Friday, December 7, 2012

PMRW Forum on Reintegration and Development

In celebration of the month of overseas Filipinos and international Migrants day, the Philippine Migrants Rights Watch (PMRW) will hold a forum on "Reintegration and Development: Partnerships and Challenges" on December 18, 2012 at the SSS Auditorium, SSS Bldg., East Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City. The said forum aims to highlight the partnerships of OFWs and LGUs that help bring about development in the communities and in the country.
Those interested to attend can get in touch with the PMRW Secretariat at tel. 526-9098 or at

The program starts at 1:00 pm. It will be followed by the 2nd Migration and Media Advocacy awards.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

17th National Seafarers' Day

In celebration of the 17th National Seafarers' Day (NSD), a Eucharistic celebration to be presided by His Excellency Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of manila, will be held on Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 9:00 in the morning at the Philippine Ports Authority Gym at Pier 13, Manila.

Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) Manila is part of the organizing committee for the celebration of NSD.

On the occasion of the celebration of the 17th National Seafarers' day (NSD), the National Seafarers' Committee has lined up several activities on September 30, 2012:

7:00 am - Ecumenical Memorial at Sea at the PCG Headquarters

7:30 am - Grand Parade beginning at Luswelf and ending at PPA Gym

9:00 am - Eucharistic Celebration to be presided by Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle

For inquiries, please call AOS at 527-2638

Friday, September 14, 2012

Calling All OFWs and other Overseas Filipinos: Register as Overseas Filipino Voters for the May 2013 Elections

We are the OAV Summit Group composed of different civil society groups, committed to the political empowerment of our migrant workers through the ballot.

Our goal is to work closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as well as all stakeholders to boost overseas voting registration in time for the 2013 national elections.

According to the DFA, we have new registrants of more than 249,391, which when added to the stock total of 589,830 from the 2010 elections, brings the number of overseas Filipino registrants to more than 839,221 for the upcoming 2013 Senatorial and Party-List elections.

Though short of the 1 million target originally set jointly by the DFA and the Comelec, this number still represents a potent source of votes particularly in a tight Senate and party-list race.

But we can and shall do better.

For the remaining weeks until October 31, the actual deadline for Overseas Absentee registration, we enjoin all overseas Filipinos whether land-based or sea-based, temporary workers or permanent residents, to register and avail of their right to vote in the 2013 elections.

We issue this final call for OAV registration with a shortlist of five (5) concrete recommendations on how we can collectively meet and even surpass the 1M target.

First, we call on Congress to amend the OAV Law and repeal Section 5-D requiring Filipino immigrants to sign an affidavit of intent to return to the Philippines which has become a major stumbling block particularly for potential Filipino voters in the United States and Canada;

Second, we urge Congress to allow the Comelec to explore and adopt other more efficient, reliable and secure modes or systems to ensure the secrecy and sanctity of the entire electoral process, whether paper-based or electronic-based technology or such other latest technology available, for onsite and remote registration and elections;

Third, we ask political parties and national candidates to include in thir reform agenda a menu of laws, benefits, and programs for Filipinos overseas and their families here and at home, and present this early enough to inspire our modern-day heroes to register and vote;

Fourth, as civil society organizations involved in issues of Filipinos overseas and fellow migrants' rights advocates, we shall continue to embark on a unified campaign in partnership with as many Filipino community groups around the world as possible, using social media and traditional media to enlist as many OAV registrants as possible;

And fifth, every CSO and OFW/OF blogger involved in this aaliance as well as social media enthusiasts who believe in the political empowerment of OFWs and overseas Filipinos, shall feature prominently on their websites every Friday, the top 10 foreign posts with the biggest number of overseas Filipino registrants. Hopefully, this will spur competition not only among our foreign posts but also within and amongst Filipino communities, to bag a slot in this list of top performing posts.

We believe that the right of every overseas worker to register and vote is sacred, and all efforts must be undertaken to facilitate a more inclusive and convenient process of registration and voting given the physical and financial hurdles that an OFW must face to be able to go to the nearest embassy or consulate in order to exercise his or her right of suffrage.

Signed:  Philippine Migrants Rights Watch, Migrant NGO Forum, Filipino Migrant Workers Group, Ople Policy Institute and Training Center, Center for Migrant Advocacy, ICOFVR-HongKong.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Philippine Senate passes on third reading ILO C 189

The Philippine Senate on August 6, 2012 passed on Third Reading the resolution concurring in the ratification of ILO Convention 189 on Decent work for domestic workers. This makes the Philippines the second country, and the first in Asia, to ratify the said Convention. The Convention requires the ratification of two member-states to put it into force. Article 21 of the Convention provides that it shall come to force 12 months after the date on which the ratification of two member states have been registered with the Director-General of the ILO.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Alex Asuncion Appointed to POEA Governing Board

President Benigno Aquino III recently appointed Mr. Alex Asuncion as member of the governing board of the POEA representing the land-based sector.

Asuncion is the owner of Astralvision Digital Networks. He previously served as executive Assistant of the Saudi Arabian Mining Company and administrative Assistant of the National Methanol Company.

The PMRW nominated Asuncion to the POEA governing board.

Photo source -

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Promoting the Rights and Welfare of Domestic Workers

The PMRW held a forum on "Promoting the Rights and Welfare of Domestic Workers" at the Manila Manor hotel on July 19, 2012. The activity aimed to better understand domestic work, ILO Convention 189 and its implications, and the Kasambahay bill. Forum speakers included POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac who talked about ILO Convention 189 and government efforts to promote the rights and welfare of domestic workers; Ms. Lilibeth Masimloc, President of the Samahan at Ugnayan ng mga Manggagawang Pantahanan sa Pilipinas (SUMAPI) who discussed the features and gave updates on the Kasambahay bill; and Ms. Ruth Martinez who recounted her experience working as a domestic worker in Syria.

Ms. Toots Ople of the Ople Policy Center and Ms. Lita Hizon of PAMADEL and PAMAJOR were the Reactors to the forum. Ms. Ople talked about migration as a people problem and the need to review policies and regulations, since they are not reflective of the reality overseas. In the light of the on-going war in Syria, Ms. Ople also commented on its direct threat to women, considering that the Philippine government does not know how many Filipinos there are actually in Syria. Ms. Hizon, who has been in the recruitment business for the past 25 years, cited the need to stop illegal recruitment.

Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel, III who authored Senate Resolution 801 urging Senate concurrence to ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers came to give his solidarity message to the forum participants. He assured everyone of his support to the ratification of the said Convention.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Forum on Social Security Protection of Overseas Filipinos

PMRW Forum on Social Security Protection of Overseas Filipinos held on March 27, 2012 at the Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros.