near the crime scene.

Cruz said Toldanes had received numerous death threats for her refusal to support the NPA rebels, whom the military alleged persistently demanded extortion money from the villagers.

Felonia, on the other hand, was dead on the spot after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds in different parts of his body.

Responding policemen found seven spent shells of a .45 cal. pistol and 15 spent shells for a 9-mm pistol near the scene of the crime.

An Army report said the attack on the two civilians had brought to 14 the number of people slain by the communists in the past five months of this year, six of whom were civilians.

Maj. Harold Cabunoc, spokesperson of the 9th Infantry Division, alleged that Felonia and Toldanes were victims of extrajudicial killings perpetrated by the NPA.

Cabunoc said that in 2009, the NPA killed 52 people in Bicol, which included 30 civilians accused of being military informants and who refused to pay the rebels” extortion demands.

By Mar S. Arguelles
Inquirer Southern Luzon

via: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/regions/view/20100628-278049/NPA-rebels-gun-down-village-chief-militia-man-in-Bicolmilitary

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates, ,

Passport appointment now only 1 month away–DFA

MANILA, Philippines—A week after the Department of Foreign Affairs opened its satellite office at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, a recruitment leader on Monday said there is “no improvement” in the passport processing for overseas Filipino workers.

But Assistant Secretary Jaime Victor Ledda of the DFA-Office of Consular Affairs (Oca) said the appointment system has improved by more than 50 percent. He said those who sought appointment online were scheduled for within a month.

Previous online appointments got a September schedule.

Jackson Gan, vice president for marketing of the Federated Association of Manpower Exporters Inc. (FAME), said the OFWs his group is sending abroad are required to present their employment contracts, which are only issued after they have their passports.

“It’s a case of the chicken and the egg,” he said.

Ledda, however, pointed out that his office needs to be able to define the OFW. “Otherwise, anybody can just say he is an OFW,” he stressed.

Gan suggested that the DFA-Oca fix the entire system for all passport applicants and not just for OFWs, instead of piecemeal solutions.

“If they need more manpower and equipment, then so be it. The passport (system) is revenue-generating so it should be given priority,” he said.

Gan also suggested that major regional consular offices such as those in Clark, Cebu, and Davao be provided facilities to produce the e-passport in their localities. Right now, RCO’s only capture the data from their computers and send these via e-mail to the Oca office in Paranaque for production of the E-passports.

He said this adds to the delay in the production of the passports and the long waiting time for appointments.

In a related development, mobile passport officials are accepting fake documents like birth certificates from applicants particularly those in Mindanao, recruitment consultant Emmanuel Geslani said.

Some licensed agencies pay mobile passport officials a fixed bribe of P3,500 per passport applicant to fast-track the processing and to look the other way when first-time overseas workers submit fake documents.

Mobile passport processing is done by RCOs in case of large numbers of applicants. Data-capturing computers are brought to the area for the convenience of the workers and the agencies requesting the service.

“The Office of Consular Affairs should look in these reports because the integrity of the e-passport is being compromised by such actions which are a source of graft for those officials,” Geslani said.

By Veronica Uy

via: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/news/breakingnews/view/20100628-278040/Passport-appointment-now-only-1-month-away–DFA

Filed under: DFA-advisory,

Qatar vows to promote OFW rights and welfare

Amid the rising number of problems raised by migrant workers there, officials of Qatar’s human rights body visited the Philippines to assure overseas Filipino workers (OFW) that the Middle East country is stepping up efforts to safeguard their welfare.

In a round-table discussion Friday, an official of Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) said they have been touring countries sending their labor force to Qatar to explain available remedies in cases of labor-related problems of migrant workers.

“Most workers don’t know there are bodies in Qatar that will accept their complaints,” said Fahed Ahmed Al-Muhammad, head of the NHRC’s legal department, saying the committee was created to protect and promote human rights in the country including those of migrant workers.

According to the Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA), the Philippine Embassy and the labor office in Qatar recorded some 1,800 cases of distressed OFWs, about 460 cases of runaway workers, and over 800 repatriated Filipinos during the first semester of 2008.

Al-Muhammad added they have recorded more than 1,200 complaints from migrant workers of all nationalities in 2009.

Standard contract in Qatar

During the discussion, a former Qatar worker now in the Philippines said he had Filipino friends who complained they were given salaries lower than indicated on their contracts.

A woman likewise complained her husband was deployed as a carpenter but was instead assigned as a steel fixer — a more difficult job — when he got to Qatar.

His salary remained the same, however, the woman added.

Others meanwhile said there were reports of workers being made to work for longer hours, or sent to Qatar only to find out the projects were non-existent.

Al-Muhammad thus scored the need for both Filipino workers and agencies to ensure that they sign and process only the standard contract accepted in Qatar.

“There is a standard employment contract in Qatar, and the embassies are given copies of this,” he explained.

Even those processed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) are thus sometimes not accepted in Qatar if they are different from the country’s standard contract, he said.

One problem with the Qatari labor code, Al-Muhammad added, is that it does not cover migrant domestic workers as they are not classified as workers in Qatar.

He also expressed hope that the bilateral labor agreement initiated by the Qatari government, which is expected to better protect migrant workers, will soon be signed by the Philippine government.

Protection of migrant workers

Al-Muhammad nevertheless said his country has made gains toward improving the lot of migrant workers there.

One example is that labor courts in Qatar almost always rule in favor of the workers in cases of disputes.

“100 percent of the cases heard in courts are resolved in favor of the workers, especially if the workers’ complaints are well justified,” he said.

He cautioned, however, that Qatari courts have recently noted that some migrant workers use court cases as a means to prolong their stay in the country while looking for another job.

The Qatari labor code provides mechanisms for workers to seek resolution to their concerns even while in the country, added CMA executive director Ellene Sana.

“Workers don’t need to come home immediately if they have complaints, as these can be filed before the Qatari labor office and the NHRC,” she explained.

Qatar-RP labor relations

Participants in the discussion, which included representatives from Solidarity Center, Migrant Forum Asia, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Commission on Human Rights and recruitment agencies, also gave suggestions to enhance labor relations between Qatar and the Philippines.

One suggestion is to beef up the labor office there, which currently has only four employees serving about 200,000 migrant Filipinos.

Another is to deploy a human rights attaché in all Philippine posts around the world.

The OWWA was also urged to improve the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar it gives to outbound workers, to include their families as participants and former OFWs as speakers.

Records from the POEA show Qatar ranks fourth among the top destinations of land-based OFW, with almost 90,000 OFWs deployed there in 2009.

Of the figure, over 6,000 work as household service workers.

In 2009, OFWs in Qatar sent home over $180 million in remittances, which is an increase of over 700 percent from just $25 million in 2003.—JV, GMANews.TV

By JERRIE M. ABELLA, GMANews.TV

via: http://www.gmanews.tv/story/194539/qatar-vows-to-promote-ofw-rights-and-welfare

Filed under: Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner,

Contract substitution hit

MANILA – A militant migrant workers group accused the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) for tolerating contract substitution, saying it has connived with recruitment agencies on the unfair practice.

Migrante Middle East Regional Coordinator John Monterona said around 30 to 50 percent of abuse cases on migrant Filipino workers are rooted to contract substitution as it received a daily average of seven to 10 reports of abuse.

Under contract substitution, Filipinos who wish to renew their contracts were usually given much lower salaries and benefits than the first contract, Monterona said.

“The other benefits are either deleted or reduced, for example the health insurance provision had been removed, or the hours of work had been extended,” he pointed out, adding that reluctant workers are forced to sign the contract or face joblessness after.

“Many have told us that they have been forced to sign a new set of contracts before their departure at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, while others said upon their arrival on the job site facilitated by the counterpart agency of the deploying agency in the Philippines,” Monterona said.

The group also accused some officials in Dole and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) of conniving with recruitment agencies that allow contract substitution. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

Filed under: Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner,

DoLE launches another program for OFWs

The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) recently launched a program that ensures the efficient delivery of the social protection services to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Dubbed ‘Kabayanihan,’ the program will be implemented in partnership with the Social Security System
(SSS), Philhealth, Pag-ibig, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said ‘Kabayanihan,’ a one-stop-shop that will be set up at the Philippines Overseas Labor Offices (POLO), uses a ‘bundling approach’ membership and services.

“This means that all government welfare services, social insurance, savings and investment, housing, loans and scholarship benefits to OFWs and their families, among others are unified to make it more accessible, convenient and affordable for the OFWs,’’ said Roque.

“Registration and transaction procedures are also expected to be simplified under the program,’’ said Roque.


By SHIANEE MAMANGLU/Manila Bulletin

via: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/264057/dole-launches-another-program-ofws

Filed under: Government, Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner,

DepEd supports teachers’ adjusted salary

The Department of Education (DepEd) expressed its support to the immediate release of the adjusted salary of teachers that would further assure the upgrading of the quality of education in public schools.

Education Secretary Mona Valisno said that a set of urgent concerns will be presented to the next administration, top among which is the salary adjustment of teachers.

“I will be former secretary by July 1. But the team at DepEd will bridge with President Noynoy our concerns as he committed that education will be a priority in his administration,” said Valisno.

Earlier this week, an association of public school teachers nationwide pressed DepEd for the prompt implementation of the salary adjustment of teachers under the Salary Standardization Law III (SSL3) approved by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in June last year.

Valisno revealed that the Department will make representations with teachers on SSL III through DepEd’s agency transition officials including Legal Affairs Undersecretary Franklin Sunga, Undersecretary for Finance Manaros Bonansing, and Assistant Secretary Special Projects and Legislative Affairs Jonathan Malaya.

By Ina Hernandez- Malipot/Manila Bulletin

Filed under: Department of Education, Education,

UK to impose temporary cap on migrants

LONDON – A newspaper is reporting that Britain’s new government intends to impose a temporary limit on the number of foreign workers from outside the European Union it allows into the country.

The Times said Home Secretary Theresa May will announce a maximum of 24,100 workers from outside the EU will receive permission to enter Britain between now and April 2011, when new immigration rules go into effect.

The Home Office had no comment on Saturday’s report, which said 54,500 economic migrants from outside the EU came to Britain last year.

Earlier this week, immigration minister Damian Green said the government planned to reduce migration levels back to 1990s levels — “to tens of thousands rather than hundreds of thousands.” —AP

via: http://www.gmanews.tv/story/194531/report-uk-to-impose-temporary-cap-on-migrants

Filed under: Pinoy Migration,

Key Labor Challenges

Facing the Aquino  Administration


The Aquino Administration shall be inheriting from the Arroyo Administration  complex  and numerous labor problems.  These include, among others, the following  –

  • Labor market:      over three million unemployed, six million underemployed (but over 14 million estimated to be working at less than 40 hours a week), large  informal economy (estimates range from 45 to 77 per cent of the labor  force), one million plus annual labor entrants, eroding capacity of domestic industry and agriculture to generate jobs, expanding service sector but with limited capacity to create well-paid jobs (except in a narrow call center/BPO sub-sector);
  • Migration:    diaspora of close to ten million Filipinos (immigrants, temporaries and undocumented) dividing families and the nation, high dependence of the economy on remittances (now roughly $1.5 billion a month), high rate of deployment taxing the processing capacity of POEA to the limits (over a million a year), endless sad OFW stories on abuses and contract violations in various climes;
  • Industrial relations system:     dramatic decline in the number of strikes paralleled by a dramatic decline in the number of unions and collective bargaining agreements, rampant outsourcing of jobs to avoid labor and social security obligations, polarized positions of labor and industry on outsourcing and labor reforms, perennial delays in case disposition in the NLRC, quality of decisions generally weak; and
  • Skills/education of the work force:    declining competitiveness of the country due to eroded or eroding educational and skills readiness of the work force, fund   misuse in TESDA documented by COA, industry not investing enough on skills development (and relying instead on replaceable short-term labor for competitiveness), and weaknesses in national skills anticipation  and job-skills matching.

On top of the foregoing, the country is facing labor-related concerns such as high urban-rural migration due to job weaknesses in the agricultural sector compounded by risks and disasters associated with climate change (resulting in the rise of “climate change refugees”).

Most of the above problems can not be solved overnight.

However, the Aquino Administration should be able to show that

  • it has a full understanding of these  manifold labor problems,
  • it has the strategic development perspective on how these problems should be tackled, and
  • it has the fortitude and willingness to buckle down to work, on day one, as it tries to address these problems under a Team Aquino.

An energized labor administration machinery is central in the fulfillment of the above tasks.   The incoming Administration should be able to drill in the mind of every DOLE man and woman that each has a historic task to perform in support of the Aquino Administration’s platform of employment, industrial relations and social reforms.  In broad strokes, this platform should include the following:

  • Labor market:     While job creation is the task of the entire government (with DTI, DA and other agencies seen as job creation leaders),  DOLE has the task of helping in the labor market facilitation business.  This means assisting LGUs in upgrading the PESOs, propagating and documenting good PESO practices in job-skills matching and skills enhancement, etc., and improving its  own Phil-JobNet.  It should do a job-skills map of the country, complete with the identification of measures on how to help out-of-school youth, unemployed educated, handicapped and other disadvantaged workers become productive and active members of the labor market.  It should also get involved in strategizing offensive (job-creating) and defensive (job-preserving) measures under globalization, including adjustment measures  under varied bilateral, regional and multilateral agreements, for the specific purpose of preserving and creating more and better jobs.  With the technical assistance of the ILO and in cooperation with other agencies such as DWSD and DOH, DOLE should find ways to promote or create jobs for the long-term unemployed and develop a program of “social protection for all”.
  • Migration: Aside from strengthening the existing machinery on OFW deployment (POEA) and protection (OWWA, bilateral agreements, anti-illegal-recruitment campaign, overseas RP missions, etc.), DOLE should push for an honest-to-goodness review and updating of the 1995 Migrant Workers Law (not just a program of insuring the insurers!).  One key issue is OFW policy clarification.  Instead of the old policy declaration that migration is a short-term stop-gap employment program (from Marcos to Estrada) or the more nuanced policy declaration under GMA that “migration is a choice”, the Aquino Administration should state forthrightly that migration is a central reality in the Philippine economy and society today and that the State policy on migration is guided by three intertwining guiding principles – extension of maximum protection to life and dignity to every Filipino migrant and family, assistance to Filipino migrants in their individual and collective search for life fulfillment and empowerment such as organizing for their own protection and advancement and investing on the well being of family and community in the home land, and enlisting  the participation of the global community of Filipino migrants in building a  balanced, equitable and prosperous Philippine economy in order to make working and living in the home country a first choice for every Filipino.

  • Industrial relations system:  DOLE, under Article V (rule-making) of the Labor Code, should move more vigorously for the empowerment of workers by recognizing and strengthening organizations of all types and categories of workers for various collective purposes (e.g., collective bargaining, common guild/skills interests, etc.) in order to implement the Constitutional mandate that all workers, in the formal and informal sectors, should enjoy the right to self-organization.  It should also help end the long-running debate on outsourcing (liberalization per demand by some business groups and criminalization as espoused by many trade union groups).  How?  By insisting that outsourcing, while legitimate when undertaken for legitimate business exigencies, should not be  abetted when done to avoid the labor and social security obligations of business, which is a narrow and short-sighted way of building up competitiveness.  The system of dispute settlement should also be reformed not only to fast-track case settlement but also to improve the quality of decisions.  On the other hand, DOLE should re-launch the campaign for proactive labor relations programs at the  plant/company level and should ask non-unionized firms to set up grievance machinery and employee consultation mechanisms.  The bipartite, tripartite and even multipartite systems of dialogue and consultation at various levels (national, regional, industry, etc.) should also be maintained and strengthened and should cover broader social development concerns such as social partnership in support of job  preservation and job creation.   For the reality is that a lot has to be done to promote better adjustment measures necessary to insure the preservation and creation of industries and decent jobs, e.g., adoption of winning  adjustment programs, more employee-employer dialogues on appropriate adjustment measures.On legislated labor reforms, this should be pursued but more in the context of the need for positive labor or industrial relations transformation, that is, how  to make  such transformation a source of competitiveness and a guarantee for the increased welfare of workers  and other sectors.  There should also be reforms to strengthen   institutions of workers’ representation,  collective bargaining, conciliation, mediation, labor-management cooperation and voluntary modes of dispute settlement.  The point is that the Philippines can become more competitive as a nation if it strengthens, not downgrades, institutions of industrial democracy.
  • Skills/education of the work force:   The declining competitiveness of the country due to eroding educational and skills readiness of the work force should be arrested through reforms in TESDA by making its operations transparent and its programs not only industry-focused but also community-oriented and anticipatory of changes in the labor market.  There should be a greater enhancement of the trifocal or convergence administration of the educational/skills system involving CHED, DepEd and TESDA.
  • Internal migration/climate change: DOLE should support inter-agency efforts in addressing poverty and development issues arising from the rapid urbanization of the country, continuous rural-to-urban migration, expansion of urban and rural poor communities with limited facilities and increasing risks and disasters arising from climate change and environmental degradation.  All these have labor and employment dimensions.  One area where DOLE can play a major role is in the promotion of greener businesses and greener jobs in the context of a green development program meant to combat threats of climate change.  A greening or renewal of communities nationwide to make them resilient to climate change means creation  of millions of jobs through labor-intensive community-based infrastructure projects such as flood controls, river/estero dredging, housing upgrades, pathways construction, building of community centers, etc.

Conclusion. To reiterate, the Aquino Administration is inheriting a host of daunting labor and employment problems.   However, formidable as they may seem, they can and should be overcome  – not overnight – but through a clearer vision of development, an energized bureaucracy and a firm leadership under Team Aquino.


By Prof. Rene Ofreneo, UP SOLAIR

via: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/insights/06/27/10/key-labor-challenges

Filed under: Government,

Bicol bloc urges poll body to proclaim Ako Bicol immediately

By Rhaydz B. Barcia, Manila Times Correspondent

LEGAZPI CITY: Following the opposition of Bayan Muna and other militant group to disqualify and disenfranchise the Bicolano homegrown regional political party, the entire Bicol governors and majority of solons urged the Commission on Election (Comelec) to proclaim immediately the three nominees of Ako Bicol to uphold the rule of law and the voice of the Bicolano eletorate here.
The appeal before the Comelec of the powerful Bicol bloc was led by Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero of Sorsogon wherein they’re urgently asking the poll body to immediately proclaim the regional party-list of the Bicolano people.

“Ako Bicol topped the elections in the party-list system of representation with more than 1.5 million votes nationwide with almost 1.1 million votes in the Bicol region alone. Notwithstanding, the overwhelming mandate given by our people to Ako Bicol, its proclamation has been deferred on the ground that there is a pending disqualification filed against it. Unfortunately, this disqualification case was belatedly filed last May 21, 2010 long after our people has given their mandate to Ako Bicol,” the Bicol bloc pointed out.

“The disqualification case of Ako Bicol as a regional political party with the intention to participate in the partylist system of representation should have been questioned at the time when it was still applying for accreditation and not after the Comelec has issued accreditation. Suffice it to state, the disqualification case is not a legal impediment that will bar the proclamation of Ako Bicol. We therefore, appeal to the Comelec to yield to the sovereign will of our people. Let us not disenfranchise the voters who reposed their trust and confidence on Ako Bicol. Proclaim Ako Bicol immediately to uphold the rule of law and the voice of the people,” the Bicol bloc said in a letter sent to the poll body.

The members of the Bicol bloc who signed for the immediately proclamation of Ako Bicol are Escudero, governors Joey Salceda of Albay, Raul Lee of Sorsogon, Luis Raymund Villafuerte of Camarines Sur, Scoot Lanete of Masbate, Edgar Tallado of Camarines Norte and Joseph Cua of Catanduanes while the solons are Al Francis Bichara of Second District of Albay, Fernando Gonzalez of Third District of Albay, Salvio Fortuno, Fifth District of Camarines Sur, Deogracias Ramos of 2nd district of Sorsogon, Salvador Escudero of the First District of Sorsogon and Renato Unico Jr. of First District of Camarines Norte.

Bayan Muna and other militant organizations in Bicol strongly contested the proclamation of Ako Bicol nominees such as lawyers Rodel Batocabe, Pido Garbin and Christopher Co because according to the oppositors the Ako Bicol does not represent the marginalized sector of the society here.

Tessa Lopez, regional spokesman of Bayan-Bicol told The Manila Times that besides the disqualification case they’re pursuing massive signature drive campaign to disenfranchise the Ako Bicol.

Elizaldy “Zaldy” Co, chairman of the board of Ako Bicol told The Times that proclaim or not proclaimed, Ako Bicol will continue pursue its primary thrust to help alleviate the lives of the poor communities, education and development of Bicol region.

Co also told The Times that the leftist group is strongly opposing the proclamation of Ako Bicol nominees because they turned town the request of Bayan Muna leaders to at least allocate or give one seat for Bayan Muna.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

DFA asked to get rid of fixers, speed up passport processing

The Department of Foreign Affairs Office of Consular Affairs (DFA-OCA) was urged on Saturday to clean up its premises of fixers to speed up passport processing and appointments.

A local recruitment official made the call, adding that the recruitment sector has received numerous complaints from applicants about the long wait in the processing of their appointments and the presence of fixers who are allegedly arranging early appointments for fees ranging from P5,000 to P10,000.

“The industry is demanding that the Office of Consular Affairs (OCA) rid fixers in their premises who may have connections inside, so that online appointments can be fast-tracked for a considerable amount of money,’’ recruitment firm official Emmanuel Geslani told the Manila Bulletin.

“Agency owners have reported to industry meetings that new applicants for passports who have been selected and have applied for early appointments have been approached by fixers asking for a certain amount of money for early appointments,’’ he added.

Just recently, Geslani disclosed that an applicant paid P6,000 and was given an appointment for July 15, while three others who paid P10,000 each have not yet been given appointment schedules.

While he hailed the opening of a Passport Extension Office at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) building in Mandaluyong City for renewal of passports for re-hires, vacationing workers and seamen, Geslani also lamented the small number of daily applicants processed at the POEA.

“The small quota of only 200 applicants daily at the POEA Passport Extension Office is utterly inadequate to cope with the 750,000 re-hires. Divided into five years that is 150,000 returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) each year who have to renew their passports every time they are in town,’’ he said.

The recruitment sector, said Geslani, also bewails the lack of understanding on the part of OCA to give priority to returning OFWs and those due for deployment.

“OCA personnel do not seem to understand that it will be very difficult for prospective workers to present documents that jobs are waiting for them. Passports are the first document that an OFW needs to present to agencies that will hire them, and this is where the problem lies, the intolerable three-month delay in getting appointments,’’ he said.


By SHIANEE MAMANGLU/MANILA BULLETIN

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

DFA to open offices on Saturdays starting July

In a bid to shorten the waiting time for appointments for electronic passports, the Department of Foreign Affairs will open its offices every Saturday starting July.

Office of Consular Affairs (OCA) personnel training for Saturday processing of such appointments is ongoing, according to the DFA.

An article posted on the DFA website said the DFA expects to shorten the waiting time for appointments to three weeks to one month.

OCA is also planning to open more Regional Consular Offices (RCOs) nationwide. The ePassport is already available in 19 RCOs.

It also said a number of Philippine foreign service posts are issuing the ePassport so Filipino workers, or migrants need not come home to have their passports renewed.

These overseas posts include Agana, Brunei Darussalam, Chicago, Doha, Dubai, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Kuala Lumpur, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Osaka, Ottawa, San Francisco, Seoul, Tokyo, Toronto and Washington D.C.

Other foreign service posts are expected to issue the ePassport in due time.

Earlier, the DFA washed its hands off a supposed backlog in its processing of passports, and blamed some applicants’ failure to show up on appointed time for the “delay.”

“It is the waiting time to get an appointment that is longer due to a number of reasons including non-appearance …. Forty percent of individuals who have set appointments do not show up on the designated dates. OCA still accommodates these slots since these were not cancelled by the applicants,” the DFA said.

OCA said passports are released 10 days from application for expedited passports, 20 days for regular processes, and even less than 10 days for emergency cases.

It said the DFA’s processing and releasing time is faster compared to other countries’ passport processes. In the United States, it said passports are released four to six weeks from the date of application.

The OCA urged applicants to appear on their appointment schedules. If unable to show up, they should cancel their appointments earlier so the time slot could be used for other applicants.

Passport extension office

On the other hand, the DFA will re-open the Passport Extension Office (PEO) at the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) to address specific concerns of OFWs who are in Manila to renew their passports immediately to comply with their work contracts’ requirements.

PEO will initially accept 200 applicants daily. Those who cannot be accommodated on a particular day will be given on-the-spot appointment for the succeeding days.

“No prior appointments are required for OFWs applying for passports at the PEO,” the DFA said.

Those who may apply at the PEO include seafarers and sea-based workers and their family members, land-based Balik-Manggagawa (visiting or returning OFWs and their families, and DFA-accredited manning and recruitment agencies.

As a stop-gap measure, OCA is also extending the validity of expiring passports for a maximum period of up to two years.

OCA also attributed the two-month waiting time for appointments to the peak summer season and the huge demand for the Philippine ePassport.

It said that it has been accepting 3,500 applicants daily. The number, however, is expected to go down by July. — LBG, GMANews.TV


via: http://www.gmanews.tv/story/194480/dfa-to-open-offices-on-saturdays-starting-july

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

Selebrasyon ng kapistahan ni San Pedro at San Pablo

(PIA Sorsogon)

Simple man ang paraan ng pagdiriwang, patuloy pa rin ang gabi-gabing kasiyahan dito sa lungsod ng Sorsogon sa pamamagitan ng beer plaza at nightly band shows na sinimulan noong June 17, kaugnay ng nalalapit na kapistahan ni San Pedro at San Pablo sa darating na Martes sa susunod na linggo.

Pagdating sa mga naghahanap ng murang bilihin, makikita din ang Fiesta Caravan at Baratillo Grande sa isang bahagi ng capitol grounds at sa kanto ng Rizal Street patutungong Sorsogon City Pier.

Sa mga deboto naman, patuloy ang siyam na araw na nobenaryong panata para kay San Pedro at San Pablo.

Deklarado namang official holiday sa araw ng Martes, June 29 bilang pakikiisa ng lungsod sa selebrasyon ng kapistahan ng patron nito.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Humor in OFW film

WI DING HO, A Malaysian living in Taiwan, successfully captures the hilarious plight of Filipino migrant workers in his film, “Pinoy Sunday.” He got noticed with his short film, “Hu Xi (Respire),” which garnered the Kodak Short Film and Young Critics Awards at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.

About his latest movie, he shares: “The first time I lived in Taiwan, I had no family, friends and connections. I was looking for a job. I was the same as the Pinoy migrant workers. I sorely missed home.”

The image of Filipinos scavenging for used furniture in the streets was vivid in his mind. “The locals in Taipei don’t do that. They have too many resources. I used the image of two guys carrying a discarded couch as my starting point.” He wrote the story with an Indian writer (Ajay Balakrishnan) based in New York.

Loneliness

“Pinoy Sunday” stars Epy Quizon, Bayani Agbayani, Alessandra De Rossi, Meryll Soriano and Nor Domingo as migrant workers trying to endure loneliness and deportation in Taiwan.

It’s a series of misadventures involving the red couch, as well as a test of friendship for Bayani and Epy as they accidentally run into a drunk motorcycle driver, help a suicidal teen, and escape the wrath of an angry dog.

Bayani’s character is the typical Filipino male – he diligently sends money to his family back home. He’s terrified to lose his job, but is more than willing to have an extramarital affair. Epy is the romantic type who’s desperate to have a woman (De Rossi) in his life. They’re both dreamers who soften the blows of ill fate with humor.

During a screening in Taiwan, Wi noticed a phenomenon among the foreign workers. He relates: “The audience laughed hard when Bayani called his family back home after saying goodbye to his girlfriend [Soriano]. It’s sad, but this is common among migrant workers in Taiwan.”

Family man

How did Wi get his actors? “I refused to watch their past films. I want them to be real, I didn’t want any acting. When I met Bayani in person, he looked like a family man – and that was what I was looking for.”

Was there a communication barrier during the shoot? He replies, “On the set, I tell them what to do. The actors improvise with the dialogue. I don’t understand the language, but I know it works, because when the crew watches the monitor, I see them laughing.” Dialogue is mostly in Tagalog, with some Mandarin.

Wi was in Manila early this week to preview his film. He shares, “We’re looking for distributors. We just don’t want to screen this film at festivals – we plan to have a commercial run here.”


By Rica Arevalo/Philippine Daily Inquirer

via: http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/entertainment/entertainment/view/20100625-277525/Humor-in-OFW-film

Filed under: Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner,

Sex ed modules to be uploaded on DepEd website

The Department of Education (DepEd) clarified on Thursday, June 24, 2010, that it is not distributing illustrated comics on sex education in public high schools contrary to what the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) claims. DepEd also plans to upload the modules which will be used for the pilot-testing of sex education program in 159 elementary and high schools to give everyone the chance to scrutinize it.

According to Education Secretary Mona Valisno, the comics which were shown on television by members of the CBCP were never part of the modules which will be used for the sex education program. “They may have obtained it from other sources but definitely it is not part of our learning modules on sex education,” she stressed.

Valisno emphasized that the fear of some —parents, teachers, and other stakeholders— that DepEd will teach the act of sex in school is not true. “Why would we do that? I believe that discussion on sex should be the responsibility of the parents who should draw guidance from the moral teaching of the Catholic Church. Both are our partners in educating our children,” she explained.

She said that DepEd is not insensitive to the students’ state of mind as what some critics allege the DepEd to be. “I believe it is grossly unfair to make public such document without really checking the source of the said sex education materials,” she lamented.

Meanwhile, to give the public the chance to review the contents of the modules, Valisno said electronic copies will be uploaded to the DepEd website. “Once the modules (are) uploaded, we would leave it to the public to judge if the critics of sex education are right in claiming that the materials are only about sex and condoms,” she said.

Valisno said that the modules to be uploaded are the same ones that have been used for the past three years in teaching students about hygiene, practice healthy behavior, and looking at the consequences of their actions. The materials also aim to enable young adults to plan parenthood.

She also maintained that the modules of DepEd that will guide the teachers on integrating sex education in various subjects were carefully prepared to suit the understanding level of students from Grade 5 to 4th year high school.

“We assure you that child psychologists were part of the team that developed these modules and we are careful that what is contained in the learning modules are age-appropriate,” said Valisno.

She clarified that the sex education program and the use of the modules are still in its pilot-testing stage and have not yet been implemented nationwide.

Valisno agrees that parents still have the primary roles of molding their children but there is also a need to complement this with proper teaching that will help strengthen the child’s values. “With topics on sex and sexuality circulating on all medium, the parents believe that teachers, who spend more time with their children, play an important role in building the character of the child,” she ended.

By INA HERNANDO-MALIPOT

via: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/263666/sex-ed-modules-be-uploaded-deped-website

Filed under: Department of Education, Education, Sorsogon News Updates,

KIDNEY DISEASE NANANATILING ISA SA PANGUNAHING SANHI NG KAMATAYAN SA SORSOGON

SORSOGON PROVINCE (June 25) – Inihayag ni Provincial Health Officer Dr. Edgar Garcia na nananatiling isa sa sampung kadahilanan ng pagkakamatay sa Sorsogon mula taong 2004 hanggang 2009 ang sakit sa bato o kidney disease.

Aniya, maging sa buong rehiyon ng Bikol at sa buong bansa ay nananatiling pangunahing suliranin din sa pampublikong kalusugan ang sakit sa bato.

Kaugnay nito, patuloy ang kanilang kampanya katuwang ang Philippine Information Agency at iba pang mga ahensya ng pamahalaan ukol sa wastong pangangalaga ng kidney partikular ngayong Hunyo kung saan taunang ipinagdiriwang ang National Kidney Month sa bisa ng Presidential Proclamation 184.

“On-going din ang aming pagsasagawa urinalysis, blood glucose at total cholesterol testing at iba pang mga aktibidad na mahalaga upang mapukaw ang kamalayan ng publiko ukol sa pag-iwas sa pagkakaroon ng sakit sa bato,” pahayag pa niya.

Kasama rin sa kanilang kampanya ang pagpapabot sa publiko ng mga mahahalagang impormasyon ukol sa hakbang sa paggamot sa mga may sakit sa bato at ng organ donation program sa ilalim ng REDCOP o Renal Disease Control Program ng Department of Health at National Kidney and Transplant Institute o NKTI.

Samantala, isang libreng dialysis machine mula sa Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) ang tinanggap ng Provincial Health Office nito lamang nakaraang linggo.

Ang dialysis machine ay handog ng PCSO mula sa presidential fund na naisakatuparan sa pagsisikap na rin ni Sorsogon Governor Sally A. Lee.

Ayon sa gobernador, bahagi ito ng limang milyong pisong halaga ng mga kagamitang kinabibilangan ng isang dialysis machine at anim na karagdagang mga ambulansya.

Dagdag din niya na sa pamamagitan nito ay maiibsan din ang bigat ng alalahanin ng mga pasyenteng dina-dialysis at kapamilya nito lalo pa’t malaki ang gastos na ginugugol ng mga sumasailalim sa dialysis. Bennie A. Recebido, PIA Sorsogon)

Read more: http://pia-sorsogon.blogspot.com

Filed under: Department of Health, Health Tips, Healthy Living, Sorsogon News Updates,

DAR Sorsogon in cyberspace

SORSOGON PROVINCE – LATEST issues about the DAR (Department of Agrarian Reform) Sorsogon could be found in DAR’s newest site www.dar.gov.ph/sorsogon.

This webpage was created to facilitate the students and researchers with their studies especially in information and data gathering, so that, they don’t need to travel just to get these in the DAR’s Office at Brgy. Balogo, Sorsogon City.

DAR Sorsogon’s website was officially launched by Roseller R. Olayres, Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer II on October 20, 2009 along with the launching of other DAR Regional and Provincial Offices’ websites nationwide. The creation of these websites happened in response to the fast changing technology of the present generation.

Available data/information that can be obtained in http://www.dar.gov.ph/sorsogon includes: history of the organization of DAR Sorsogon; its organizational structure; the provincial officers; the three major components of CARP; accomplishment reports; DAR Ladies Association; Gender and Development; Human Resource Development; DAR Employees Association; PDMASP (President Diosdado Macapagal Agrarian Scholarship Program); Foreign Assisted Projects; Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries’ Stories; news; and many more will be added in the coming days.

The presence of website is very helpful to Sorsogueños in many ways: there is no need for the students and other clientele to travel far just to obtain information because they can get it from the site through the internet; the media can pick the latest issue from news corner of the DAR Sorsogon website; the courage of farmers in fighting poverty are being featured and read even international which inspires them; the status of accomplishments are made transparent to the public for their monitoring; and for those who have queries, they can send their messages to the email provided in the site and the webteam assures that every mail they received will surely reach the hand of the PARO II or any concerned personnel.

Although the website is not yet a year old since its creation, the very first DAR WEB Assessment and Strategic Planning Workshop was held in Cebu City in order to review and evaluate its performance. Said planning workshop was conducted by DAR Central Office – National Web Team chaired by Atty. Jim G. Coleto.

The event was attended by 31 provinces from Luzon including Sorsogon. Each province has its own DAR Web Team Structure.

In Sorsogon it is composed of only three personnel that will maintain its operation: the Chairperson – Roseller R. Olayres, PARO II; and 2 members – Gilbert Goingo and Alura Arbolente.

Goingo is assigned in uploading and posting of the latest reports from PMEU (Provincial Monitoring and Evaluation Unit), while Arbolente is assigned in the writing and provision of news and other valuable information.

As to the design and colors, Arbolente serves as the “drafter” while Goingo is the “finalizer”. Finished designs will still pass through the approval of Olayres.

“Now that DAR Sorsogon is already in the cyberspace, we invite everyone to visit the site to learn more about our office and its programs,” said Olayres. [ajarbolente, DAR Sorsogon]

via: http://pia-sorsogon.blogspot.com/2010/06/dar-sorsogon-in-cyberspace.html

Filed under: Agriculture, Department of Agriculture,

9 rescued from capsized boat off Sorsogon

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—Nine excursionists were rescued Thursday night after their motorized banca capsized in rough waters between Samar and Sorsogon provinces, the Philippine Coast Guard here said Friday.

Honorio Mangaoang, duty officer of the PCG-Legazpi, said the unnamed motorboat with nine persons onboard overturned Thursday in the San Bernardino Strait—known to be dangerous to small vessels—off Juag Island, Matnog town, Sorsogon.

He said that initially, only four boat passengers were rescued by the Coast Guard that received the report about the distressed boat at 6:47 p.m. Thursday from the MV Grand Star Roro 3 of Philippine Harbor Shipping.

The first four rescued were identified as Jay Ann Veterbo, 19; Jean Veterbo, 18; Rolando Bacodjo, 29; and Randy Gillego, 30.

Mangaoang added that the Coast Guard in Matnog Port was able to rescue the other five passengers. They were identified as Argie Neblazo, 27; Joneal Veterbo, 21; Julius Esoren, 34; Alvin Gardoque, 28; and Godofredo Veterbo, 51.

Mangaoang said the nine passengers, who were all accounted for around 7:30 p.m., were residents of Barangay Sta. Isabel, Sta. Magdalena, Sorsogon who went swimming off Tikling Island.

“The group was on its way back to Sta. Isabel when their boat encountered a very strong current that caused it to overturn and drift toward Juag Island,” he added.

All nine were in good physical condition and able to return home safely Friday morning, the coast guard said.


By Rey M. Nasol
Inquirer Southern Luzon

via : http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/regions/view/20100625-277509/9-rescued-from-capsized-boat-off-Sorsogon

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates,

DOLE, POEA Failed to Curb Rampant Cases of OFWs Contract Substitution

PRESS RELEASE

An alliance of Filipino migrant workers group in the Middle East today said the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) under the out-going Arroyo administration failed to curb the rampant cases of OFWs contract substitution victimizing thousands of OFWs especially those deployed in the Middle East.

“Cases of contract substitution are still rampant among OFWs deployed in the Middle East; it is about 3 to 5 cases out of the average 7-10 daily cases we have been receiving from troubled OFWs,” John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional director.

Monterona said despite that plenty of the cases lodge by distress and repatriated OFWs in POEA Adjudication unit are mostly cases of contract substitution and labor malpractices committed by their erring employers, the DoLE-POEA failed to curb it or much less to totally solve the prevailing problem of contract substitution.

“It appears that the employment contract signed by the hired OFW facilitated by its recruitment agency is not been honored by most of the foreign employers as many hired OFWs have been asked or even forced to sign a new contract upon arrival at their job site,” Monterona added.

Monterona revealed that based on the accounts of OFWs victims of contract substitution, their recruitment agency will let them sign a new set of contract, different from the one they have signed during processing of their formalities, upon their departure only to find out that the stipulated salary has been reduced, and other terms and conditions such as medical insurance and housing provision have been omitted.

“Many have told us that they have been forced to sign a new set of contracts before their departure at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, while others said upon their arrival on the job site facilitated by the counterpart agency of the deploying agency in the Philippines,” Monterona revealed.

Monterona added in such a situation, if you are the departing OFW, you will be forced to sign the new employment contract that you have not read fully because you are already departing in an hour or sign it because you have already incurred much opting to proceed for your deployment.

“Contract substitution is made possible in collaboration of recruitment agencies and foreign employers, and that the DoLE-POEA doing nothing about it; it is a mockery of the original employment contract signed by the OFWs while they are still in the Philippines,” Monterona averred.

Monterona added the original employment contract is intended to protect OFWs labor rights as set forth in the terms and conditions of employment, but the moment a new contract with different terms and conditions unfavorable to the OFWs has been forged without the knowledge of the OFWs or by force they have been told to sign it, then it is putting OFWs employment at risks even before their deployment.

“Thus, Instead of simply ‘dropping’ the probationary period provision on OFW contracts, the POEA must instead focus on curbing contract substitution and violations committed by foreign employers which we believed would not be possible without the collaboration of the deploying recruitment agencies,” Monterona.

“Recruitment agencies and foreign employers that are party to such labor malpractice must be banned from deploying and recruitment,” he added.

Migrante-Middle East is calling the incoming Aquino government through its soon-to-appoint Labor department Secretary to look at this problem and investigate so that a new system will be developed with the objective of curbing the rampant cases of contract substitution victimizing thousands of OFWs.

Reference:
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator

via: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/06/25/dole-poea-failed-to-curb-rampant-cases-of-ofws-contract-substitution/

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

Apple iPhone 4 – 32GB – black


Product summary

THE GOOD: The iPhone 4 offers enhanced performance, a lovely new display, and an improved design. It also adds a ton of sorely needed features, both by itself and through the iOS 4 update.

THE BAD: Multitasking entails some trade-offs, and home screen folders are limited to 12 apps. AT&T reception continues to be spotty.

THE BOTTOM LINE: With iPhone 4, Apple again shows that it is a powerful player in the smartphone wars. It won’t be for everyone, and AT&T remains a sticking point, but the handset’s striking design, loaded feature set, and satisfying performance make it the best iPhone yet.


Read more  via: http://reviews.cnet.com/smartphones/apple-iphone-4-32gb/4505-6452_7-34117595.html?tag=nl.e404

Filed under: Innovation, Mobile Technology,

POEA to drop probationary period on OFW contracts, but allow similar setups

The term “probationary period” will be removed, but not really.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) clarified Thursday that while it is disallowing the use of the term “probationary period” in overseas employment contracts, recruitment agencies may still retain the concept “in essence”.

POEA deputy administrator Hans Leo Cacdac told GMANews.TV in a phone interview that agencies will no longer be allowed to include a probationary period in their contracts. He however added that they may still specify a certain period for foreign employers to assess overseas Filipino workers (OFW).

“It’s just the term ‘probationary period’ that we’re disallowing, but in essence, it will still be there,” Cacdac admitted.

Recruitment agencies had earlier slammed the POEA’s plan to remove the probationary period in overseas employment contracts, threatening that they will stop processing papers for new workers unless the implementation of the new policy is put on hold.

In a press release, recruitment consultant Emmanuel Geslani said the POEA has not consulted recruitment agencies and foreign employers on the new policy.

“A probationary period of three to six months is standard in most countries of destinations in Asia, Middle East, and Europe which the POEA and recruitment agencies adopted many decades ago since the private sectors took over the recruitment industry in the early 80’s,” Geslani stated.

He added the period differs according to country, and is sometimes part of a country’s labor laws.

New workers are usually placed on probationary status for a definite period, during which companies assess the workers’ performance and decide whether to retain them or discontinue their employment.

If the provision is removed from the contracts, Geslani explained, “almost all agencies will be subject to illegal dismissal cases filed by workers who did not pass the probationary period or qualify.”

Foreign employers will object to the new policy, which may thus lead to a decline in the hiring of new workers, he added.

Cacdac, however, said agencies will still be allowed to indicate a specific period in contracts when employees may be removed, but only under standards agreed upon by the employer and the employee.

“The probationary period gives the employer a free hand in terminating employees. Contracts must ensure that Filipino workers will be terminated only for just causes,” Cacdac explained.

He admitted, though, that employers may still dismiss their employees during the specified period, provided that just causes for termination are enumerated in the contract, to which the employees agreed.

“The situation will be similar to the probationary set-up,” Cacdac added.

The term “probationary period” is misleading, he further explained, because in the context of Philippine labor, the period is immediately followed by either termination or permanent employment.

OFWs are usually on a fixed-term employment contract of one or two years.

Despite the criticism, the POEA will issue a resolution on the new policy on a yet unspecified date, which will take full effect following its publication on major newspapers as required by the law, Cacdac said.

By Jerrie M. Abella/JV, GMANews.TV

via: http://www.gmanews.tv/story/194379/poea-to-drop-probationary-period-on-ofw-contracts-but-allow-similar-setups

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

7 Habits of Business Success

The elusive dream of business success captures the imagination of aspiring and existing business owners everywhere. A vision of flowing profits, industry respect, thrilled customers, and a balanced life. This vision is only possible by developing habits that drive business success. Take the time to learn the 7 habits of business success.

The 7 Habits of Business Success

Habit 1. Cultivate Inner Networks: Entrepreneurs practicing the art of business success know the power of networks. They take the time to identify and build relationships with key peers, mentors, and advisors. This inner network provides support, direction, and an increased number of people to assist. Having an inner network of five people who have a network of five more, grows the network exponentially.

Habit 2. Customer Centric: Business success requires an unwavering commitment to the customer. This commitment encompasses a mindset of understanding the customers’ world. Understanding the customers wants and needs provides the business with a greater opportunity to earn a loyal customer base. Focus away from business and profits, and toward what you can do to improve the life of your customers.

Habit 3. Humble Honesty: Business success requires the ability to know your strengths and weaknesses. Being open and honest about yourself and your business creates growth as an individual and as a company. Don’t spend time developing weaknesses. Find help for weak areas, enabling you to focus on strengths. In the book, “Now, Discover Your Strengths”, Gallup Organization reveals that building our strengths instead of fixing our weakness is the path to mastery and success. Take the time to know yourself and business.

Habit 4. Adaptability: Business success requires the ability to adapt to changing situations. Nothing ever goes as planned. The world of business is full of surprises and unforeseen events. Using the habit of adaptability allows business owners to respond to circumstances with the ability to change course and act without complete information. Being flexible allows us to respond to changes without being paralyzed with fear and uncertainty.

Habit 5. Opportunity Focused: Problems are a regular part of business life. Staff issues, customer misunderstandings, cash crunches- the list is endless. To achieve business success, look at both sides of the coin. Every problem has an opportunity. Being opportunity focused makes the game of business fun and energizing.

Habit 6. Finding A Better Way: Productivity is the cornerstone of business success. Formulate the habit of finding a better way to make your business more productive. This will create more time to focus on the critical issues that drive sales and profit. Productivity can be enhanced by technology, automation, outsourcing, and improving business processes.

Habit 7. Balanced Lifestyle Management: A business can consume an owner’s time and energy. It’s easy to allow the business to take control of your life. Business success requires the habit of balancing all aspects of your life. Separating time for daily business tasks, profit driven tasks, and free time is a habit that will make your business and life more enjoyable. Take the time to plan each week.

Learning and instilling new habits in your daily business life can have a dramatic effect on your level of success. Review each of the 7 habits. Choose one habit to focus on for a month or until you achieve mastery. Gradually incorporate each of the 7 habits of business success into your life and attain your business dreams.

Filed under: Business, Entrepreneurs, Financial Literacy,

10 Essential Tips for Starting Entrepreneurs

1. Do What You LOVE: If you’ve chosen your business because you read that this niche was the next hot one, or because your favorite uncle (or your best friend) thinks you’d be well-suited for this business, you may as well pack up now and save yourself some time and money. If you don’t love what you do, it will show…potential customers will know it and will go elsewhere. Is it possible to be successful anyway? Sure — but it won’t be easy and it won’t be fun…and isn’t that why you want to be in business for yourself anyway?

Instead, choose what you love. You’ll know what that is when you find yourself being incredibly productive, forgetting the time passing by, and not being able to wait to get up in the morning to do more! At Solo-E we call that being juiced…but whether you call it being in the flow, or the zone, or whatever, FIND IT!

2. WRITE DOWN Your Business Plan: As a small or solo business owner, you still need a business plan. Even if you aren’t getting a loan! Would you invest thousands of dollars of your own money buying stock in a company that didn’t have a written prospectus? (I hope not!) Then why would you spend thousands of dollars AND hours of your precious time on a business that doesn’t have a written plan?

Write your plan, get it critiqued by professionals, and most important, BE READY TO CHANGE IT. This may seem counterintuitive…why bother writing it down if it’s just going to change? Because writing it down makes it more clear…and helps you get to the next stage of learning and planning and revising. It’s critical–67% of businesses that failed had no written business plan. Want to play the odds?

3. Multiply Your Expected Startup Costs by Two–or Maybe Three: When I started my business, an honors MBA grad with 15 years of solid business experience behind me, I figured I was smart enough to estimate my startup costs accurately. I knew all the things I needed and made conservative estimates and I was still WRONG! That’s right, I was still off by a factor of almost three. Don’t make this mistake! One of the biggest reasons small businesses fail is because of lack of capital. Give yourself the best possible start by saving or acquiring sufficient startup funds NOW. Before you start!

4. Make Your Market Niche as Small as Possible: Again, this is counterintuitive–shouldn’t you try to appeal to as many people as possible? The paradox is that the more you try to appeal to EVERYONE, the less you will appeal to ANYONE. Let’s say you are selling your house…would you rather list it with the agent who operates in 14 counties, sells both commercial and residential real estate, and sells everything from cottages to estates? Or would you pick the agent who specializes in your community, selling only houses in a well-defined price range that she knows extremely well? Ruthlessly define your niche, make it as small as possible, and stay true to it. You’ll thank me later!

5. Do Marketing Your Way: The temptation is to choose all the marketing methods that the competition uses. To stay with tried-and-true marketing channels. To place advertisements that you know nothing about creating, or make cold calls that give you heartburn. Why? Because (all together now) “that’s how it’s always been done.”

It’s difficult to stand out among your competitors when you are doing the same kind of marketing! So instead, look to your strengths. What do you like to do? What are you good at? Then choose three marketing methods that play to those strengths. If you need ideas, check out 136 Ways to Market Your Solo Business, another article at http://www.Solo-E.com.

6. Remember the Most Important Ingredient in Your Business–YOU: Business-owner: know thyself. Spend some time learning about who you are and how you are unique. Then let that uniqueness shine through in your marketing, in how you run your business, in everything you do. Don’t hide your quirks–celebrate them!

Customers go to small and solo businesses primarily because they are looking for a personalized experience. They want a relationship with you as the owner of your business. If you try to come off as who you think they want, they’ll smell right through that and not come back. Be who you are, and trust that who YOU are is going to be attractive to the right people.

7. Build Your Business by Building Relationships: Being a small or solo business owner isn’t about sitting in the corner alone. Actually it can be–and that isolation is what drives many out of business and back into a “job”. Build relationships to survive! Start with your colleagues–others you know who are at the same stage of business as you, or are farther along and willing to mentor you.

Next, build relationships with potential customers. Ask them what they want! Then create products and services based on their input and come back and show them what you have done. Get feedback, tweak, and maybe make your first sale. Stay in touch with your customers even after they leave you.

Last but not least, build relationships with your competitors. You might be able to do this right at the beginning, simply by asking them for their advice. Surprisingly, many ARE willing to share their secrets if you just ask. Later on, build cross-referral relationships, co-marketing alliances, and other relationships that are win-win for you, your competitors, and your customers.

8. Don’t Accept a Customer Just For the Money: This is probably the hardest advice for new business owners to apply. Especially when there is a job, a project, a potential client, just outside your niche, that could keep your business solvent for the next six months. Don’t do it! Taking on a client outside your niche inevitably results in frustration for you, dissatisfaction on the part of the client, and in the end, usually costs you more than you make. Ask any successful business owner and they’ll tell you this is true!

9.. Don’t Do Everything Yourself: It’s so tempting to fall into the self-deception that “it’s cheaper for me to do it myself.” IT”S NOT! If you aren’t good at something, for instance bookkeeping, it will probably take you 2-3 times as long–time you could be spending doing things that are essential for you to be doing personally, like writing your business plan or deciding your marketing strategy. Put sufficient capital into your business upfront so you CAN hire help right from the start. Your business will get off to a quicker start because you aren’t distracted by time-consuming tasks that drain your energy.

10. Assemble Your Support Team: Start with the people who will help you do the things you aren’t good at. Some examples: bookkeeper, marketing writer, web designer. Then add the people who give you professional business advice: a lawyer, an accountant, a business coach. Finally, include the people who support you personally: your family, friends, and colleagues.

Don’t forget to be part of other’s support teams, too. Share your expertise at Solo-E, start a networking group where business owners support each other, share a referral with a colleague. Solo Entrepreneurs supporting other Solo Entrepreneurs is what will make us all successful!


Terri Zwierzynski is a coach to small business owners and Solo Entrepreneurs. She is also the CEI (Conductor of Extraordinary Ideas) at Solo-E.com and the author of 136 Ways To Market Your Small Business. Terri is an MBA honors graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill. Terri has been coaching for over 10 years in a variety of settings, including 6 years as a senior-level coach and consultant for a Fortune 500 company. She opened her private coaching practice in 2001. You can reach Terri at http://www.TerriZ.com.



via: http://www.advancingwomen.com/entrepreneurialism/4202.php

Filed under: Business, Entrepreneurs, Negosyo Tips,

Essential Tips for the First-Time Entrepreneur

To a certain extent, becoming an entrepreneur requires you to be a multi-talented individual. First and foremost, however, you need to be driven and have a firm desire to be your own boss. You should be very tenacious and not be willing to take the word “no” for an answer easily. If you understand that you will be faced with a long, seemingly never-ending, list of problems, yet see your glass as being always half-full, then you are off to the races!

Do not underestimate the amount of time and effort and raw energy that it requires to be a successful entrepreneur. You will need a good list of people skills, with the ability to be persuasive and to motivate. Be prepared to be the driving force at all times and understand that you are probably your organization’s most valuable asset. You should be able to do everything that you expect from others (should you employ them within your organization) at a push.

To help you stock up on some key information and to prepare yourself for all eventualities that you will undoubtedly face, here are some great resources.

First of all, you need to structure yourself accordingly. Some people choose to set up as a sole proprietorship, while others choose an S. corporation or a limited liability company. Each one has its own legal repercussions. Once you’ve decided on your setup, you will need to establish a record-keeping system and keep up with this every week. The proper process of accounting is essential in the early days as you will need to be right on top of critical cash flow and performance levels.

Secondly, know when to hire and what to look for. It goes without saying that you do not need to burden yourself with labor costs if not necessary, but equally as important you must know when to delegate and whether or not you should outsource instead.

Thirdly, you must have your web presence. For many entrepreneurs this will be the shop window to the world and it’s also your first point of contact. It goes without saying therefore that you must put a lot of thought and planning into web design and hosting. If you are doing it yourself, make sure you have a sound knowledge of building a website, or use an online tool such as WordPress. Once you have it up and running, you need to be tracking to see whether visitors like what they see, how long they spend on the site, what they read and there is no better tool than the free one provided by Google. If you like graphics and cool tools, this analytics supplement is  for you – Crazy Egg.

Lastly, do not be afraid to ask for help at any time. Those who have been there before you may have made the very mistakes that you could avoid. Here are ten common mistakes that we have outlined, which could end up costing you more than your shirt!

Been there and done that? We would love to hear your tips for first-time entrepreneurs.

By Matthew Toren

via : http://www.youngentrepreneur.com/blog/entrepreneur-university/essential-tips-for-the-first-time-entrepreneur/

Filed under: Encouragement, Entrepreneurs, Financial Literacy

What Successful People Do That You Are Missing

When you think of people who are successful names like Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet may come to the front of your mind. What is it that has propelled them to achieve greatness. Are they built different? Do have a special ingredient or different DNA than other people? There are many qualities that define or separate someone who has achieved or will achieve greatness. What you are about to read will focus on three characteristics that these people have with one key difference, success people do what unsuccessful people won’t do. That is the key difference.

Goal Setting

Everyone who is successful sets goals. I’m sure you have heard this a million times. Do you have a goal for where you want to be in a year or five years? What will be different about your life next year and how will you make it happen? Successful people set goals but the way they handle goal setting enables them to actually reach and surpass what they want to do. Let’s take a one year time frame for example. You set a goal, an attainable goal for yourself for a year from now. A year is a long way away so in order to allow your mind to take you there you must break this one year down into a month and then a week and then a day. If you map out what you have to do in a day you can measure success after a week. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. That is the same way to approach your goals. Another tip is to write your one year goal on a small piece of paper. Figure out what you need to do each month and each day to meet this goal and write it below your one year goal. Laminate this and carry in your pocket everywhere you go. Make sure it is the first thing you look at in the morning and the last thing you see before your head hits your pillow at night.

Clear Vision and Focus

If you have ever watched Tiger Woods play golf you will see focus on a whole different level. It’s scary. His competitors can feel it and it can become very intimidating. He makes clutch putts that not only determine if he will win a major but also determine the difference in tens of thousands of dollars. Could you imagine standing over a golf ball with ten thousand people behind you. If you make it you win the Master’s and earn an additional $50,000 and you will be the top play on Sportscenter the next day. But if you miss you will be nothing and remember that moment for the rest of your life. He has practiced that situation so much that it doesn’t faze him when the real thing is right in front of his face. More times than not he makes that putt.

They Take Action And Are Not Afraid To Fail

Whether right or wrong successful people take action and do. They don’t sit around and wait on anything they get after it and take action. They are decision makers. One thing that makes someone successful at sports or business is that they get right back up if they have been beat down and failed at something. Michael Jordan was cut from the basketball team his freshman year of high school. That didn’t cause him to quit, that made him want to work harder to prove his coach wrong the next year. He went on to win 6 NBA titles, 5 MVPs, 6 finals MVPs, 2 Olympic gold metals, NCAA player of the year and a national champion. He never quit when the chips were down. He got right back up and went to work again.

Donald Trump filed bankruptcy twice. Many people would have given up and thrown in the towel on the first one. Donald knew he would overcome this hardship and he did. In 2007 he made $32 million and at that time his net worth was $1.6 billion. He continued to take action and now the Trump Empire is everywhere you turn. Mary Pickford has a famous quote that describes both Michael Jordan and Donald Trump. It says, “This thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.”

To sum it all up, successful people are not genetic phenomenons. It’s not in their DNA or their genes. They don’t have anything different about them than you. What separates them from the average person is that they set goals, have a clear vision, and most importantly, they take action and do rather than watch someone else succeed. Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Become someone great so that someday your name will be used in the article.

I am an online marketing coach. My goal is to help others reach their goals to become financially independent while by having a successful home based business. All the help you need and a step by step process to success is available at your fingertips. The only thing that is missing in this program is your ability and determination to put everything in place. To find out more information about me and this opportunity visit my blog at http://jonathanjones77.blogspot.com

Filed under: Encouragement, Inspiration, People who inspired Us,

Preparing for iPhone 4 launch day

NEW YORK–Google CEO Eric Schmidt made a guest appearance at a press conference here Wednesday where Google, Motorola, and Verizon Wireless unveiled the new version of the popular Android Droid smartphone.

Schmidt took the stage first and touted the importance of the smartphone category.

It’s that time of year again when throngs of people line up, sometimes days in advance, for the latest and greatest version of the Apple iPhone.

Thursday is the official release date for the iPhone 4. And from the looks of things, this year could be the biggest of all iPhone launches.

AT&T says that demand for the iPhone 4 is 10 times what it was for the iPhone 3GS. And Apple says it took 600,000 preorders for the new phone through its sales channels.

The iPhone 4 goes on sale Thursday, though the white version won't be available.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET )

The iPhone 4 goes on sale Thursday, though the white version won’t be available at first.

If history is any indication of what to expect, initial sales of the iPhone 4 are likely be a doozy. Apple sold more than 1 million iPhone 3GS smartphones the first three days it was on sale. The original iPhone sold about 270,000 units during its first weekend in June 2007, while the iPhone 3G sold around 1 million when it launched in July 2008.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs called the iPhone 4, which is the fourth generation of iPhone, the “biggest leap since the original iPhone” was launched in 2007. With a new homegrown processor like the one used in the iPad, a bigger battery, a 5-megapixel camera that can record video in high definition, and a new FaceTime video chat application, the iPhone 4 is expected to be a hotter device than all previous iPhones.

Unfortunately, for customers waiting to get their hands on the new phone, there are already signs that supply may not keep up with demand. On Tuesday, AT&T announced that only preordered iPhone 4s will be in stock in its retail stores Thursday. Anyone looking to buy an iPhone 4 at an AT&T store without having preordered the device will have to wait until June 29.

AT&T’s preordering system also crashed over and over on June 15, the day the iPhone 4 was made available for preorder. Potential customers attempting to buy the phone saw error messages as they tried to process their orders.

So what is an expectant iPhone 4 user to do? Check out this FAQ to get a better handle on what will be happening on launch day. For updated information from AT&T, the company suggests checking out its Facebook page.

by Marguerite Reardon and Erica Ogg

Read more via: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20008509-266.html?tag=mncol

Filed under: Innovation, New Ideas, New Invention, Technology,

Motorola Droid X unveiled, ‘made for video’

Attendees to Wednesday’s New York press conference get a rundown of the new Droid X’s features.

(Credit: Bonnie Cha/CNET)


Motorola Droid X

“This is not a toy or app engine,” he said. “It is a powerful kind of operating system. What is happening now is that people are thinking mobile first instead of desktop first.”

He cited the importance of a robust wireless network, as well as hardware with fast processors and big screens. But Schmidt said Wednesday’s event is notable not just for the announcement of the new Droid, but for the emergence of the entire category of device.

Indeed, the new Droid X epitomizes this. The newest version of the Google Androidphone made by Motorola offers an HDMI output, a 4.3-inch display, and 720p video capture. The device also comes with faster processors that will offer faster Web browsing. And it has an 8-megapixel high-definition camera.

John Stratton, executive vice president of Verizon Wireless, said the device is made for video. And there will be new apps designed to take advantage of these features, including a deal with Blockbuster to provide movies for purchase or rent.

The Droid X will cost $199.99 after a $100 rebate and will go on sale starting July 15. Unlike AT&T, which has switched to tiered pricing for its iPhone, Verizon said it will keep its unlimited mobile data plan for smartphones, which costs $30 a month.

The new Droid X also offers Wi-Fi hot spot capability, which allows users to connect up to five additional Wi-Fi devices to the Verizon 3G network. This feature will cost $20 extra a month for 2GB of data for the month. If users exceed the 2GB, they will pay 5 cents per megabyte.

Verizon is altering its upgrade policy to sweeten the deal for current customers looking to upgrade to the Droid. It will allow any Verizon Wireless customer whose contract expires in 2010 to upgrade to the Droid when it comes out on July 15.


Executives at Droid X kickoff

Google CEO Eric Schmidt joins executives from Adobe, Motorola, and Verizon Wireless onstage at the kickoff for the new Droid X. From left to right: Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe; Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering for Google; Sanjay Jha, co-CEO of Motorola; and John Stratton, executive vice president of Verizon Wireless.

(Credit: Marguerite Reardon/CNET)


By Marguerite Reardon

Via: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20008606-266.html?tag=nl.e498

Filed under: Innovation, New Ideas, New Invention, Technology, ,

4 Pinoys lose US jobs for speaking in Tagalog

BALTIMORE, Maryland – Four Filipina ex-staffers of a Baltimore City hospital haven’t gotten over the shock of being summarily fired from their jobs, allegedly because they spoke Pilipino during their lunch break.

“Hindi ko pa rin matanggap na the basis of the termination was the language,” nurse Hachelle Natano told ABS-CBN News.

Corina Capunitan-Yap, Anna Rowena Rosales, Jazziel Granada and Natano were fired from their jobs at the Bon Secours Hospital last April 16.

“I feel I was harassed and discriminated against because of my national origin,” Natano explained.

“They claimed they heard us speaking in Pilipino and that is the only basis of the termination. It wasn’t because of my functions as a nurse. There were no negative write-ups, no warning before the termination,” she added.

Last November, Bon Secours imposed for the first time an English-only language policy in the Emergency Room, the nurses said.

Many hospitals, especially those with foreign medical staff, implement the rule in trauma facilities because it’s critical everyone understand each other as they respond to life-and-death situations.

They were asked to sign the hospital’s “Emergency Department Expectations” that set the length of their lunch and snack breaks; lays down when they can take a rest; and directs that English should be the only language spoken while the nurses are on ER duty.

Granada was surprised when she too got the boot.

“I was shocked. I’m not even a nurse. I’m a secretary so I’m not involved with patient care. It came as a big shock and I was asking myself, why I was included,” she told ABS-CBN News.

Lawyer Arnedo Valera of the Virginia-based Migrant Heritage Commission has filed a complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The nurses, he pointed out, were “arbitrarily terminated from work without due process,” and the English-only rule violated their basic rights.

Fired because of bagoong?

This is not the first time hospital workers have been fired or disciplined for speaking in a language other than English.

In 2005, the EEOC led a federal law suit against the Highland Hospital in Rochester, New York on behalf of five Hispanic housekeepers.

They were sanctioned after they were overheard saying “hasta la vista” or goodbye as they were leaving work.

The EEOC said the English-only rule was unlawful and violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits job discrimination based on a person’s race, sex or national origin.

Valera believes the English-only rule at Bon Secours Hospital was too broad and so lacking in clear guidelines to be fairly and legally implemented.

“If you speak just a single Tagalog word and someone hears you, that can be grounds for termination which is what happened to our nurses,” he explained.

“All it takes is just one word. That can be a greeting, a remark or even the name of a Filipino dish. Based on this rule, you could say ‘bagoong’ (a fermented fish sauce) and lose your job,” Valera said.

Granada, still in the dark what Pilipino word she uttered to get the pink slip, speculates it might have been because she called a Filipino doctor in the hospital “Kuya” – a word of respect akin to the English “Sir.”

The Filipinas’ plight has been aggravated, they say, by the hospital’s inability to show any documentation of when the alleged violations took place.

Their dismissal was so abrupt it took several days for the termination papers to catch up with them.

Nurses’ rights

Valera said this incident goes deeper into the problems Filipino and other foreign nurses face in US hospitals.

“There is no business necessity, there is no rational justification or direct relationship between speaking in Pilipino to the performance of their job,” he said.

Lured by higher pay and wider opportunities for advancement, Filipino professionals – doctors, nurses, engineers – have flocked to the US for the past 50 years.

The Philippines, India and Nigeria are the top suppliers of nurses in the US. In the 1980s, nearly half of all foreign nurses entering the US were Filipinos.

“America is supposed to be land of the free but in our case we were terminated because we spoke in our native language,” Rosales said.

“It is so unfair for Filipino nurses. I am making an appeal to nurses’ associations that with this incident we should let them know that no patient is harmed when we speak in our native language,” she declared.

By Rodney J. Jaleco, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

via: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/global-filipino/06/22/10/4-pinoys-lose-us-jobs-speaking-tagalog

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

No room for jueteng in Aquino administration

‘No room for jueteng in Aquino administration’
Philippine Star
But the illegal numbers game remains unabated in most part of the Bicol region, including Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Camarines Norte.
See all stories on this topic

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Smart Clothes may Save your Life

Printed sensors on the elastic band of your underwear could monitor your sweat through chemical-sensing electrodes, and diagnose changes in your health.

Why put them in underwear? The elastic gives the best contact with the skin.

They could even trigger the release of drugs. For example, if an accident victim went into shock, the sensors could be programmed to administer a pre-determined treatment.

By http://www.ideaconnection.com

via: http://www.ideaconnection.com/new-inventions/smart-clothes-may-save-your-life-03693.html

Filed under: Innovation, New Ideas, New Invention, , , ,

Bicol Region joins Nationwide Mural Painting

AJArbolente, PIA Bicol

ELEVEN Regions in the Philippines including Bicol joins the Department of Agrarian Reform 2010 on-the-spot Mural Painting Contest held at Quezon City Memorial Circle in preparation for the 22nd Anniversary of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform.

“Buhay sa Bukid ay Masaya kung may Sipag at Pag-aaruga” – that is the theme of the mural painting contest which every participants must portray in their piece. The contest conducted by DAR-PAS (Department of Agrarian Reform – Public Affairs Staff) headed by Dir. Hugo D. Yonzon III through the courtesy of Boysen Paint is aimed to sustain the interest and attention among students on the implementation of the CARP extension with reform by letting them interpret agrarian reform in visual art.

Despite the sweltering hot on that day, where temperature reached 38 degree, the 3-day Mural Painting Contest goes on. Among the participants from Bicol Region are Eunice Ann C. Negrete; Resmundo G. Demdam; Ronnie B. Borbo; Froilan B. Barbacena; and Jake L. Roldan; All of them are graduating students of Fine Arts in the Aquinas University, Legazpi City. They use cubism style of painting. On the 8x12ft canvas they draw an assortment of farm and aquatic products which were placed on a gear, and men were lifting it. Watching scrupulously their piece, a touch of Albay could be noticed by a true Bicolano, that is the color blue Mayon Volcano behind.

According to Dir. Yonzon, every participant is already a winner because each one has finished the work on time. All of the paintings are amazingly wonderful. It was a tough job for the judges. “For me, all of you are winners and best,” Bayani Jose, one of the judges said. True enough because they only differ in points. Region 11 got the first prize worth 150,000 pesos; Region 1 got the second prize worth 100,000 pesos; Region IV-A got the third prize worth 75,000 pesos; and the rest got consolation prizes amongst which are regions III; CAR; Bicol; IX; X; VI; IV-B; and XIII.

They were judged based on the following criteria: relevance (appropriateness to the theme) 30%; composition (technical quality) 30%; visual impact (extent and influence to public) 25%; and originality (uniqueness) 15%.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Students banned in malls

By INA HERNANDO-MALIPOT

(Prohibition also covers computer shops, cinemas)

The Department of Education (DepEd) is now prohibiting all students of public and private elementary and secondary schools from going to computer shops, malls, theaters, and other similar establishments during class hours.

To carry out the ban effectively, Education Secretary Mona Valisno said school officials and teachers concerned should communicate and coordinate with their respective local government officials so that both parties could work on a possible enactment or implementation of the appropriate legislation to implement this.

“These legislations may be in the form of regulating the distance of computer shops, malls, theaters and the likes from schools,” she said.

The directive may also be sent to the owners of these establishments not to allow entry of students during their respective class hours. “The LGUs can ask the owners of these shops and malls to check first the class schedules of the student trying to enter the establishment,” she said.

Valisno said schools should accordingly provide their students with certified copies of their respective class schedules.

She said going to these establishments has adverse effects on students. “We are aware of the prevailing situation that there are students in the elementary and secondary levels from public and private schools who go to computer shops, malls, theaters, and the likes during their class hours while in their school uniforms,” she said.

Thus, the Department issued DepEd Order No. 86, s. 2010 on June 18 which directed all school officials and employees concerned to institute and implement the necessary mechanism on the school discipline applicable under the situation. “They should monitor closely those students who are absent or cut class often,” said Valisno.

When it comes to the school discipline to be imposed, Valisno explained that this should primarily focus on guidance counseling of the students involved. “The principals or the teachers should have a dialogue with the parents of the students or even with their guardians to address the problem,” added Valisno.

Valisno also urged the school officials and teachers to provide their students with worthwhile and productive activities. “These activities particularly those that can enhance the creative and communicative skills can be done during the free time of the students in school,” she said.

School heads and teachers can encourage their students to join in activities that could improve their communicative skills such as debate or their creative skills such as dramatic activities and theatrical programs.

Reports to DepEd reveal that many students cut their classes and spend time playing online games, visiting various social networking sites such as Friendster and Facebook and some even are sneaking to visit pornographic sites in computer and Internet shops.

To address this concern, DepEd will also be deploying monitoring teams to watch Internet shops for class-cutting pupils. “We already ordered a tighter watch on Internet cafés, particularly those in school zones, during class hours,” she explained.

Valisno admitted that since DepEd cannot address this problem alone, cooperation between school officials, LGU officers, and parents is a must. “We also appeal to owners of Internet cafés not to allow students – especially those still in uniform – to spend time in their establishments, especially during class hours,” she said.

Nationwide, many LGUs are implementing ordinances that regulate Internet shops that allow students to enter their premises. In Makati for instance, the local government has already warned owners of computer shops of possible closure if they would not comply with the DepEd order and city ordinance.

For Maribeth Cortes, parent to first year high school student Vince, this is very important since parents like her cannot monitor the activities of her child when he is in school. “I think construction of computer shops should not even be allowed near school premises because these only tempt the students to go there instead of attending their classes,” she explained in Filipino.

Valisno said that school heads and teachers should also be responsible in monitoring the activities of their students. “They should always remind their students not to go to these computer shops during class hours and should call the attention of the parents of the child if the he or she cuts class very often,” she ended.

Filed under: Campus Talk, Department of Education, What's Happening Here?,

Explore the beauty of Sorsogon

There’s no better time to relax & explore beautiful places in the philippines than today. Specially if you plan goin to the south, Sorsogon has a lot to offer with its amazing place and breathtaking scenery and some of the most hospitable people in the country.

By the way, The Pili festival will be this coming 28-29 of June & it coinsides with the fiesta of Sorsogon City. Celebrations include street dancing by locals donning pili nut costumes, cooking competitions, fireworks displays, and even a nutcracking session along the road by the locals.

Bulusan Natural Park

Swim with the whaleshark@Donsol

Filed under: Pictures for the future, Promote Tourism, Travel & Adventures, Travel Advisory, Travel and Lifestyle, , , , , ,

De-kalidad na edukasyon hatid ng Lions Club sa Juban, Sorsogon

Bennie A. Recebido, PIA Sorsogon

Bugso ng kagustuhang matulungan ang pamahalaan sa pagsusulong nito ng de-kalidad na uri ng edukasyon sa bansa, pinasinayaan noong Huwebes, June 17, ang NOAH Multi-purpose building sa Catanusan Elementary School sa Juban, Sorsogon, na naipatayo sa pamamagitan ng The Lions Club of Bulan, Sorsogon, Philippines sa pangunguna ni Charlene Diamante at Lions Club Voerde/Niederrhein, Germany sa pangunguna naman ni Peter Koslowsky sa pakikipagtulungan ng Department of Education at lokal na pamahalaan ng Juban.

Matapos ang banal na misa ay agad na nagkaroon ng maikling programa na kinapalooban ng turn-over of deed of donation kay Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Marilyn Dimaano na siyang tumayo bilang donee.

Nagsagawa din ng medical mission ang Lions Club Bulan at Voerde chapter, DepEd at LGU health personnel, private doctors at mga dentista kasama na rin ang mga barangay health officials kung saan umabot din sa daang mga residente ang nabiyayaan ng iba’t-ibang mga medical services.

Sa pamamagitan ng mag-asawang Dr. Peter Koslowsky at Dr. Marlene Ruth Hermo-Koslowsky, nagsanib sa pag-abot ng tulong ang Lions Club Bulan at Lions Club Voerde upang makapagpatayo noong 2003 ng karagdagang school building sa Brgy. Catanusan, na sa kasamaang palad ay nasira ng nagdaang malakas na bagyo at pagbaha.

Kung kaya’t noong ika-labingwalo ng Nobyembre 2009, matapos mapirmahan ang Award of Agreement ay sinimulan agad ang pag-aayos at pagtatayo ng bagong school complex sa Catanusan Elementary School kasama na rin ang pagkuha ng mga karagdagang guro. At noong Huwebes nga ay pinasinayaan na ito

Ayon kay Dr. peter Koslowsky, ang buong school complex ay nilagyan din ng library, furnitures, playing ground, pader na panlaban sa baha at malinis na tubig para magamit ng mga mag-aaral at guro.

Dagdag pa niya na hindi magtatagal ay magkakaroon na rin ng computer class dito at makapagpapatayo rin sila ng medical first aid station na magbibigay serbisyo hindi lamang sa Catanusan kundi maging sa mga kalapit-barangay nito.

Naghayag din ng katuwaan si Koslowsky matapos na malamang tumaas ng dalawangdaan-pitumpo ang mga mag-aaral na nag-enrol ngayon sa nasabing paaralan.

Aniya, sa patuloy nilang pagtutulungan, nakatitiyak sila ng magandang bukas para sa mga mag-aaral hindi lamang sa Brgy. Catanusan kundi sa mga kalapit na lugar nito.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Albay Oncology Center Approved by DOH

Albay Oncology Center Approved by DOH June 19, 2010 HON. JOEY S. SALCEDA Provincial Governor Albay SUBJECT: Update on Albay’s Proposed BRTTH Oncology Center Project Dear Governor Salceda: It is almost three months since I took over the opportunity of working on this project from my peers.  I must admit that this is really a difficult task, which requires patience along the way. Five weeks ago, we went to the DOH to solicit information from them re government’s program on putting up c … Read More

via The Green Economist

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