Monday, August 29, 2016

Trump to give speech on illegal immigration on Wednesday

WASHINGTON - US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday night that he would make a major speech on illegal immigration in Arizona on Wednesday.
The announcement came a day after Trump said he would crack down on illegal immigrants who overstay their visas, as he sought to clarify his views on how to overhaul the US immigration system. Last week, Trump had said he was "softening" on his plan to deport all 11 million illegal immigrants.
That stance had aroused criticism from conservatives who wanted him to stand fast after he won the Republican presidential nomination in large part with a hard-line position that called for building a wall along the US border with Mexico.
"I will be making a major speech on ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION on Wednesday in the GREAT State of Arizona. Big crowds, looking for a larger venue," Trump, who had postponed an immigration speech originally planned for last Thursday in Denver, said in his tweet on Sunday.
In another tweet on Sunday night, Trump said both he and Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival for the Nov. 8 election, should release detailed medical records. "I have no problem in doing so! Hillary?"
In his speech on Saturday in Iowa, Trump said he would seek to institute a tracking system to ensure illegal immigrants who overstay their visas are quickly removed, and would propose an e-verify system to prevent undocumented residents from gaining access to welfare and other benefits.
"If we don't enforce visa expiration dates, then we have an open border—it's as simple as that," he said.
Trump said his first priority on taking office next January would be the immediate deportation of thousands of undocumented immigrants who remain in the United States despite having committed crimes.
"These international gangs and cartels will be a thing of the past," he said. "Their reign of terror will be over. In this task, we will always err on the side of protecting the American people—we will use immigration law to prevent crimes, and will not wait until some innocent American has been harmed or killed before taking action."
Trump did not explain how his plan would affect undocumented residents who have been in the United States for decades and obeyed US laws. Reuters

Recruitment agency could face stiff penalties over OFW death – POEA

A recruitment agency faces severe penalties if it is proven that the agency failed to meet its obligations to a Filipina domestic helper who died in hospital in Saudi Arabia, the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) said on Saturday.
“Nalulungkot kami sa nangyari, outrageous! This should never happened to any of our kababayan, any of our women, any of our OFWs,” said POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac. “Rest assured we will investigate and come on hard dito sa recruitment agencies na nakita nating nagkasala. We will impose suspensions as we investigate this case and we will most likely come out with our resolution within 20 to 30 days time."
The employment firm, the Philippine Recruitment Agency, is under investigation for allegedly failing to monitor the Filipina domestic's status while in the hospital. It also supposedly failed to apprise the POEA of her situation, and gave incomplete information when prompted for a report.
Cacdac added that the agency must also pay two years' worth of salary and other benefits to the deceased's family.
According to the POEA, recruitment agencies are mandated to monitor their workers and to immediately report changes in their status such as illnesses or death. Recruitment agencies must also have Facebook pages to allow their recruits to address them and report incidents at any time.
The Filipina domestic suffered a heart attack after seeing her employer who raped her. She then fell into a coma and eventually passed away.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Cacdac, and other government officials were able to visit the Filipina a few days before she died.  Rie Takumi/DVM, GMA News

New ambassadors to UK,

A former political envoy and a businessman have been nominated by President Rodrigo Duterte to serve as the country's new ambassadors to the United Kingdom and Brunei, replacing career diplomats whose tours of duty haven't ended in those countries, it was learned Friday.
Antonio Lagdameo, who previously served as ambassador to Spain and the UK under then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, will be returning as Manila's envoy to London while businessman James Lao has been recommended for Brunei.
Their appointments have already been submitted for confirmation to the bicameral Commission on Appointments (CA), a legislative body that approves assignments and promotions of the military, government and career officials, and political appointees. It was received by the CA on Aug. 23, according to the commission's website.
The posts given to Lagdameo and Lao, however, are currently occupied by career diplomats - Evan Garcia in London and Meynard Montealegre in Brunei, whose tours of duty have not ran out, government sources pointed out.
Garcia, former Foreign Undersecretary for Policy, has barely warmed his seat as envoy to London, having been assigned there during former President Benigno Aquino III's time last May. Montealegre, on the other hand, still has one more year to go before he is recalled to the Home Office in Manila.
Removing them from their posts prematurely is considered by some diplomats as impractical and costly since they would have to be relocated to new posts, the sources said.
Garcia was removed from the post in favor of Lagdameo since he has not yet presented his credentials to Queen Elizabeth II at the Buckingham Palace in London, sources said.
According to diplomatic protocol, ambassadors can not be officially recognized as their country's representative until their credentials have been formally presented in person and accepted by the host government.
It remains unclear where Garcia and Montealegre would be assigned.
"That's the question," the sources said. "There are no new assignments for them yet."
Philippine presidents have the privilege to assign diplomatic posts to non-career personalities as long as the designations will not exceed the number of appointees mandated by law or outnumber career Foreign Service diplomats.
Republic Act No. 7157 or the Philippine Foreign Service Act allots 51 percent of diplomatic positions to career officers and 49 percent to political envoys. — RSJ, GMA News

Manhunt on for four recruiters who duped over 200 OFWs

A manhunt operation has been launched against owners and staff of two travel agencies that allegedly victimized over 200 Filipino workers seeking jobs abroad between March and May this year.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) identified the suspects as Osmando Habilag and Veraflor de los Reyes, owner and agent of Bantayog Travel and Tours, respectively; and Alejandro Navarro Jr. and Alex Ramos, owner and agent of PADS Travel and Tours, respectively.
The four are facing large-scale/syndicated illegal recruitment and estafa charges, according to POEA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac.

Cacdac said De los Reyes used social media and agents to recruit victims from Davao City, Davao del Norte, Pangasinan, Cebu, Cavite, Compostela Valley, Iloilo, Tarlac, Misamis Oriental, Leyte, and Caloocan City.
In her posts, De los Reyes allegedly promised "Work Abroad, short time process big salary, hassle free, renewable visa, (and) free accommodation in Japan Australia, Germany and Canada."
Victims, through De los Reyes' travel consultancy Visa Assist Fortune Diamond Reyes, were then referred to Bantayog and PADS.
"The victims were promised jobs as butchers in Australia and New Zealand; nurses in Germany; and teachers, caregivers, butchers and meat processing workers, welders and hotel/service crew in Japan, with a salary that ranges from P120,000 to P180,000 excluding for nurses in Germany where the promised salary was P350,000," the case brief read.

Though victims knew Bantayog and PADS were not licensed recruitment agencies, Cacdac said they were enticed by the incentives and were rushed into agreement by the suspects.
"They were fully aware of the rules, na kailangan lisensyado, etc. But they were lured somehow with, kasi ang illegal recruiter una magaling 'yan magsalita, tamis ng kanilang dila," he said.
Cacdac added, "At pangalawa, yung style nila na ilalagay nila sa sitwasyon yung mga biktima nila na hindi na sila makakatanggi. Magaling manghikayat at yung talagang ipe-pressure nila na sige na, ibigay niyo na yung pera mo at ipo-proseso."
Victims were promised free accommodation and transportation abroad and in Manila while they trained at Phil-Asia Technical Consultant and General Services and Mandaluyong City Public Market.
Almost all of them were asked to pay De los Reyes and Habilag a fee of P70,000 to P90,000 to cover reservation fees and processing fees. The fees were allegedly remitted to Navarro.
Habilag required the victims to return to Manila on August 10 to supposedly appear before the POEA and allowed them to stay at a transient house managed by a certain Josephine Bopera.
When he did not appear at POEA on August 12, and when Bopera disappeared from the house, four of them immediately reported the crime to POEA.
The victims were then referred to the Anti-Transnational Crime Unit - Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (ATCU-CIDG), which began a manhunt for the suspects with the POEA after ironing out the details of the incident.
CIDG OIC Baltazar Beran asked victims to include everyone involved in the scheme, even people who were not involved in monetary transactions, in their complaints.
"Kahit yung nag-refer, even when there is no money involved, their referring is tantamount to recruiting," Beran said. "So isama niyo sila para masama warrant of arrest just in case na labasan sila ng warrant of arrest."
Meanwhile, Cacdac said POEA will coordinate with the Department of Foreign Affairs to assist victims who lost their passports and other travel documents to the travel agencies.
"We will work with the DFA in this regard. Binaba na ho natin operatives natin, yung travel (agencies), pero mukhang mailap sila at wala na doon. But rest assured we can help through the DFA," he said.
He also affirmed the agency's campaign intensified efforts against illegal recruitment.
"For me, it will never get to a point where we can say there is no illegal recruitment and therefore there is no need to intensify our operations and campaign," Cacdac said.
Darla, one of the victims recruited for Japan, said she and other victims have yet to disclose their status to their families to avoid  humiliation.

"Malaki nga po yung sahod, yun yung nagpa-entice sa amin na para mag-apply po, sabihin po ito sa aming mga kaibigan. Ngunit ngayon po, ang naganap po ay lahat po ay kahihiyan," she said.
"Hindi pa po alam ng aking pamilya na ako po ay na-illegal recruit po dito sa Maynila ngayon. Kahit po yung iba kong mga kasamahan, hindi pa sinabi sa kanilang pamilya," she added.
Darla pleaded with the suspects on behalf of the 200 complainants to surrender and for other victims to surface and file complaints.
"Sana sumuko ka na, 'wag ka nang magtago. At sa lahat ng sangkot sa illegal na recruitment na ito, lumabas na kayo. At sa lahat ng mga na-illegal recruit pa, lumabas rin kayo, mag-file kayo ng case against them upang mailantad ang mga kabalbalan na mga ginawa nila," she said.
Susan Ople of the pro-OFW group Blas F. Ople Policy Center said she was alarmed by the increase of individuals who sought their help against illegal recruitment and suspects who use the names of government offices to entice victims.
"Nakakadurog ng puso kasi mga taga-Davao City, kung nasaan si Pangulo tapos yung iba, taga-Pangasinan pa. All over the country yung pinagmulan," Ople said.
"And ginamit talaga yung social media- ginamit pa yung POEA. In fact, yung may isang, yung sinasabi niyang appearance, sila-sila nandito sa baba ng POEA," she added.
According to a release by the Blas Ople Center, the POEA scored 31 convictions out of more than 700 cases it filed with the Department of Justice in the last five years.
Cacdac said the POEA endorsed 670 cases to the DOJ for the past four years and scored 31 convictions in the courts of law. —KBK, GMA News

Hillary Clinton to woo Fil-Ams, other Asians in 3 states

NEW YORK - Democrat Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is focusing an effort to win over Asian American voters on three states where it believes the small but rapidly growing group could make the difference in her race against Republican Donald Trump.
The push in closely fought Nevada, Virginia and Pennsylvania follows a broader national effort by Clinton's campaign to court minorities who are critical to her chances of winning the White House in the Nov. 8 election.
Asians make up less than 3.5 percent of the U.S. population, but are the fastest-growing racial group in the country, according to the U.S. Census, due largely to net migration, making them more important than ever in an election.
"Secretary Clinton understands the importance of the AAPI community and has launched a program that reflects that, reaching AAPI voters in unprecedented ways," said Jason Tengco, the Clinton campaign's outreach director for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).
The three states were targeted because Asian voters could swing the outcome in the tight races between Trump and Clinton there.
The effort will include print, digital and broadcast advertising in a handful of Asian languages and more coordination among volunteer groups representing ethnic communities within the Asian American and Pacific Islander group, according to the campaign.
Among the recent hires for the effort was Philip Kim, a Los Angeles native who previously worked with Senator Tim Kaine, Clinton's running mate, as outreach director for Asian American and Pacific Islander voters in Nevada.
The campaign did not say how much the three-state push would cost.
While small, the Asian population could eclipse the margin of victory in each of the states Clinton is targeting. Asians make up some 2.1 percent of eligible voters in Pennsylvania, 5 percent in Virginia and 9 percent in Nevada, according to APIAVote, a nonpartisan group.
Polling from Reuters/Ipsos shows Clinton with a mere 1 point lead over Trump in Pennsylvania, a 6 point lead in Virginia, and a 2 point lead in Nevada.
The challenge will be to get Asian Americans to the polls.
Asian American voters have tended to lean Democrat in the past but register to vote much less frequently than whites and blacks. Asian registration was about 56.3 percent in 2012, according to the Census, versus 73.1 percent for black voters and 71.9 percent for white voters.
"A big part of what we're doing is voter registration," said Xochitl Hinojosa, a Clinton spokeswoman.
Clinton's campaign has already done significant Asian outreach. It launched the "AAPI for Hillary" campaign to engage Asian voters in January and has done phone calling in a range of languages for months.
But the campaign said the latest push was the first with state-specific programs. The Clinton campaign is considering advertisements in Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and Chinese.
A spokesperson for Trump's campaign did not respond to requests for comment about its Asian outreach.
The Trump campaign has, however, recently made some efforts to appeal to black and Latino voters to undercut Clinton, including a meeting on Thursday with Latino and black Republicans in New York.
Trump has had problems with minorities in the past and has angered some with his hardline anti-immigration rhetoric. He has accused Mexico of sending rapists and drug dealers over the border, vowed to build a wall to stop them and called for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration to shore up U.S. national security.
Clinton leads Trump by 12 percentage points nationally among likely voters, bolstered by minority support, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling.  Reuters

Friday, August 26, 2016

Mga buntis, may agarang benepisyo sa PhilHealth

Mga buntis, may agarang benepisyo sa PhilHealth
Isang espesyal na pribilehiyo ang ipinagkakaloob ng Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) sa mga buntis para mapangalagaan ang kanilang sarili at ang sanggol sa kanilang sinapupunan.

Dahil mandato ng PhilHealth ang  pagbibigay ng financial risk protection sa mga miyembro nito, maging sa mga nagdadalang-tao, pinapayuhan ang lahat ng mga buntis na kaagad na magparehistro sa National Health Insurance Program o NHIP upang maging eligible at makagamit ng kinakailangang benepisyo mula sa nasabing ahensya. 

Ang mga buntis ay maaaring magsadya sa tanggapan ng PhilHealth at magsumite ng PhilHealth Member Registration Form (PMRF) at anumang katibayan na sila ay buntis gaya ng medical certificate mula sa doktor o kumadrona, ultrasound result o kopya ng kanilang admission book at magbayad ng isang taong prima na P2,400.  

Maging ang mga menor de edad na nagdadalang-tao ay pinapayuhan ding magparehistro bilang primary member upang masigurong may social health insurance ang kanilang magiging anak. 
Pinaaalalahanan din ang mga buntis na naka-enrol sa programa ngunit hindi aktibo ang membership na mag-update ng kanilang prima upang maka-avail ng benepisyo.

Ang mga paketeng maaaring makamit ng mga buntis ay ang Maternity Care Package (MCP) o Normal Spontaneous Delivery (NSD) Package. 

Sakop ng MCP ang mga health services habang nasa antenatal period, normal delivery at postpartum period, kasama ang follow-up visits sa loob ng 72 oras hanggang isang linggo pagkapanganak.  Ito ay nagkakahalaga ng P6,500 kung ia-avail sa ospital, at P8,000 naman kung ia-avail sa mga accredited na lying-in clinics, birthing homes, maternity clinics, infirmaries o dispensaries.

Binibigyang diin din ng PhilHealth ang kahalagahan ng maagang pagpapakonsulta kung kaya apat na pre-natal visits ang kailangan sa panahon ng pagbubuntis para makagamit ng benepisyo.  Ito ay para matukoy ang anumang kumplikasyon at maiwasan ang mas malalang pangyayari o kamatayan. 
Limang libong piso naman ang NSD kung sa accredited na ospital manganganak at P6,500 naman kung sa lying-in clinics, birthing homes, maternity clinics, infirmaries o dispensaries.  Kasama sa NSD Package ang essential health services para sa normal, low-risk vaginal deliveries at post-partum period.

Kasama din sa binabayaran ng PhilHealth ang panganganak sa pamamagitan ng Caesarean section, maging ang kumplikadong panganganak ng normal kagaya ng breech extraction sa accredited na ospital.

Ang sanggol naman ay makaa-avail ng Newborn Care Package (NCP), kung saan kasama ang Newborn Screening Test, Newborn Hearing Screening Test at essential newborn care.  Ito ay nagkakahalaga naman ng PhP 1,750.00

Ipinaalala rin ng PhilHealth na isang beses lamang maaaring magamit ang pribilehiyong ito. (END)

Reference:  Dr. Israel Francis A. Pargas
                   OIC-Vice President, Corporate Affairs Group

Would-be OFWs warned vs. exiting through Zamboanga, Tawi-Tawi

The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday warned Filipino jobseekers that overseas job offers where they are asked to exit through Western Mindanao are usually scams perpetrated by illegal recruiters.
The embassy issued the warning after several Filipinos were recently arrested in Sabah, among them a Filipina who was offered a job as a domestic helper in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates by an employee of a Manila-based company.
"Being made to exit via Zamboanga or Tawi-Tawi is a sure tell-tale sign of illegal trafficking and should ring alarm bells to job-seekers," the embassy said. "Otherwise, they risk apprehension by Sabah authorities for unauthorized entry or fall victim to sex and other traffickers along the way."
The embassy said with the implementation of stricter anti-trafficking measures at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and other airports, "illegal recruitment syndicates have sent those wishing to work overseas to Zamboanga or Tawi-Tawi and to cross-over to Sabah for their onward destinations in Dubai or elsewhere."
It said just last month, Sabah authorities arrested and detained 15 Filipinas who were allegedly recruited to work as household service workers through Facebook by a certain Flordeliza Flores Eborde.
One of the Filipinas said Eborde referred them to a Ms. Venus, who could only be contacted through mobile phone.
Ms. Venus allegedly instructed the women to go to Palawan, then Tawi-Tawi, where they were transferred to a speedboat headed for Sabah with a guide known as Mr. Jomar or Dumar Kasim.
"We have seen all too often these sad cases of job seekers who end in a foreign jail or in the hands of sex traffickers. These are risks not worth taking,” the embassy said
It reminded prospective OFWs that employment visas issued by the embassy of their destination and work permits processed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency are needed before they can exit the country for work. Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News

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