Archive for the ‘overseas worker’ Category

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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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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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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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

US Visa Availability February 2009

February 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 January 2009 here are the abridged priority dates:

FAMILY CATEGORIES

Categories–Worldwide—China (PRC)—-India———-Mexico———Philippines
1st———07-08-02—-07-08-02——07-08-02——–10-08-92——–07-15-93
2A———-06-01-04—-06-01-04——06-01-04——–09-22-01——–06-01-04
2B———-05-08-00—-05-08-00——05-08-00——–05-01-92——–10-15-97
3rd———08-01-00—-08-01-00——08-01-00——–10-08-92——–06-01-91
4th———02-15-98—-09-22-97——01-15-98——–03-22-95——–05-01-86

EMPLOYMENT CATEGORIES

Categories—-Worldwide——–China (PRC)——India—–Mexico—–Philippines
1st————-Current———-Current————Current—Current—–Current
2nd————-Current———01-01-05———01-01-04—Current—–Current
3rd————-05-01-05——–10-01-02——–10-15-01–04-01-03—-05-01-05
Unskilled——-03-15-03——–10-01-02——–10-15-01–10-15-01—-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 PD)

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Labels: employment, family, immigration, OFW, overseas worker, petition, State Department, Totie Mesia, USA, USCIS, Visa

In war-battered Gaza, Filipinos mull on the price of working abroad

January 11, 2009

With no end in sight, the red-hot Israel-Palestinian conflict completes its second week on January 11, 2009 with nearly 900 reported dead and many more wounded, about half of them are innocent non-combatants of war. Regardless of which side we may be in the decades-long hostilities, the clear message is that racial intolerance, religious bigotry, and territorial disputes don’t bring any good.

The duplicity in the exercise of diplomacy, the use of terrorism, and the rejection of a two-state solution by hardliners remain as huge stumbling blocks in bringing peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. The interference of countries that benefit from an unstable Middle East is partly to blame.

Civilians living in the Gaza Strip are in a crossfire that disrupts their lives and threatens their survival. In the bloody exchanges of a protracted cycle of violence, the innocents bear undeserved suffering. Among them are workers and migrants from the Philippines who come to this troubled part of the world mainly for economic reasons.

We can only sympathize with our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who put their lives on line to seek ways to survive and help their families back home. We can only ask for the cessation of the killings—an immediate ceasefire which is unheaded at this time.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA,) 16 Filipinos have left the war-torn area and arrived in Manila. Of the 121 still left in Gaza, 69 expressed their desire to evacuate, but the fierce fighting prevents them to do so. It is uncertain if this number includes the illegal Filipinos workers who take risky jobs in the shadows.

This brings us to the problem of our government which sorely lags behind in helping the people to be self-sufficient back home. If jobs and economic opportunities exist in the country, then there are few reasons for our kababayans to insist working in dangerous places like the Middle East. The cost to pay for family separations, isolation, and loneliness is incalculable. It’s sad that our cash-strapped government is in a losing policy of sending Filipinos abroad for the money they’ll earn for the nation’s economy. With no sign of stopping, our workers continue to suffer on their own, at times trapped in harm’s way.

Just to land a job, no matter how menial, has been a source of hope and pride among poor Filipinos who ignore the risks of travel outside the country. Yet, this is the reality of our society faces. Adding to the 10 million Filipinos already deployed abroad, a restless stream still wants to leave for the money.

The government must do better than what our officials think is good enough. There will be a season that host countries won’t justly pay for the services of Filipinos. To keep the country economically alive there’ll be a time when going abroad will be one of our most dreaded options. (Photo Credits: Aryty; Rusty Stewart x 7 photos) =0=

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US Visa Availability January 2009

January 6, 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 January 2009 here are the abridged priority dates:

FAMILY CATEGORIES

Categories—-Worldwide—-China (PRC)—-India——-Mexico—–Philippines
1st————06-15-02—–06-15-02——-06-15-02—-10-01-92—07-15-93
2A————05-15-04—–05-15-04——-05-15-04—-08-15-01—05-15-04
2B————03-22-00—–03-22-00——-03-22-00—-05-01-92—09-01-97
3rd———–08-01-00—–08-01-00——-08-01-00—-10-01-92—05-22-91
4th———–02-08-98—–08-22-97——-11-01-97—-03-08-95—05-01-86

EMPLOYMENT CATEGORIES

Categories— Worldwide—-China (PRC)—-India—–Mexico—–Philippines
1st————–Current——Current———Current—Current—-Current
2nd————Current——07-08-04——–07-01-03–Current—-Current
3rd———–05-01-05—–06-01-02——–10-15-01–11-15-02—05-01-05
Unskilled—–03-15-03—–03-15-03———03-15-03–03-15-03—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 suggesgt the websites: State Department Visa Bulletin—http://travel.state.gov/; http://shusterman.com/vb.html (Photo Credit: Yuhuru1701)

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