Posts by Albert Hernandez

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aaa“If it’s your birthday, they give you two chickens.” This was what a Coast Guard officer told me as we walked to the end of the 1,300-metre dirt airfield of Pag-asa island. At 37 hectares, Pag-asa is the biggest island controlled by the Philippines in the Spratlys. It is 480 kilometers west of Puerto Princesa or 34 hours away by boat from Rizal, Palawan. I visited the island with a group of government officials to see how it could be developed into a tourism site. “We have pigs, goats, ducks, and chickens. If it’s ...

August 14, 2017
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aaaGOVERNMENT would not mind if the Philippine peso depreciated further to P52 to a US dollar, according to Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno. Diokno said on July 14 that there was nothing to worry about the depreciation of the peso since the peso-dollar exchange rate was still within the government target range of P48-P52 to one US dollar. He pointed out that peso depreciation also favored overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and the country’s exporters. “I’m not worried about the peso depreciation...And right now our target, w...

August 7, 2017
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aaaTHE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has warned overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to be wary of “fake” Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) websites.” Labor Undersecretary Bernard Olalia, acting POEA chief, said OFWs and those who plan to work abroad should first verify the legitimacy of job vacancies being peddled on the Internet, especially after the proliferation of fake POEA pages in the social media, particularly on Facebook. Olalia said the POEA received reports that “unscrupulous individua...

August 4, 2017
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aaaDOMESTIC workers who fail the competency assessment of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will no longer be required to wait for a month before they can take another assessment, according to a policy research firm. Former Labor Undersecretary Nicon F. Fameronag, now president of the policy research Lilac Center for Public Interest, said the TESDA board last month approved a resolution scrap the requirement. “This is a move in the right direction. It will open up more employment opportunities for women who c...

March 16, 2017
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aaaLabor Secretary Silvestre Bello III this morning ordered the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Qatar to immediately help 300 overseas Filipino workers affected by a fire that razed a labor camp on Friday. Bello said he ordered Labor Attaché David Des Dicang and his team to assist the victims of the blaze that hit the UCC Labor Camp of the Elegancia Hospitality Group in Al-Shehaniya, which is about 33 kilometers north of Doha. The labor chief said he instructed the POLO to provide immediate assistance to the OFWs, monitor their...

March 7, 2017
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aaaLABOR Secretary Silvestre Bello III this morning threatened to charge airline companies to compel them to immediately stop the collection of travel tax and terminal fees from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). “The continuous collection of travel tax and terminal fees from OFWs is not correct because the law exempting them took effect three years ago. They should have stopped the collection as early as three years ago,” Bello said in a statement. The labor chief was reacting to reports that airline companies will only cease collecting ...

March 17, 2017
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aaaNEARLY 50 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Hong Kong and Macau successfully passed the Civil Service Commission (CSC) exam last year, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said. Bello said 47 OFWs will get a Certification of Eligibility to work in government  after passing the Career Service Examination- Pen and Paper Test (CSE-PPT) that was held in Hong Kong. The number of passers comprised 4.93 percent of the 953 OFWs who took the CSE-PPT in Kowloon in November. Labor Attaché Jalilo dela Torre said they are planning to...

March 15, 2017
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aaaLABOR Secretary Silvestre Bello III today ordered airlines to stop including the travel tax and airport terminal fees in the cost of their tickets for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). In a letter to Director General Jim Sydiongco of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Bello said OFWs are exempted from paying travel tax and terminal fees under the amended Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995. “It has come to my attention that the travel tax and terminal fees are being included in the cost of the airline ...

March 3, 2017
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