Archive for the ‘Saudi Arabia’ Category

Ships hijacked by pirates, an earthquake in Indonesia and the decline of RP peso

November 18, 2008

7

Is the total number of ships hijacked by Somali pirates on since November 5, 2008 in the Aden Gulf. The latest hijacked ships are operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and that of Saudi Arabia, a super oil tanker carrying $100 million worth of crude oil. In the past ransoms were paid to recover the ships, but nations are finding ways to foil piracy in the busiest sea lane of the world.

P49.96

At the close of business trading on November 18, 2008, the peso-dollar exchange has floundered close to P50/per dollar. The slide of the peso value is expected to continue as local and foreign effects of recession take its full effect.

7.5

Recorded in the Richter’s scale is strength of the quake that hit Indonesian island Sulawesi on November 17, 2008 which reportedly killed at least 6 persons, toppling houses and injuring scores of people. A tsunami warning from US officials in the area was raised within 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from the quake’s origin, but was later lifted.

$1.2 billion

Bangko Sentral of the Philippines (BSP,) discloses this amount of deficit in the balance of payments (BOP) mainly attributed to capital flight, weak exports, and payment of maturing obligations. BOP is the record of the country’s transactions with the rest of the world and its deficit in October 2008 reduces this year’s surplus in a 10 month period to $345 million, down from $7.87 billion registered year-on-year.

77

Is the reported number of people who contracted typhoid fever in Quezon. Caused by Salmonella typhosa, the diarrheal disease with systemic manifestations is linked with contaminated water supply. The Department of Health (DOH,) advises boiling of water and frequent hand-washing to counter the spread of the disease. In a separate outbreak, 2 persons died of another diarrheal illness in Misamis Oriental. Reported on 11/18/08, about 1,000 people have sought treatment in the hospital for complaints which are suspicious of cholera. (Photo Credit: by Moody_fingers) =0=

Rising executions in Saudi Arabia, RP’s ritzy rich & Filipinos rooting for artificial contraception

October 19, 2008

72

This is the number of government-sanctioned gruesome executions in Saudi Arabia this year according to the count of Associated Press. The Amnesty International (AI,) a human rights watch group however says in 2008, there have been 158 executions, a four-fold increase from last year’s count. Amnesty International (AI) decries the outrageous killings especially among foreigners including those who are underaged. In spite of Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo’s plea to spare OFW Venancio Ladion, he was beheaded this week on charges of murder.

US $3.1 billion

The estimated net worth of Henry Sy, the Philippines’ most rich man according to Forbes Asia 2008. Business wizard Lucio Tan comes second with a net worth of US $1.5billion.

P48.10

Amid fears of worldwide economic recession, the Philippine peso tumbled to a new low of P48.10/dollar and the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) index fell by 5.18%. Eddie Gobing of the Lucky Securities Inc feels “the worst is not over” for the peso’s downward trend. This comes on the wake of about $521.7 million in investment outflow leaving the country in the first 9 months of this year. The highest net outflow was in September coincident to the economic meltdown in Wall Street.

50,000 OFWs

The Filipino workers who could prematurely return home from jobs abroad in case a US recession occurs and affects the economic stability of other countries.


70%

From the Social Weather Stations’ (SWS) survey on September 24 to 27, 2008, 7 of 10 Filipinos (70%) support a law that will allow the government to dispense condoms, IUD’s, and contraceptive pills to people who request for them. Contrary to the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching which advocates for natural family planning method, the public now shows growing support for artificial contraception.

This reflects a shift in favor of the House Bill 5043 (Rep. Edcel Lagman’s Reproductive Health Bill) to institute artificial family planning methods in the country—a long-drawn contentious issue between traditional religious belief and government policy to control population. (Photo Credits: Citizensugar; MsWong-scribbles.blogspot.com)=0=

Amidst complacency and denial, terror persists, USA & the world still on the edge

September 10, 2008

Two days before the 7th year after 911, a bipartisan report suggests that the United States is still dangerously at risk of being attacked by weapons of mass destruction (WMB’s.) Democrats critical of Pres. George W. Bush are quick to highlight the dangers. And they don’t leave the psyche of Americans traumatized by the randomness of the attack.

The report and supporting studies describe the failure of international cooperation to prevent terrorists from obtaining weapons of mass destruction, which they call a major problem. Many countries continue to ignore a United Nations mandate to prevent the spread of weapons; the ability of many countries to monitor potential bioterrorism is “essentially nonexistent,” and dangerous chemical weapons stockpiles remain in some countries, including Russia and Libya, the report said.” AP (09/09/08, BlackledgeB; SullivanE.)

In spite of moves to make the homeland secure, the nature of terrorism makes it hard to wipe out the threats. This worry is part of the legacy of 911 when the rules of engagement of war have been defined by a small group of extremists who are bent to make America and the rest of the civilized world accede to Al Qaeda’s and other Islamic toxic ideology of hate.

Bringing America down has serious implications in emerging and poor countries like the Philippines whose economies will further suffer in the midst of a threat of war, worldwide recession, dwindling resources, and exploding population. Though Pres. Bush must be credited for foiling a number of plots and in improving security during his administration, many don’t look at it this way. It is hard to see success in prevention that has an astronomical price tag.

The cost of underwriting a protective shield for Americans and the world is causing a toll on the US economy. Only when another attack as spectacular and hideous as 911 will Americans, (especially the cynical and complacent) will realize that the world they know has been turned upside down by a few rogues who wait for the singular chance to do harm and damage. Terror resonates in 911 and the attacks in Madrid, London, Jerusalem, Riyadh, Nairobi, Bali, Manila and other cities worldwide. As security experts experts have said, it’s not a question of if that another attack will be waged, but when. (Photo Credits: AP/TayloC;bp.blogspot)=0=

Belying nurse surplus with unfilled 20,000 foreign jobs—a slanted view of RP’s unemployment problem

September 2, 2008

After Ruth Padilla, a commissioner of the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) announced there are 400,000 currently unemployed nurses in the Philippines, Jackson Gan, the vice-president of the Federated Association of Manpower Exporters and his organization belie the excess of nurses because there are unfilled “20,000 job orders for nurses in the Middle East, Singapore, and Europe.” Inquirer (09/01/08, Uy, V.)

By numbers alone, 20,000 jobs Gan speaks of don’t come close to 400,000 jobless licensed nurses that Padilla is referring to. Even if these foreign jobs are filled, there remain 380,000 licensed nurses who aren’t employed. Many more nurses are scheduled to finish their courses and take the boards, adding more numbers in the jobless pool. So how can Gan prove his point?

On Gan’s admission many nurses are shifting to other jobs in computers, call centers, medical transcriptions, or other employment unrelated to their education out of desperation. Is this not a sign of an oversupply? The existence of foreign job offers abroad doesn’t negate the reality of joblessness at home, the place where Filipinos must be in the first place.

Speaking for the manpower establishment (also maybe for the POEA as well,) whose main role is to fill in workers, Gan sounds condescending in saying that our nurses aren’t qualified for the job. This isn’t entirely true— knowing that they went through standard accredited study and were licensed as professionals by the Philippine Regulations Commission (PRC.)

Almost everyone knows there is slowing in hiring coincident to the way-ward increase in the number of nurses in the supply pool. Contrary to Gan’s assertion, Filipino nurses want to go abroad even in countries other than the United States, but there are reasons other than the prejorative label of “not being qualified” that are keeping them at home

The lack of two-year experience in a 250-bed hospital is the reason Gan cites for the unfilled foreign jobs. But this is simplistic and misleading for the turn-over of nurses in big hospitals is brisk. Because of the US back-log (not enough visas are available,) many nurses who already passed the NCLEX are forced to wait for at least 2 years, just the right time for them to comply with the experience requirement.

It is more likely therefore, the 20,000 foreign positions aren’t filled (if truly they exist) is because the jobs offered aren’t attractive enough— the workplace can be “unsafe,” the terms of the contract may be unacceptable, there can be family issues that remain unresolved on immigration, or the offer of going abroad poses difficult cultural and language barriers that is hard to meet. Above all, many applicants may not have the cash to finance their foreign applications forcing them to work and save first before pursuing their plans abroad.

Reported in the news before, Spain wants Filipino nurses, but job-seekers need to learn Spanish—a task that has nothing to do with the nurse’s ability to care for patients in the hospital. Why will they learn Spanish when they are even struggling with the English language which takes them too long to master? Similarly, Belgium also needs nurses, but they have to speak in Belgian. Saudi Arabia may have jobs, but horror stories abound from nurses and overseas foreign workers (OFW’s) who worked in countries where the treatment of women and foreigners are different. There are scary reports of maids in Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East who commit suicide because of maltreatment, rape, isolation, and intolerable working conditions.

Gan and people with his mindset need to simply look around to say what they are saying is lopsided, a cheap letdown against the nurses, themselves helpless victims of inept education and labor planning. He speaks from the vantage point of an astute labor-peddler whose interest is mainly to deploy workers in jobs without much regard of the welfare of Filipinos braving the uncertainties and hardships in the world outside. =0=

The essence of being a nurse, a P10 million bribe, an OFW’s complaint against RP officials in Saudi Arabia, & Dolphy’s secret of being young

July 31, 2008

Palagay ko, it’s my job. Kapag nasa linya ng comedy, wala akong iniisip kung hindi katatawanan at puro comedy ginagawa ko. Making people laugh is fun talaga. It’s better sa buhay.”
Dolphy remarks on his secret of being young at age 80.

“Considering our depressed condition and lowered people’s morale, it is clear that uncoordinated, quickie and populist projects will not work and be just a waste of time, resources and goodwill,”
Former Pres. Fidel Ramos on the dismal policies of Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo

“Should we worry? There will be pain but maybe worrying too much is too much. We will survive this eventually.”
Dr. Cayetano Paderanga Jr., a professor at the UP School of Economics on the deteriorating economy and lack of morale of the people.

“More than three million children between the ages of 6 and 15 are now out of school. What is her administration going to do about it? Judging from her SONA — nothing, other than hand out a few scholarships,’’
ACT-UP Chairman Antonio Tinio asks the government on what to do with children who can’t afford to go to school.

“My advantage of being half-Filipino, half-German is having an exotic beauty which I think is not common with other people. But for me, it’s my multi-cultural values which set me apart because these make me a better and stronger person.”
Princess Uhrig, a mixed-race candidate in the Miss Limburg-Belgium beauty pageant to be held in September.

“Promoting an NFP-only policy goes against our commitment to the Millennium Development Goals, which targets increased access to reproductive health services and contraceptive prevalence rate — covering both modern natural and artificial methods — to 60 percent by 2010 and 80 percent by 2015,”
Ramon San Pascual, director of the Phil. Legislator’s Population and Development Foundation Committee, airing objection to the Roman Catholic Church stand against artificial contraception.

“So, they were talking of a win-win situation, which meant offering P10 million for me to give way to Justice Reyes. I politely declined that offer and told the emissary that it was not only a matter of principle but that it will [also] affect the integrity of the court. Before he left, he told me that they were still hoping that I could see it their way,”
Court of Appeals Justice Jose Sabio bares a scandalous bribery offer he got from someone whom he believes to be an emissary of Meralco.

“Palitan n’yo na lahat ng nakaupo mula sa ibaba hanggang sa itaas. Imbes na sila ang makatulong sa amin, sila pa nagpapahirap sa amin”
OFW Armando Navarro who said while calling for the replacement of Philippine Consular officials in Saudi Arabia.

“I regret what I did. I’m ready to face any punishment because he is my son,”
—says a desperate man of Legazpi City who stabbed his three month old baby for he can’t care for him any longer.

“When you decide to become a nurse, you have to have passion to serve and to care. The essence of nursing is to care for the people,”
Nurse Board topnotcher Aira Therese S.Javier said. She believes going abroad must not be the primary motivation of her colleagues in the profession. =0=