We’ll bring government closer to the masses – Asec. Uson

UNTV News   •   June 8, 2017   •   5574

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_060717_USON

MANILA — Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Margaux ‘Mocha’ Uson believes that the internet is the most powerful media tool today.

This is why despite always receiving critical reactions because of her sometimes controversial posts; she says she will still use social media to make the government accessible to the public.

Uson became controversial anew after posting a photo with a caption pertaining to martial law.

In an interview with the program Get it Straight with Daniel Razon, Uson clarifies what prompted her to repost the controversial picture.

“First, I did not upload the photo. Second, I saw it from my fellow supporters. I said the caption was good because it’s a Bible verse about bowing down on our knees. That’s why I shared it. I wanted to pray for our soldiers,” Uson said.

With more than five million social media followers, Asec. Uson believes in the potential of social media to influence how the society operates.

“Did you know that because of social media, we were able to help a lot of people? First is our OFWs. They can’t ask for help from others because in embassies their concerns are not acted upon at once,” Uson added.

Uson acknowledges the difficulty of her duties under the Duterte administration.

Despite this, the former sexy star says she will do her best to perform her duties well in order to advance the advocacies of President Duterte. – Leslie Longboen | UNTV News and Rescue

Bid to create OFW department questioned in Senate

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 28, 2019

Overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong often gather in parks and other public places during their rest day

Senator Franklin Drilon questioned the bid to create an Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Department as it may politicize the P19-B OFW trust fund.

During the Senate Committee on Labor and Employment’s hearing on Tuesday (Aug 27), Drilon expressed concern that creating a separate department would open the use of the trust fund to the hands of politicians.

“Whoever will have control of this department being proposed to be created will have in his control P40-B in 10 years time. It is even beyond the scrutiny of Congress,” he said.

The fund came from the contributions of OFWs and is lodged under the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). It will be used to provide assistance to OFWs.

Drilon also questioned the change of decision of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) since the department had previously opposed the proposal.

“What has changed? For the longest time, the mindset is not to create a separate department for OFWs,” he said during the hearing. “By creating a new department, the inevitable conclusion is the DOLE is lacking the abilities to protect the OFWs, which I don’t agree.”

The chair of the committee, Sen. Joel Villanueva, and Sen. Nancy Binay also questioned the labor department for changing its position. —AAC

OFWs to contest mandatory SSS contributions

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 27, 2019

OFWs get together every Sunday during their rest day on Carter Road, Central Hong Kong, China.

An Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) group and other OFWs are appealing to the Supreme Court (SC) to nullify the mandatory SSS contributions for OFWs.

Migrante International along with fellow OFWs went to the SC on Tuesday (Aug 27) to seek the nullification of several provisions in the Republic Act 11199 or Social Security Act of 2018.

One particular provision states:

Section 9-B. Compulsory Coverage of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). –
(a) Coverage in the SSS shall be compulsory upon all sea-based and land-based OFWs as defined under Republic Act No. 8042, otherwise known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, as amended by Republic Act No. 10022: Provided, That they are not over sixty (60) years of age.

(c) Land-based OFWs are compulsory members of the SSS and considered in the same manner as self-employed persons under such rules and regulations that the Commission shall prescribe.

According to the group Migrante, the mandatory collection of the RA 11199 shows unfair treatment of overseas workers.

“Dito po sa batas sinasabi na sila ay self-employed at kakarguhin po nila iyong kontribusyon na dapat ang nagco-contribute ang mga employer, (The law considers them as ‘self-employed’ and they will shoulder the contribution which the employer should pay for),” he said.

Former Bayan Muna partylist representative Atty. Neri Colmenares also favors removing the said provision.

“Ang batas nagsasabi na ang buo ay babayaran ng OFW kasi hindi naman nauutusan ang employer sa abroad na mag-share (According to the law, an OFW should pay in full because the employer abroad cannot be forced to share contributions),” he said.—AAC (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

3 years after PH arbitral win vs. China: Duterte admin did nothing to enforce it —Carpio

Marje Pelayo   •   July 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – July 12, 2019, marks the third anniversary of the Philippine’s arbitral win against China’s historical claims on the South China Sea, part of which is the West Philippine Sea.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration’s landmark ruling thus invalidated China’s so-called ‘Nine-Dash Line’ – the undefined demarcation line that encircles as much as 90 percent of the disputed waters in the area.

The Duterte administration downplayed the victory in hopes of building stronger ties with China and preferred to offer diplomacy rather than further escalating the tension by sending military troops to the disputed waters, even amid reports of harassment against Filipino fishermen and the Chinese destroying and exploiting the Philippines’ marine resources.

Maritime expert Jay Batongbacal expressed deep concern on the continuous deterioration and massive destruction of the marine environment in the West Philippine Sea.

“This has to stop and we have to get serious,” the Director of the University of the Philippines Institute of Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea appealed.

“And we’re not talking about going to war. We’re talking about simple things like stopping the destruction of a common pool resource that would benefit us all,” he added.

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, meanwhile, acknowledge that war is not an option in the West Philippine Sea row as the Constitution forbids.

But Carpio blamed the Duterte administration’s inaction, accusing it of using such provision of the law to instill fear among Filipinos as if the Philippines has no other option but to obey with what China offers.

“This administration has done nothing whatsoever to enforce the arbitral award,” Carpio said.

 “I don’t see positive in the enforcement of the award,” he added.

The magistrate appealed to President Duterte not to formalize his verbal agreement with China’s Xi Jinping in his upcoming state of the nation address (SONA) that allows Chinese fishermen to fish within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the country in the WPS.

Carpio said, once Duterte formalizes the agreement, the Philippines would be bound and that would weaken the Arbitral ruling.

“If the President will confirm it in his SONA, I mean, we cannot get out of that anymore. So, we’re bound by that, we have to honor that. So, that means China can fish in an area 59 times larger than Scarborough Shoal,” Carpio argued.

Malacañang stressed that the President considers his agreement with Xi as legally binding, but Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. insisted that it cannot be executed because there is no written document to attest the deal.

For her part, former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said the issue will still depend on how the President delivers the matter during his SONA.

She calls on Filipinos to stand for the country’s rights no matter what happens.

“Let us not be scared by all the propaganda that we hear. Because if we do, walang mangyayari (nothing will happen),” Morales said.

“Be brave,” she concluded. – with details from Harlene Delgado

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