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DOLE announces signing of final draft of Kuwait-PH agreement on OFW rights

by admin   |   Posted on Monday, 19 March 2018 01:19 PM

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III

 

MANILA, Philippines —  After a two-day meeting last week, the labor officials of the Philippines and Kuwait have agreed on the final draft of the bilateral agreement or the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the protection of overseas Filipino workers (OFW).

Kuwait has also agreed on the provisions concerning the right of OFWs to keep their passports and on issues regarding their contract.

In a message,  Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said it is possible that within two weeks, Kuwait will be able to sign the MOU between the two countries.

However, Secretary Bello will still not recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the lifting of the total deployment ban in the said Gulf state even if the MOU is signed.

The secretary said he gave two conditions for the lifting of the ban, one of which is the deliverance of justice over the death of Joanna Demafelis, the OFW who was killed and stored in a freezer.

The lifting of the ban can be reconsidered for the skilled workers but not for household service workers.

Meanwhile, some Japanese businessmen offered jobs to the labor department for the thousands of OFW repatriates from Kuwait.

“I had a meeting with some Japanese businessmen. They are targeting our repatriated overseas worker from Kuwait and they are offering jobs for their in-flight catering services. They are offering a good salary of $800. Initially, they are targeting 1,000 for a start,” said the labor chief.

Starting in May, Bello said DOLE will start deploying OFWs to Japan once contracts of the first batch of repatriates to be recruited are approved. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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Duterte signs OFW Handbook bill

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, 4 March 2019 11:47 AM

Repatriated Overseas Filipino workers from Kuwait

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Republic Act 11227 or “The Handbook for Overseas Filipino Workers of 2018” mandating the government to publish a handbook about the rights and responsibilities of migrant workers.

Duterte signed the law last February 22 and was released to the media on March 2.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is tasked to publish the handbook and distribute it free of charge.

It will also be translated to different dialects for all OFWs to fully understand their rights as well as the labor and living conditions in the country of their destination.

Through this handbook, workers can be aware of the benefits and drawbacks of working overseas as well as to help them understand their responsibilities as a migrant worker in the country they will be working in.

It also aims to complement the worker education program of various agencies.

The POEA will implement the law along with the Department of Labor and Employment in coordination with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Department of Foreign Affairs, Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, Commission on Filipinos Overseas and Maritime Industry Authority. —Aileen Cerrudo


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DFA cautions Filipinos vs travel to Kashmir amid India-Pakistan tensions

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 1 March 2019 09:17 AM

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), on Thursday, advised Filipinos in India and Pakistan to stay vigilant and avoid travels to the Kashmir region.

This is amid rising tensions between the two countries which stemmed from a suicide car bombing by Pakistan-based militants that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police in the Indian-controlled Kashmir on February 14.

Pakistan and India launched airstrikes against each other and exchanged fire in dozens of locations.

The DFA expressed hope “that India and Pakistan will exercise restraint.”

According to the DFA, there are no Filipinos working, residing in Kashmir. But there are seven Filipino military observers serving with the United Nations Military Observer Group In India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).

“All seven are safe along with the approximately 1,780 members of the Filipino Community in Pakistan and 1,167 others in India,” said the DFA in a statement.

The Foreign Affairs Department advises Filipinos to contact
the Philippine Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan at +92 333 524 4762 or the Philippine Embassy in New Delhi, India at (+91) 99 1079 7014 for emergency situations. —Aileen Cerrudo with reports from Reuters

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Illegal recruiter scams over P500,000 from 30 OFWs

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Saturday, 23 February 2019 06:28 PM

Image credit: Pixabay/ mohamed_hassan

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Thirty (30) Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) have filed a report with the Task Force Against Human Smuggling of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) against an online illegal recruiter who promised them jobs in different countries.

Alleged illegal recruiter, Cindy Lapura from Calumpit, Bulacan purportedly worked with her husband, Jayson Mercado in scamming over P500,000 from the 30 OFW victims.

One of the victims, alias ‘Angel’ recalled that she met Lapura on Facebook last October 2018 who had advertisements of overseas jobs posted in her profile.

Mindanao resident, Angel said the difficult life in the province pushed her to apply and contact Lapura.

“Mataas iyong sahod na offer niya nasa P60,000 as a housekeeping po iyon. Ngayon umuwi ako ng Mindanao para doon nalang sana maghintay ng visa pero tinawagan niya kami kasi daw direct hire nga daw. Kung gusto ko makaalis talaga kailangan na magbigay kami ng pera sa kanya,” said Angel. (She was offering a high salary of P60,000 in housekeeping. I went home to Mindanao to wait for my visa there but she called us saying the job was direct hiring and if we really want to leave the country, we have to pay her.)

She sold several of her farm animals and even pawned their land in order to pay Lapura. She was scheduled to leave the country on December 28, 2018 to work as a helper in New Zealand.

Another victim, alias “Annabelle”, had a similar experience. She was scheduled to fly to China to work as a helper but her flight was postponed twice.

“Iyong asawa ko alam nila na naloko ako pero yung mga kamag-anak ko alam nila nakaalis na ako,” Annabelle said (My husband knew I was scammed but my family thought I already left).

The victims decided to meet up after one of them posted about Lapura’s mode of operation and filed a report with DOLE.

Lapura is still being hunted down by authorities and is already facing charges of Large Scale Illegal Recruitment. If proven guilty, she will be sentenced to lifetime imprisonment.

DOLE Usec. Jacinto Paras reminds the public not to be easily be fooled by online recruitment.

“Unang una po, they should not depend on the Facebook kasi may mga addresses iyong mga legal na iyan. So if we’re them dapat puntahan nila mismo iyong legitimate na opisina,” Paras said. (First of all, they should not depend on the Facebook because legal recruitment companies have addresses. So if we are them, they should visit their legitimate office.) —Aileen Cerrudo with reports from JL Asayo

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