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Monday, December 19, 2011

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Warns Illegal Manpower Exports

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Sunday warned of stern action against any fraudulence regarding manpower export and said the government will not only cancel the recruiting license of offenders, but will also take other punitive measures against those responsible for frauds.

She issued the warning while addressing a discussion organised by Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC), marking the International Migrants Day.

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud spoke on the occasion as special guests.

Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Secretary Dr Jafar Ahmed Khan gave the welcome address.

The premier said the government will not tolerate any sort of fraudulence regarding the export of manpower.

She mentioned that for the convenience of the workers seeking employment abroad, the government has established ‘Prabashi Kalyan Bank’ in last April. From this specialised bank the people will get soft loan, she said.

“From next month, the government will set up booths of this bank at Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet airports, and will open its branches in all divisional headquarters,” she added.

Hasina informed that the government has established an Endowment Fund with Tk 140 crore as seed money, and is spending money from its profit for skill development.

“We have also decided to build skilled manpower suiting the demand of manpower abroad. The Labour Wings of our missions have been asked to determine the demands of the respective countries,” she said.

She said nearly 8 million Bangladeshi citizens have been working around the world leaving their near and dear ones at home. They have been earning foreign currencies for the country. Their hard-earned foreign exchange is boosting the national economy.

In this connection, the prime minister said that the foreign employment sector has been playing an important role in the socio-economic development of Bangladesh.

Read the rest of the story at TheDailystar

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Women OFWs with unfinished contracts to avail of skills enhancement

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) specifically the women group who were unable to finish their work contracts abroad will have a chance at skills enhancement should they decide to avail of the seminar training workshop specifically designed by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in Eastern Visayas.

Florence Panao, OWWA information officer disclosed that OWWA-8 has launched this month a new program for OFWs known as the “Entrepreneurial Development Program” or EDP.
The program, which begun yesterday, is aimed at helping distressed, abused, and maltreated women OFWs who came home with unfinished contracts.

The said group will be taught entrepreneurial skills to help them become productive being unsuccessful working abroad.

The women will learn skills which include manicure, pedicure and foot spa services in the all-free one week live-in seminar training workshop.
OFWs who finish the training will be given the needed equipment for use in starting the business they will be engaging in.

OFWs who want to avail of the training need only to bring a copy of their contract and proof of being active member of OWWA.

The training which started yesterday had 28 participants.

source: PIA

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

DOJ clears 5 POEA execs of human trafficking raps

The Department of Justice (DOJ) junked human trafficking charges against five officers of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

In a 15-page decision, the DOJ said the evidence failed to prove the charges against POEA officers Alejandro Padaem, Jesus Gabriel Domingo, Marieta de la Cruz, Ernesto Vistro and Nascel Gabito.

Former POEA officer Stephen Cascolan accused his five former co-workers of conspiring with three recruitment agencies to illegally deploy 100 overseas Filipino workers, some of whom sought repatriation. According to Cascolan, the five POEA committed fraud when they included the agencies in the list of those with “good standing” despite an order canceling their licenses.

He also claimed that the delay in the implementation of the cancellation order caused undue harm to the OFWs, some of whom suffered abuses and sought immediate repatriation.

The DOJ said the evidence presented failed to prove that the accused intentionally delayed the implementation of the cancellation order to the three recruitment agencies.

“The complaint must show that the delay was intentional and intended to promote human trafficking, but evidence did not show it was intentional,” the DOJ pointed out.

In the absence of a declaration from the OFWs, the DOJ said the allegation appeared to be hearsay.

source: Philippine Star

Friday, December 2, 2011

OFW's In Saipan - Free Health Screening

The Philippine Consulate General announced that the 4th Quarter 2011 “Free Health Screening for OFWs” will be held tomorrow, Dec. 4, at the ground floor of the Marianas Business Plaza in Susupe.

Registration for the event will begin at 6:30am and the actual screening will be held from 7am to noon. This will be the last health screening for the year.

The free health screening program is conducted by the Consulate, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office, and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, in cooperation with the Filipino Volunteer Medical Team, CNMI Pharmacist Association, Hardt Eye Clinic, and other volunteers from the Filipino community.

Medical services to be provided are blood pressure, blood sugar, and eye vision checkups.

Those who want to avail of the blood sugar level checkup should refrain from taking solid and liquid food from midnight prior to actual testing until after blood samples are taken at the health screening.

Consul General Medardo Macaraig said the program aims to increase the level of awareness on diabetes prevention and control, hypertension prevention, and eye/vision pressure correction among Filipino workers on island.

“Through this project, the Philippine Consulate General hopes to reach more and serve even if in a modest way, the medical needs, while fostering the spirit of volunteerism in the true spirit of Filipino bayanihan [on] Saipan,” said Macaraig.

The last time a free health screening was conducted by the Consulate was on Sept. 4, during which 387 Filipino workers were served, 316 of whom had their blood sugar and blood pressure levels checked, and 17 were eye patients.

Those who want to avail of other consular services, including overseas absentee voters registration/certification, can proceed to the Consulate office at the 5th floor of the Marianas Business Plaza, which will remain open for the duration of the free health screening.

For more information, call 234-1850.

source: Saipan Tribune