Tuesday, December 6, 2016

PHL eyes Russia as new OFW destinati


The government is looking at Russia as the next work destination for skilled Filipino workers, in light of an apparent decrease in the demand for OFWs in the Middle East.

In a statement on Monday, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said President Rodrigo Duterte will discuss labor relations when he visits Russia and meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin early next year.

"I already sent a memo to the President requesting him to include the possible deployment of skilled and professional workers to Russia," Bello said.

He also said that there is a demand for construction and household service workers in the Russian republic.
                                                                                            
Bello said because of the decline in oil price in the Middle East, there are fewer job opportunities in that region. He said Russia is a good alternative for skilled and professional workers who are looking for high paying jobs.

"We noticed that there is a decline in the demand for OFWs in the Middle East," Bello said with elaborating. "We have to look for other countries where there are demands for our OFWs."

In 2014, there are about 4,000 OFWs in Russia who are working in construction, hotels, and households.
Duterte met with Putin last month during an Asia-Pacific summit in Lima, Peru. He has openly expressed his intention to forge stronger ties with Russia as part of his independent foreign policy. —KBK, GMA News

CAMPAIGN ADVISORY



In response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s blatant attack on human rights, continuing and rampant killings, railroading of death bills (bills to restore death penalty and lowering of the age of criminal liability), ordering the Marcos Burial in LNMB, sexist attack on women, while failing to fulfill campaign promises like end of ENDO, genuine FOI and the lack of decisive programs to end poverty etc. iDEFEND (In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement) enjoins all human rights defenders and the public, including Filipinos and solidarity groups in different countries to unite and creatively protest against the rampant killings and violent governance of Duterte while failing to fulfill campaign promises on economic and social wellbeing of the Filipinos to a Global campaign to defend the RIGHT TO LIFE in the Philippines.

On December 10, 2016 (International Human Rights Day 2016) Global Day of Action in Defense of the Right to Life, iDEFEND calls on our people to strongly oppose the resurgence of authoritarian rule even as it feels like martial law is already here, as evidenced by now almost 6,000 victims of extrajudicial killings. We can only continue our work for human rights and sustainable development if our freedoms to express, report, organize, assemble and conduct public actions are preserved, and our civil liberties are guaranteed.

OUR MESSAGE:
OUR ALTERNATIVE IS HUMAN RIGHTS. iDEFEND has always asserted the need for a human rights based governance system that addresses the root cause of criminality, and guarantees a sustainable and people centered development. We push for a harm reduction strategy in the approach to the drugs issue: institutionalizing a public health framework, a complete halt to the targeting and killing of suspected drug users, and rule-based law enforcement procedures in apprehending drug traders.

iDEFEND supports the implementation of an economic agenda based on social justice: an end to contractual labor, land conversions, demolitions, internal displacement, and militarization. The defense of the right to life refers to the protection of both the physical integrity as well as the ability of a person to lead a life of dignity. The right to life requires the absence of fear for our lives and our loved ones; the right to life requires job security, land security, housing rights, a sustainable environment, long-term economic opportunities, a justice system that works, and access to health care and education for all.

iDEFEND strongly condemns the revision of history, the blatant treachery against the Filipino people with no regard for the victims of Martial Law by allowing the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).

We encourage concern Filipinos, HRDs and solidarity movements and groups from all over the world to join this action by:
1.     Holding creative protest actions, events and activities wherever you are (Philippine embassies, freedom parks, offices, at home).
2.     Change profile picture and cover photos of your social media accounts. (see attached)
3.     Our general calls: KARAPATAN HINDI KARAHASAN!, STOP THE KILLINGS!, KABUHAYAN HINDI PATAYAN! NEVER AGAIN TO MARTIAL LAW, NEVER AGAIN TO THE MARCOSES!
4.     Upload photos of your action online and use the hashtags #KarapatanHindiPatayan #StopTheKillingsPH #HumanRightsDay2016  
5.     Pls wear black 

Please message us and send details of your December 10 action for close coordination, announcement and media projection.  

Monday, December 5, 2016

Couple becomes first Pinoy same-sex couple to marry in Italy

A Filipino same-sex couple of 11 years finally tied the knot in a historic ceremony in Milan, Italy, a report on Unang Balita on Friday said.
Jemarie Jamolin and Claridel Galas—now Claridel Jamolin—became the first Filipino same-sex couple to get married in front of Milan's civil registrar.
Italy legalized same-sex civil unions in a 369-193 parliament vote last May that put an end to years of debate between government and both the Catholic Church and conservative politicians.
The Jamolins are OFWs based in Italy who began their relationship in 2005, according to a public Facebook post by Claridel. Rie Takumi/KG, GMA News

DOLE mulls banning deployment of domestic helpers to Kuwait

The Labor Department is considering a ban on the deployment of Filipino domestic helpers to Kuwait due to reports of abuses by employers.
Unang Balita on Friday morning said the rising number of reported cases of abuse against foreign household workers has prompted the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to consider imposing a deployment ban, even as the number of runaway expatriates continue to rise. 
DOLE has promised to give repatriated Filipinos livelihood oppotunies once they are home, the report added.
The  deployment of skilled workers, such as electricians, welders, and construction workers will continue, the DOLE said.
Meanwhile, the Trade Department are encouraging repatriates to engage in small businesses in the country. —LBG, GMA News

US Congress passes bill giving highest honor to Pinoy WWII vets

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday (US time) unanimously passed the bill that seeks to award Filipino World War II veterans the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor the US Congress gives to civilians.
"Today, the United States Congress took an historic step forward in honoring the more than 200,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers that served our country during World War II," said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who introduced the bill to the chamber.
"With unanimous support from the United State Congress, our bill now heads to the President’s desk," she added.
"I urge the President to sign this bill into law before the year’s end, and honor our veterans with this long-overdue recognition," Gabbard said.
The bill, which passed the Senate in July, acknowledges the more than 200,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers who responded to President Franklin Roosevelt's call-to-duty and fought under the American flag against the Imperial Forces of Japan during World War II.
In a statement, the group KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress said it is grateful for leaders in Congress and in advocacy groups for pushing for recognition of our veterans, both for the living and for those who have passed. —KBK, GMA News

US top court divided on immigration detention dispute

WASHINGTON - A divided US Supreme Court struggled on Wednesday with how to resolve a dispute over whether immigrants detained by the US government for more than six months while deportation proceedings take place should be able to seek their release.
The case takes on additional importance with the expectation that President-elect Donald Trump will ramp up immigration enforcement, placing more people in detention awaiting deportation, when he takes office on Jan. 20, as he pledged during his election campaign.
During a one-hour argument, the court's four liberals appeared to support requiring that immigrants held more than six months be automatically eligible for hearings in which they could argue for their freedom while their deportation cases unfold. Conservative justices were skeptical.
The shorthanded court could be heading toward another 4-4 deadlock, divided along ideological lines.
A 4-4 split would leave in place an October 2015 ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a lower-court injunction requiring a hearing after six months of detention. The justices potentially could issue a narrow decision sending the case back to lower courts without resolving the question of whether hearings are required.
The Obama administration, which asked the justices to decide the case, has said hearings can be permitted in certain instances but opposed a blanket rule requiring them.
The long-running class action litigation brought by the American Civil Liberties Union includes some immigrants who were held at the border when seeking illegal entry into the United States and others, including legal permanent residents, who have been convicted of crimes.
The case also could affect long-term U.S. residents who entered the country illegally.
Liberal justices asserted that hearings should be required in order to meet the U.S. Constitution's promise of due process.
"You can't just lock people up without any finding of dangerousness, without any finding of flight risk, for an indefinite period of time, and not run into due process," said Justice Elena Kagan
"We are in an upended world if we think 14 months or 19 months is a reasonable time to detain a person," added Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Conservatives including Chief Justice John Roberts said the court had been asked to decide only whether the immigration laws in question required the hearings and not whether there was a potential constitutional violation. The case would have to be litigated further in lower courts for that issue to reach the justices, Roberts said.
The lead plaintiff is Alejandro Rodriguez, a legal immigrant from Mexico who was working as a dental assistant when he was detained for three years without a hearing. Rodriguez was placed in removal proceedings based on prior convictions for drug possession and joyriding. Although he was released eventually, the case brought on his behalf continued. Reuters

Yasay: Pinoys in South Korea safe amid growing protests

Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said Filipinos remain to be safe in South Korea despite a growing political crisis there that stemmed from a scandal involving President Park Geun-hye.
“Safe naman ang ating mga kababayan doon. In fact, wala tayong advisory na natatanggap. At iyong Philippine ambassador doon who was just here the other day and I was able to talk to him about these matters.
“Everything is normal other than the fact na meron silang political activity with regards to certain issues with their leaders,” Yasay said in an interview on GMA News TV’s “News To Go.”
On Saturday, over a million citizens gathered in Seoul to demand Park’s resignation after it was alleged that she allowed confidante Choi Soon-sil to access classified documents.
It was also alleged that Choi used her relationship with the embattled president to extort money from South Korean firms.   Trisha Macas/RSJ, GMA News

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