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DFA to accept e-payments next year for passport applications

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, December 7th, 2017

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_120617_Passport Application

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) shall implement the electronic payment of passports for citizens who wish to apply for a passport or renew one in 2018.

DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said DFA is completing the system for the online appointment of passports.

To avoid the surge of online appointments, the DFA is also considering to forfeit the payments of those who will not appear on their scheduled appointments.

“Kung meron nang e-payment (once e-payment is in place), when you make your appointment, we will get either 50% or 100% pag hindi ka dumating (when you don’t appear). So that should take away all of this,” Cayetano said.

The DFA meanwhile clarified that passports may be immediately available for senior citizens, single parents,
persons with disabilities or PWD’s, children below 7 years old accompanied by siblings or parents, and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) even for their first trip outside the country.

The DFA will also deploy mobile passport processing units to bring passport processing closer and more accessible for the public. – UNTV News & Rescue

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Acquitted Pinay in UAE arrives home

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, November 2nd, 2018

Overseas Filipino worker Jennifer Dalquez with her parents

MANILA, Philippines – Jennifer Dalquez, the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who was sentenced to death in 2015 in the United Arab Emirates but later acquitted of the murder of her employer, finally arrived home in the Philippines on Friday (November 2).

Dalquez was acquitted after the Philippine Embassy appealed her case.

On Thursday (November 1), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in a statement commended the efforts of the Philippine Embassy for saving her from death row.

Dalquez is a native of General Santos City. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

 

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Revised SSS charter promises expanded benefits for members

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2018

 

MANILA, Philippines — The bicameral conference committee has recently approved the revised charter of the Social Security System (SSS) which promises expanded benefits for its members.

The new SSS charter will provide compulsory coverage to overseas Filipino workers (OFW), and increase its loan allotment such as salary loan and retirement benefits.

The measure will also have a lower penalty for overdue contributions from three to two percent. It also promises financial assistance for two months, amounting to half of the monthly salary, for its members who lost their jobs.

“Yung mga nawawalan ng trabaho dahil for example, kumpanya na lumilipat sa ibang bansa or nagsara ang kumpanya dahil nagkaroon ng kalamidad, dapat matulungan natin yung mga empleyado doon na mamuhay o magkaroon man lamang ng supplemental income habang sila ay naghahanap pa ng mapapasukang panibago,” said SSS Media Affairs AVP Luisa Sebastian.

Among those who are looking forward to avail of the SSS unemployment insurance are contractual workers, Mirasol Salvante and Raffy Malacad. They said this would help them sustain their needs while they look for another job when their six-month contract expires.

“Kung walang budget pa mag-aantay. Pahinga muna ganun…mag depend ka ulit sa pamilya mo,” said Salvante.

“’Pag nawalan ng trabaho wala ka agad maasahan na makukuha kasi hindi regular,” said Malacad.

The SSS, however, clarified that not all active members will benefit from the proposed policy.

“Yun ang magiging problema natin, actually kung hindi ka regular na nagbabayad sa SSS, naaapektuhan yung iba mong benepisyo sa SSS,” said Sebastian.

In order to strengthen their fund, the SSS would have to hike the monthly contribution of its members. Under the proposed law, the 11% monthly contribution will increase by 1% starting next year, and gradually hike up to 15% by year 2025.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, meanwhile, welcomes the new SSS charter. However, they are proposing some amendments in its provisions.

“Ang aming panukala ay dapat 6 months na bigyan ng unemployment insurance at yung 6 months na yun ay sapat na panahon para makahanap ulit ng trabaho yung ating mga miembro ng SSS,” said TUCP Spokesperson Alan Tanjunsay.

The group added the agency should also strictly monitor factors that might affect its operations such as the status of its investments, fight against delinquent employers and giving of large bonuses to its employees.

The Social Security Act of 2018 awaits President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature before officially becoming a law. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

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DFA urges immediate repatriation of 21 Pinoy seafarers from India

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, October 11th, 2018

MV Evangelia M; abandoned seafarers at Kakinada port in India

PASAY CITY, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is putting more pressure on Evic Human Resources Management for the immediate repatriation of 21 Filipino seafarers abandoned at Kakinada port in India.

Philippine Vice Consul to India JB Santos together with an Indian Honorary Consul visited the 21 Filipinos to check on their situation.

They were abandoned by a Greek International Company over bankruptcy.

Since then, they suffered months without salary, with nothing to send their families in the Philippines.

Santos and his team explained to them the process that they have to go through before their repatriation.

Though the process may take about a month, the abandoned crew members are relieved as their case is now being processed.

The DFA also provided them with financial assistance at least for their personal needs while waiting to be repatriated.

“Nag bigay din ang DFA ng cash assistance na $100 dollars bawat crew.  At least may pantawag na kami ulit at pang-internet. Humingi din kami ng legal assistance para makuha yung unpaid wages at nangako naman si Vice Consul JB Santos na magagawa nila yun, na kukuha sila ng magaling na lawyer,” the ship’s captain, Alexander Apao said.

They expressed gratitude to those who continue to extend a helping hand despite their situation.

“Natuwa pa rin ang crew kahit matagalan pa kami ng konti at least may maliwanag na makakauwi kami. Malaki ang pasalamat ng crew sa DFA at na-aksyunan agad ang aming kalagayan dito at sa UNTV na laging nakatutok at maipaalam itong aming kalagayan,” Apao concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo)

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