Posts by Maia Lopez

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aaaCHINA and the Philippines are expected to conclude a labor agreement that will expand the market and ensure ample protection for overseas Filipino workers. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the agreement may be firmed up during the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Beijing on May 13. “We are still working out the details, but there may be a labor agreement that will benefit our OFWs,” Bello said. Duterte will be in Beijing to attend the Belt and Road Forum, his last leg in a two-country swing that will begin in...

May 12, 2017
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aaaPRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has announced his plan to establish a dedicated department that will address the concerns of overseas Filipino workers. Duterte first announced his plan in a recent visit to Bahrain. “You will have, in a few months, a Department for OFWs only,” the President said. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, however, raised concerns over the plan, which he said is a departure from the administration's bid to bring home OFWs for good by providing them decent jobs. Bello said there are already two agencies mandated ...

April 25, 2017
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aaaThe gastronomic scene in Metro Manila is booming at an overwhelmingly fast rate. It seems there is a new must-try restaurant opening every month in every city, giving residents in the capital a wide array of choices to explore. You can try dishes from neighboring Asian countries to far away Europe without having to leave the urban jungle you call home. Annam (P300 to P500 per person)  [caption id="attachment_2290" align="alignnone" width="262"] April 18, 2017

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aaaRECRUITMENT fees continue to burden overseas Filipino workers before and after their deployment, a report by the Asian Development Bank showed. In its report titled "Safeguarding the Rights of Asian Migrant Workers from Home to the Workplace," the ADB said loopholes in existing laws have allowed recruiters to exploit OFWs by inflating recruitment fees. The ADB added that OFWs suffer heavy salary cuts and direct payments, or take "large loans requiring repayment at high interest rates" due to these "excessive" recruitment fees. "Existin...

March 16, 2017
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aaaTHE Department of Labor and Employment is looking at Russia as the next work destination for skilled Filipino workers, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said. Bello said President Duterte will discuss labor relations when he visits the socialist state 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 h...

December 22, 2016
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aaaTHE late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was buried with military honors at a heroes’ cemetery in Manila almost 30 years after his death in Hawaii, triggering mass protests across the country. President Rodrigo Duterte, who was in Peru for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, gave orders in August that the burial may proceed, fulfilling an election campaign promise. Progressive groups filed their opposition to the burial before the Supreme Court, which in turn ruled that Marcos can be interred at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani...

December 5, 2016
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aaaTHE Philippine Navy’s latest frigate, the Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Andres Bonifacio, has left California. The ship left the US Coast Guard Base in Alameda, California and embarked on its voyage to the Philippines on November 1 with Captain Brendo J. Casaclang in command. Philippine Consul General to San Francisco Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. led the sendoff party which included Consulate officials, military attaché B/Gen Eric Calip and members of the Filipino-American community. In his speech, Bensurto congratulate...

November 11, 2016

aaaLABOR Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III has condoled with the family of the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who was allegedly raped by her employer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Secretary Bello said that Filipina Irma Avila Edloy, 35, passed away Friday. He added that Edloy was rushed to King Salman Hospital in Riyadh because of severe injuries from suspected sexual assault. She lapsed into a coma soon after arriving at the hospital. Edloy’s case was brought to the attention of Secretary Bello during his trip to Saudi Arabia to l...

September 13, 2016

aaaTHE Abu Sayyaf has beheaded an 18-year-old Filipino male captive in Indanan, Sulu province after failing to get ransom from the boy’s family. Western Mindanao Command spokesman Maj. Filemon Tan said the head of kidnap victim Patrick James Almodovar was found inside a plastic bag that was dumped by three motorcycle-riding men at Kilometer 2 in Barangay Kajatian. Almodovar was kidnapped by the Ajang-Ajang faction of the Abu Sayyaf in Barangay Asturias in Jolo, Sulu, on July 16. Tan did not say how much the Abu Sayyaf had de...

September 13, 2016
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aaaA re-elected lawmaker has appealed to his colleagues in Congress to support the country’s public school teachers by increasing their basic monthly salary to at least P36,000. Rep. Raul Del Mar (1st District, Cebu City) said public school teachers are among underpaid workers in society. Despite the fact that they are heralded as molders of children’s future, they receive only less than twenty thousand a month each for their basic salary. Del Mar filed a bill that seeks to upgrade the salary grade level of teachers in public elementary ...

July 21, 2016
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