Friday, May 31, 2013

Aussie husband of raped, murdered Pinay vows 'justice will be served'

Cory Ryther, whose pregnant wife, Filipina Joan Canino Ryther, was raped and murdered last week in Brisbane in Australia, on Thrusday vowed that his wife will have justice.

GMA 7 news program “24 Oras” was able to speak with Ryther through Skype, and the widower said that he never thought that we would lose his wife through a violent crime.

“From the time she was missing up to the time that... there was a body that was found, I was hopeful... hopeful that she will return safely,” lamented Ryther in the “24 Oras” interview aired Thursday.

“She was a very strong woman. I love her. We were so in love.”

Ryther was thankful for the attention the Australian government gave the crime as 40 investigators have been assigned to the case.  

However, Ryther could not share what he knew of the investigation's progress as police authorities have prohibited him from discussing the matter with news organizations.

Ryther was able to relate how public protests were organized condemning the rape and murder. Prayer vigils were also held.

“For as long as I live, I will make sure that justice will be served. She will not be forgotten,” swore Ryther.

Meanwhile, in a phone interview, Brisbane's Filipino-community chaplain, Fr. Mars Singson, remembered Joan as a good, cheerful and friendly person. “We are one in fighting for her justice. People here are angry about this crime. Sexual assault should not happen,” said Singson.

Recently, a donation drive was launched as it will cost P340,000 to repatriate Joan's body back to the Philippines, where she will be buried. — DVM, GMA News

Pinay product promoter shot dead by police in Virginia warehouse store

A Filipina was shot and killed at a warehouse store in the U.S. state of Virginia by Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office deputies Wednesday afternoon (US time), reportedly after she tried to attack deputies.

The Philippine Embassy in Washington on Thursday night (Manila time) cited initial information identifying the Filipina as Mhai de Leon Scott, 38, from Bulacan. 

According to the embassy, the Sheriff’s Office had responded to report of "a disorderly subject" at the Costco in Price Cascades Plaza in Sterling, Virginia. There they found Scott "who reportedly tried to attack deputies."

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported that a Loudoun County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed Scott after she allegedly came at him with a knife. Frightened shoppers and employees hid behind cash registers and ran out of the Costco.

Loudoun Sheriff Michael Chapman said two deputies had gone to the store to check a report of a disorderly person. They used a Taser on Scott but she kept advancing.

“Preliminary indications are that she came at the deputies with a knife,” Chapman said. Sheriff’s officials also said in a prepared statement that Scott ignored orders to drop the weapon.

Chapman added that investigators are interviewing witnesses and reviewing surveillance tapes to get more details on what happened.

“It’s a tragic situation... I feel for everybody involved,” Chapman added.

The Washington Post report said one of the deputies was wounded, possibly by a ricocheting bullet.

Sheriff’s officials said Scott lived near Dulles Town Center in Virginia and worked for Club Demonstration Services, which provided customized in-warehouse events/services for Costco.

The Washington Post also quoted store manager Renee Haber as saying Scott was involved in food preparation and had been serving pizza.

She said Scott became agitated and began to act erratically as her shift was ending.

Haber said that as Scott moved away from her serving station, she grabbed a knife from another station and made “strange movements.”

This frightened her supervisor, and workers called police. — DVM, GMA News

Over 140 Pinoys deported from Middle East for having HIV/AIDS, hepatitis

For a range of reasons -- from having infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B or C, or even just having abnormal x-ray results -- at least 142  overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were deported from the Middle East since last year,  a Saudi-based medical association reported.
 
Dr. Tawfik Khoja said the Filipinos  were repatriated from the Middle East in 2012 and 2013 after being found to have infectious diseases like HBsAg (Hepa B), HCV (Hepa C), HIV/AIDS, and abnormal x-ray results upon arriving in their host countries.

Khoja is the director general of the Health Ministers’ Council for Cooperation Council States (GAMCA), an accredited medical association in Saudi Arabia, 
 
The report said the OFWs were deported from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.

The cases included:
  • 50 cases of HBsAg (Hepatitis B),
  • 12 cases of HCV (Hepa C), 
  • three cases of HIV, and
  • 77 abnormal x-ray results.

 
“The Health Ministers Council for Gulf Cooperation Council States were alarmed that an increasing number of OFWs deployed to the Middle East were found positive for HIV and other infectious diseases,” the report said.

HIV cases
 

Meanwhile, Philippine Department of Health (DOH) statistics show that 342 OFWs were found positive for HIV in 2012.

The figure comprises about 10 percent of the percent of the total number of cases reported for that year:

The DOH said the latest figure showed a 79 percent increase in the number of cases from a year ago.


Out of the 342 HIV patients, 301 (88 percent) were males while 41 (12 percent) were females according to data from the Philippine National Aids Council (PNAC).

All of the OFWs were infected via sexual intercourse.

As of January this year, there were 12,082 HIV/AIDS cases among Filipinos.

This translates to an average of 12 new cases every day, the highest ever since the DOH started monitoring HIV cases in 2004.
 
One out of every five new HIV cases involves an OFW. - with a report from Andrei Medina, VVP, GMA News

Pinoy seafarers' accreditation at risk if maritime schools will not comply with CHED order

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has urged several marine higher education institutions (MHEIs) to follow the closure or phaseout orders it has given them to avoid jeopardizing the employment of Filipino seamen overseas.

This was regarding the visit this October of the European Maritime Safety Administration (EMSA), a European Union agency charged with reducing the risks in maritime accidents, marine pollution from ships, and loss of human lives at sea.

According to JP Soriano's report on GMA News TV's "State of the Nation” on Wednesday, Filipino seafarers may be removed from the list of accredited mariners if the steps the Philippines has taken to improve the quality of maritime training fail to satisfy EMSA.

The report said last month, CHED ordered several schools to gradually phase out or immediately close their BS Marine Transportation or BS Marine Engineering programs because of perceived lack of quality in line with EMSA standards.

CHED has yet to release the names of the schools that are unqualified as well as those who have no issues.

According to the report, 44 MHEIs were ordered to close their BS Marine Transportation programs, while 21 others were ordered to gradually phase out the programs. On the other hand, 34 MHEIs offering BS Marine Engineering programs were ordered to be closed by CHED, with 24 others to be phased out.

There are 91 MHEIs in the Philippines.

Some schools have already complied with the CHED order, but some have taken to court to apply for temporary restraining orders on the matter, the report said.

CHED asked the concerned schools to comply for the sake of Filipinos.

"Kung sila'y magmatigas, makikita rin ng European Union na 'Look, how can they maintain quality, they can't even close substandard programs',” CHED chair Patricia Licuanan said.

Even seafarers already employed may stand to lose their jobs if the EMSA does not like the developments, the report noted.

"Ang pinaka-nakakatakot is this: na in October, that they say, 'That's too bad, we like the Filipinos, they're good, but we cannot be guaranteed standards in training and whatever, so they're off the 'white list.' That's the most nakakatakot. Sana hindi nga mangyayari 'yan,” Licuanan said.

The report noted that some maritime schools are doing what it can to comply with standards of quality education. It also said that these schools are also clarifying the steps CHED wants to be taken. Gian Geronimo/KBK, GMA News

As end of reprieve nears, PHL intensifies efforts to help undocumented Pinoy workers in Saudi

With just a month to go before the grace period expires, Philippine officials have intensified their efforts to help Filipinos in Saudi Arabia correct their status.

The grace period for undocumented workers to correct their status in Saudi Arabia is on July 3.

Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ezzedin Tago met on Wednesday with Saudi deputy interior minister Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Salem to tackle the matter.

"(Ambassador) Tago stressed that the affected Filipinos are keen to correct their status, and are hoping that they will be able to accomplish this within the grace period despite various challenges such as the large number of applicants at the concerned offices; the lack of required documents by some Filipinos and the procedures for exit visas," the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a news release.

The DFA said the deputy minister and Tago agreed to "continue working closely to further ensure that Filipinos will be able to take advantage of the corrective period and the facilities and waivers from the penalties."

Tago also expressed gratitude for the guidelines issued jointly by the Ministries of Interior and Labor, which provided for various facilities and waivers of penalties to allow expatriates to correct their status.

Philippine officials have been holding in various sites consular missions exclusively for undocumented workers.

Tago said the affected Filipinos are either leaving on final exit or transferring to a new employer.

Intensified efforts

In a separate news release, the Philippine embassy in Saudi Arabia said it and the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah had intensified efforts to process documentary requirements to help Filipinos correct their status.

As of May 29, the embassy said it has "found, retrieved and released 1,488 old surrendered passports to their holders in the Riyadh area, and sent 717 passports to the Consulate in Jeddah for release to their holders."

"The old passports are useful for those who do not have their iqama or a copy, as the entry information are written on the page opposite the visa used when entering the Kingdom," it said.

The embassy said the Directorate General for Passports is requiring the iqama, or the iqama copy, or the iqama number, or the old passport to process the final exit or the transfer of employment.

Those with no copy of their iqama or old passport used during entry are advised to get a Jawazat printout from the General Directorate for Passports, which may be obtained after submitting themselves to fingerprinting, it said.

Since May 11, the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh said it has processed and issued 4,011 travel documents.

The PCG added that the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah has processed 2,420 travel documents.

From May 18 to 29, the Embassy in Riyadh has encoded 1,311 renewal passports and 1,566 replacements for lost passports or a total of 2,877 passports.

The Philippine Consulate in Jeddah has also encoded over 1,500 passports for renewal, and encoded over 2,000 replacements for lost passports. - VVP, GMA News

PHL Consulate General reiterates warning on bringing of stunning devices to Hong Kong

The Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Hong Kong on Thursday reiterated an earlier advisory against bringing restricted items, particularly stunning devices, in their hand-carried or checked-in luggage.

The PCG reiterated its warning after two recent arrests of travelers who had brought stunning devices and other similar devices at Hong Kong ports.

The PCG noted that last year, 57 airline passengers were arrested by Hong Kong Police for the possession of stunning devices.

In the first quarter of this year, 14 Filipinos, 13 of whom were seafarers, were arrested in Hong Kong for the possession of stunning devices.

"Offenders will be arrested by the Hong Kong Police, prosecuted by Hong Kong courts and may face a penalty of up to HK$100,000 or approximately US$13,333, and a maximum prison sentence of 14 years," the PCG said. - VVP, GMA News

Taiwanese govt will not vent anger on Pinoys

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou reiterated that while their government will continue to seek justice for the Taiwanese fisherman shot by Philippine coast guards in disputed waters, it will not vent its anger on Filipinos.

According to a report of The China Post Ma said the Taiwanese government will ensure the safety of Filipinos in Taiwan and "make sure that their rights and freedoms remain intact."
 
Ma also said the Taiwanese government "will not vent its anger and dissatisfaction on Filipinos in Taiwan," the report added. 

The row between Taiwan and the Philippines stemmed from the alleged shooting of Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-cheng, who was suspected of poaching by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on May 9.

After saying the initial apology of the Philippines for the incident was insincere, the Taiwanese government issued an order freezing the hiring of new Filipino workers.
 
Taiwan demanded for an apology from the Philippine government, compensation for the family of the slain fisherman, impartial investigation on the incident, and bilateral talks between Taiwan and the Philippines to avoid similar incidents.
 
Taiwan also recalled its envoy to Manila in protest of the killing. 
 
The death of the fisherman has caused public outrage in Taiwan with some Filipinos bearing the brunt of their anger.

Still afraid
 
Meanwhile, Nene Hallasgo, one of more than 85,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Taiwan, said she has been having sleepless nights after some Taiwanese vented their rage on Filipinos in Taiwan.

According to a report from news site International Business Times (IBT) Hallasgo has been working in Taiwan for seven years. 

Earlier reports claimed of violence and harassment against some OFWs, with one Filipino having been ganged up on and beaten up with a bat by a group of young Taiwanese.

Hallasgo fears to suffer the same fate. However, she is also afraid of leaving Taiwan and losing her job.

“First of all, I fear for my job and losing it. I fear that the [political] conflict will get out of hand that I will be forced to come back home in no time,” she told IBT.

She also mentioned her fear about not having her work contract renewed. 

“Even if I finish my contract and go home, my even worse fear is not being able to come back to Taiwan to the same job, or even find a new one,” she explained.

She warned that if the Philippine government will not act quickly, her fears and those of other OFWs in Taiwan may eventually become a reality.

“Taiwan Gently Cares”

Amid the fear and tension, the Taiwan's foreign ministry together with Taiwanese groups conducted a solidarity program for OFWS and Taiwanese in Taipei City on Sunday.

The event dubbed “You Are Not Alone” was organized by Taiwanese groups who recognized the contributions of OFWs to Taiwan and wanted to assure them that “Taiwan Gently Cares.”

During the event, OFWs shared their experiences in Taiwan while Taiwanese groups called out to their countrymen not to harm the innocent OFWs.

The event was spearheaded by a Taiwanese company owner who 'felt' the fears of the OFWs in Taiwan.

“This company owner said that there are many Filipino workers in his community whom he observed are afraid to go out after the incident and he felt sad about that,” Yun-Chan Liao, a member of the 4-Way Voice in Taiwan told IBT. Andrei Medina, VVP, GMA News

Detectives going through 'large amount' of CCTV footage to solve Pinay's murder in Australia

Australian detectives are going through a "large amount of CCTV footage" to solve the rape and murder of Filipina Joan Ryther whom investigators believe to have been raped in Brisbane on May 22.

According to a report of the Courier Mail news site, a police officer said they are working to establish the movements of the people seen on the CCTV footage and eliminating non-suspects.

The officer, who was not identified, also mentioned that they were conducting "extensive door-knocks" in the area where Ryther, who was three months pregnant, was murdered.

Ryther, 27, was on her way to work at a fast food restaurant when she was raped and murdered.

An earlier report said investigators are still searching for possible witnesses, including a man in a yellow jumper who was said to be "sobbing" in the front porch of a nearby home on the night of the murder.

Friendly person

A report of Claire Delfin for GMA Network's "Saksi" newscast on Wednesday said Ryther was described to be a friendly person who was easy to talk to.

The victim's sister, Mardelita Allera, said, "Friendly na tao 'yun. Madaling siyang kausapin. Di mo siya mapagisipan na may kagalit kasi marunong siyang makisama sa kapwa.”

Allera recalled that before the murder incident, Ryther mentioned that she was being threatened and sexually harassed by a friend of her husband.

Ryther moved to Australia from the Philippines around 2009. She met her husband Cory in 2011 and they got married last year.

The Facebook page RIP Joan Canino Ryther calls for justice for the victim and emotional support for Cory, "who has lost his loving wife and unborn child."

The page asks the public to report information about possible suspects at the following number:
Logan Cetral Police Station: (07) 3826 1888

"When there is an arrest, we will post it," the page dedicated to the victim said.

On the Facebook page RIP Joan Canino Ryther, messages of sympathy poured out for the victims:

Lea Estopace: R.I.P. Joan and baby Camille.

Tracey Jamieson: Sincere condolences...the grief this husband has on his face, makes me feel absolutely devastated for the poor guy. I hope they find him [the suspect] soon.

Lea Taylor: I didnt know you but I am very sad over what happened to you. I am sad for your husband. Evil walks the earth but I pray your guardian angels are with you.

Grace Olaguer: I can't believe this is happening. I feel for you Cory. I can't imagine how hard this is. It's so sad to think that this bastard still on loose. Condolences, praying for you and your wife and your unborn child.

Memorial service

Meanwhile, the Center Against Sexual Violence (CASV) will be holding a memorial service for Ryther at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday.

People are asked to wear or bring something purple during the memorial, dubbed “Stand up for Joan,” the Courier Mail said.

The memorial, which hopes to send a message against violence, will be held at the CASV car park at 13-21 Mayes Ave, Logan Central. Andrei Medina, VVP, GMA News

Hong Kong court drops 'ridiculous' HK$15 charge vs Pinay maid

A Hong Kong court on Wednesday dropped what was earlier branded as a "ridiculous" charge lodged against a Filipina maid for allegedly cheating her employer of HK$15 (P82).

The dismissal of the case came after a magistrate asked if the police had "nothing better to do," theHong Kong Standard news site reported on Thursday.

Cherry Obienda Sudaria, 41, smiled as she left Eastern Court after signing a HK$1,000 good behavior bond for 12 months, the report said.

It was the second recent case in which the prosecution has been forced to drop a charge based on a small sum. An earlier case involved a taxi driver who overcharged a passenger by 50 cents.

Cab driver Tam Hoi-chi, 57, had endured a six-month ordeal before the Department of Justice considered it was "not appropriate" to proceed with the charge.

On Wednesday's hearing for Sudaria, principal magistrate Bina Chainrai described the case as ridiculous and asked whether the prosecution had considered other options.

The case stemmed from an incident last April 29 where Sudaria was instructed by her employer surnamed Chow to buy HK$50 worth of pork.

However, she bought only HK$35 worth and kept the HK$15.

Chow reported the matter to the police after seeing the amount of pork was less than expected. Sudaria was arrested after admitting she had kept the balance, and was charged with theft.

Hong Kong Employers of Overseas Domestic Helpers Association chairman Joseph Law Kwan-din said it was common for maids to shortchange their employer.

However, he said the association had not received any complaint or inquiry from an employer.

He advised employers to buy groceries themselves or ask their maids to shop at supermarkets and show receipts.

However, Hong Kong Federation of Asian Domestic Workers Unions chairperson Bobo Po Lai-wan, said maids may lose their credibility if they shortchange their employers.

Another Filipina maid, Rosemarie Bayron, said it did not make sense to hale someone to court over HK$15.

"It should have been settled directly with the boss as taking it to court involved a huge amount of public money. (But) maybe her boss is strict and wanted to teach her a lesson," Bayron said.

Bayron added it is hard to get receipts in wet markets.

Good behavior bond

A separate report on the South China Morning Post said Sudaria was put on a good-behavior bond after Magistrate Symon Wong Yu-wing dismissed the theft charge against her.

Sudaria declined to comment outside the court. - VVP, GMA News

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Birth Control Now Law, Church Fighting Mad


December 31, 2012/ Marilen J. Danguilan


After 14 years, the controversial Reproductive Health bill is now law. Without fanfare, President Benigno Aquino III on December 21 signed “The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012.”

Most Filipinos welcome the passage of the RH law–71 percent favor its passage, according to a Social Weather Station survey, and 78 percent support “sex education” in public schools.

The law does not only lay the groundwork for RH services, but it also has become a symbol of the primacy of conscience over some church teachings, the importance of reason and choice and the enhanced dignity that comes with exercising control over one’s reproductive life.

But the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines and Catholic Church groups like Pro Life Philippines and Couples for Christ, as well as conservative legislators, opposed the bill intensely. From their perspective, it is an evil that would destroy families, kill the “unborn,” entice adolescents to sexual promiscuity and open the gates to divorce, abortion and same-sex marriage.

Opposition continues to this day. Lay groups, supported by the clergy, recently launched the “One Million Red Ribbons for Life and Family Movement” throughout the country, urging Catholics to hang red ribbons everywhere in protest against the RH law. Bishops have vowed to challenge its constitutionality in the Supreme Court.

Reasonable

A careful reading of the RH law, however, shows it is a basically reasonable piece of legislation that intends to make sure women and men have access to reproductive health care.

Framed within the 1987 Constitution, the law is based on human rights principles, particularly the right to reproductive health and to a safe and satisfying sex life. Its salient features are the provision of

   information and free natural and artificial contraceptives in public health facilities;
   life-saving emergency obstetric and newborn care in public health facilities;
   reproductive health education to young people between the ages of 10 and 19 in public schools; and
   maximum benefits by PhilHealth, the country’s social health insurance system, to women and men with reproductive health conditions such as obstetric emergencies, breast and reproductive tract cancers, and HIV/AIDS.

These provisions are a response to significant reproductive health problems that confront the Philippines today, which neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam have already successfully dealt with.

Maternal and newborn deaths

Many Filipino women continue to die during pregnancy and childbirth because they lack access to emergency obstetric services. From 1990 to 2010, some 4,300 women died every year due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth.

When a woman dies, the prospects for her babies are dim. A study showed that when mothers died during labor, their newborns died within a year of their birth. Another study found that the risk of death for children under five years old is doubled if their mothers die in childbirth.

Emergency obstetric and newborn care and social health insurance, as articulated in the RH law, would effectively prevent maternal and newborn deaths.

Unmet contraceptive needs

In 2011, the National Statistics Office conducted a survey and showed that the unmet contraceptive needs of married women in the 15 to 49 age group have increased from 15.7 percent in 2006 to 19.3 percent in 2011. Unmet need is highest among poor women (25.8 percent), adolescent girls (37 percent), women with no education (29.2 percent), and women in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (35.8 percent).

This same survey showed that the most commonly cited reasons for not using any contraceptive was that women “want to have children” (20.8 percent), followed by difficulty of access to family planning methods (16.2 percent) and fear of side effects (15.5 percent). Only 2.2 percent of women surveyed pointed to “religious prohibition” for not using contraceptives.

Provision of information and free services on the various family planning methods would help women and men control their fertility and decide the number of children they desire to have.
Teenage pregnancies

The National Statistics Office estimates that fertility rate for the 15 to 19 age group increased from 39/1000 in 2006 to 54/1000 in 2011. At 54/100,000, the Philippines has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in ASEAN, next to Laos and East Timor.

According to the UN Population Fund, the number of teenage pregnancies–from 15 to 19–has increased by 70 percent, from 114,205 in 1999 to 195,662 in 2009.

Reproductive health education – from physiology and sexuality to women’s rights – has been shown to delay initiation into sexual activities, prevent early marriages, protect couples from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

HIV/AIDS

Men having sex with men is the main mode of transmission of HIV in the country. The total number of reported cases, according to the DOH, is 10,514–a 587 percent increase since 1984 when the first case of HIV was reported.

While the incidence of HIV is less than one percent of the 93 million Filipinos, DOH says that HIV cases are increasing:  At least nine new cases were reported every day in 2012. In 2000, only one new case was reported every three days. If this trend continues, DOH projects 37,000 new cases of HIV in 2015.

Provision of information and condoms as well as the inclusion of HIV in the social health insurance system would have a positive impact on HIV prevention in the country.

The RH law has other noteworthy provisions, such as making persons with disabilities gain access to sexual and reproductive health programs, encouraging private service providers to work pro bono for indigent women and strengthening the capacities of frontline health workers in providing and promoting reproductive health.

It is a breakthrough in health and civil rights legislation in the Philippines although it still has to pass through the grueling process of implementation. But its chances for success are buoyed by the broad enthusiasm that greeted its passage.
-- 

SSS to open offices on Saturdays of June for ‘kasambahay’ registration


Social Security System (SSS) branches nationwide will open for business on four consecutive Saturdays in June to enable household employers and domestic workers or ‘kasambahay’, such as maids, nursemaids or yaya, gardeners, cooks and laundry women, to register with SSS.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. said all its branches will be open to issue social security (SS) numbers for domestic workers as well as household employer ID numbers on June 8, 15, 22 and 29 to facilitate their mandatory SSS membership as provided under the Kasambahay Law and the Social Security Law.

"As active SSS members, domestic workers realize the fruits of their hard work in the form of SSS benefits for sickness, maternity, disability, retirement and death. SSS also helps household employers from solely shouldering the burden when their househelp faces financial difficulties," he added.

The Kasambahay Law, or Republic Act No. 10361, was signed into law on January 19, 2013 to ensure the social protection of household employees under various government agencies, which include the SSS, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and Pag-IBIG Fund.

To get an SS number, domestic workers, including family drivers who are considered household employees under the SSS charter, must fill out and submit the Personal Record Form (SSS Form E-1) to any SSS branch, along with a photocopy of any of the primary documents such as the birth or baptismal certificate, driver’s license, passport, Professional Regulation Commission card or seaman’s book.
Those without any primary document can give two secondary documents, both citing their name and at least one indicating their birthdate. SSS branches provide a comprehensive list of accepted secondary documents such as the ATM card, bank passbook, marriage contract, NBI or police clearance, voter’s ID or postal ID card.
"Only the Form E-1 and a photocopy of the supporting documents need to be submitted, but they should present to us the original copy for authentication purposes," de Quiros said. "Without the documents, they will be issued a number that may be used for paying contributions and reporting for SSS coverage but not for availment of benefits and loans. They will attain permanent SSS membership status upon submission of these required documents."
To secure a Household Employer ID Number, the employer only needs to fill out and submit the Employer Registration Form (SSS Form R-1). Existing household employers who still use their personal SS numbers in paying the contributions of their domestic workers will be given their Household Employer ID Number during their branch visit, via email or mail.

Household employers reporting workers for SSS coverage must submit the Employment Report Form (SSS Form R1-A), the Specimen Signature Card (SSS Form L-501), and the SSS Form E-1 of household employees with no prior SSS coverage.

De Quiros said the domestic worker’s effective date of coverage, which is the same as the date of employment, marks the start of the respective household employer’s obligation to remit monthly contributions for the household employee.

"If the effective date of coverage is earlier than the date of registration, the household employer must submit a ‘Statement of Monthly Salaries’ received by the domestic worker starting from the date of employment indicated in the SSS Form R1-A," he said. "This will be the basis for the computation of the accruing contributions that the household employer has to settle."


Apart from registration services, SSS offices with branch tellering facilities will also accept contribution payments of household employers during the four selected Saturdays. SSS forms are available at SSS branches and may be downloaded from the SSS website (www.sss.gov.ph).

VP Binay: Pinoy jailed for 13 years in Saudi one step closer to freedom

After languishing behind bars for some 13 years, overseas Filipino worker Rodelio "Dondon" Lanuza is one step closer to securing his freedom, Vice President Jejomar Binay said Wednesday.
 
Binay, the presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers' concerns, said Wednesday the Saudi Royal Court in Dammam had confirmed the family of a Saudi national who Lanuza killed had issued a tanazul or affidavit of forgiveness.
 
"Dondon said he got a text from Sheikh Ahmad Al Othaimen, Head of the SRC in Dammam, stating that the family of the victim had already issued the tanazul. Philippine Embassy officials in Riyadh were able to confirm the settlement of the blood money and the issuance of the tanazul with Sheikh Ahmad Al Othaimen himself," Binay said on his Facebook page.
 
Lanuza was sentenced to death for killing a Saudi national in 2000.
 
However, Binay declined to speculate when Lanuza would be repatriated.
 
“I do not want to speculate as there is a process to be followed. But what I am sure is that Dondon will no longer be executed,” Binay said.
 
Binay said Philippine embassy case officer Jerome Friaz received last May 22 a call from Lanuza where Lanuza said he got a text message about the tanazul.
 
With this development, he said it would now be up to the Dammam court to issue a release order for Lanuza.
 
Binay thanked Saudi King Abdullah for his generosity in agreeing to shoulder the balance of the blood money for Lanuza.
 
The Saudi king had shouldered P25 million of the P32 million blood money demanded by the victim’s family. 
 
He also lauded Philippine Embassy officials headed by Ambassador Ezzedin Tago for diligently following up Lanuza’s case.
 
“I would like to thank and congratulate everyone who has helped save Dondon Lanuza’s life. May your passion to serve our kababayans never waver,” Binay said.
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