Friday, September 16, 2011

Saudi needs 1,000 nurses


September 5, 2011, 6:50pm

MANILA, Philippines — About 1,000 nurses are needed to fill vacant positions in at least 12 military hospitals in the oil-rich Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), recruitment agencies based in Manila announced.

Representatives from the Saudi Ministry of Defense and Aviation (MODA), Al Hada Hospital, and King Khalid Military City Hospital-Hafr Al Batin are also slated to visit the country by mid-September to interview some 300 Filipinos for work as nurses, medical technologists, dental surgery assistants, phlebotomists, CSSD and other allied medical positions.

The deployment of Filipino nurses to Saudi Arabia has risen from 5,926 in 2004 to 9,956 in 2009. It declined slightly in 2010 with 8,771 nurses. This year, salaries of nurses in military hospitals in Saudi are projected to increase by 15 to 20 percent.

The LBS Recruitment Solutions Inc. announced that hospitals in Jeddah need experienced nurses in specialty and clinical wards with at least two years of experience in intensive care unit, operating room, Pediatric, Orthopedic, Hemodialysis/Renal Center, Emergency, OR/RR, Oncology, Endoscopy, Neuro, Hematology, Ob-Gyne, Rehabilitation, Infectious Control, Medical Surgical, Cardiac Cath Laboratory, and other areas.

Also needed are dental assistants, dental technologists, pharmacists, laboratory technicians,, medical transcriptionists, medical secretaries, and medical record clerks.

These jobs are needed in such institutions as the Specialist Hospitals, International Medical Center and King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital; King Faisal Research, Security Forces Hospital in Riyadh; Al Hada Military Hospital Program in Taif; and King Khaled Military City Hospitals in Hafr Al Batin.

Meanwhile, using the popular online social networking and micro-blogging Twitter website, Saudi nationals have launched a "Be kind to foreign workers" campaign, eliciting praises from the Filipino community there.

According to Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona, the tweet campaign has been initiated by Turki Al-Dakhel, a Saudi journalist, writer and TV program presenter.

Dakhel is also an influential figure on Twitter with more than 123,000 people following him. He lauched the campaign on the occasion of Eid el-Fitr celebration that started last Aug. 30.

“This is the least we can do toward this group of people during Eid. The foreign workers need moral support which is more important to them than earning money,” Al-Dakhel was quoted as saying.

One Saudi blogger asked Saudis to respect their housemaids who were living with them and were sharing their joy during Eid.

He asked people to stop referring to their housemaids as “servants,” saying better words should be used instead. “We can use better titles or call the housemaids by their names,” he said.

Fadeelah said housemaids should be considered as natural members of the family. “They live with us for a long time. We should not humiliate or disrespect them. They have left their homes in a quest of a better living. We should respect and treat them humanely,” he said.

A number of Saudis participating in the campaign also told stories about results of good and bad treatment of housemaids, citing in this connection the cases of murder and vindictive actions that resulted from maltreatment.

Monterona and his group welcomed the campaign as they expressed their appreciation to the Saudis for raising the social awareness of respecting migrant workers rights and well-being.

He said expatriate workers such as Indians, Pakistanis, Egyptians, Jordanians, Indonesians, and Nepalese have also expressed positive feedback and reaction on the tweet campaign.

“It is a call grounded on humanitarian concerns, recognizing the indubitable contribution of foreign workers on the socio-economic progress of the Saudi society, thus it gains widespread support among the Saudis,” the OFW leader said..

Monterona said he is hoping that the campaign will lead to the reduction of abuses, maltreatment and labor malpractices, often cited as grounds why migrant workers, mostly housemaids, run away from their employers.

“We are also hoping that the campaign will get the attention of the host government and eventually lead to the implementation of foreign workers-friendly labor policies such as the adoption of the recently passed International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention on domestic workers rights and inclusion of domestic workers on its labor laws,” he pointed out.


The Return to the Dark Ages

(Fr. Shay's columns are published in The Manila Times,
in publications in Ireland, the UK, Hong Kong, and on-line.)
It’s back to the dark ages for the hysterical tabloid press in Metro Manila where the bellowing newscasters and commentators are condemning street children and children in conflict with the law as criminals. The most strident commentators call for the children to be charged and jailed and reduce the age of criminal liability to 12 years old or younger. They demand that the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act be changed.

This act, Republic Act 9344 is a landmark legislation of compassion that seeks to restore the deprived life of children in conflict with the law. It says that children younger than 15 have an alternative to harsh, cruel prison life where enough of them have been raped, abused, beaten and starved in sub-human conditions. They can be helped, given a chance of an education and rehabilitation through meeting their basic human rights, nutritional needs and education. However, up to a million children and minors from the teeming slums frequent the streets and join gangs to survive. Many hundreds of youth are still jailed in conditions not even fit for animals.

Those who advocate the repeal of the law don't know the reality. They are branding the street children as the tools of the criminal syndicates which the police are either too scared to oppose or are in cahoots with. Instead of exposing the criminal syndicates and their wealthy masterminds, the irresponsible commentators are setting up the street kids as targets for the death squads.

Not only that, a few commentators, after giving a tirade condemning the street kids over the radio or TV and arousing fear and hatred against them, they launch their own text-in surveys, then use this survey result to justify their continued condemnation of the children. The one straight forward solution is to feed and educate the young and give jobs with a living wage to the older teenage youth.

The death squads too are busy killing hundreds of street youth in recent years and doing their bloody butchering work with a nods and winks from their political backers and incompetent police. The latest, most gruesome, has been the killing of three youths, 13 and 14, tied, gagged, tortured and stabbed a hundred times and thrown as garbage in a ditch in Zamboanga City to the eternal shame of the politicians, police and citizens. Their muffled screams still cry out for justice and mercy. But there is none.

Cebu and Davao cities are the most notorious for the extermination of street youth. Ten years ago, I called on the former Mayor of Davao City to defend human rights and stop the killings of street youth. Instead, he charged me with libel and had me hailed to court.

It was a proud moment indeed to be able to take a stand for the kids in court but what¹s even more amazing was the crowd of street children that came to Davao City airport to surround me with their malnourished bodies to protect me from the assassins’ guns and escort me to a van away from danger. In the end, the Mayor was persuaded to drop the baseless charge. The death squads rule by fear but the politicians call it democracy. If the majority of the people approve by their silence, then I suppose it is. It is the democracy of death and the death of democracy.

There will be no end to the thousands homeless urchins that challenge our conscience and religious beliefs until the root cause is dealt with. That is the corrupt system of government and the insurmountable inequality of society. There is the unbridgeable gap between the tiny group of luxurious living rich and the masses of struggling poor. It’s a society where 2% of the population own about 70% of the natural wealth and the millions of hungry slum dwelling people are barely surviving from day to day.

Poverty, mass unemployment and hunger drive the children from these slums on to the streets to a miserable life of hunger and hopelessness. They go begging, and cannot resist stealing when they are hungry and smell the delicious foods that waft out from the fast food restaurants. The hungry children are driven crazy with the desire for a decent meal. Most of the time they live on left over from the garbage cans. The government has no homes that cares for them and delivers their basic human rights. They are the abandoned and forgotten until they are forced to steal in order to eat. Then they are condemned to prison.

This is the fundamental failure of the Church, politicians, society and humanity - to remain indifferent to the hungry needy children and allow them to be condemned as criminals. We have to come to their defense and give them a life of dignity and decency. END