Archive for the ‘OFW’ 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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A “nation of servants” insults Filipinos in Hongkong

March 29, 2009

The Philippines has been a recent target of a snide remark from a pea-brained Hongkong journalist who described the country as a “nation of servants.”

In a magazine write-up entitled on March 27, 2009, “The War at Home” Chip Tsao mockingly wrote that he told his Filipino maid she’d lose her job if she won’t tell her countrymen that Spratly’s islands for which the Philippines has long-standing ownership claim, belongs to China.

Tsao allegedly asserted that the Philippines’ claim on Spratlys was “reproachable,” adding that “as a nation of servants, you don’t flex your muscles at your master, from whom you earn most of your bread and butter.’”—-GMA TV News. (03/27/09)

This is again an insult that parallels the “Desperate Housewife” episode when Fil-Am doctors where maligned as incompetents in a US soap-opera. Some years ago, there is also that dictionary that equated “Filipino” as a synonymous to maids. The disparaging comment of Tsao is certainly foul—another insensitive verbal abuse that could only come from a loose cannon.

Susan Ople, a former labor undersecretary said the Chinese columnist must be declared “undersirable foreign employer” for his racist and arrogant remark. Such can be a weak retaliation to a blistering insult. She also needs to stress that the country must find ways to make jobs available at home and curb the sending of Filipinos abroad. In the long term, the deployment of maids to foreign countries is exploitative, unsustainable, and bad for national pride. (Photo Credit: MattViews x 2) =0=

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A “nation of servants” insults Filipinos in Hongkong

March 29, 2009

The Philippines has been a recent target of a snide remark from a pea-brained Hongkong journalist who described the country as a “nation of servants.”

In a magazine write-up entitled on March 27, 2009, “The War at Home” Chip Tsao mockingly wrote that he told his Filipino maid she’d lose her job if she won’t tell her countrymen that Spratly’s islands for which the Philippines has long-standing ownership claim, belongs to China.

Tsao allegedly asserted that the Philippines’ claim on Spratlys was “reproachable,” adding that “as a nation of servants, you don’t flex your muscles at your master, from whom you earn most of your bread and butter.’”—-GMA TV News. (03/27/09)

This is again an insult that parallels the “Desperate Housewife” episode when Fil-Am doctors where maligned as incompetents in a US soap-opera. Some years ago, there is also that dictionary that equated “Filipino” as a synonymous to maids. The disparaging comment of Tsao is certainly foul—another insensitive verbal abuse that could only come from a loose cannon.

Susan Ople, a former labor undersecretary said the Chinese columnist must be declared “undersirable foreign employer” for his racist and arrogant remark. Such can be a weak retaliation to a blistering insult. She also needs to stress that the country must find ways to make jobs available at home and curb the sending of Filipinos abroad. In the long term, the deployment of maids to foreign countries is exploitative, unsustainable, and bad for national pride. (Photo Credit: MattViews x 2) =0=

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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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US Visa Availability April 2009

March 15, 2009

Each month, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issue the visa availability of those who wish to immigrate (family-based application) or work (employment based application) in America. For the month of April 2009 here are the abridged priority dates:

FAMILY CATEGORIES

Categories——Worldwide—China (PRC)—-India——–Mexico———Philippines
1st————-08-15-02—-08-15-02——-08-15-02—–10-08-92——-08-01-93
2A————–08-15-04—-08-15-04——-08-15-04—–01-01-02——-08-15-04
2B————–09-01-00—-09-01-00——-09-01-00—–05-01-92——-01-15-98
3rd————-08-22-00—-08-22-00——-08-22-00—–10-22-92——-06-15-91
4th————-04-15-98—-01-08-98——-04-15-98—–04-22-95——-06-22-86

EMPLOYMENT CATEGORIES

Categories——Worldwide—China (PRC)—-India——–Mexico———-Philippines
1st————–Current——-Current——–Current——Current———Current
2nd————-Current——-02-15-05——-02-15-04—Current———Current
3rd————-03-01-03—-03-01-03——-11-01-01—–03-01-03——–03-01-03
Unskilled——-03-01-01—-03-01-01——-03-01-01—–03-01-01——–03-01-01
4th————-Current——–Current——–Current——–Current———Current
Religious—–Unavailable—Unavailable—Unavailable–Unavailable—–Unavailable
5th————-Current——–Current——–Current——Current———Current

For detailed information I suggest the websites: State Department Visa Bulletin—http://travel.state.gov/; http://shusterman.com/vb.html (Photo Credit: Yuhuru1701)

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Kazakhstan’s Caspian Seascape

March 8, 2009

by Pitoy Moreno

“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime? It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset?”

I may rarely see the flight of fireflies at dusk, the feel of warm air coming from a buffalo’s nostrils in the cold of winter, or the shadows that moves when nightfall sets in, but I can show you some breath-taking views of a place known for its taigas, flatlands, snow-capped mountains and picturesque seas.

For a time I thought I was the only Filipino living here in Kazakhstan, but diaspora made sure it wasn’t true. The saying that “in every nook of the earth, there is a Filipino” came real. As one among the few expatriates working in an enchanting place somewhere in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, I could say so.

About the size of Texas in the USA, Kazakhstan is nestled south of Russia. On its eastern border is China while Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are located in the south. The Caspian Sea and part of Turkmenistan are in the west.

The territory is rich in mineral resources. From out of the 1,177 mi (1,894 km) of coastline of Caspian Sea, is a huge deposit of oil discovered in 2000, the largest ever found in the last 30 years. A fuel pipeline connects the Tengiz oil field of western Kazakhstan to the Novorossiysk, a Russian Black Sea port. Another pipeline brings oil to China.

From the beginnings of human history, it is in this country where the first horses have been first domesticated. From the tribes of the once nomadic Kazakhs and their neighbors has evolved the distillation of a cultures so diverse and interesting.

Sparsely populated through the ages, Kazakhstan has been part of the Soviet Union until its independence in December 16, 1991. In this beautiful locale are memorable awesome red sunsets, pristine blue skies, and numberless grains of sand on the seashore—among the most wonderful scenes I have seen. In addition, there is this buzz of industrial and cultural activity that spurs the country’s growth and hope for the 21st century. They make me remember our country, the Philippines. (Photo Credits: Pitoy Moreno,Xhancock; Anguskirk)=0=

Republic of Kazakhstan

National name: Qazaqstan Respublikasy
President: Nursultan A. Nazarbayev (1990)
Prime Minister: Karim Masimov (2007)
Land area: 1,049,150 sq mi (2,717,300 sq km); total area: 1,049,150 sq mi (2,717,300 sq km)
Population (2008 est.): 15,340,533 (growth rate: 0.3%); birth rate: 16.4/1000; infant mortality rate: 26.5/1000; life expectancy: 67.5; density per sq km: 5
Capital (2003 est.): Astana, 288,200 (formerly Aqmola; capital since 1997)
Largest cities: Almaty (former capital), 1,045,900; Karaganda, 404,600; Shymkent, 333,500; Taraz, 305,700; Pavlodar, 299,500; Ust-Kamenogorsk, 288,000; Aqtöbe, 234,400
Monetary unit: Tenge

Languages: Kazak (Qazaq, state language) 64%; Russian (official, used in everyday business) 95% (2001 est.)
Ethnicity/race: Kazak (Qazaq) 53.4%, Russian 30%, Ukrainian 3.7%, Uzbek 2.5%, German 2.4%, Tatar 1.4%, Uygur 1.4%, other 4.9% (1999)
Religions: Islam 47%, Russian Orthodox 44%, Protestant 2%, other 7%
National Holiday: Independence Day, December 16
Source: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107674.html

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US Visa Availability March 2009

March 2, 2009

Each month, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issue the visa availability of those who wish to immigrate (family-based application) or work (employment based application) in America. For the month of March 2009 here are the abridged priority dates:

FAMILY CATEGORIES March

Categories—-Worldwide—-China (PRC)—-India——-Mexico—–Philippines
1st————07-22-02—–07-22-02——-07-22-02—-10-08-92—07-15-93
2A————07-01-04—–07-01-04——-07-01-04—-10-15-01—07-01-04
2B————06-22-00—–06-22-00——-06-22-00—-05-01-92—12-01-97
3rd———–08-08-00—–08-08-00——-08-08-00—-10-15-02—06-08-91
4th———–03-01-98——11-15-97——–03-01-98—-04-08-95—05-15-86

EMPLOYMENT CATEGORIES

Categories— Worldwide—-China (PRC)—-India—–Mexico—–Philippines
1st————–Current——Current———Current—Current—-Current
2nd————Current——02-15-05——–02-15-04—Current—-Current
3rd————05-01-05—–10-22-02——–10-15-01—08-15-03—05-01-05
Unskilled—–03-15-03—–10-22-02———10-15-01–03-15-03—03-15-03
4th————Current——Current———-Current—Current—-Current
Religious—–Current——Current———-Current—Current—-Current
5th————-Current——Current———-Current—Current—-Current

For detailed information I suggest the websites: State Department Visa Bulletin—http://travel.state.gov/; http://shusterman.com/vb.html (Photo Credit: Yuhuru1701)

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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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A large Florence Nightingale lamp lights up for a nursing board topnotcher

February 20, 2009

“Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, It requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation, as any painter’s or sculptor’s work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts.” — Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)

Overwhelming happiness must be what nursing board exam first placer Jovie Ann Decoyna feels. The farmer’s daughter whose mother works as an OFW in Taiwan basks in the glow of honor after the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) released the result of the November licensure test yesterday.

Proud and admiring classmates from Baguio Central University came to gift the young professional with an extra-large Florence Nightingale lamp, a symbol of care and abiding commitment that nurses worldwide are known for. (Photo Credit: Andy Zapata/ Philstar)=0=

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