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More OFWs seek help despite progress in Kuwait-PHL talks

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

REPATRIATED WORKERS: On March 12, another batch of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) from Kuwait arrived in the Philippines.

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has reported a good progress in the discussion of bilateral agreement between the Kuwaiti and Philippine governments regarding overseas Filipino workers’ (OFW) protection.

According to DFA, Kuwait has already approved of the minimum monthly salary of 120 Kuwaiti dinars to Filipino domestic helpers; rest hours of not less than eight hours of sleep in a day; right to keep passports and mobile phones in OFWs’ possession; and limiting work to one household.

But DFA clarified that these are not enough reasons for the Philippines to retract the total deployment ban of OFW to Kuwait.

Aside from not yet having a signed agreement for it, the Gulf state still needs to agree with other conditions that will protect Filipinos against exploitation and abuse.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano also urged direct deposit of salary to the bank account of the Filipino workers and to create a mechanism where an OFW may directly file a complaint to the Kuwaiti authorities.

Meanwhile, another batch of overseas Filipino workers from Kuwait arrived in the Philippines on Monday.

Most of them had bad experiences working in the Gulf state including abuse from their employers.

Based on records of the foreign affairs department, the number of OFWs who were sent back to the Philippines since February of this year has now reached 3,200.

But according to Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), OFWs keep coming to the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait in the hope of flying back home to the Philippines.

As of this time, the number of OFWs being sheltered in the Philippine Embassy and waiting to be sent home to the Philippines has reached to more than a thousand.

 

“Kumukuha po tayong dagdag na tirahan sa kanila, para po lahat ng mga magpupunta po sa POLO-OWWA ay atin pong ma-accommodate sa shelter,” said OWWA Deputy administrator for operations Atty. Brigido Dulay.

(We are getting additional shelters for those who will go to POLO-OWWA so we can accommodate them.) — Asher Cadapan Jr. | 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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Gov’t to order total deployment ban of Filipino workers to Libya

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, September 28th, 2018

(File photo) Overseas Filipino workers 

 

PASAY CITY, Philippines – The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Governing Board is set to approve a resolution that will impose a total deployment ban of overseas Filipino workers on Libya.

The decision comes after the Department of Foreign Affairs has raised alert level three for OFWs in Libya due to the escalating tension in the Arab State.

“Kung mayroon ng Alert Level 3 mula sa DFA, automatic na may deployment ban. Kung papayagan natin ang mga OFWs na makaalis ng bansa, lalo lamang silang malalagay sa kapahamakan,” Labor Undersecretary Jacinto Paras, who acts as the chairman of the POEA board, said in a statement.

Paras said they will no longer allow any Filipino to go Libya while DOLE is encouraging those who are still in the Arab state who wish to return home, to coordinate with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office or to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration in the said country. – UNTV News & Rescue

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