Thursday, February 28, 2013

Filipino vets' advocates in US renew call to push for equity bill - See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/296948/pinoyabroad/news/filipino-vets-advocates-in-us-renew-call-to-push-for-equity-bill#sthash.4bhZIMxL.dpuf

Supporters are pushing for the recognition of Filipino veterans in light of the nearing re-introduction of a bill in the US Congress similar to another piece of legislation that seeks to acknowledge the service of Filipino vets, as well as provide them and their families with monthly pensions and other benefits.

Los Angeles-based veterans’ advocate group Justice for Filipino-American Veterans (JFAV) cited the renewal of calls by Filipino veterans’ supporters to recognize these men who served the US during World War II.

This was in reaction to the the news that California congresswoman Jackie Speier plans to re-introduce a bill similar to House Resolution 210, or “The Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2011.

“The new equity bill for 2011 shall include full recognition of service, broadening of the basis of eligibility to all documents proving active service, lifetime monthly pensions for all veterans and widows,” JFAV said in a statement dated Feb. 20 posted on the site of Asian Journal.

The statement noted that despite getting 96 co-sponsors in 2012, the equity bill never got a hearing at the US House of Representatives’ Veterans Committee Affairs.

JFAV said a local group of veterans’ advocates in Hawaii were expected to meet Mazie Hirono, who represents Hawaii in the US Senate, to ask for her help.

Another delegation from New Jersey state was also scheduled to formally present the petitions of Hawaii residents supporting the cause to Hirono’s office in Washington D.C.

“Hawaii traditionally supports equity bill. The 300,000 Filipino residents are all behind providing full recognition to the military heroes after 67 years of denial. The time has come!” said JFAV coordinator Eliza Escano.

The statement noted that the US Congress in 1946 voted nullify the US military service of around 250,000 Filipinos who fought under the United Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) headed by General Douglas Macarthur.

“Out of the 66 nationalities who fought for the US, the Filipinos were singled out not to be recognized,” JFAV said.

“This is a tragic part of American history. The only way to close this chapter is for the Congress to grant complete recognition to these brave soldiers. We will never forgive and forget until justice is served,” Escano said.

However, issues involving Filipino veterans have not only been happening in the US.

Recently, Department of Foreign Affairs Sec. Albert del Rosario called for the review of the cases of 24,385 Filipino veterans whose applications for lump compensations under the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation (FVEC) were disapproved. — Gian C. Geronimo/BM, GMA News - See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/296948/pinoyabroad/news/filipino-vets-advocates-in-us-renew-call-to-push-for-equity-bill#sthash.4bhZIMxL.dpuf

DFA: Pinay nurse killed in Saudi road accident, 15 others injured - See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/296912/pinoyabroad/news/dfa-pinay-nurse-killed-in-saudi-road-accident-15-others-injured#sthash.Gey2Pb3i.dpuf

, GMA News

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said a Filipina nurse was killed in a road accident in Saudi Arabia on Thursday last week.


“Ms. Emma Eleuterio died in Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia last February 21 after the coaster that she was riding in together with six other Filipino nurses collided head-on with another vehicle,” DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez told GMA News Online via text on Wednesday.

Eleuterio was on a shopping trip with Filipino and Indian nurses working at the Prince Salman hospital.

Eleuterio, who hails from General Santos City, Philippines, has been working in Saudi Arabia for nine years.

Hernandez added that repatriation of Eleuterio's remains is now under way and that her family has already been informed about the accident.

Hernandez also noted that representatives from the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh went to Al Kharj to check on the injured Filipinos who are now in stable condition.

Head on collision?

Meanwhile, one of the injured Filipinos, nurse Jennifer Tambag, said in an Arab News report that their company bus was hit from the back side by a speeding vehicle.

After being hit, the company bus of the Prince Salman hospital crashed into "a road divider and crossed into the opposite lane of the highway," Arab News said.

Tambag's claim contradicted the statement given by the DFA spokesman who said the nurses' coaster figured in a head-on collision.

Meanwhile, Arab News also reported that Saudi national Mohammed Faisal Qaitani, the company bus driver, was arrested but was freed on bail.

On the other hand, the wife of the other driver, a Saudi national identified by Arab News only as "Salman," offered flowers and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured Filipinos and Indians. - VVP, GMA News - See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/296912/pinoyabroad/news/dfa-pinay-nurse-killed-in-saudi-road-accident-15-others-injured#sthash.Gey2Pb3i.dpuf

PHL envoy appointed chair of WTO environment body

A Philippine envoy now chairs the World Trade Organization's Committee on Trade and Environment, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.

The DFA said Philippine permanent representative to the WTO Esteban Conejos Jr.'s appointment came during the WTO General Council meeting in Geneva, Switzerland last Feb. 25.

"Ambassador Conejos, who presented his credentials as Philippine Permanent Representative to the WTO on July 27, 2012, succeeds Ambassador Krisda Piampongsant, former Permanent Representative of Thailand to the WTO," the DFA said.

Conejos will have a one-year term, with the possibility of reappointment.

His appointment had the endorsement of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Committee in Geneva and the Asian Group of Developing Countries.

Conejos vowed to continue the tradition of being impartial and objective, and to ensure transparency and inclusiveness in decision-making and consultative processes, the DFA said.

"He also pledged to facilitate consensus, and to help the member-driven organization achieve progress for the benefit of all," it added.

The DFA said the Committee on Trade and Environment, one of the subsidiary bodies of the WTO General Council, is the forum "dedicated to dialogue between governments on the impact of trade policies on the environment, and of environment policies on trade."

It was created through the 1994 Ministerial Decision on Trade and Environment, and has followed a comprehensive work program.

The CTE covers trade and the environment in general, liberalization and trade barriers, and taxes, to individual sectors such as services and intellectual property, and relations with environmental organizations. With its broad-based mandate.

Also, it has contributed to bringing environmental and sustainable development issues into the mainstream of WTO’s work, the DFA said.

Under the 2001 Doha Declaration, it focuses on:

- effects of environmental measures on market access
- relevant provisions of the intellectual property agreement
- labeling requirements for environmental purposes
- technical assistance
- sharing expertise for national environmental reviews
- environmental aspects of the Doha negotiations.

Conejos' selection was made through consensus by the membership, the DFA said.

"According to WTO guidelines, the choice of a chairperson should primarily reflect the capacity and the availability of that person to undertake the special responsibilities required of such posts in the WTO system," it said. — LBG, GMA News - See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/297016/pinoyabroad/news/phl-envoy-appointed-chair-of-wto-environment-body#sthash.7O3xvhhi.dpuf

Over 40,000 people a week fleeing war-torn Syria

UNITED NATIONS - More than 40,000 people a week are fleeing war-torn Syria and the total number of refugees will likely pass 1 million in less than a month, a senior U.N. official told the Security Council on Wednesday.

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said the U.N. agency as of Tuesday had registered 936,000 Syrians across the Middle East and North Africa, nearly 30 times as many people as April last year.

"We expected to have 1.1 million Syrian refugees by June. If things continue to accelerate like this, it will take less than a month to reach that number. Just last night, and just into Jordan, 4,585 fled the country," he told the 15-member council.

"The refugee numbers are staggering, but they cannot convey the full extent of the tragedy. Three-quarters of the refugees are women and children. Many of them have lost family members. Most of them have lost everything," he said.

Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt have been flooded with the bulk of the refugees.

The United Nations says nearly 70,000 people have died during the revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which began two years ago with peaceful protests but turned violent when Assad's forces tried to crush the demonstrations.

U.N. aid chief Valerie Amos, who also briefed the Security Council, appealed for countries that pledged money at a Jan. 30 donor conference in Kuwait to pay up. She said only $200 million of the more than $1.5 billion pledged had been received so far.

"This is a crisis that is completely stretching our capacity," Amos told reporters. "I am extremely concerned by the rising costs of this. We asked for $1.5 billion for our response for the next six months. Those figures are already out of date."

"The first two months of this year have been a real game-changer," she said. "It demands more of us ... but even with us working full-tilt, the scale is outpacing whatever we do on the response side."

Zainab Hawa Bangura, the special representative of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on sexual violence in conflict, said there had been systematic use of sexual violence in Syria, but added that her agency could not get information from most of the areas controlled by armed opposition groups.

"Sexual violence against women, against men, against boys and girls, it's widespread," she told reporters after briefing the council. "Sexual violence, especially against men and boys, it's a way of soliciting information when people detained."

She said victims who had been detained by the government had told U.N. agencies that sexual violence was used as "a technique to get information."

Syria's U.N. ambassador, Bashar Ja'afari, said the Syrian government would ensure that the perpetrators of sexual crimes would face justice. He also described the pledging conference as a "humanitarian bazaar" for Gulf states to show off to the media "that they care a lot about the dramatic situation of Syrian refugees."

The Security Council has been deadlocked on Syria since 2011 over Russia and China's refusal to consider sanctions against Assad's government. They have vetoed three resolutions condemning Assad's attempts to crush the revolt. - Reuters - See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/297051/pinoyabroad/worldfeatures/over-40-000-people-a-week-fleeing-war-torn-syria#sthash.08pVbvO5.dpuf

US immigration lawyer: Shorter wait time for petitions is ‘logical, reasonable’ - See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/297040/pinoyabroad/news/us-immigration-lawyer-shorter-wait-time-for-petitions-is-logical-reasonable#sthash.yvngTBMz.dpuf

Cristina DC Pastor, The FilAm


“It’s crazy to separate husbands and wives.”


That was lawyer Alan Lubiner arguing for changes he would like to see in a new immigration reform law widely speculated to pass Congress within a year.

A partner at Lubiner & Schmidt in Cranford, New Jersey and the author of two popular books on U.S. citizenship and immigration, Lubiner said cutting short the amount of time a green card holder can petition for his or her spouse is one way Congress can fix the broken immigration system.

“What we’d like to see is if they (lawmakers) can change the Family Second Preference Visa so that people with green cards can bring their spouses immediately,” he told The FilAm. “A wait of three to five years is ridiculous.”

Spouses separated by immigration is just one in a stream of heartbreaking stories Lubiner has seen in his five years as an immigration officer and attorney for the Immigration and Naturalization Service and later as a private practitioner for more than 30 years.

Family reunification is easily one of the compelling arguments immigrants from China, India, Mexico and the Philippines despair against immigration, a provision that came about because of the heavy demand for visas from the four countries.

“At the time the government was trying to establish a system that would be fair to the whole world so the government established a quota system to be fair to the world,” he explained.

Unfortunately, the quota system has been applied to employment-based petitions as well. Employers who want to hire skilled foreign workers need to wait anywhere from five to 10 years for the sponsored person to be allowed to work legally in the U.S.

Said Lubiner, “I don’t think it’s fair, from a business standpoint, to make an employer wait.” America, he quickly added, was built on the skills and talents that immigrant people bring.

“That’s what makes the country strong and great,” he said.

In essence, a “logical” immigration reform law is something Lubiner said he would like to see lawmakers craft. While increased border security and increased enforcement are vital, he said the system should likewise be fair to employers and green card holders as well as the people who are being petitioned.

Lubiner, a graduate of the Brooklyn Law School, founded the firm in 1981 after he left the INS as an immigration officer and attorney. Lubiner & Schmidt, located in the affluent neighborhood of Cranford in central New Jersey, is a full-service company that handles immigration, securities litigation, collections, criminal defense, and real estate, just to name a few of its areas of specialization. It has a staff of nine lawyers. A Jesuit-educated Filipino, Dennis Ortiguera (Juris Doctor degree from Ateneo de Manila and Master of Laws from Fordham Law School), is involved mostly with immigration. Before joining the firm in 2005, he worked with Abad Constancio & Mallonga in New York concentrating on family-based and business immigration.

For some Filipinos debating the wisdom of hiring the best immigration lawyer, sometimes, the deal-breaker of a question comes up: ‘Pinoy’ o ‘Puti’?

Much of the argument for either is anecdotal, implying that a Filipino lawyer exhibits empathy because he speaks the native language, while an American lawyer is king in the courtroom. Nothing in science suggests an American lawyer is awkward with Filipinos or that a Filipino lawyer isn’t as creative and argumentative. Lubiner brushed aside the common biases.

“Ideally it shouldn’t matter,” he said. “It would be good for any lawyer to be of service to the Filipino community whether he’s Filipino, American or Mexican.”

The firm gets a “fair amount” of young immigrants seeking assistance with their status under the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals executive order. These are young students who have never been in trouble with the law and who all of a sudden find themselves facing criminal prosecution.

“One of the most important part of our job is putting their mind at ease and letting them know we’re not going to get them into trouble,” he said. “We impress upon them that they have to be truthful and forthcoming so that if there is a problem we know about it ahead of time and we can solve it.” The FilAm - See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/297040/pinoyabroad/news/us-immigration-lawyer-shorter-wait-time-for-petitions-is-logical-reasonable#sthash.yvngTBMz.dpuf

15 Pinoy human trafficking victims in Florida get T visas - See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/297056/pinoyabroad/news/15-pinoy-human-trafficking-victims-in-florida-get-t-visas#sthash.ksTGsGwd.dpuf

The Florida 15 victims of human trafficking have been granted T visas and employment certification cards, according to their lawyer.

Lawyer Felix Vinluan said the 15 men and women won the first round of their case against their former employer, Jose “Jojo” Villanueva, proprietor of San Villa Ship Management Co.

In a press statement, the litigants said Villanueva failed to renew their H2-B employment visas without their knowledge, leading them to overstay in the U.S. without proper documentation.

The workers were recruited by the San Villa to work at the W Hotel in Miami, Florida as housekeepers and managers from 2008 to 2009. While employed, they said they were subjected to the following:

• They were required to pay up to $7,000 each for placement fees
• Their pay rate was supposed to be $16-17 per hour, but the agency only gave them $6 per hour without overtime pay
• Many were paid only once a month and paychecks were issued very late
• The agency failed to renew their H2-B visas leading some of them to be arrested with pending deportation cases.

The group now known as F-15 sought the assistance of the Anakbayan NY-NJ grassroots organization, which put them in touch with Vinluan and the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns. The continuing investigation led to the approval of their T visas in the beginning of February 2013.

The T Visa is a four-year non-immigrant status that allows victims to remain in the U.S. while they assist in an investigation or prosecution of human trafficking, according to the USCIS website. It also enables recipients to petition for family members.

“The efforts to achieve justice for the F-15 are far from over,” Anakbayan said in a statement. “Villanueva and his cohorts have yet to pay back wages and costs to all damages imposed on the trafficked workers. Villanueva is currently in hiding from several civil lawsuits filed against him.” The FilAm - See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/297056/pinoyabroad/news/15-pinoy-human-trafficking-victims-in-florida-get-t-visas#sthash.ksTGsGwd.dpuf

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

POEA warns recruiters anew on failure to protect HSWs


The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) yesterday
reiterated that recruitment agencies shall be held accountable for incidents of
abuse, exploitation, or breach of contract committed by household employers
against Filipino household service workers.

Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said the recruiters’ failure to abide by their
responsibility to protect OFWs warrants cancellation or suspension of their
licenses, depending on the gravity and frequency of the offenses.

Cacdac said that Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda DimapilisBaldoz has ordered him to hold recruiters true to their responsibility and accountable to the POEA to ensure that foreign employers faithfully comply with their legal and contractual obligations to our domestic workers.
Baldoz has earlier reminded recruitment agency owners not to lose sight of their duty to protect domestic workers deployed overseas.

"The obligation of a licensed recruitment agency to its hired OFWs does not
end upon their deployment to the worksite. The recruitment agency has the
continuous obligation to ensure protection of workers, especially domestic
workers," Secretary Baldoz said.

Cacdac said such legal and contractual obligations include humane treatment,
payment of salaries and benefits, and notification of the Philippine embassy
about any significant development affecting the condition of domestic workers.
Also, the recruitment agency must assist in the settlement of disputes and
report to the POEA any significant or important situation experienced by a
deployed domestic worker.

Cacdac noted that over the last five years, an increasing number of overseas
domestic workers have filed cases against their recruitment agencies and
employers before the POEA. He also noted an increasing number of cases
that involved the death or physical abuse of female domestic workers.

90,000 Plus Runners Join Historic PhilHealth-DOH Run


More than 90,000 runners nationwide have participated in the first "PhilHealth-DOH Run 2013: Nationwide Run for Mother and Child Protection!" on February 17, 2013.


The said run-for-a-cause event is the highlight of PhilHealth’s 18th anniversary celebration with the theme "Synergy for Universal Health Care!" This took place simultaneously in more than 18 sites in the country which include Manila, Baguio, Dagupan, Tuguegarao, Clark, Malolos, Laguna, Batangas, Legazpi, Iloilo, Cebu, Tacloban, Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Koronadal, Marawi, Butuan and Tubod, Lanao del Norte.

Focusing on the importance of mother and child’s health in support of the country’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goals, proceeds from this running event will go to the Philippine Children’s Medical Center and Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila. Other institutions also catering to mother and child health from each of the 18 sites have also been identified as local beneficiaries.

The Manila leg which was held at the Quirino Grandstand had more than 12 thousand runners including persons with disabilities. The event was led by Health Secretary, PhilHealth Board Chairman and currently its OIC President and CEO Dr. Enrique T. Ona together with Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair Atty. Francis N. Tolentino, former Senator and principal author of RA 7875 Freddie Webb, Civil Service Commission Chair and former PhilHealth PCEO Dr. Francisco T. Duque III, and Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim. Miss Universe 1st Runner-up 2012 Janine Tugonon and other reigning Bb. Pilipinas 2012 also graced the event as part of their charity work.

Winning runners in all the categories were given cash prizes, finishers’ medals (18K) and special gift packs.
"We would like to thank everyone for being part of this event,” Ona said, adding that “this would not have been possible without the total support and participation from concerned government agencies, healthcare providers, private companies, organizations, and individuals in promoting a healthier citizenry." 

PhilHealth @ 18: Synergizing Efforts Towards Universal Health Care


THE Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is celebrating its 18th year today as the government corporation spearheading the implementation of the National Health Insurance Program. Millions have already benefited from PhilHealth but the struggle to provide better and significant benefits for others continues as emerging diseases and recurring illnesses become prevalent.

This year’s anniversary celebration is centered on the theme "Synergy for Universal Health Care!," to focus on the strong partnerships between PhilHealth, the Department of Health and all other stakeholders towards achieving this goal.
As a culmination of the Philippines’ race towards Universal Health Care, the country will witness the first simultaneous nationwide running event on February 17, 2013 dubbed "PhilHealth-DOH Run 2013: Nationwide Run for Mother and Child Protection." The said event will focus on the importance of mother and child's health in support of the country’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goal of reducing child mortality and improve maternal health.
This sporting event also endeavors to help address the growing healthcare needs of children afflicted with cancer in the biggest and specialized hospital for children in the country – the Philippine Children’s Medical Center and the Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, a maternal and newborn tertiary hospital that is considered a "baby factory" where 20 percent of all babies in Metro Manila are born.

These hospitals have been chosen as national beneficiaries, while other health care facilities catering to mother and child health in each of the major regional sites have also been identified as beneficiaries.

The PhilHealth-DOH Run 2013 is expected to assemble some 100 thousand professionals and amateur runners, in 18 major sites in the country. The 18 race sites are Manila, Baguio, Dagupan, Tuguegarao, Clark, Malolos, Laguna, Batangas, Legazpi, Iloilo, Cebu, Tacloban, Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Koronadal, Marawi, Butuan and Tubod, Lanao Del Norte.

PhilHealth’s public satisfaction rating soars as it celebrates its 18th Anniversary



 
As it celebrates its 18th anniversary, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is proud to announce that its satisfaction rating in terms of support and protection across all areas and classes of its members and dependents is “excellent” (+82), which is remarkably higher compared to “very good” in the past SWS surveys done in June 2011 (+67) and in February 2009 (+60).
 
Results of the Social Weather Station (SWS) nationwide survey from December 8 to 11, 2012 showed that 87% of respondents were very satisfied with PhilHealth while 5% were dissatisfied, for a net score of +82.
 
The survey also showed that awareness of members on the different PhilHealth services and benefits increased in 2012 compared to 2009 and 2011, with 9 out of 10 members being aware of at least one of these services. Significant increase in awareness can be seen on inpatient services (76%), followed by maternity care package (71%), outpatient benefits (47%), newborn care package (53%), TB-DOTS package (45%), and malaria package (40%).
 
When asked about their views on the benefits, 45% of the respondents said they would want expansion on outpatient benefits, 25% said higher coverage benefits, and 23% mentioned prescription medicines for outpatient. In response, PhilHealth has announced today the expansion of the Z benefits from its original 4 to 9 benefit packages, including coronary bypass, congenital heart disease, cervical cancer, and lower limb prostheses.
 
Health Secretary and PhilHealth OIC-President and CEO Dr. Enrique T. Ona said: “We are very happy with the results of this recent SWS survey, but there is much to be done to further increase the utilization rate, improve on our service delivery mechanisms including IT system, expansion on the case rate payment and Z benefit packages, and on our information dissemination.” He added that, “we take note of the expectations of our countrymen and we realize that there is a need to synergize with other concerned government agencies, healthcare providers, private companies, organizations, and individuals to manage all challenges and meet commitments towards achieving universal health care or Kalusugang Pangkalahatan.”   (END)
 
 
Reference: Dr. Israel Francis A. Pargas, Senior Manager, Corporate Communication Department, Tel. No. 638-1682
 
(attached files for your posting please : UHC latest ad and OWP Contacts)
                                                             
Networking and Linkages Group
Tel no. 441-7444 loc 7416
PHILIPPINE HEALTH INSURANCE CORPORATION
Office of the Chief Operating Officer
Overseas Workers Program (OWP)
Suite 1106 Citystate Center Bldg.
709 Shaw Blvd. Brgy. Oranbo, Pasig City
website: http://www.philhealth.gov.ph/
twitter: @TeamPhilHealth
PhilHealth Action Center : 441 - 7442 or 441 -PHIC
 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

International Women's Day


The first national Women's Day was observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America.[2] In August 1910, an International Women's Conference was organized to precede the general meeting of the Socialist Second International inCopenhagen. Inspired in part by the American socialists, German Socialist Luise Zietz proposed the establishment of an annual 'International Woman's Day' (singular) and was seconded by communist Clara Zetkin, although no date was specified at that conference.[3][4] Delegates (100 women from 17 countries) agreed with the idea as a strategy to promote equal rights, including suffrage, for women.[5] The following year, on 18 March 1911, IWD was marked for the first time, by over a million people in AustriaDenmarkGermany and Switzerland. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire alone, there were 300 demonstrations.[3] In Vienna, women paraded on the Ringstrasse and carried banners honouring the martyrs of the Paris Commune.[3] Women demanded that women be given the right to vote and to hold public office. They also protested against employment sex discrimination.[1] Americans continued to celebrate National Women's Day on the last Sunday in February.[3]

Female members of the AustralianBuilders Labourers Federation march on International Women's Day 1975 in Sydney
In 1913 Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February (by Julian calendar then used in Russia). In 1917 demonstrations marking International Women's Day in Saint Petersburg on the last Sunday in February (which fell on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar) initiated the February Revolution.[1]
Following the October Revolution, the Bolshevik Alexandra Kollontai persuaded Vladimir Lenin to make it an official holiday in the Soviet Union, and it was established, but was a working day until 1965. On May 8, 1965 by the decree of the USSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet International Women's Day was declared a non-working day in the USSR "in commemoration of the outstanding merits of Soviet women in communistic construction, in the defense of their Fatherland during the Great Patriotic War, in their heroism and selflessness at the front and in the rear, and also marking the great contribution of women to strengthening friendship between peoples, and the struggle for peace. But still, women's day must be celebrated as are other holidays."[citation needed]
From its official adoption in Russia following the Soviet Revolution in 1917 the holiday was predominantly celebrated in communist and socialist countries. It was celebrated by the communists in China from 1922, and by Spanish communists from 1936.[6] After the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949 the state council proclaimed on December 23 that March 8 would be made an official holiday with women in China given a half-day off.[7]
In the West, International Women's Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977 when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women's rights and world peace.[8]

March 8


The first national Women's Day was observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America.[2] In August 1910, an International Women's Conference was organized to precede the general meeting of the Socialist Second International inCopenhagen. Inspired in part by the American socialists, German Socialist Luise Zietz proposed the establishment of an annual 'International Woman's Day' (singular) and was seconded by communist Clara Zetkin, although no date was specified at that conference.[3][4] Delegates (100 women from 17 countries) agreed with the idea as a strategy to promote equal rights, including suffrage, for women.[5] The following year, on 18 March 1911, IWD was marked for the first time, by over a million people in AustriaDenmarkGermany and Switzerland. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire alone, there were 300 demonstrations.[3] In Vienna, women paraded on the Ringstrasse and carried banners honouring the martyrs of the Paris Commune.[3] Women demanded that women be given the right to vote and to hold public office. They also protested against employment sex discrimination.[1] Americans continued to celebrate National Women's Day on the last Sunday in February.[3]
Female members of the AustralianBuilders Labourers Federation march on International Women's Day 1975 in Sydney
In 1913 Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February (by Julian calendar then used in Russia). In 1917 demonstrations marking International Women's Day in Saint Petersburg on the last Sunday in February (which fell on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar) initiated the February Revolution.[1]
Following the October Revolution, the Bolshevik Alexandra Kollontai persuaded Vladimir Lenin to make it an official holiday in the Soviet Union, and it was established, but was a working day until 1965. On May 8, 1965 by the decree of the USSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet International Women's Day was declared a non-working day in the USSR "in commemoration of the outstanding merits of Soviet women in communistic construction, in the defense of their Fatherland during the Great Patriotic War, in their heroism and selflessness at the front and in the rear, and also marking the great contribution of women to strengthening friendship between peoples, and the struggle for peace. But still, women's day must be celebrated as are other holidays."[citation needed]
From its official adoption in Russia following the Soviet Revolution in 1917 the holiday was predominantly celebrated in communist and socialist countries. It was celebrated by the communists in China from 1922, and by Spanish communists from 1936.[6] After the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949 the state council proclaimed on December 23 that March 8 would be made an official holiday with women in China given a half-day off.[7]
In the West, International Women's Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977 when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women's rights and world peace.[8]

Oman needs 3,280 medical professionals - DOLE

by Estrella Torres, BusinessMirror


MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine labor department said the Sultanate of Oman announced that Filipino medical professionals could seek jobs in the Arab state to fill 3,288 vacant positions for doctors and nurses.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the job openings in the oil-rich country would “certainly boost the chances of our highly skilled and highly qualified medical workers, particularly our nurses.”
But the labor chief warned that, “OFWs [overseas Filipino workers] wanting to work in Oman should apply only with POEA [Philippine Overseas Employment Administration]-licensed overseas recruitment agencies with verified job orders in Oman to avoid getting illegally recruited.”
Philippine Ambassador to Oman Joselito Jimeno reported a recent announcement of Oman’s Minister of Health, Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Obaid al-Saidi, saying the Sultanate is facing a shortage of around 8,900 doctors and nurses by 2015.
Jimeno said nurses specializing in obstetrics, gynecology, anesthesiology, surgery (neurology and cardiology), intensive care and psychiatrics are highly needed in the Arab country.
Professional nurses in Oman receives an average basic salary of $703.79, based on the employment contracts that were processed by the POEA.
The report, furnished the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), said Oman’s Ministry of Health has announced that it would hire 3,288 doctors and nurses from other countries in response to this projected shortage.
Jimeno said some 4,464 doctors will be needed in Oman by 2015, but can only source 1,176 of them locally. For nurses, 5,598 will be hired abroad, he said.
To hire more medical professionals overseas, Oman increased its state budget for health by 9.4 percent for 2013, growing from OMR 500 million ($1.3 billion) to OMR 547 million ($1.4 billion).
He said the health budget accounts for 5 percent of the total state budget, which stands at OMR 12.9 billion ($33.5 billion).
Jimeno also said the government of Oman is stepping up the creation of more hospitals and clinics between 2011 and 2015 to reach out to people in the most remote areas.
There are around 15,868 OFWs in Oman, with 10,291 rehires and 5,577 new hires. Most of them are domestic helps, with related-household workers at 2,724, followed by professional nurses at 328.
There was an error in this gadget
There was an error in this gadget