Monday, May 25, 2009

Southeast Asia - Migration News | Migration Dialogue

Southeast Asia - Migration News | Migration Dialogue: "Philippines. Almost 1.4 million Filipinos were deployed to overseas jobs in 2008, an average 3,800 a day and up significantly from 1.1 million in 2007. Remittances were $16.4 billion in 2008, up from $14.4 billion in 2007.

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

Economic downturn weighs on Filipino migrant laborers | International | Reuters

Economic downturn weighs on Filipino migrant laborers | International | Reuters: "In the case of Ang, after paying a recruitment agency 120,000 pesos (about $2,500) for a job at an electronics factory in Taiwan, she was retrenched within a year and is back in the Philippines without any work at all.

'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."

Global economic downturn putting migrants at risk: Ban

Global economic downturn putting migrants at risk: Ban: "United Nations, Dec 18 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stressed that migrants were highly vulnerable to the global economic crisis.”The world’s more than 200 million migrants are especially vulnerable to the financial downturn shaking the global economy,” Ban said on the occasion of the International Migrants day.

“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."

Labor export still R.P. ace, economists say

Labor export still R.P. ace, economists say: "Arroyo’s data showed that Taiwan accounted for the highest number of OFWs (78.7 percent of the total 6,405) recorded to have lost their jobs since the US declared its economy in recession last year. Still, Arroyo told reporters after his talk, he sees the displacement of workers in the country and abroad as bottoming out.

“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."

OFWs face a bleak future as global crisis hits companies worldwide – Davao Today

OFWs face a bleak future as global crisis hits companies worldwide – Davao Today: "Migrante International, a global group assisting Filipino migrant workers, said some of the retrenched OFWs in Taiwan were intimidated into signing agreements that were disadvantageous to them. Migrante cited the case of 162 retrenched OFWs from Walton Advanced Engineering Inc. (WAIE).

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."

Pace of remittance growth slows to 3% in March

"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."

BusinessWorld Online: More OFWs sent home due to crisis

BusinessWorld Online: More OFWs sent home due to crisis: "More OFWs sent home due to crisis

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, May 4, 2009

News Alerts

Google News Alert for: ofw taiwan

MECO vows continued support for jailed Pinay in Taiwan
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30, since there was reasonable doubt that the OFW killed the Taiwanese. During the final hearing, Atty. Jiao argued that the OFW did not have any financial ...
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MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE 2) Nemencia “Cecille” Armia Alcaraz, the Filipino worker in jail for the slay of a Taiwanese national in 2007, ...
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“The families of Alcaraz and other OFWs on death row can only join the nation's ... The final verdict of the Taiwan court tomorrow will confirm whether ...
Taiwan court's ruling on OFW awaited
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By Cynthia Balana MANILA, Philippines -- The Manila Economic and Cultural Office is awaiting the decision of a Taiwanese appellate court on the appeal filed ...
RP among the few to grow
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... New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Thailand. ... OFWremittances grew 13.7 percent to $16.4 billion last year, ...
Time to review labor export strategy, experts say
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... most of them from Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates. ... A record 1.38 million OFWs have been deployed last year, an improvement from 1.08 million the ...
Front Page
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... Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Thailand. ... OFW remittances grew 13.7% to $16.4 billion last year, making up more than ...
OFW in Taiwan fears death sentence
ABS CBN News - Philippines
A domestic helper turned English teacher in Taiwan, Alcaraz, 48, was convicted in October 2008 for the murder and robbery of 48-year-old Taiwanese jobs ...
33 OFWs in Brazil, Suriname detained for drug offenses
Philippine Star - Manila,Philippines
Garry Martinez, Migrante chairman, said the Appellate Court of Taiwan is set to hand down on May 4 the verdict on the case of OFW Cecilia Alcaraz. ...