Interesting times ahead
Jul07

Interesting times ahead

Published — Tuesday 7 July 2015 Things are heating up on the political front in the Philippines as political parties start preparing for the filing of candidacies in October of this year. Vice-President Jejomar Binay had finally cut ties with the Aquino administration, thus claiming by his lonesome the mantle of the opposition. In his speeches, the vice-president continues to criticize the government for its ineptitude and callous...

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Harnessing the OFW vote in 2016
Jun24

Harnessing the OFW vote in 2016

SUSAN V. OPLE Published — Wednesday 24 June 2015 The Commission on Elections declared rather triumphantly that the number of overseas Filipinos who have registered as voters as of this month has reached 1.4 million. This means that the Department of Foreign Affairs through diplomatic posts finally attained its perennial target of crossing the one-million threshold in terms of overseas registrants. Kudos to the Philippine embassies and...

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A cry for mercy
Jun10

A cry for mercy

SUSAN V. OPLE Published — Wednesday 10 June 2015 The lack of health care programs for Filipino migrant workers is a perennial source of frustration among members of the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA). OWWA was created during the Marcos regime as a trust fund for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to be managed by the Philippine government. It now has billions in funds, with the interest earned on a monthly basis being...

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Preventing preventable accidents
May19

Preventing preventable accidents

SUSAN V. OPLE Published — Tuesday 19 May 2015 Last Wednesday, 72 workers perished in a fire at a factory in Valenzuela City while trapped in the second floor of the slipper factory. The gruesome details surrounding the fire sparked outrage among workers’ families, trade unions, the media and Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz who called the factory owners as “immoral.” Based on first-hand accounts from the survivors of the fire, the...

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Temporary relief to OFWs
Nov04

Temporary relief to OFWs

A coalition composed of civil society groups and advocates for migrant workers’ rights known as #Noto550 rejoiced over the grant of a temporary restraining order by Pasay City Judge Tingraan Guiling of regional trial court no. 109 against the implementation of a policy to integrate airport terminal fees into international air tickets. The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) was about to implement the new scheme known as the...

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The perils in leaving Libya
Aug12

The perils in leaving Libya

Around 12,000 Filipinos remain trapped in Libya, working for an economy in shambles with looming power and water shortages as bombs fall and looting continue. News about the beheading of a construction worker and rape of a Filipino nurse drove home the message: Leave Libya now. For the Philippine government, it is a race against time as borders shut down and travel by land, ship, and air becomes more perilous. Veteran foreign affairs...

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