Monday, December 14, 2009
This was revealed by Philippine labor attaché Reydeluz D. Conferido of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan during a talk with visiting Filipino reporters over the weekend.
“Total deployment has reached 70,000 in all from 60,000 OFWs here last year,” Conferido said.
Of the 70,000 OFWs in Taiwan, 40,000 are engaged in the electronics manufacturing and 20,000 are in social services (caregivers, caretakers, nursing aids, domestic workers) and the others in the construction sector, agriculture and fishery."
Monday, October 19, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
"Remittances to the Philippines rose to $8.5 billion in the first half of 2009, a surprise amid predictions that the global recession would reduce remittances. Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said: "our workers are getting jobs and sending home more money than ever. They are keeping the boat stable." Remittances are a seventh of GDP.
However, more Filipinos are discussing the social costs of sending workers abroad, including the reluctance of some in families that receive remittances to accept jobs in the Philippines.
Departing migrants pay a $25 fee to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration to provide services in the event of death or illness abroad. The OWWA has posted staff in 38 sites abroad to provide services to migrants.
The Filipino ambassador to the UN between 2003 and 2007 was charged with abusing his household helper in New York. Lauro L. Baja Jr. brought Marichu Suarez Baoanan to New York in 2006; she charged that she was required to work more than 100 hours a week without pay. Baja, who disputes the charges, invoked diplomatic immunity, but a federal judge in June 2009 said that because Baoanan's duties were "unrelated to Baja's diplomatic functions," her suit could proceed.
A July 2008 Government Accountability Office report identified 42 cases of abuse of household help by foreign diplomats in the US over an eight-year period, but emphasized that there were likely more such cases. The GAO cited 19 trafficking investigations involving foreign diplomats from 2005 to 2008, but no indictments. The US Department of State has not yet revoked a diplomatic visa because of an abuse allegation.
Corazon Aquino, who replaced Ferdinand Marcos as president in 1986, died in August 2009, prompting reflections on the past 23 years of developments in the Philippines. Political instability continues. Since Aquino left office in 1992, there have been three presidential elections, two attempts at impeachment, two apparent attempts to stay in power through constitutional change, and one popular uprising that ousted an elected president and another that failed.
Some say that politics diverts attention from the country's economic problems, including poverty--30 percent of the 90 million residents are living below the poverty line."
Friday, October 2, 2009
La. Teacher Union Files Complaint Against Recuiter
The Louisiana Federation of Teachers charges that teachers from the Philippines were brought over to fill a teacher shortage, then held in servitude by the recruiting company. The firm is accused of taking chunks of the teachers' wages and threatening to deport them if they complained.http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113423285
Friday, July 10, 2009
Many of those laid off were foreign workers. The number of foreign workers peaked at 374,000 in July 2008 before falling to 343,000 in April 2009, when migrants were almost four percent of Taiwan's 9.2 million workers. Migrant layoffs were concentrated in electronics and garment manufacturing, affecting primarily Filipina and Thai women, while the number of Indonesian caregivers rose slightly. In April 2009, the number of migrant caregivers, 172,000, exceeded the number of migrant industrial and construction workers, 171,000, for the first time.
Many foreign workers want jobs in Taiwan because of relatively high minimum wages, NT$17,280 ($510) a month or about $3 an hour in all sectors except care giving, where the minimum wage is NT$15,840. Manufacturing workers typically earn $200 to $400 a month in overtime. Most of the migrant women employed in electronics are in their mid-20s and usually have at least high-school diplomas.
As factory production shrinks, foreign workers risk loss of overtime and layoffs. Most migrants live in company-provided dorms, for which many employers deduct NT$4,000 a month for room and board, 23 percent of the minimum wage. In addition, Taiwan allows the labor brokers who match most migrants with jobs to charge up to NT$1,800 a month for their first year in Taiwan, NT$1,700 a month during the second year, and NT$1,500 a month during the third year, or about 10 percent of the Taiwanese minimum wage.
However, many brokers charge migrants an additional NT$200,000 ($6,000) as a placement fee, which is allowed if the migrant signs a side agreement.
Foreign workers are not obtaining the overtime work they expected, making it difficult to repay the loans they took to get jobs in Taiwan. Migrants are entitled to the minimum wage even if their hours are reduced unless they agree to fewer hours. Some factories have asked migrants to adopt 4-3 work schedules, four days of work followed by three days off.
A few migrants have accepted return tickets to their countries of origin, saving their employers severance costs; many hope to be selected to return when the economy recovers. With recovery, however, many of the minimum-wage assembly jobs now filled by migrants in Taiwan may move to lower-wage countries such as China and Vietnam.
The Council of Labor Affairs, which regulates the employment of migrant workers, banned the recruitment of additional foreign workers in March 2009 for factories wishing to hire migrants for the third or overnight shift. The CLA also limited migrants to a maximum 20 percent of a manufacturer's work force.
Monday, July 6, 2009
GMANews.TV - After Vecina, 57 more OFWs still on death row - Pinoy Abroad - Official Website of GMA News and Public Affairs - Latest Philippine News
But the current number of OFWs facing the death penalty abroad means the government still has a lot of work to do.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday said the number of overseas Filipinos on death row stands at 57, down from 59 after the commutation of the death sentence of an OFW in Taiwan and the reversal of another in Malaysia."
Monday, June 15, 2009
Mark Anthony Campos, 27, from Butuan City came to Cebu just to try his luck here looking for work so he can help his family back home.
'They (government and prospective employers) must consider waiving or reducing the highly prohibitive experience requirement for the job offers which is unfair to those who know the job well but only lack a year or two in related work experience.
Campos is one of the thousands of OFW's from Taiwan that were retrenched last year after several manufacturing and export companies there suffered losses due to the economic slump in America.
With dismay, he said that since his homecoming last December, he can no longer count the job fairs he has joined."
Monday, June 8, 2009
Unfortunately, the answer that must be given is NO.
For OWWA to do its job well is especially vital now in times of the OFWs’ great distress amid the global economic meltdown.
One OWWA failing that must immediately be brought up is the inadequacy of the help it gives OFWs in jail, many of them jailed unjustly. Many OFWs have been victimized by their employers. Some of them are victims of rape by the employers and fired when they protested or, worse, accused of crimes they did not commit."
Monday, May 25, 2009
The unemployment rate in the Philippines approached eight percent in January 2009, almost three million, prompting President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to issue Administrative Order 247 to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to 'execute a paradigm shift by refocusing its functions from regulation to full blast market development efforts, the exploration of frontier, fertile job markets for Filipino expatriate workers.'
The sharp rise in migrant deployments in 2008 could be followed by return migration in 2009, as last-hired workers are laid off. Over 6,000 Filipino migrants, mostly women working in electronics factories in Taiwan and men working on Middle Eastern construction projects, returned home before the end of the contracts in the first three months of 2009. The POEA dispatched teams to Taiwan, Dubai and Korea to help Filipino migrants who had been laid off.
Laid-off migrants who return to the Philippines are eligible for 10,000 peso ($210) grants to obtain training in opening a small business. After completing the training, graduates can obtain 50,000 peso loans at five percent to open a small business.
There are about 125,000 Filipino domestic helpers in Hong Kong, and they protested the POEA's ban on direct hiring in February 2009. Since 2007, domestic helpers headed to Hong Kong must use an approved recruiter, who cannot charge a recruitment fee but may charge training fees, which helpers say are P20,000 ($417) to P100,000."
Sunday, May 24, 2009
'I wanted to earn more money so I could build a house for my family, but that did not happen,' said Ang, 31, who gave up her job as a quality control officer at a garment factory near Manila for a job in Taiwan that paid four times her salary.
As the global economic crisis deepens, countries such as the Philippines, which are heavily reliant on remittances sent home by migrant workers, face the prospect that workers may return en masse after losing jobs in recession-hit economies abroad."
“The crisis in markets has put them (migrants) at greater risk of destitution, stigmatization, discrimination and abuse. Reports of layoffs and lower remittances only begin to tell the story of the human suffering that this crisis has wrought,” he said in a statement issued to the press.
“Moreover, migration policies are growing ever more restrictive. We continue to see the criminalisation of irregular migrants. And all too often, migrants are being dealt with primarily from the perspective of security."
“We expect [the economy’s performance in] Q4 to be more vibrant, coming from a stronger Q3, mainly because of additional employment,” Arroyo said.
He cited as example the jobs that the market requires in the near future: 15,000 to 20,000 in Guam due to the transfer of the US base from Osaka, Japan; and 60,000 in Saudi Arabia as that country is building five mega-cities and prefer Filipino labor."
A Taiwanese broker reportedly told the WAEI workers they would not get any separation pay nor provisions for food and airfare to the Philippines if they refused to sign the agreement.
He also reminded the workers that they’d have to pay 20 percent income tax if they stayed for less than 183 days in Taiwan, a policy of Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance. Most of the retrenched workers were employed only for four to six months in Taiwan, hence, were scared to incur additional expenses.
Migrante said the rate of retrenchments in Taiwan has become so alarming that the number of retrenched workers may go over the 11,000 earlier projected by Taiwan’s Council of Labor Affairs this year."
"Money sent home by Filipinos working overseas reached a record $1.47 billion in March, but the pace of growth has slowed to 3.04 percent as traditionally strong remittance sources, like the US and the Middle East, contracted or were flat."
TACLOBAN CITY — More overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been displaced and sent home due to the global economic downturn.
As of yesterday, the Overseas Filipino Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) here said 91 OFWs have been sent home to Eastern Visayas region.
'During the first quarter of the year, many of the affected workers were in Taiwan and some in the United States.
'From April to May, most of the reported retrenchments were from Middle East countries,' said Alberto Penaflor, OWWA regional information officer, in an interview.
The displaced OFWs reported to the Department of Labor and Employment Help Desk for livelihood and job placement assistance.
Mr. Penaflor said as of this month, 81 of the displaced workers received skills training, job placement, and a two-year collateral-free loan package of P50,000.
'Twenty-eight OFWs have already received the financial assistance amounting to P1.15 million,' Mr. Penaflor told BusinessWorld."
Monday, March 2, 2009
MECO resident representative Antonio I. Basilio said Taiwan’s economic stimulus program and an improvement in its export prospects could significantly reduce the number of retrenched Filipino workers in Taiwan.
Although the steady employment projections depend on an improvement in the economies of Taiwan’s major markets like the US, the country is in the midst of an economic stimulus program to pump cash into the economy.
Each Taiwanese citizen is being given cash vouchers for spending and new infrastructure and construction projects in the pipeline. Basilio said these efforts may result in new jobs for Filipinos."
Monday, February 2, 2009
|OWWA: 5000 OFWs displaced by global crisis|
ABS CBN News - Philippines
“As of January 28, there were 5036 OFWs who were displaced from Taiwan, Australia, ... Dimzon said that most of those affected were OFWs in Taiwan where the ...
| Many displaced workers prefer redeployment|
Business Mirror - Philippines
Elwood Yambao, 35, a technician record operator displaced in Taiwan, ... will directly lend a displaced OFW up to P50,000 to expand his livelihood project. ...
| Western Visayas labor officials gird for layoffs|
GMA news.tv - Quezon City,Metro Manila,Philippines
He said that of the three female and 13 male displaced OFWs, 10 were working in Qatar, three in Taiwan and one each in South Korea, Kuwait and Nigeria. ...
| Gov't agencies ready to provide assistance to displaced OFWs|
Philippine Information Agency - Philippines
OWWA Cordillera director Manuela Peña also confirmed that there are already four displaced OFWs, two from Taiwan and two from Australia, that enlisted in ...
| Claim of deployment hike doubted|
Business Mirror - Philippines
... unbelievable and questionable,” as many jobs had been canceled in Taiwan when ... “The 80000-plus OFWs who left in December 2008 is also questionable ...
Business Mirror - Philippines
For OFWs like IT workers in Taiwan, and sea-based workers, Guerrero noted that the government is preparing for these scenarios. “Secretary Roque told us ...
| OFWs say government unemployment aid a hoax|
Philippine Star - Manila,Philippines
The protesters included members of Migrante International and retrenched OFWs from Taiwan. Gina Gaborni, Migrante International deputy secretary general, ...
| President Arroyo’s Assistance Package a Hoax - Migrante|
Pinoy Press - Manila,Philippines
Migrante International together with retrenched OFWs from Taiwan today trooped down the office of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to ...
| 23485 job losses traced to crisis|
Inquirer.net - Philippines
Among the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), "most of those who lost their jobs abroad are from Taiwan," he said. OFW job cuts attributed to the crisis were ...
Monday, January 26, 2009
The government should earmark part of the P330-billion stimulus package it is seeking to boost the economy to help jobless Filipino workers and spur consumer spending, the labor organizations and experts said."
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
QTV's 'Balitanghali' reported that the groups, together with some OFWs who lost their jobs in Taiwan, demanded that the government give back the alleged exorbitant fees that recruitment agencies charged them.
'We condemn the continued government inaction to our demands,' Crisitina de Borja, a retrenched worker, said. 'At the minimum we demand that the exorbitant placement fees recruitment agencies have charged will be given back to us. This is the law and we cannot understand why the government cannot enforce it.'"
Monday, January 12, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
'As of today, there are probably 5,000 OFWs who have already lost their jobs in Taiwan, Dubai and South Korea. Our expectation is that it would reach 50,000 this year,' Labor Secretary Marianito Roque told radio dzMM.
Roque assured affected OFWs that they could find work once they return to the Philippines. He added that others could opt to be trained for other job skills.
The labor chief said deployment of Filipino workers for overseas work continues despite the crisis.
“We are deploying more or less 3,000 workers every day. We increased OFW deployment by 24 percent in 2008, which is close 1.3 million workers,” he said.
Total deployment from January to October stood at 1.115 million, 25.5 percent higher than the number of Filipinos who left the country in the same period in 2007, data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showed."