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Dollar remittances of OFWs seen to increase in 2017

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, March 20th, 2017

MANILA — Cash remittances of overseas Filipino workers is expected to increase in 2017.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) believes so after cash remittances have increased by 8.6 percent at the start of 2017.

Based on preliminary data from the BSP, the amount of remittances recorded in January 2017 has reached 2.169 billion U.S. dollars which is greater than the 1.997 billion U.S. dollars in the same period last year.

Remittances from Filipinos based in oil-producing countries like Qatar, one of the biggest oil producers in the world, contributed a lot.

“We should also expect steady or stable demand for our overseas Filipino workers particularly in the Middle East, the oil-producing, oil-exporting countries. Especially the skills diversification of our overseas workers, and new markets that have been developed in the last few years,” said BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo.

According to BSP, the growth of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in the Philippines can also contribute to the dollar remittances.

“The expansion is the question. The uncertainty is whether they will expand or not, but I don’t think they will pull out and they will remain,” said  Guinigundo.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas believes that the government’s campaign against illegal drugs and criminality contributes to the increase of foreign investors in the country since peace and order is a big issue for them. —  Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

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Pres. Duterte may consider OFW deployment ban in other countries

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

The chief executive said that OFW deployment ban in Kuwait remains and may possibly be implemented in other countries as well.

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte once again appealed to Kuwait and other Arab countries to treat overseas Filipino workers (OFW) humanely.

Despite criticisms, the President insisted that the deployment ban of OFWs to Kuwait remain in force and even suggested the possibility of expanding the ban to other countries as well.

“The ban will continue and it will extend to other countries. Mahirapan sila. Well, humihingi na ako ng tawad sa inyo. I will not allow. Hindi. Wala akong kaplano na ipadala kayo doon tapos babuyin kayo. Hindi ko style ‘yan,” said the President.

(The ban will continue and it will extend to other countries. Let them have difficulties. I am asking for your apology, but I don’t have any plans to send you there and let them abuse you. That is not my style.)

Alongside this, the chief executive promised that the government will continue to work for economic progress and will continue to provide livelihood assistance for the repatriated OFWs through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

President Duterte also advised OFWs to consider other alternative employment options like China.

Malacañang, in the meantime, confirmed that the Kuwaiti government has invited President Duterte to visit their country.

The chief executive, however, has no decision on this yet.

“The language used is, they ‘prefer’ that if there’s a visit, there would be already a bilateral agreement in place. But that is not made into a condition, it’s a preference,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Meanwhile, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has submitted a resolution to conduct an inquiry on the impact of the deployment ban of OFWs to Kuwait on the economy. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue

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Kin of Joanna Demafelis receives aid from Iloilo provincial gov’t

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

The Iloilo provincial government also provided additional financial aid to the family of Joanna.


MANILA, Philippines — The city council of Iloilo passed a resolution condemning the murder of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Joanna Demafelis.

This is in response to the call of the Demafelis family for help from the local government in attaining justice and capturing the employers of the Filipina migrant worker.

The resolution states that the local government will seek help from the Kuwaiti government to speed up the investigation and the capture of the suspects in the crime.

“The resolution will ask assistance from the Kuwaiti government to give justice to the family at the soonest possible time,” said Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor.

The siblings of Joanna thanked the government for providing aid to them.

The Demafelis family vowed to continue seeking justice for the murdered OFW.

“Sana mapadali ang paghuli ng gumawa ng pagmamaltrato sa kapatid ko,” said Jojit Demafelis, brother of Joanna.

(We seek the immediate arrest of the suspects in the abuse of my sister.)

The Iloilo provincial government also provided additional financial aid to the family of Joanna.

Her siblings personally received the financial assistance from the office of the Iloilo governor.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte will visit the wake of Joanna.

The president’s pending visit was confirmed by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. — Joan Nano| UNTV News & Rescue


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Ople Center warns Filipinos of “fake” job opportunities in Russia

by UNTV   |   Posted on Monday, February 19th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — Hundreds of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Middle East were able to return to the Philippines through amnesty programs.

With this, many of them are now looking for new jobs and are planning to go abroad anew to look for new work opportunities.

However, the non-government organization, Blas F. Ople Policy Center has warned against job opportunities being offered in Russia.

According to the center’s head, Ms. Susan Ople, no job openings are being offered in Russia as of now, particularly to domestic helpers.

Based on the group’s monitoring, the illegal recruitment scheme is now spreading among Filipina domestic helpers in Hong Kong.

Those seeking to apply are asked to pay $10,000 US dollars.

“Merong mga nagrerecruit ginagamit nila yung Facebook. Sumisingil sila for a Russian visa tapos para sa accomodations. So pagdating nila sa Russia baon na baon na sa utang yung worker. Nakakausap namin yung mga illegally-recruited na OFWs sa Hong Kong dinala sa Russia pagdating dun wala naman silang trabaho,” said Ople.

(There are those who recruit using Facebook. They charge for Russian visa and accommodation. Upon their arrival in Russia, they are already buried in debt. We are communicating with OFWs illegally recruited from Hong Kong and brought to Russia where they later found out no jobs were waiting for them.)

In case OFWs do get jobs in the said country, the NGO explained that they could still face danger there.

“Kung makakuha sila ng part-time work tinatago sila ng employer. So tuwing may bisita, tinatago sila, hindi sila pwedeng lumabas. kung nakakalas man sila may mga pulis na pwede silang sitahin, minsan nakokotongan pa sila,” said Ople.

(If they do get part-time work, employers would hide them. So, when there’s a visitor, the Filipino workers are being hidden. They could not go out. If they are able to escape, the police could arrest them and sometimes even extort money from them.)

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III initially said that Russia is one of the countries the Philippines is considering as a market venue for skilled and professional Filipino workers. — Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue


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