OFW railway engineer returns to PH to help build subway, LRT-2

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 5, 2019   •   1235

Engineer Deo Miranda

An Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) railway engineer in Denmark has returned home to the Philippines in order to help build the LRT-2 subway.

Deo Miranda attended the flag ceremony of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday (November 5).

As a railway engineer in Denmark, Deo has the skills and knowledge to know about the said transportation.

When he stumbled upon a viral post of a cutter head prototype for the Metro Manila Subway Project, he knew what he had to do.

On Monday (November 4), Deo started his work as Engineer IV for the LRT-2 East and LRT-2 West Project Teams. He left his stable job overseas in order to contribute to the development of his country.

“We are here to support our current administration who has the vision and commitment to achieve the comfortable mass transport for Filipinos,” Deo said after receiving the call that confirmed his employment with government.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade lauded Deo’s choice of giving back to country.

“Para sa akin, bayani ang mga OFWs. Bayani sila dahil sila ay nagsasakripisyo at nakikipagsapalaran sa ibang bansa para maiahon ang kani-kanilang pamilya sa hirap. Ngunit talaga ring nakakaantig ng puso kung ang isang OFW, kahit sobrang laki ng kinikita sa ibang bansa, magdedesisyong bumalik at tumulong sa bayan at magsabing: Pilipinas naman (For me, OFWs are heroes. They are heroes because they sacrifice and work overseas in order to help their family. But it is really heartwarming that an OFW, despite the hefty salary overseas, decided to return to help the country: It’s the Philippines’ turn),” he said.

Deo and other OFWs already met with the DOTr and other transport officials at the ASEAN Convention Center in Clark, Pampanga in July 2019 to discuss about the country’s transit system.—AAC

LRMC launches Ikot MNL mobile app for LRT-1 riders, tourists

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 19, 2019

The Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) on Tuesday (November 19) launched Ikot MNL – a mobile app for LRT-1 riders and tourists.

Ikot MNL provides real-time information about train arrivals and departures, fare information, crowd volume, and other advisories.

Passengers can also send their queries or complaints through the app. Tourists can also get information about famous tourist spots around Metro Manila.

LRMC CEO Juan Alfonso said that the app can provide a seamless journey of passengers.

“At least pagdating niya sa station alam niya kung ilang minutes dadating iyong train. Also let’s say pwede siyang pumili between two stations makikita niya iyong mas hindi crowded (At least [the passenger] can determine how many minutes before the train arrives. They can also choose between two stations depending on which is less crowded),” he said.

Alfonso also wants to assist commuters during the holiday season, especially with expected traffic congestion.

“Pwede tayong magkaroon ng tips kung saan pwede mag-Christmas shopping, for example Doroteo Jose station. Second is also iyong schedules natin we’ll be constantly updating iyong schedules (We can provide tips on where to Christmas shop, for example, in Doroteo Jose Station. Second our schedule, we will be constantly updating our schedules),” he added.

However, the LRMC has admitted there are still a few things to fix regarding the app including the accuracy of the real-time train situation.

Ikot MNL is available in IOS and Andriod devices. It can be downloaded through Playstore and Google Play.—AAC (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

Bello tells OFWs: Be entrepreneurs

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 15, 2019

Filipino household workers who were repatriated from Kuwait arrive at Manila’s international airport, Philippines, 21 February 2018. According to media reports, Cebu Pacific (CEB) airlines provided airlift support for at least 396 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who were repatriated from Kuwait.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III has advised seafarers and other Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) to go back to the Philippines and start their own business.

This was his message during the 2019 NRCO-ISP Business Plan Competition on November 8. The competition is an annual search for the best business proposals among seafarers.

In his message read by Undersecretary Renato Ebarle, Bello assured seafarers that the government, together with the private sector and non-government organizations, is always ready to help OFWs towards productive reintegration.

The competition aims to provide start-up capital, training, and mentoring for the winners and their proposed businesses.

Seafarer Gary Esguerra was hailed as this year’s winner for his “green” slippers business proposal.

Esguerra aims to replace disposable slippers, commonly provided by hotels and resorts, with ‘greener’ slippers made from abaca residue as soles and by incorporating seeds inside the slippers.

He also said the slippers will decompose easier compared to the regular disposable slippers. Esguerra received P500,000 as start-up capital.

Meanwhile, NRCO OIC-Director Roel Martin announced that a similar business plan competition for land-based OFWs is set to be launched in the first quarter of 2020.—AAC

9th OFW Summit in Pasay highlights concepts of financial literacy, entrepreneurship

Robie de Guzman   •   November 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – At least 4,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and their dependents attended the 9th OFW and Family Summit held on Tuesday at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

The event, with the theme “Kabuhayan sa Sariling Bayan,” highlighted the concepts of financial literacy and entrepreneurship as well as business start-ups and trends.

The summit was spearheaded by the Villar Family through its foundation, the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (Villar SIPAG), in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and other government and non-government agencies.

“Masaya po kami dahil napakaraming kababayan na OFW ang nagpunta at nagpakita ng interes sa mga livelihood or business opportunities dito sa Pilipinas na maaari nilang paglagyan ng kinita nila abroad para magkaroon ng sariling kabuhayan dito sa atin,” Sen. Cynthia Villar said in a separate statement.

“Gusto talaga namin na maraming mahikayat na ang katuparan ng mga pangarap ay hindi lamang makukuha kapag tayo ay nag-abroad. Pwede din tayong magtagumpay sa sariling bayan natin,” she added.

Resource persons invited to the summit from various agencies discussed topics on financial literacy and provided guidance on how to seize opportunities and become entrepreneurs.

“Iyon ang intention namin na in the future na babalik sila sa Pilipinas, dapat y’ong mga pamilya nila, mayroon ng hanapbuhay na naghihintay sa kanila para pwede na silang mag-retire at mag-operate na lang dito sa Pilipinas.” Villar told reporters on the sidelines of the summit.

“Hindi nila kailangang magtayo ng restaurant kung ang galing mo care-giving; or ikaw ay graphic artist, pwede kang graphic designer at ‘yon ang iyong negosyo,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

Concerns of OFWs on where to find accredited recruitment agencies, what agencies to ask help from for problems abroad, and their rights as overseas workers were also tackled during the event.

Participants also enjoyed a raffle draw with prizes such as a house and lot, motorcycles, pangkabuhayan showcases, appliances, and other gadgets. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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