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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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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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Malaysian Gov’t warns companies firing local workers to hire foreigners

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

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_120617_Malaysia Labor Policy

The government of Malaysia has warned companies against firing local workers to hire foreign ones.

Any company found to have violated the Employment Act of 1955 will have to pay a fine of 10,000 ringgit or more than 100,000 pesos.

In an advisory issued by the Malaysian government, companies operating in the country are allowed to accept foreign workers for additional manpower, and not for replacement of local employees.

Nevertheless, the said advisory is not expected to affect current foreign workers in Malaysia including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), as it does not require their dismissal from work.

In fact, companies in Malaysia continue to hire foreign workers, and they do so without violating the employment act.

“One of the reasons some continue to hire foreign workers is because of their job dedication and also local workers they have many job opportunities,” said Carsem Semiconductor Head of Engineering Peter Wong.

“Why do companies in Malaysia prefer to hire foreigners, like Nepalese, Bangladeshis, and Filipinos? Because they pay us lower than the locals here,” said Jose Cajaljal, a hotel staff.

Foreign workers are in-demand in the sectors of manufacturing and services in Malaysia. Despite the government advisory, many OFWs here are not worried because of their dedication to their jobs, which employers want.  — Maya Barquez | UNTV News & Rescue

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Clark International Airport adds more domestic and international flights

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

FILE PHOTO: A domestic flight carrier taking off (RYAN MENDOZA / Photoville International)

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine authorities continue to conduct improvements at the Clark International Airport in Clark Pampanga.

This is to address the fast increase in the number of passengers who want to avoid the expected congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Metro Manila.

One of them is Nelsa Sebastian who has been working as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in Hongkong for nine years now.

Before, Nelsa takes flights at NAIA. However, she now prefers the Clark Airport.

“It’s faster here and more comfortable. Especially at the luggage area. Upon arriving, it’s already here. Unlike at NAIA, you have to wait for several hours. You have to wait about 30 minutes to an hour,” said Sebastian.

An airline company opened on Tuesday a route from Clark Airport to Singapore and vice versa.

Currently, there are 156 international flights and 124 domestic flights at the said airport.

“In the next 2 months, in terms of domestic connectivity, we have nine news destinations and additional to the existing ones” There are more and more passengers using Clark because it’s destination is increasing,” said Clark International Airport Corp. President & CEO Alexander Cauguiran.

Many of the passengers of the Clark International Airport are from Northern and Central Luzon.

Airport authorities designate 15 point-to-point (P2P) buses for Metro Manila residents seeking to book flights at the said airport. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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