Archive for the ‘jobs’ Category

Hongkong’s Chip Tsao & his cheap racial slur against Filipinos

March 31, 2009

Tsao in part wrote in his HK magazine column:

“Manila has just claimed sovereignty over the scattered rocks in the South China Sea called the Spratly Islands, complete with a blatant threat from its congress to send gunboats to the South China Sea to defend the islands from China if necessary. This is beyond reproach. The reason: there are more than 130,000 Filipina maids working as $3,580-a-month cheap labor in Hong Kong. As a nation of servants, you don’t flex your muscles at your master, from whom you earn most of your bread and butter.”

“As a patriotic Chinese man, the news has made my blood boil. I summoned Louisa, my domestic assistant who holds a degree in international politics from the University of Manila, hung a map on the wall, and gave her a harsh lecture. I sternly warned her that if she wants her wages increased next year, she had better tell every one of her compatriots in Statue Square on Sunday that the entirety of the Spratly Islands belongs to China.”—Chip Tsao

Reactions of Filipinos

“The most racist, insulting and demeaning attack yet against Filipino domestic helpers.”—Migrante International Sec. Gen. Gina Esguerra

His very announcement that he gave her Filipino maid a harsh lecture and warned her to tell every one of her compatriots that Spartly Islands belong to China or she’d lose her wages, is already a sign of an unstable, irresponsible and racist employer who resorts to verbal abuse even for perceived bilateral and historic infractions. Luisa deserves a sane and more humane employer while he deserves to clean up his own filth.” —–Susan Ople, Blas F. Ople Policy Center.

“According to the meeting of leaders of the Filipino community, they are now preparing street protests]… The sentiment of our countrymen here is that the one who wrote the article, Chip Tsao, should apologize.” —-Romulo Salud, labor attache of the Philippine consulate general in Hong Kong

“We will look into that because we should not be provoked by one columnist. What that writer did was reprehensible. Let’s see what needs to be done. Press Sec. Cerge Remonde:

“If Filipinos stop going to Hong Kong, their economy would collapse. I propose a six-month, nay a one-year boycott of Hong Kong and let’s see what happens to their shops and hotels. We can do without going to HK and HK products.” —- Parañaque City Rep. Roilo Golez Golez.

“I don’t think we should dignify his (Tsao) statement as he is just one person and not a government or Hong Kong official but it is understandable that we are offended,” —–Pres. Spokesman Lorelei Fajardo

“That comment is uncalled for, it’s atrocious. We should protest vigorously against this slur against Filipino workers in Hong Kong,” —-Cebu City Rep. Antonio Cuenco

“I am not asking the DFA file a diplomatic protest. But our government must address this squarely and defend the dignity of Filipinos, If we need to take legal action against Tsao, let us do so. Our government should be in the frontline on this; they can hire a lawyer in Hong Kong if at all and file a case for damages.” —Sen Francis Escudero

“This disgusting, derogatory, and vile remark can only come from dim-witted and mediocre writing. The magazine should apologize straightaway. The article reflects the kind of attitude that promotes abuses against Filipina workers,” —-Rep. Ana Theresia Hontiveros

Filipinos deserve no less than a formal public apology.“—Sen. Pia Cayetano

“It’s the view of one person and we don’t think it is shared by the Hong Kong community and society… I think we ought to take it as that.” —-DFA spokesperson Ed Malaya

“Because of the administration’s failed employment policies, a record number of Filipino women have been forced to seek jobs abroad to make ends meet.”— Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay

“For the protection of migrant workers, the POEA should look into the said allegations, not only confined to forms of physical abuse but also emotional abuse such as public humiliation and verbal harassment.”— Sen. Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri (Photo Credit: Mattviews) ==0=

RELATED BLOG: “A “nation of servants” insults Filipinos in Hongkong” Posted by mesiamd at 3/30/2009

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More OFWs leave the country for jobs abroad

March 24, 2009

It should tbe consolation to the Philippines that more Filipinos work outside the country in January this year than last year. Philippine Overseass Employment Administration (POEA) reports that 165,737 compared to 132,285 left the country for jobs abroad.

This resoundingly affirms the sustained global preference for our skilled and semi-skilled overseas Filipino workers (OFW), and their productive role in staving off the adverse effects of the global slowdown in the greater portion of the world’s economies,” said Labor Secretary Marianito Roque.—GMA TV News (03/24/09, Tan, JT)

The exodus of workers to foreign land has brought about US$16.4 billion dollars to the Philippine economy. In spite of the economic benefits, working abroad has caused a lot alienation, family displacement, and separation.

Filipinos still need to develop local placements and not rely on foreign work opportunities which disrupt local labor. There are many jobs with difficult working conditions abroad and Filipinos are forced to take them for lack of employment in the country. It is not hard to imagine that many of these jobs are menial, dangerous, and demanding that many locals of host countries refuse to take. (Photo Credit: Atsibatsi)=0=

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Declining English proficiency, a cause of fewer hires among Filipino college graduates

March 22, 2009

The Philippines is relying heavily on its workforce to shore up the economy, but a recent evaluation of the Universal Access to Competitiveness and Trade (UACT,) a research arm of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce reveals that:

For every 100 applicants, only six to 10 percent are effectively recruited and deployed for an entry level job.” —-Philstar (03/22/09, Ronda, RA)

The main reason given why the Business process outsourcing (BPO) is having a hard time recruiting graduates from Philippine colleges and universities is the inadequacy in English proficiency. This is radical reversal of the Filipinos’ long-standing reputation of being good in English. It appears the country is now suffering the negative effects of its schizophrenic bilingual policy that continues to be a contentious issue in education. (Photo Credit: Atsibatsi) =0=

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Francis B. Pena, Singapore Airlines’ 2009 Awardee for Customer Service

March 9, 2009

It’s with unabashed pride and gladness that UP Ibalon-Bicol congratulates Francis B. Pena for being chosen as Singapore Airlines’ 2009 CEO TCS Awardee for outstanding customer service.

A friend of Ibalonians, Pena who hails from Naga City, Philippines is an alumnus of Ateneo de Naga HS Class’73 and the University of Nueva Caceres BSN ’78. For his exemplary work, outstanding company contributions, and admirable 25-year dedication to the core values of the organization, he will be feted in an evening celebratory reception at 6:30 at the Raffles Town Club in Singapore, on 22 April 2009. His selection to the prestigious distinction is announced by Patricia Ow, Customer Affairs Manager of the Singapore Airlines. =0=

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For lack of local jobs, Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo asks Filipinos to leave for employment abroad

March 2, 2009

Without enough jobs available locally, Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo continues to call on her people to pursue jobs abroad. About 500,000 employment positions, mainly in construction are available in the Middle East, Australia, and Canada.

This is the recommendation of the country’s president (the “top economist and chief executive officer”) for the employment-seekers present in a job summit at the Malacanang Palace.

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Augusto Syjuco advises Filipinos to take alternative courses in butchery, tile-laying, roofing, carpentry and other menial jobs just to survive in a growing economic crisis.

Something is wrong with their recommendations. The policy of sending Filipinos outside has drifted away from the task of government to provide livelihood for its people. For the government to adopt a policy of encouraging talents to leave the country is objectionable.

An estimated 9 million Filipinos are currently working abroad to support families and help avert the financial collapse of the country. Government critics complain that more Filipinos will be separated from their families and placed in risky conditions as a consequence of being forced to leave the country.

There is sadness in seeing a president advise its people to take menial work abroad as a way to build a nation back home—much more sadness in seeing officials propose second courses in preparation for jobs availabe outside. (Photo Credit: Mark Hillary) =0=

RELATED BLOG: “Who says we are spared from the effects of recession?” Posted by mesiamd at 2/27/2009

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Who says we are spared from the effects of recession?

February 26, 2009

Presidential spokesman Anthony Golez said the Philippines wasn’t among the Asian countries affected by the worldwide recession. It might be a lie that Malacanang Palace wanted us to believe. He based his conclusion to the non-inclusion of the country in the International Labor Organization (ILO) list which projects 113 million jobs loss in Asia as the world economy continues to falter (Malaya , 02/20/09 Bengco, R.) According to ILO, the expected unemployment number this year will be more than the 22.3 million jobs Asian countries lost in 2008.

It will do us good if we look closely at the data Golez is referring to before we celebrate. We aren’t that trusting anymore. The effects of the financial meltdown are just beginning to show. It is foolhardy for him and the government he represents to assume that we aren’t affected.

The unemployment we see in the street is a better gauge than the assurances of government officials. We see what food we eat and what clothes we wear. Most of us are familiar of the signs of chronic job loss and their aftermath. The employment stagnation in the country is long-standing and antedates the global economic meltdown.

5,500 OFWs lose jobs—–Arroyo

“Some 5,500 Filipino overseas workers have lost their jobs abroad and returned home over the past four months, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said Thursday. The Department of Labor announced earlier this week that 39,000 Filipinos had lost their jobs since October, a number which included overseas workers.”—Agence France-Presse/ Inquirer (02/26/09)

Foreign companies are pulling out their business operations in Manila. Unemployment among fresh graduates continues to rise. There is pervasive underemployment and lay-offs. The rush for jobs abroad doesn’t abate even if applicants downgrade their qualifications just to grab work even if it is risky and suffers from inadequate pay. With a bearish investment climate, people are afraid to shell out money that stir spending and growth. The number of impoverished Filipinos continues to rise.

Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo’s job creation is too little to assuage the fear and anger of the public. The government projects that are quick-disbursing, high-impact, and labor intensive (according to Management Dir. Hermogenes Esperon) don’t come close to reality when one sees the widespread unemployment, poverty, and corruption in the country. That’s why we rely early on ourselves more than depend on announced legislated measures by the administration. (Photo Credits: Slavishtubesocks; JRIOrion)=0=

3,000 IT & 10,000 semiconductor jobs at risk

At least 3,000 information technology (IT) jobs are at risk in first quarter alone while 10,000 positions in semiconductor industry could be shed during the first half of the year due to the global economic slump.”—GMANewsTV (02/28/09)

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The NARS program & the 39,455 who passed the nurses board exam

February 20, 2009

The Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) announces that 39, 455 successfully hurdled the nursing board examination given last November 2008.

The successful examinees represent 44.5 percent of the total 88,649 who took the test. According to the PRC, Jovie Ann Alawas Decoyna of the Baguio Central University topped the examination with a grade of 89 percent.

With a high rate of joblessness among nurses due to a slump in job recruitment abroad, the addition of licensed nurses in the workforce creates more pressure to create jobs for the new professionals.

The government introduced a “stop-gap measure” versus unemployment by creating the Nurses Assigned in Rural Service (NARS) program which aims to send at least 5 nurses to each of the 1,000 poorest towns in the country. Applicants in the program will be paid a monthly salary of P8,000. Labor Secretary Marianito Roque invites interested nurses to file their applications at the nearest DOLE regional office or submit it online at http://www.nars.dole.gov.ph where application forms may also be downloaded.—GMATVNews (02/20/09, Tan, KJ)

With an estimated joblessness of more than 400,000, it is unlikely that the 5,000 NARS positions will have a dent in easing up the lack of local employment opportunities needed by by the licensed nurses.(Photo Credit: Lucindlunacy) =0=

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“Osama Bin Laden” among the 11.000 job applicants for "the best job in the world"

February 9, 2009

Unemployment is common and rising worldwide. The recruitment to fill in the “best job in the world” drummed up by the Queensland Department of Tourism drew 11,000 applicants who expressed interest to be a promoter of Hamilton Island, a picturesque tourist spot destination in the eastern coast of Australia.

Among the earnest job seekers is a prankster named Osama Bin Laden (OBL) who submitted a video application at http://www.islandreefjob.com website showing the real bearded fugitive OBL in his night gown justifying his qualifications to be an island caretaker.

“One of the applications was a 30-second prank video showing the world’s most wanted man, with nonsensical sounds dubbed over his real voice. Using subtitles, bin Laden argues his case for the six-month contract, describing himself as “outgoing,” “familiar with sandy areas” and experienced with ‘large scale event coordination.’ “—Yahoo. News (02/05/09, Goldsmith B, Fahmy, M)

The tourism job which offers $150,000 for a six-month outdoor stint in an island with enchanting coral reefs and unspoiled beaches attracted unusually high number of eager applicants from 162 countries. The successful employment seeker will be chosen at the conclusion of the $17,000-tourism campaign which offers a rent-free, stress-free stay in a villa in Australia’s Hamilton Island. (Photo Credit: Nattus x 2) =0=

RELATED BLOGS: “Best job in some enchanted island: Is it for you?” Posted on Tuesday January 13th, 2009 by mesiamd; “‘Best Job in the World’ website crashes in a deluge of interested applicants” Posted on Wednesday January 14th, 2009 by mesiamd.

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Job Outlook 2009: Nurses in USA still in demand, but not in the Philippines

February 4, 2009

Unemployment is rampant as the economic meltdown continues in America. The joblessness in the world’s largest economy is in all time high and still rising. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) January 20, 2009 issue reports the discouraging job loss of 2.6 million last year. Yet, in spite of the alarming unemployment sweeping America today, healthcare sticks out as among the few bright spots in work opportunities. The US healthcare sector posted gains of 419,000 jobs, mostly for nurses in 2008.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the trend is expected to continue till 2016 as Americans grow older and need more medical services. Last year, registered nurses posted 168,000 job placements to cope with the nationwide shortage. The availability of health care jobs including those in home care and nursing homes proves that employment in this sector is relatively recession-proof. Expansion of work opportunities is expected in less intensive training courses like pharmacy and medical assistantships.

This could have been welcoming news for Filipino nurses who seek work opportunities abroad. But with current US visa restrictions and slowing of recruitment of foreign applicants, the need for local healthcare workers in USA doesn’t translate into more foreign nurses getting jobs at this time. There is an emerging nativist US sentiments sparked by the economic downturn which further dampens the interest in hiring nurses from abroad.

There are about 88,750 nurses who took the Philippine board exam in November last year. The 50% (more or less) who will pass and get licensed will add to the nurse unemployment problem which is currently estimated to number about 400,000. The high joblessness rate in the country opens more opportunities for exploitation among these professionals and the government seems inutile in solving it. (Photo Credit: AllwaysNY; Uberdoog)=0=

RELATED BLOGS: “As nursing jobs become scarce, 88,750 brace for the next board examination” Posted by mesiamd at 11/12/2008; “Job prospects for nurses decline” Posted by mesiamd at 6/02/2008

“Filipinos rated most committed to work”

January 27, 2009

The “employee engagement” is supposed to be a measure of “commitment” and “drive” of a worker to achieve a company’s goal. It runs high among Filipinos. That’s according to a recent survey conducted on workers of some top corporations in the country by Watson Wyatt, a global consulting agency. At 77%, the employee engagement for the Philippines has improved from by 4% since 2007. The score is good among countries of the Asia-Pacific region!

Beating of China (66%,) India (75%), Indonesia (71%,) Thailand (72%,) and Malaysia (67%,) RP’s laudable score appeared in the Philipine Daily Inquirer (01/27/09, Dumlao, D)— a business news item entitled “Filipinos rated most committed to work.”

I find the report flattering. Only the workers of top corporations have been included in the poll. The survey outfit admits there are no international standards to determine the socio-political and cultural factors that are unique for each country which may influence the score. Such limitations hardly dispel the doubts of readers.

Whatever this survey is worth, I like to know if there is any difference in the score of workers in the public sector compared to those who are in the government. It would have been better if all in the labor force (not only the corporate employees) were represented in the survey. It would have been more revealing if those in the farms and those employed abroad were included. The result might be more accurate in characterizing the “commitment” of the entire Filipino labor force. (Photo Credit: Bikoy; Neil Alderney 123)=0=

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