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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


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.



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


(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, , , , , ,

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