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12th April 2017
Thousands of OFWs failed to register for PRRD visit to Qatar
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on April 12, 2017, 5:20 pm

By Joel Idjao

April 12, 2017

QATAR - Huge turn-out of registrants of Qatar based OFWs to be able to attend to President Rodrigo Duterte’s meeting with Filipino community crashed the website of the United Filipino Organization in Qatar (UFOQ) in just few hours after the Philippine Embassy announced its invitation.

On April 9, the Philippine Embassy, through Ambassador Alan Timbayan, sent out invitation for President Duterte’s official visit to oil-rich Emirate on April 14-16, but those who are interested should have to register first.

The President’s meeting with Filipino Community will be held at the Lusail Multipurpose hall, Lusail Sport’s Arena on April 15 between 6:00 pm to 8:00 p.m.

In a statement, Ambassador Timbayaan said, “For security purposes and physical layout limitations, the venue will be able to accommodate 6,000 persons. Filipinos who would like to attend the gathering would be required to register their attendance a few days before the event.”

However, in just a few hours after the announcement, the UFOQ website crashed because thousands of Qatar OFWs want to register. Registration is open on a first come-first serve.

Most of the registrants received an error message “500 Internal Sever Error” of “404 Page Not Found” and have to refresh several times until you fill-in the information including the submission of photo. 

Some of the registrants, who failed to register on that night, have to wake-up early the following day just to register successfully. Some successful registrants do not received email confirmation and have to email UFOQ to received confirmation tickets.

By morning of 11 April 2017 the registration is full as per website.  Some of the unsuccessful registrants plan to go to the venue hoping to see PPRD.

22nd March 2016
Thousands of OFWs leave Saudi
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on March 22, 2016, 11:05 am

(By Nelson S. Badilla, 22 March 2016, 11:05 pm)

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Tuesday virtually admitted that thousands of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) will be displaced.

But DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz however gave assurances that the affected OFWs from three big firms will receive their wages, including back pay, and their benefits.
The financially troubled firms are the Mohammad Al Mojil Group of Company (MMG), Saudi Oger Ltd. and the Saudi Binladen Group (SBLG).

Baldoz said Filipino labor officials headed by Undersecretary Ciriaco Lagunzad 3rd and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Director Albert Valenciano have sought assistance from Saudi Arabian labor officials and also requested the three beleaguered firms’ officials to pay the wages and benefits of the affected OFWs.


29th September 2015
A Day before the Balangiga Battle during Phil-Am War in 1901
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on September 29, 2015, 10:00 am

(By Rose San Diego, 29 Sep 2015)

CHICAGO, USA, 9/27/2015 - On the eve, the Battle for the Town of Balangiga in E. Samar turned tragic for both sides during the Philippine-American War that day on September 28, 1901.

Soon to turn another year old, the church congregation listens to Filipino WWII Jaime Pesongco, a Visayan; speak about the Bells of Balangiga of 113 years ago.  The group gives the entire WWII veterans their support for their courage and sacrifices that help saved the Philippines during the Japanese invasion, and for their continued efforts to increase awareness and encouraged open dialogs with other US veteran groups and elected US Officials.  The Filipino WWII veterans’ are planning their kick-off campaign the following day for Monday, September 28, 2015 hosted by the FDR Post923 of the American Legion.

In a recent preplanned event a couple months back on May 6th by Philippine President Aquino’s visit to Chicago, absent from the guest list, VIP or otherwise were these same statesmen who answered the call to protect their motherland, the Philippines in 1942.  Phone calls of inquiry were made to the PhilConGen Generoso Calonge of the Philippine Consulate General Chicago as to if they will be considered invitees for this honorable occasion?  No answer from any Consul Representative of the Philippine Government out of Chicago since that time.

As for the Philippine Senators who have written positive notes and letters for the actions of our Filipino veterans we extend our praise and gratitude on their behalf for your kind support, especially from those that are also proponents for the return of these historic bells of controversy.  We hope that when tomorrow comes at least one of the four Consuls will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with these aging WWII icons if not as Philippine National heroes, then for their commitment to bring education and share the story of the church bells from the Town of Balangiga, E. Samar that were removed 113 years.

29th October 2014
Scrap terminal fees for OFWs, court asked
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on October 29, 2014, 6:57 pm

(By Ben Rosario, 29 Oct 2014)

At least 12 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) groups and non-government organizations (NGOs) filed yesterday a court petition to stop the government from collecting a P550 airport terminal fee from OFWs leaving for abroad, saying it is illegal.

The leaders of at least 10 OFW organizations asked the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City to issue a temporary restraining order that would prevent the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Manila International Airport Authority from imposing the fee starting November 1.  The group was led by OFW Family Rep. Roy Seneres,

The OFW groups have resorted to a court action after failing to convince President Aquino to heed their complaint against the allegedly unlawful airport collection.


5th August 2014
OFWs take risks in Libya
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on August 5, 2014, 9:35 am

11,000 Pinoys opt to take chance of surviving the war rather than return home jobless
(By Leslie Ann G. Aquino, AFP and AP | 5 Aug 2014)

FLEEING LIBYA – A group of Egyptians prepare to board a bus at the border crossing of Ras Jdir to take them to the Jerba airport in Tunisia.
The Egyptians are among several nationalities fleeing Libya after chaos broke out threatening the safety of both Libyans and foreign
nationals. Hundreds of Filipinos are among those affected by the unrest and many have been repatriated home.
Related story on Page 7 (EPA)

Notwithstanding the growing unrest in Libya, described by fleeing residents as “much worse” than the crisis that toppled its dictator Moammar Khadafy in 2011, more than 11,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) would rather risk the danger in that conflict-torn country rather than face uncertainty of having no job at home.

“We are hearing that a lot of them would rather take the chance of surviving the war rather than (risking) the uncertainty of not having work here,” Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Charles Jose said.

He added that while some might be willing to risk the danger, others, especially those working in the medical field, might be under pressure to stay.


17th October 2013
EU official on possible ban of Filipino seafarers: Clock is ticking
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on October 17, 2013, 1:25 pm

(By Dennis Ayienza Maliwanag, Inquirer.net, 1:25 pm | Thursday, 17 Oct 2013)

A prospective applicant view job opportunities at a recruiting booth at the seafarer’s park in Manila.
The Philippines supplies a third of the world’s merchant mariners. AFP

BRUSSELS - Filipino seafarers could soon lose their jobs in the European Union ships if Manila still fails to correct maritime education flaws, a European Commission official said Wednesday.

“The clock is ticking,” said the official, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media on the subject.

The official said the blacklisting of Filipino seafarers from EU-flagged ships should have been implemented since last year but its imposition was deferred following an appeal from the Philippine government.

The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), which assists EC in monitoring maritime safety compliance, has raised concerns regarding the quality of maritime schools in the Philippines.

The official told visiting Filipino journalists here that Manila has been informed about the possibility of Filipino seafarers being banned from boarding EU vessels.

The Philippines is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of seafarers. There are about 100,000 Filipino seamen onboard  ships from the 28-member EU.

In March 2010, the EU also banned all Philippine airlinesfrom flying into the European airspace, citing safety concerns.

Last July, EU lifted its ban on Philippine Airlines but Cebu Pacific has yet to get its flying clearance.

28th September 2013
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on September 28, 2013, 10:25 pm

(By Associated Press / INQUIRER.net, 10:25 pm | Saturday, 28 Sep 2013)

BALI, Indonesia --- Miss Philippines, Megan Young, was crowned Miss World in a glittering finale on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Saturday.

"I promise to be the best Miss World ever," Young, 23, said after winning the 63rd annual event, as a large number of Filipino fans who traveled with her celebrated by jumping and waving the country's flag.

"Salamat sa mga kababayan ko.  Mahal na mahal ko kayo (Thanks to my compatriots. I love you very much),” said the teary-eyed actress after she was crowned on Hindu-majority Bali at the end of a three-week contest.


1st April 2013
'Saudization' plan leads to human rights lapses
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on April 1, 2013, 7:48 pm

(By Ronald O. Reyes | Source:Manila Standard Today, 2 Apr 2013)

About 7,000 Filipinos were stranded while awaiting repatriation from Saudi Arabia following a crackdown on undocumented migrant workers as part of the government’s "Saudization" program, a Filipino migrant rights group said on Monday.

Migrante party-list chairperson Connie Bragas-Regalado said the crackdown has resulted in various human rights violations against eight million migrant workers, including 1.2 million Filipinos.

"We have received reports that the Saudi government has been presently conducting intensified crackdowns on undocumented migrant workers as part of the implementation of the Nitaqat or Saudization program," Bragas-Regalado said.

"We are greatly disturbed by complaints and accounts of illegal arrests, damage to properties and other abuses by Saudi authorities," she said.

The crackdown followed amendments to Saudi Arabia’s labor law, giving power to the Saudi Labor Ministry to “inspect and investigate” undocumented and overstaying migrant workers. Authorities arrest workers, who were not connected with a company.

The new law, which was implemented in 2011, gives priority to nationals on job openings. Migrant workers with terminated  contracts were immediately deported.

Bragas-Regalado said most Filipino workers were easy targets as undocumented after running away from abusive employers, while others were victims of human trafficking.

"We call on the Philippine government to investigate and assist Filipino workers victimized by the crackdown and to facilitate their immediate repatriation. Regardless of status, their rights should be respected and their welfare taken care of," she said.

7th October 2012
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on October 7, 2012, 9:01 am

(Business World, 6 Oct 2012)

TAX BREAKS granted to the remittance industry are worth the loss in government revenues since they encourage savings and investments among migrant workers, the National Tax Research Center (NTRC) said.
Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are exempted from the 7.5% final withholding tax on interest earned by their foreign currency deposits, among others, which the NTRC said in a study can then be channeled to investments like insurance and real estate -- developing the capital markets and stimulating the economy.

Migrant workers also enjoy an exemption from the P0.30 documentary stamp tax charged for every P200 in money transfers and remittances. The incentive was passed into law in 2010 to lower OFWs’ transaction costs as the government feared the tax was forcing them to send money via informal channels.


Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on October 7, 2012, 8:58 am

(By Karla Maquiling, GMA News, 6 Oct 2012)

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) administrator Hans Cacdac urged job seekers to deal only with licensed placement agencies, not directly with foreign employers, especially as job scams abound on the Internet.

In an interview with GMA News Online, Cacdac said online job scams are becoming more prevalent.

He urged applicants to be vigilant and not commit to any offer without an official job order.


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Immigration >>
MEGAN YOUNG CROWNED MISS WORLD 2013, September 28, 2013, 10:25 pm

7,000 OFWs in Jeddah seek repatriation, August 21, 2012, 8:10 pm

Migration is good, May 1, 2012, 6:12 am

Kuwait Filipinos top OAV globally, April 30, 2012, 6:41 am

Cathay offloads 'unruly' consul, April 24, 2012, 9:04 pm

OFW >>
Thousands of OFWs leave Saudi, March 22, 2016, 11:05 am

Scrap terminal fees for OFWs, court asked, October 29, 2014, 6:57 pm

OFWs take risks in Libya, August 5, 2014, 9:35 am

MEGAN YOUNG CROWNED MISS WORLD 2013, September 28, 2013, 10:25 pm

OFW PERKS BENEFITING THE ECONOMY, October 7, 2012, 9:01 am

Life Abroad >>
Headlines >>
Malaysia alerts Philippines of new kidnapping, November 20, 2016, 4:10 pm

Thousands of OFWs leave Saudi, March 22, 2016, 11:05 am

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