Yearly summit to provide OFWs and families with business ideas and livelihood opportunities
After the successful ‘1st OFW & Family Summit 2011: Kabuhayan Para sa Kinabukasan’ that attracted over 5,000 participants, the Villar Foundation and GoNegosyo will hold the ‘2nd OFW Family Summit 2012: Hanep Na Ang Buhay Dahil May Hanap Buhay’ for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, from 7am to 4pm.
“We have seen how the first OFW summit has helped many of our OFWs and their relatives, so we will keep on doing this. Many of them have applied what they have learned from the talks they listened to, by putting up small businesses such as food stalls or venturing into franchising and direct selling among others,” said Cynthia Villar, Managing Director of the Villar Foundation.
The summit is focused on OFWs and their families, thus every aspect of the event—from the program to the exhibitors, is customized to cater to their interests, requirements and concerns.
Various speakers and Villar herself (as keynote speaker) will provide OFWs and other attendees with insights and tips on entrepreneurship, from the basics of starting a business and to financing. Topics include: spotting business opportunities, financial literacy and presentation on other opportunities such as in franchising, direct selling, real estate salesmanship, product consignments, distributorship etc.
Exhibit stalls and booths would feature different businesses, companies and organizations which will showcase their products, services, business offerings among others, that can give OFWs and their families ideas or examples on where to invest their hard-earned money.
According to Villar, providing OFWs and families with needed business know-how can help them better handle their money. “We want OFWs and their families to have an entrepreneurial mindset, so they can invest their earnings or the remittances they get into profitable endeavors. We want them to have success stories, not sob stories that we often hear from distressed OFWs.”
OFWs-turned-entrepreneurs are also invited to inspire the audience with their testimonials.
Like last year, one of the main highlights of the event is the raffle prizes. The Villar Foundation will again raffle off a Camella house and lot. GoNegosyo will give away food cart business packages. Livelihood or ‘kabuhayan’ packages such as Aling Puring sari-sari store items of Puregold, motorcycles from Motortrade, Kettle Korn franchises, among many more.
The Villar Foundation, through its Sagip OFW program, has been extending various forms of support and assistance to OFWs and their families including repatriation, livelihood packages, medical/burial assistance, scholarships and skills-up trainings.
“We in the foundation through Sagip OFW wants to be there for OFWs, from rescuing them to abusive employers, repatriating them and reintegrating them as productive members of the society. We have a soft spot for OFWs because our first client in our housing business was an OFW family. This will be a life-long advocacy for us,” cited Villar.
Corporate sponsors of the 2nd OFW and Family Summit include Vista Land, Camella Homes, Smart, Isuzu Motors, Motortrade, Kettle Food Corp., Avon and PLDT SME Nation. Institutional partners are Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) and Blas Ople Policy Center.
Media partners of the event are GMA, TV 5, Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin, Business Mirror, People’s Journal, Abante, 96.3 EasyRock, Crossover 105.1, Tiger 22 Media Corp. (103.5 Wow FM, Magic 89.9, 99.5RT, Killer Bee, Wave 89.1, Jam 88.3), Love Radio, and DZRH.###
NGO appeals to PNoy to give green light for DFA probe into complaints vs ambassador
A migrant workers' advocacy group called on the Office of the President to authorize the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to hold an investigation into allegations made by a Filipino domestic worker regarding acts of sexual harassment involving Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Shulan Primavera.
Susan Ople of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center said that presidential authority is needed for the case to be heard by the DFA since the respondent is a foreign service official. "We are appealing to the President for the grant of authority to the DFA to proceed with its investigation so that this case can be resolved with fairness, transparency, and impartiality." Ople expressed high hopes that President Aquino will grant the authority because of his desire for reforms and clear instructions to the foreign service to treat OFWs with respect at all times. She also hoped that the DFA can invite the labor attache and welfare attache to testify once the case is underway.
"Mabel" wants to get on with her life and be reunited with her family but she is committed to finish the case, the Ople Center added. Atty. Reynaldo Robles of ChanRobles & Associates has agreed to take on the case as "Mabel's" pro bono lawyer after listening to her story.
The OFW advocate noted that it is very rare for an OFW to lodge a formal complaint against any personnel of the embassy, much less one vested with an ambassadorial rank. "This is why this case is so unique and important. All that she is asking for is that the truth come out."
Contrary to an earlier statement of Ambassador Shulan Primavera that the case was part of a "demolition job" against him instigated by another ambassador whom he had a rift with, the Ople Center said that "Mabel" does not even know the name or face of the ambassador being referred to by Primavera.
Ople said the manner by which the DFA also conducts its inquiry shall be closely watched by OFW organizations around the world.
"This is no longer "Mabel's" battle alone. I know that OFW groups around the world are also watching this case with keen interest," the OFW advocate added.
Writing an essay I searched for this article and now I am reposting here so I can go back to it when I need it. I will be posting in this blog some of those that I have written for Sulyapinoy.
Imagine a world without Filipinos
By: Abdullah Al-Maghlooth (Arab News. 16 Jun 2008)
(accessed 23 October 2010)
Muhammad Al-Maghrabi became handicapped and shut down his flower and gifts shop business in Jeddah after his Filipino workers insisted on leaving and returning home. He says: “When they left, I felt as if I had lost my arms. I was so sad that I lost my appetite.”
Al-Maghrabi then flew to Manila to look for two other Filipino workers to replace the ones who had left. Previously, he had tried workers of different nationalities but they did not impress him. “There is no comparison between Filipinos and others,” he says. Whenever I see Filipinos working in the Kingdom, I wonder what our life would be without them.
Saudi Arabia has the largest number of Filipino workers — 1,019,577 — outside the Philippines. In 2006 alone, the Kingdom recruited more than 223,000 workers from the Philippines and their numbers are still increasing. Filipinos not only play an important and effective role in the Kingdom, they also perform different jobs in countries across the world, including working as sailors. They are known for their professionalism and the quality of their work.
Nobody here can think of a life without Filipinos, who make up around 20 percent of the world’s seafarers. There are 1.2 million Filipino sailors.
So if Filipinos decided one day to stop working or go on strike for any reason, who would transport oil, food and heavy equipment across the world? We can only imagine the disaster that would happen.
What makes Filipinos unique is their ability to speak very good English and the technical training they receive in the early stages of their education. There are several specialized training institutes in the Philippines, including those specializing in engineering and road maintenance. This training background makes them highly competent in these vital areas.
When speaking about the Philippines, we should not forget Filipino nurses. They are some 23 percent of the world’s total number of nurses. The Philippines is home to over 190 accredited nursing colleges and institutes, from which some 9,000 nurses graduate each year. Many of them work abroad in countries such as the US, the UK, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Singapore.
Cathy Ann, a 35-year-old Filipino nurse who has been working in the Kingdom for the last five years and before that in Singapore, said she does not feel homesick abroad because “I am surrounded by my compatriots everywhere.” Ann thinks that early training allows Filipinos to excel in nursing and other vocations. She started learning this profession at the age of four as her aunt, a nurse, used to take her to hospital and ask her to watch the work. “She used to kiss me whenever I learned a new thing. At the age of 11, I could do a lot. I began doing things like measuring my grandfather’s blood pressure and giving my mother her insulin injections,” she said.
This type of early education system is lacking in the Kingdom. Many of our children reach the university stage without learning anything except boredom.
The Philippines, which you can barely see on the map, is a very effective country thanks to its people. It has the ability to influence the entire world economy.
We should pay respect to Filipino workers, not only by employing them but also by learning from their valuable experiences.
We should learn and educate our children on how to operate and maintain ships and oil tankers, as well as planning and nursing and how to achieve perfection in our work. This is a must so that we do not become like Muhammad Al-Maghrabi who lost his interest and appetite when Filipino workers left his flower shop.
We have to remember that we are very much dependent on the Filipinos around us. We could die a slow death if they chose to leave us.
Mula sa email box ibinabahagi sa lahat: Subject: SHARE KO LANG PO PARA SA MGA OFW
Sa may asawa, kapatid, anak, kaibigan, at kamag-anak na OFW. At lalo na sa mga gustong mangibang-bansa. .. Nais ko rin ibahagi sa inyo, ang natanggap kong email na ito. Maaaring makatulong ito upang lalong maintindihan ng bawa't isa ang tunay na ibig sabihin ng pagiging isang OFW. Tiyak na may mapupulot tayong aral dito.
Hindi mayaman ang OFW - We have this notion na 'pag OFW o nasa abroad ay mayaman na. Hindi totoo yun. A regular OFW might earn from P20K-P300K per month depende sa lokasyon. Yung mga taga-Saudi or US siguro ay mas malaki ang sweldo, but to say that they're rich is a fallacy (amen!).
Malaki ang pangangailangan kaya karamihan ay nag-a-abroad. Maraming bunganga ang kailangang pakainin kaya umaalis ang mga pipol sa Philippines . Madalas, 3/4 o kalahati ng sweldo ay napupunta sa tuition ng anak at gastusin ng pamilya.
Mahirap maging OFW - Kailangan magtipid hangga't kaya. Oo, masarap ang pagkain sa abroad pero madalas na paksiw o adobo at itlog lang tinitira para makaipon. Pagdating ng kinsenas o katapusan, ang unang tinitingnan eh ang conversion ng peso sa dollar o rial o euro. Mas okay na magtiis sa konti kaysa gutumin ang pamilya. Kapag umuuwi, kailangan may baon kahit konti kasi maraming kamag-anak ang sumusundo sa airport o naghihintay sa probinsya. Alam mo naman 'pag Pinoy, yung tsismis na OFW ka eh surely attracts a lot of kin.
Kapag hindi mo nabigyan ng pasalubong eh magtatampo na yun at sisiraan ka na. Well, hindi naman lahat pero I'm sure sa mga OFW dito eh may mga pangyayaring ganun. Magtatrabaho ka sa bansang iba ang tingin sa mga Pinoy. Malamang marami ang naka-experience ng gulang o discrimination to their various workplaces. Sige lang, tiis lang, iniiyak na lang kasi kawawa naman pamilya 'pag umuwi.
Besides, wala ka naman talagang maasahang trabaho sa Philippines ngayon. Mahal ang bigas, ang gatas, ang sardinas, ang upa sa apartment. Tiis lang kahit maraming kupal sa trabaho, kahit may sakit at walang nag-aalaga, kahit hindi masarap ang tsibog, kahit pangit ang working conditions, kahit delikado, kahit mahirap. Kapag nakapadala ka na, okay na, tawag lang, "hello! kumusta na kayo?".
Hindi bato ang OFW - Tao rin ang OFW, hindi money o cash machine. Napapagod rin, nalulungkot (madalas), nagkakasakit, nag-iisip at nagugutom. Kailangan din ang suporta, kundi man physically, emotionally o spiritually man lang.
Tumatanda rin ang OFW - Sa mga nakausap at nakita ko, marami ang panot at kalbo na. Most of them have signs and symptoms of hypertension, coronary artery disease and arthritis.. Yet, they continue to work thinking about the family they left behind. Marami ang nasa abroad, 20-30 years na, pero wala pa ring ipon. Kahit anong pakahirap, sablay pa rin. Masakit pa kung olats rin ang sinusuportahang pamilya - ang anak adik o nabuntis; ang asawa may kabit. Naalala ko tuloy ang sikat na kanta dati, "NAPAKASAKIT KUYA EDDIE!"
Bayani ang OFW - Totoo yun! Ngayon ko lang na na-realize na bayani ang OFW sa maraming bagay. Hindi bayani na tulad ni Nora Aunor o Flor Contemplacion . Bayani in the truest sense of the word. Hindi katulad ni Rizal o Bonifacio. Mas higit pa dun, mas maraming giyera at gulo ang pinapasok ng OFW para lang mabuhay. Mas maraming pulitika ang kailangang suungin para lang tumagal sa trabaho lalo na't kupal ang mga kasama sa trabaho. Mas mahaba ang pasensya kaysa sa mga ordinaryong kongresista o senador sa Philippines dahil sa takot na mawalan ng sweldo.
Matindi ang OFW - Matindi ang pinoy. Matindi pa sa daga, o cockroaches which survived the cataclysmic evolution. Maraming sakripisyo pero walang makitang tangible solutions or consequences.
Malas ng OFW, swerte ng pulitiko - Hindi umuupo ang OFW para magbigay ng autograph o interbyuhin ng media (unless nakidnap!). Madalas nasa sidelines lang ang OFW. Kapag umaalis, malungkot and on the verge of tears. Kapag dumadating, swerte 'pag may sundo( madalas meron). Kapag naubos na ang ipon, wala ng kamag-anak.
Sana sikat ang OFW para may boses sa Kamara. Ang swerte ng mga politiko nakaupo sila at ginagastusan ng pera ng Filipino. Hindi nga sila naiinitan o napapaso ng langis, o napagagalitan ng amo, o kumakain ng paksiw para makatipid, o nakatira sa compound with conditions less than favorable, o nakikisama sa ibang lahi para mabuhay. Ang swerte, sobrang swerte nila.
Matatag ang OFW - Matatag ang OFW, mas matatag pa sa sundalo o kung ano pang grupo na alam nyo. Magaling sa reverse psychology, negotiations at counter-attacks. Tatagal ba ang OFW? Tatagal pa kasi hindi pa natin alam kailan magbabago ang Philippines , kailan nga kaya? o may tsansa pa ba?
Masarap isipin na kasama mo ang pamilya mo araw-araw. Nakikita mo mga anak mong lumalaki at naaalagaan ng maayos. Masarap kumain ng sitaw, ng bagoong, lechon, inihaw na isda, taba ng talangka. Masarap manood ng pelikulang Pinoy, luma man o bago. Iba pa rin ang pakiramdam kung kilala mo ang kapitbahay mo. Iba pa rin sa Philippines , iba pa rin kapag Pinoy ang kasama mo (except 'pag kupal at utak-talangka) , iba pa rin 'pag nagkukwento ka at naiintindihan ng iba ang sinasabi mo. Iba pa rin ang tunog ng "mahal kita!", "day, ginahigugma tika." "Mingaw na ko nimo ba, kalagot!", " Inday, diin ka na subong haw? ganahan guid ko simo ba". Iba pa rin talaga.
Sige lang, tiis lang, saan ba't darating din ang pag-asa.
Kung OFW ka at binabasa mo ito, mabuhay ka dahil ikaw ang tunay na BAYA NI ng lahing PILIPINO!!!
This afternoon I had a chat with kenji and nj about grand plans for Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards (PEBA). Well it seems that PEBA does not want to be confined to just giving awards but harnessing bloggers to take actions on the issues and concerns of the millions of OFWs and Expats around the world.
The group is seriously planning for a big event to celebrate Filipinos as Hope of the Nation and Gift to the World, the theme for this year’s PEBA. The award will recognize those bloggers who does not blog alone but are also proactive in terms of doing and providing real help to Pinoy expats and OFWs. Imagine this great bloggers asset being tapped from the bloggosphere and the different corners of the globe, working together to address the needs of OFWs, then, it would be a better working-world for the OFWs.
But why OFWs are continually abused? (even by his own countrymen)
How could they issue million worth of checks, to think that institutions such as Asian United Bank, Paramount Life and General Insurance Corporation, HQR Technical Insurance got entangled into this financial imbroglio? It is such a complicated money trail scam and a real case of human trafficking.
Good thing that The Blas F. Ople Policy Center is engaged in this, advocating for the rights of these hapless victims of injustice and extortion. Most of them are first timers to go abroad. Promised a good salary some of them paid a very exorbitant placement fee more than doubled their salary which is a violation of the law.
Tomorrow classes will start. Children of these OFW victims will not be able to go to school. Some will borrow some more money and loan again to survive. One of the victims whom I happened to talked to is Fernando T. Mateo, he is one of those who paid in full his placement fee of PhP 150,000.00. The money he used to pay for it came from the sold assets and properties of their family and the rest were borrowed from relatives. He is looking for a job. He can drive and do auto-mechanic works, you can call him at (09106403669/7859020) if you would like to hire him or have leads for work.
Definitely it is not a perfect world. So PEBA believes that there is HOPE, that OFW can still be gift to the world for his/her diligence and world class skills. I really look forward to that day that aside from awarding bloggers, Expats and OFW bloggers are united in addressing and helping prevent OFWs being abused and taken advantage. And also NGOs and other civil society groups and mostly the government, assist and provide the necessary services OFW truly they truly deserve. After all they remain pillars for the Philippine economy to survive.
PEBA will then award not only bloggers but also those who support and benefactors of those less fortunate OFWs.