Monday, February 27, 2017

Warning on illegal recruitment of caregivers for Japan

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration warns overseas Filipino workers against unauthorized recruitment of caregivers for Japan. 

The 2016 Technical Training Act of Japan, which include caregivers among those eligible jobs under the Technical Intern Training Program, has not fully taken effect. 

The governments of the Philippines and Japan are yet to sign a memorandum of cooperation required to implement the recruitment and deployment of Filipino caregivers for Japan. Licensed agencies are directed to refrain from recruitment of caregivers for Japan, not even for manpower pooling purposes.

 Any agency that undertakes such recruitment will be considered to have violated existing rules and regulations on recruitment of overseas Filipino workers. 

The public are encouraged to report to the POEA any recruitment activity of this nature undertaken by any entity or person, licensed or not.

DOLE taking care of OFW abused in Jordan

The Department of Labor and Employment's  foreign office is taking care of a 35-year old overseas Filipino worker, allegedly maltreated by her employer in Amman, Jordan.
Labor Attaché Florenda Herrera said in a statement that Josalyn Ombe, from San Andres Bukid in Manila, is being housed at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO).
"We are looking after Ms. Ombe and the POLO is providing her security and requirement," Herrera said.
Ombe had first sought assistance from a tabloid and recounted her ordeal in the hands of her employer, whom she identified as Ahmed Saleem Marashdeh of Madaba Amman.
Based on her employment record, Ombe was redeployed on November 30, 2016 to Jordan as a household service worker by the World Class Inc. Agency.
Herrera said that POLO-Jordan is monitoring developments of Ombe's legal actions against her employer.
Meanwhile, the statement also said that the Labor Department has provided financial and livelihood assistance to the family of another OFW who was killed in Jordan on February 5.
Also, it said that Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello personally handed over the financial assistance to Natividad Dalupang, mother of the victim Felma Dalupang Maramag.
Her family received P220,000 in cash and scholarship assistance for her daughter Angelica from OWWA.  
The recruitment agency also gave P50,000 to the family, which can also claim up to P500,000 in life insurance.
Moreover, the agency will coordinate with Felma's family regarding the release of her P200,000 savings deposit.
Maramag's remains have been transported to her province in Tuguegarao City and will be interred on February 28, 2017.
The bodies of Felma and her employer were discovered by a police officer responding to a fire incident in the place Felma was working. 
But an autopsy report shows that the OFW sustained a stab wound in the head, a broken skull due to blunt force trauma, and bruises all over her body. —LBG, GMA News

Pinay among Business Insider's most powerful female engineers of 2017

Filipina engineer Anne Aaron, the director of Video Algorithms at Netflix, was named one of the 43 most powerful female engineers of 2017 by Business Insider.
Aaron was noted for leading the team of software engineers and research scientists who made the software that enables Netflix's 86 million subscribers to watch programing "with the best possible quality."

She joined Netflix in 2011 and has since evolved the global streaming service's video algorithms to create a better user experience across all devices that supported the service.
Aaron was one of the principal developers of Netflix's Video Multimethod Assessment Fusion (VMAF), an algorithm released as an open source project in 2016 that allowed the company to give customers crisper footage with lower bandwidth.
Later on, Netflix released "Meridian," a film produced as test footage, to the public in 2016 to allow various companies to run tests with it and improve their own video codecs or streaming services.
“You need content that is representative of how movies are made today,” Aaron told Variety to explain why they refused to take any production shortcuts even if it meant getting a helicopter, instead of a drone, to record a moving car on camera.
The Filipina took her bachelor's degree in Physics at the Ateneo de Manila University and her Masters and Ph.D in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University.
Business Insider publishes a list of most influential female engineers yearly in honor of National Engineers Week (February 19 to 25). — MDM, GMA News

Mary Jane Veloso to finally testify in case vs. alleged illegal recruiters

Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipino on death row in Indonesia, will finally be allowed to testify against the people who allegedly tricked her into transporting two kilos of heroin through the Yogyakarta Airport in 2010.
The National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) announced on Saturday that Veloso will give her testimony against her alleged illegal recruiters, Maria Cristina Sergio and her partner Julius Lacanilao in April.
"Finally, after a protracted and tedious legal wrangling over quite novel circumstances, Mary Jane will be able to freely tell her whole story and cruel ordeal which will be officially considered by the Philippine trial court," the group representing Veloso said on Saturday.

Veloso's execution was put on hold in 2015 to allow her to testify against her alleged recruiters, who were detained and charged for illegal recruitment and human trafficking in that year.
While the court granted the prosecution's motion to take Mary Jane's deposition in 2016, several motions made by the defense had stopped her from testifying.
"Being the victim, Mary Jane is the most credible and competent witness that could prove not only the guilt of the accused in these Philippine cases but, eventually and more importantly, the full and unabbreviated circumstances that led to her conviction in Indonesia," the NUPL said.
Veloso will answer written questions during her deposition at the Yogyakarta prison with Judge Castillo-Reyes as observer, NUPL lawyers, state prosecutors from the Department of Justice, representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the defense counsels of Veloso's recruiters.
The NUPL noted that the scheduled deposition –taking place on April 27 –falls almost exactly on the same date (April 29) Veloso was granted a reprieve from execution two years ago.
"The Veloso family prays that no further delays or impediments shall come along the way. To them, justice that is delayed is, much more in fact than in law, justice that is denied," the NUPL said.  Rie Takumi/LBG, GMA News

Group of Pinoys abroad wants peace talks to resume

A group of overseas Filipinos has called on President Rodrigo Duterte to allow the resumption of the government’s peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
“Having been forced to leave our loved ones and the country in order to work abroad, we have an acute sense of the need for such change in our country,” the Kababayan4Change said in a statement released recently.
It said Filipinos abroad believe “the peace talks with the NDFP [is] a venue for pursuing genuine change.”
The members of the US-based Kababayan4Change said, the peace talks “is not just an issue between the government of the Philippines and the NDFP; it is about us migrant Filipinos and poor Filipinos.”
“We understand that its goal is to address the socio-economic root causes of the armed insurgency being waged by the New People’s Army,” it said.
“We understand that its intended result is the implementation of socio-economic reforms by the government as a basis for just and lasting peace in the Philippines,” it added.
The Kababayan4Change statement said it would be a pity if the negotiations will be brought to an end because of an isolated violent incident, saying it has already achieved “breakthroughs,” such as the release of political prisoners.
They said the talks have already allowed “the longest ever ceasefire period between the two camps was declared, and the talks went farthest so far in the agenda.”
“We were glad that the Duterte administration and the NDFP were into initial discussions on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms or CASER,” the statement said, adding that the CASER is the “meat” of the peace talks.
If the CASER reforms will happen, it said, there will be decent jobs in the Philippines that will bring overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) back home.
“We are therefore calling on President Duterte: Continue to push for change. Defy the oligarchs and the military. Continue the peace talks with the NDFP,” the statement concluded.
The communist insurgency in the Philippines has been one of the longest-running armed insurgencies in Asia and the world. —Fort Nicolas Jr/LBG, GMA News

Wrong body sent to family of deceased OFW from Dubai

The family of an OFW who passed away in Dubai found themselves in a more depressing situation when a stranger's body was flown to the Philippines instead of their loved one's remains.
According to a report on "24 Oras" on Friday, an Indonesian woman was found inside the casket that was supposed to contain the remains of Febie Guzman, who suffered a stroke in November 2016.
Guzman's family fears that the switch resulted in Febie's body ending up in Indonesia instead of Magalang, Pampanga, her hometown.
"Anong nangyari at nasan ang asawa ko? Papano siya kung nag-swap sila?" Eduardo Guzman, Febie's husband, said.
The OFW's family appealed to the Department of Foreign Affairs to track Febie's body and bring her home. Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News

Gov't awards benefits to kin of Pinoy sailor killed in NZ ship accident

The government on Friday confirmed the death of a Filipino sailor on board a cruise ship in New Zealand.
In a statement, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) identified the fatality as Allan Navales, a crew member of M/S Emerald Princess.
The statement said Labor Silvestre Bello III has already ordered the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to process the benefits and financial assistance to Navales' family.
Navales was killed when the gas canister he was refilling for lifeboats exploded.
Since he was an active OWWA member, Navales' family is entitled to P220,000 as death benefit; P20,000 as burial assistance, scholarship for one child, and livelihood assistance of P15,000 for the surviving spouse.
This is on top of benefits they will receive from Magsaysay Maritime Corporation, Navales' manning agency.
OWWA Deputy Administrator Brigido Dulay said they are still determining the veracity "of the circumstances surrounding the death of the 32-year-old seaman" as stated in a report by the agency on the incident.
Navales was already on his third contract with Magsaysay Maritime Corporation when the accident happened. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News

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