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New labor policy to hit Filipino workers in New Zealand

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, May 4th, 2017

NEW ZEALAND – Paul Gatchalian is a Filipino working as a technical sales representative in New Zealand for more than a year now.

Gatchalian said he has not experienced any difficulty in finding work in the said country as he is an international student.

Such is the case also of another Filipino migrant worker, Michael Valle, who finished a course in business studies and now has a stable job.

Valle said he needed P500,000 for his one year tuition, aside from the expenses for his rent and food.

Despite a number of opportunities and high salary, they advise job seekers to be wise and weigh in the possibilities before applying, especially these days.

Gatchalian, who has a 1 year visa said, “Yung batas ng immigration [dito sa New Zealand] medyo mahigpit. Kaya bago po kayo pumasok dito kailangan alamin muna natin ang batas nila sa immigration para hindi tayo mahirapan (The immigration laws here are very strict. So before you come here. Know their laws on immigration first so you won’t have any difficulty).”

Michael Valle, holder of open job search visa, said, “Dapat pag-isipan mabuti ng isang migrante bago pumunta sa bansang ito… ano yung mga requirements na kailangan mo magamit o madala para maging eligible ka sa ganung antas ng sahod (Those who want to come here must think about it thoroughly first… you must know the requirements you need to bring so you can be eligible for the level of salary offered here).”

New Zealand immigration minister, Michael Woodhouse, has announced recently the implementation of a new immigration policy.

This new policy requires the companies to prioritize the hiring of Kiwis or New Zealand nationals who are capable of the job they offer.

An employee, who is a prioritized skilled visa holder, will receive a yearly minimum income of 49, 000 NZ dollars or equivalent to 1.6 million pesos. While highly-skilled workers can get an annual income of 73,000 NZ dollars or 2.5 million pesos.

The processing of temporary visa will begin in August while the implementation of minimum annual wage will start in July. — Nina Bascon| UNTV News & Rescue

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World’s longest electric vehicle trip ends in New Zealand

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Sunday, July 21st, 2019

Dutch adventurer Wiebe Wakker posing beside his vehicle the ‘Blue Bandit’, to celebrate the completion of his three-year drive across more than 30 countries in an electric vehicle. | Courtesy: Reuters

A Dutch sustainability advocate completed the longest ever journey in an electric vehicle in New Zealand on Friday (July 19) after a three-year drive that took him through more than 30 countries.

Wiebe Wakker set off from the Netherlands in March 2016 in his “Blue Bandit” to showcase the potential of sustainable transport, funded by donations from those following his trip on social media.

“So I wanted to do my bit to promote this technology and show that sustainability is a viable way of transport. So I wanted really to do something that really speaks to the imagination which is driving an electric car from Amsterdam to literally the other side of the world to show that it can be done,” he said.

The 101,000 kilometers (62,800 miles) trip took Wakker through Eastern Europe, Iran, India, Southeast Asia, before traveling around much of Australia and across to New Zealand.

Wakker gave regular updates on his blog and social media throughout the journey, detailing visiting Iran’s biggest car manufacturer in Tehran, a breakdown on the Indonesian island of Java and visits to Australia’s outback and world-famous Uluru.

The drive had relied on the support of strangers across the globe who offered the traveler food, a place to stay and the essential means to charge his car along the way. (REUTERS)

(Production: James Redmayne)

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Gas explosion in New Zealand’s Christchurch injures several people

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Saturday, July 20th, 2019

Wreckage left by the gas explosion | Courtesy: Reuters

New Zealand emergency services evacuated residents near what they said was a suspected gas explosion in the South Island city of Christchurch on Friday (July 19) that left a house on fire and several people injured.

The city remains on edge four months after a lone gunman killed 51 people and wounded dozens in attacks on two Christchurch mosques in New Zealand’s worst peacetime mass shooting.

There was no indication that Friday’s blast had any wider security implications.

Police said in a statement that initial reports suggested that a number of people had been injured in the incident in the residential suburb of Northwood. Media reports said six people had been taken to hospital.

A house was on fire and police had closed roads and were carrying out evacuations following what they described as a “serious incident.” (REUTERS)

(Production: James Redmayne)

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Villanueva expects gov’t commitment to protect Filipino workers on Duterte SONA

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, July 19th, 2019

Senator Joel Villanueva

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Joel Villanueva on Friday said he is looking forward to hearing President Rodrigo Duterte’s push to protect and promote the interests of Filipino workers in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22 (Monday).

In a statement, Villanueva said he is particularly eager to find out the outcome of the Security of Tenure bill, popularly known as the “End Endo” bill, which seeks to put an end to the practice of illegal labor contracting.

The president asked Congress to pass the bill at last year’s SONA, certifying the measure as urgent. Congress was able to pass the bill in the 17th Congress and transmitted it to Malacañang last month.

“The bill adheres to the Constitution, which mandates the regulation of relations between workers and employers, recognizing the right of labor to its just share in the fruits of production and the right of enterprises to reasonable returns on investments, and to expansion and growth,” Gatchalian said.

“Thus, the Security of Tenure bill manages to strike a balance between contrasting interests of labor and employers,” he added.

Villanueva expressed hope that Duterte would sign the measure into law.

The lawmaker also expects the president to discuss other measures that will advocate for the interest of Filipino labor.

He cited the rise of illegal foreign workers and the Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGO) sector as a growing cause for concern, saying its effects to the country’s economy must be carefully monitored.

“We have to be careful about this new industry because the benefits we stand to lose may be greater than those we could gain,” Villanueva said.

He said he intended to file a resolution to examine the supposed benefits from the POGO industry.

Villanueva reiterated his earlier position that POGO sector’s impact is minimal, at best, since it primarily does not create employment opportunities for Filipinos, and the industry’s rise is causing stress in the real estate market to the detriment of Filipino businesses and workers.

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