Friday, March 31, 2017

Philippine Embassy in Riyadh's Bulletin on the 2017 KSA Amnesty Programme

The Department of Foreign Affairs, through our embassy in Riyadh, posed its bulletin on the 2017 KSA Amnesty Programme: "A Nation Without Violators." Details are provided below:



In 29 March 2017, the embassy provided procedures for amnesty application. Details are provided through this link.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

Migrants Health Fair Held in Batangas City



The Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) for the Celebration of MOF, conducted its Migrants Health Fair at Batangas Provincial Capitol Grounds in Batangas City last December 16, 2016. The fair was co-organized by the IAC-MOF with the Provincial Government of Batangas.

With the theme "OFW Kalusugan Mo, Ingatan Mo, Mag Healthy Lifestyle Tayo," this was participated by more than 200 participants that includes OFWs and their families based in Batangas.

The fair started with the morning group exercise led by DOH Asec. Eric Tayag.






































They also provided booths for various services, such as Nutrition counseling, blood pressure and blood sugar examination and free consultation and provision of medicines and supplements. There were also DOH buses available to provide OB care for women and dental health services. Aside from these, there were booths from Philhealth for participants to check on the status of their membership as well as signup venue for new members, and the CFO for materials on human trafficking, statistics of overseas Filipinos and the services they provide.

DOH Registration booth
Philhealth booth for membership and OF Program inquiries
CFO booth with human trafficking info materials
Free Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar Test and Consultation
Free Medicines and Supplements provided
DOH Mobile Clinic providing OB services for women

Friday, December 16, 2016

2016 National Forum on Migration







The final activity in the series of fora for this year is the National Forum on Migration held at the Ramon Magsaysay Hall of the Social Security System (SSS) in Quezon City on December 15, 2016.

With a theme “OFs as Culture Bearers: Tunay na Malikhain, Matatag at Masipag,” the forum aims  to provide awareness on the importance of OFs as culture bearers through their promotion of arts and culture in the global scale, opening venues for support from other sectors and inspiring other OFs who wish to pursue in this field.


The Forum was attended by almost 200 participants that include OFW Family Circle members, students and faculty members, overseas Filipinos and their families, representatives from the government and other stakeholders in the migration process.

The Forum was graced by Ambassador Jose Brillantes, Chairman of the UN Committee on the Protection on the Rights of All Migrants and Members of Their Families; and Atty. Emmanuel Dooc, President of the SSS.


(From left: Ambassador Jose Brillantes of UN CMW and SSS President Atty. Emmanuel Dooc)
Resource persons for the forum where NCCA Chairman Felipe De Leon, Jr., who shared on qualities that makes Filipinos Filipino, and PMRN Convenor Prof. Stella Go, who shared on traits of Filipinos that leave a global mark.Resource persons for the forum where NCCA Chairman Felipe De Leon, Jr., who shared on qualities that makes Filipinos Filipino, and PMRN Convenor Prof. Stella Go, who shared on traits of Filipinos that leave a global mark.

(From left: NCCA Chairman Felipe de Leon, Jr. and PMRN Convenor Prof. Stella Go)
After the presentations, two overseas Filipinos shared their success stories. The first was Mr. Manuel Asuncion, co-founder of the Dulaang Bayan Melbourne, Inc. of Australia, who was also to be conferred the Presidential Award. The second was Engr. Maria Corazon Imelda Vince Cruz, a successful OFW from Papua New Guinea who was also awarded the Model OFW Family of the Year Award by OWWA.

(From left: Mr. Manny Asuncion from Australia and Engr. Maria Corazon Imelda Vince Cruz, an OFW from Papua New Guinea)


The participants were entertained by the songs rendered by the award-winning Coro San Benildo. This presentation was courtesy of the NCCA. A presentation of the movie: “Edna” followed, courtesy of the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

Coro San Benildo serenading the participants


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

2016 International Forum on Migration in Seoul



More than 500 Filipinos in South Korea participated in the International Forum on Migration in Seoul, South Korea, conducted by the Philippine Inter-Agency Committee on the Celebration of the Month of Overseas Filipinos, chaired and co-chaired by the Philippine Migrants Rights Watch and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, on November 27, 2016.

With a theme “OFs as Culture Bearers: Tunay na Malikhain, Matatag at Masipag”, the forum was organized in partnership with the Philippine Embassy in Seoul, Filipino Korean Spouses Association, Filipino Photographers in South Korea, Filipino EPS Workers’ Association, Pinoy Iskolars sa Korea, and KEB Hana Bank.

South Korea was chosen as one of the two international fora venues for 2016 by the IAC, led by Chairperson Carmelita Nuqui, because it is a major destination country in Asia for OFWs and Filipina marriage migrants.

IAC-MOF Chair and PMRW President Carmelita Nuqui




















The other one was organized a week earlier in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Participants are a mix of EPS (Employment Permit System) workers, professionals, spouses of Korean nationals, and students.

The Forum was graced by Ambassador Raul Hernandez and Ms. Jasmine Lee, former member of the Parliament of South Korea. Resource speakers include Ms. Cora Alvina of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and Prof. Stella Go of the Philippine Migration Research Network. They both discussed the uniqueness and richness of Filipino culture and the arts, values and traits of Filipinos, showed model global Filipinos.

(From L-R) Ambassador Raul Hernandez, Ms. Jasmine Lee, Ms. Cora Alvina and Prof. Stella Go

IAC members – Vice Consul Ella Karina Mitra and Welfare Officer Manuela Pena of the Philippine Embassy, Director Carmelina Velasquez of OWWA, Director Mylene Beltran of DOH, and representatives from Pag-IBIG-Seoul and SSS-Taipei also shared their programs and services for the migrants.


During the open forum, various issues were raised, including immigration concern for vacationing EPS workers, PhilHealth reimbursement for dependents of migrants, and the possibility of opening up a branch of SSS in Seoul, among others.  

(From L-R) DOH Director Maylene Beltran and representatives from SSS and Pag-IBIG
The audience were also entertained thru song and cultural dance performances, karate demo, and raffle draw - the grand prizes were two two-way plane tickets from Seoul to Manila.   
































After the Forum, a film showing on migration sponsored by the Film Development Coouncil of the Philippines was held. The movie entitled “Imbisibol”, directed by Lawrence Fajardo, follows the tale of illegal Filipino migrants (TNTs) in Japan and their plight to evade the immigration authorities.


During the Forum and film showing, a simultaneous activity was also happening, wherein migrants can consult with various agencies and organizations. Booths were set-up by the Philippine Embassy, SSS, Pag-IBIG, LandBank, KEB Hana Bank, KT M Mobile, SMDC, and Seoul Global Center to promote their programs, answer queries and provide necessary services for the migrants. Free acupuncture services were also provided.



The over-all coordinator in Seoul for the Forum was Ms. Gennie Kim, host of the Multicultural Family Music Broadcast of KISS Radio and Digital Skynet and sponsored by Woongjin Foundation. Secretariat support came from the CFO, DOLE, and partner organizations in Seoul.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

2016 International Forum on Migration in Kuala Lumpur



The IAC-MOF held its 2016 International Forum on Migration at the Federal Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on November 20, 2016. The Forum was co-organized by the IAC-MOF with the Embassy of the Philippines in Kuala Lumpur, Philippine Overseas Labor Office-KL and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.


The second forum to be conducted this year, around 160 participants attended, most of which are members of the Filipino community, professionals and representatives from the civil society and government. The forum was graced by Ambassador Jose Malaya and Prof. Stella Go of the Philippine Migration Research Network served as resource person on Filipino culture.

The International Forum on Migration held at The Federal, Kuala Lumpur

















Amb. Jose Malaya delivering his message to the participants
















PMRW President Carmelita Nuqui with Ambassador Malaya

















PMRN Convenor Prof. Stella Go with Ambassador Malaya



















Thursday, November 17, 2016

2016 Regional Forum in Davao




As a kick-off activity for the 2016 Month of Overseas Filipinos Celebration (MOF), the Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) for the Celebration of MOF held its 2016 Regional Forum on Migration at Ateneo de Davao University on November 16, 2016. The Forum was organized by the IAC-MOF with the Ateneo Migration Center.

With the theme “OFs as Culture Bearers: Tunay na Malikhain, Matatag at Masipag,” the forum aims  to provide awareness on the importance of OFs as culture bearers through their promotion of arts and culture in the global scale, opening venues for support from other sectors and inspiring other OFs who wish to pursue in this field.

The Forum was attended by about 211 participants that include OFW Family Circle members, students and faculty members, overseas Filipinos and their families, representatives from the government and other stakeholders in the migration process, particularly from Davao Region.

WELCOME REMARKS AND MESSAGES


Ms. Carmelita G. Nuqui, PMRW President and Chairperson of the IAC, welcomed the participants. She highlighted how OFs propagate the Filipino culture worldwide through their values and excellence, and the importance of diaspora diplomacy as means of changing the global perception of the Philippines and improving cross-cultural relations. She also gave a brief run-down of the 2016 activities of the IAC, both in the national and international level.




Ms. Sheryl Lopez of the Ateneo Migration Center also welcomed the participants. She said that Ateneo is fortunate to host the forum. As an academe, they recognize that migration is an on-going global issue. They support initiatives that are culturally sensitive and inclusive for the people in Southern Region, including the Muslim and Lumad community. She was hopeful that the issues that will be tackled during the forum will be part of the research agenda for the students.






KEYNOTE ADDRESS


Chairman Felipe M. De Leon, Jr. of the NCCA gave the keynote address, which focused on the cultural identity of Filipinos, and the participatory Leadership and Social Transformation Through Cultural Reorientation. The highlights of his presentation include:
  • Cultural identity and ethnicity are fundamental source of social empowerment
  • Filipinos have Un-Filipino nature (ex. Doña Victorina complex)
  • Filipinos should work for the good of the nation as a whole, as well as see the beauty of Filipino names
  • Culture is the “genius of a people”
  • Filipinos love to connect to people, like to experience the multidimensional wholeness of life, and are highly participatory
  • Filipinos - at their best - are a highly nurturing, caring, sharing people, with a strong maternal orientation, and definitely not loners.
  • The Philippines is the world’s most emotional country; also known as social networking and selfie capital of the world
  • Filipino culture is a healing culture


SHARING FROM THE GOVERNMENT


Mr. Eduardo E. Bellido, Regional Director of OWWA XI, discussed OFWs’ Work Ethics and Culture Based on his experience as Welfare Officer in Saudi Arabia and Spain.  He gave an overview of overseas employment statistics from Davao Region, stating that there are more than 90,000 OFW OWWA members coming from the region. He discussed the positive traits and work ethics, as well as weaknesses of sea-based and land-based OFWs. He concluded that these are rooted in many factors: home, social and economic environment, culture and language, history, religion, educational system, mass media and leadership and role models.




Ms. Lorna Diez of Pag-IBIG Fund discussed the programs and services of Pag-IBIG for their OFW members, which now account to 4.5 million. Pag-IBIG Fund is a Provident Savings and Shelter Financing for Filipino Workers. Among the many benefits of being a Pag-IBIG member are the following: Savings Program, Housing Loan and Multi-Purpose and Calamity Loan. She emphasized that OFWs can avail their Home Financing Program for up to 6 million with 5.5% interest rate per annum.






SUCCESS STORIES OF OVERSEAS FILIPINO RETURNEES


Ms. Pinky Ong, a former nurse from New Zealand, shared her heartbreaking and success story as an OFW returnee now turned entrepreneur. A failing family business forced her to migrate overseas and leave her family behind. She worked for four years abroad; and after earning enough financial resources, she returned in her hometown in General Santos City to help and rebuild the manpower business of her husband. She is now managing the RAK & ACO General Services, Inc., which provide manpower services in several companies and businesses in General Santos City. She also gave tips to those who plan to work overseas: have a goal, plan ahead, use a good business model, gain knowledge and skills, have mentors, be courageous, work hard and persevere.


Mr. Junny Ty, a former OFW from The Netherlands and one of the founders of Pasali (Philippine Association of Sea-based workers for Savings, Loans and Initiatives) Foundation, shared his organization’s innovative projects. These include weeders and hydraulic ram pumps, Dutch technology that doesn’t need electricity, which provides spring water to communities in Agusan del Norte, General Santos City and Sultan Kudarat. He is also the co-founder of Molenaar Enterprise, a SEC registered corporation with three group of investors - the local traders, farmers and overseas Filipinos. Molenaar, which is based in Sultan Kudarat, is currently engaged in commercial rice milling.


CULTURAL SHOW


After the Forum, the Madayaw Cultural Ensemble of Davao City delighted the audience with song and dance presentations showcasing the rich and colorful culture of Mindanao. Madayaw is a community-based group of young professionals and college student with impressive repertoire of Lumad and Moro dances. Their performances include:
  • Madayaw Song Number (Dayun- Madayaw Cultural Ensemble)
  • Lumad Suites:  T’boli Dance (M’dal Taho), Bagobo Dance (Festival)
  • Moro Suites - Maranao:  Pa Kini-Kini, Pandi Dance , Kapag Apir (Fan Dance)
  • Moro Suites - Magundanao: Silong Sa Ganding, Pawakan, Madayaw Song Number (Mundo- Alexis Javier)
  • Moro Suites -Tausug: Pangalay Agong, Pangalay Patong, Finale Dance Festival

The cultural show was sponsored by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

CLOSING REMARKS


Mr. Frencel Tingga of the CFO gave the closing remarks. He thanked the speakers, resource persons, IAC members and partners who helped in organizing the forum. He said that this is the 10th year anniversary of the IAC since its establishment. He challenged the participants, particularly the students, to strive like the OF returnees who have successfully reintegrated to the community and are now entrepreneurs. 







FILM SHOWING: "MAGTANGGOL"


The last activity for the day was the Film Showing of “MAGTANGGOL” sponsored by the Film Development Council of the Philippines. The movie was directed by Sigfreid Barros Sanchez. Inspired from real events about the plight and challenges faced by OFWs, the movie centers on the Magtanggols, a fictional political family who became known as heroes of our modern-day heroes. The Magtanggol family are known to be nationalistic, protector and fighter of the OFWs’ rights and welfare. The young politician of the family, Senator Juancho (Tom Rodriguez) made it his lifelong mission and advocacy to help distressed OFWs and fight corruption in the government. The family was put into limelight and controversy when he was accused of being a vigilante in the spate of killings of abusive foreign employers, who made the life of OFWs a living hell.

The film showing aims to raise public awareness on the different issues and challenges faced by OFs. Some of the migration-related issues that were tackled in the film include physical and sexual violence suffered by OFWs in the hands of their foreign employers, abuse and discrimination suffered by transgender OFWs, illegal recruitment, human trafficking, drug smuggling, contract substitution, and OFWs in death row, among others.