50 Successful Pinoy Entrepreneurs - Download as DOC

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					                                           OFW JOURNALISM CONSORTIUM
                                                                                 Stories for the Faraway Filipino
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    Volume 7, Numbers 2 and 3                                    NEWSPACKET                                 June 27, 2008

Study says
high school
drop-outs not
children of OFWs

 WINNERS. Unlad Kabayan executive director Maria
 Angela Villalba and Kolambogan, Lanao del Norte mayor
 Bertrand Lumaque (with economist Solita Monsod,
 middle) flank the project booth during the Panibagong
 Paraan 2008 contest. Their partnership led them to win a
 P1-million grant to set up social enterprises in the fourth-
 class municipality.
                                           Photo courtesy of
                 MS. BERNICE ROLDAN, Unlad Kabayan)

Group banks on social
enterprise for peace to sprout
in Lanao del Norte

                                                                          Ambitious zero-illegal recruitment
                                                                         bid faces many hurdles in La Union
                                                                                                 by JEREMAIAH M. OPINIANO (page 8)

                                                   more story headlines on the next page…

                                   DENNIS D. ESTOPACE (editor@ofwjournalism.net), Editor
                                                                                      Pinoy band builds
                                                                                  watering hole in Hanoi
                                                                                       by JEREMAIAH M. OPINIANO (page 10)

                                                                                           Gov’t hikes funding
                                                                                     for OFW-related agencies
                                                                                   by RUBEN JEFFREY G. ASUNCION (page 14)

                                                                                          Pinoys top foreigners
                                                                                                in 16 countries
                                                                                     by MADELAINE JOY A. GARCIA (page 16)

Women OFWs many
but remit less than men

Filipina overseas workers inside the Kota Raya mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
(including a manicurist) visibly prove that women working abroad still have the
numbers, even if a recent government survey showed that they remit lesser
amounts than men.
                 Photo by JEREMAIAH M. OPINIANO, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Losing World Bank contest a start
for migrant-backed dev’t efforts in Bicol

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                       Study says high school drop-outs
                             not children of OFWs
                                              by LUIS CARLO S. LIBERATO

MANILA–DISTANCE not only makes the heart grow fonder; it has also kept most children of women overseas Filipino workers
from dropping out of school.
          Thus cites economist Alvin Ang of the University of Santo Tomas in his recently released study titled ―Determining
the Social Costs of Overseas Filipino Workers’ Remittances: A Check through Education Indicators‖.
          Amid the tide of a nationwide rise of drop-outs and the slump of kids’ school participation and cohort survival, Ang
rides against the commonly-held belief that distant parenting strategy doesn’t work.
          He asserts a contrarian belief that this strategy keeps OFW children in high school.
          The results for children of OFWs are even more encouraging, says Ang of the UST Social Research Center, if
women are the ones abroad.
          Women’s migration pushes children to stay in school, Ang told the OFW Journalism Consortium.
          Using mathematical formulas in Economics called ―regressions,‖ Ang’s study showed that international migration
positively affects education indicators such as drop-outs, school participation, and cohort survival.
          The effect is also regardless of gender, his computations revealed.
          Drop out rates lessen in number, while school participation and cohort survival rates rise. It’s just that in all three
indicators, women get more positive results, Ang said.
          Ang admitted getting surprised with the results, knowing first-hand the social costs associated with parental absence:
he was away from his family for a long time in Japan on a study grant.
          Contrast also Ang’s findings with data from the Department of Education: secondary education drop-out rates
nationwide rose as of school year 2005-2006.
          Drop-out rates for both elementary and secondary levels, according to the government education agency, went up by
above seven percent and nearly 13% in school year 2005-2006, from 6.98% and 7.99%, respectively, in school year 2004-
          High cost of education coupled by lingering poverty has been cited by pundits as reasons for these increases.
          Ang’s study cited the reasons for those who didn’t drop out.

IN Ang’s study, which was presented at the Sixth National Social Science Congress last May, overseas migration of parents
increases cohort survival rates and school participation rates.
          His data on cohort survival and school participation looked at children belonging to the 10-14 and 15-19 years-old
age groups, across Philippine regions, as well as the number of male and female OFWs coming from the annual Survey on
Overseas Filipinos.
          As for drop out rates, the age bracket of his data covers 13 to 16 years old.
          He chose these age brackets because a recent paper by another economist, Rosemarie Edillon of the Asia-Pacific
Policy Center, wrote that high school children of OFWs ―are worst off in terms of time and money.‖
          This was where Ang hurled what he called ―interesting conjectures.‖
          ―The absence of the female migrant is a strong incentive to remain in school…[indicating] that OFW children are
studying hard despite the absence of mothers (and) thereby dispelling that they are worst off.‖
          He added that ―absent mothers increase the chance of children completing (high school).‖
          But if the mother is here in the Philippines, all the more that ―children want her attention,‖ says Ang.
          He posited that children adjust to a situation of parental absence while children with no OFW parents prefer the
―traditional family set-up‖ where both parents are present.
          Still, money is part of the story: Ang’s data were on the number of OFWs, not on remittances.

        While his study doesn’t mean discouraging results for male OFWs who also bankroll children’s education, Ang noted
women OFWs make the difference.
        ―The absence of mothers is already the worst case scenario for a (Filipino) family tradition where the father is the
breadwinner, so children really must study hard.‖
        Of course, he says ―it is but proper (for the children) to study hard, returning the sacrifice and finishing (school) on

TWO children of OFWs the OFW Journalism Consortium talked to prove Ang’s point.
          Shara Mae Lirag is a candidate for honor roll in government-run Bagumbong High School while Elaine Eusebio,
likewise, in privately-run Manila Cathedral School.
          Books are piled across the Lirag household dining table where 14-year-old Shara Mae was set to start her two-hour
daily study regimen.
          The house is quiet, like there’s an unwritten rule for the Lirag brood of four girls to mimic a monastery.
          ―If I don’t want to be disturbed, I also don’t want to disturb others [my three sisters] while they’re studying,‖ she says.
          The two-week-old message from her mother Erma in the United Arab Emirates is still stored in her mobile phone.
Shara’s mother wants her to gun for an academic scholarship.
          Reference to that message rattled her and begs off to go back to studying.
          Her father Constancio, 48, says seeing their children get college degrees is their only wish.
          He says wife Erma sends P5,000 every month for the school needs of Shara and her sister Hanna Nicole.
          ―That’s a big help since they’re both in public school,‖ Mr. Lirag said adding the money goes to class projects and
school supplies.
          Mr. Lirag said he helps augment the family income with his earning as a passenger jeepney driver plying the Taft
Avenue route.
          I’m just a high school graduate, Mr. Lirag said. They could be more than that, he added waving his hand towards
daughter Shara lost in her book.
          A competitive class environment, meanwhile, is what also drives Ms. Eusebio, an incoming sophomore at Manila
Cathedral School.
          She says she doesn’t want to frustrate his father Hector, who works in a car painting company in the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia.
          Still, she also considers studying hard self-motivated.
          ―The academic honor was a fruit of all my sacrifices.‖
          Her father, whom she hasn’t seen for a year, remits at least P15,000 monthly.
          ―The money is primarily for Elaine’s studies, and only a few from those amounts are spent for other purposes,‖ said
Marites Eusebio, Elaine’s mother.
          Ang said that children of OFWs like Lirag and Eusebio are also pressured to avoid getting into the drop-out roll.
          Previous studies, including some surveys, had pointed to the fact that children of OFW parents are academic
achievers or have met school requirements.                                                           OFW Journalism Consortium

                                For comments, contact Luis Carlo Liberato at 0926-7298015 or via lcs_liberato@yahoo.com.ph

                    Group banks on social enterprise
                  for peace to sprout in Lanao del Norte
                                             by JEREMAIAH M. OPINIANO

MANILA–IT would take nearly a thousand kilometers, millions of pesos, and a year for peace to be sown in Lanao del Norte.
          That is the hope of Unlad Kabayan Migrant Services Foundation, a socio-civic group banking on a project to spur
―social enterprises‖ in Kolambogan municipality.
          Social enterprise is an old concept yet to seep into the fabric of violence-riddled Philippine society.
          According to the West Oxfordshire District Council of England, a social enterprise is a ―local community acting
together to provide services needed by the local population, particularly where the service cannot be provided through the
market economy‖.
          Simply put, social enterprises are geared more to plow profits back to the community through a business run nearly
by the community.
          That is what Unlad Kabayan’s project is aiming for in the municipality of Kolambogan in Lanao del Norte, some 790
kilometers south of the Philippines’s capital.
          The project called ―New Lives for Old: Peace, Growth, and Good Governance through Social Enterprises‖ was one of
33 chosen during this year’s World Bank-sponsored Panibagong Paraan contest.
          Unlad Kabayan won a grant of P1 million for the project that involves working with government officials and a
cooperative in the municipality.
          Bernice Roldan explains Unlad Kabayan would have to work with Kolambogan Mayor Bertrand Lumaque and the
Lanao Comrades Multipurpose Cooperative so that three pilot enterprises in the farming and coastal municipality start off
within a year.
          Roldan said Lumaque committed nearly P2.2 million while Unlad Kabayan promised to set aside P0.9 million for the
          With the grant via the World Bank contest, these enterprises would be started with P3.079 million ($69,977.30 at
US$1=P44), merely ten percent of what the municipality received as internal revenue allotment (IRA) in 2006.
          Roldan told the OFW Journalism Consortium that Unlad Kabayan will start up an integrated bio-resource farming
enterprise, a coco-coir processing facility, and setting up of recycled container gardens at some residents’ backyards.
          The first two enterprises are among the enterprises that Unlad Kabayan had set up in other provinces, such as
Bohol, Bukidnon, Surigao del Norte, and Davao Oriental, as well as in Davao City.
          The container gardening business, meanwhile, was a request by local residents, Roldan said.

                                                         Pieced peace
UNLAD’S Roldan, without citing actual figures, said ―many residents went overseas‖ citing the peace and order situation,
aside from lack of gainful income, as reasons for leaving Kolambogan.
         Kolambogan is one of 22 municipalities in this province tagged as the gateway to the four cities of the Mindanao
island group.
         According to its website, Kolambogan was a small barrio inhabited by native Maranaos and Christians before
American migrant settlers began harvesting timber.
         Currently, the fourth class municipality of the second-class province of Lanao del Norte has vast agricultural lands
which are mainly planted to coconut.
         The website, however, cited that nearly 14,000 residents are poor and some 3,683 households ―are not gainfully
         The municipality’s 24,180 total people form five percent of the total population of Lanao del Norte at 473,062,
according to recent government census.
         According to its latest report, a total of 17,269 OFWs were recorded by the Philippine Overseas Employment
Administration in 2006 as coming from Lanao del Norte.

          Government data that year also showed Lanao del Norte, located in central Mindanao, has 7,103 temporary contract
workers (5,621 land-based and 1,482 sea-based).
          Some 3,282 of registered overseas permanent residents from 1988 to 2005 also cited the province as their home
          While some residents have joined the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), even some OFW families have their own
domestic problems that escalated into a public safety issue, such as the shooting incident between a returned seafarer and
his wife, Roldan added.
          ―The disturbed peace and order coupled with labor disputes in Kolambogan’s biggest industrial firm was a major
setback in its population growth,‖ its website [www.kolambogan.gov.ph] said.
          News reports cited a dozen people were kidnapped by bandits mid-June this year, overshadowed only by the
kidnapping in Sulu of television journalist Ces Drilon and two cameramen.
          More than the money and the dream enterprises to be set up, Roldan said the project proponents will confront peace
and order issues, as well as visible poverty, in Kolambogan.
          Recently, a shuttered timber company displaced more than 2,000 workers while typhoons of recent years hit half of
the population’s farmlands.
          Kolambogan farmers earn P1,500 monthly while fisherfolk earn less, at least P1,200 monthly.
          Kolambogan’s IRA reached some P25.636 million in 2003 to a high of P30.237 million in 2006. The website said
―limited resources‖ plague the municipality.

                                                       Migrant investment
A PORTION of Unlad Kabayan’s Panibagong Paraan grant will be used to survey households of overseas Filipino workers
(OFWs) in Kolambogan.
         Roldan said such survey is required since the project also hopes to mobilize investments from overseas Filipinos and
from local savings.
         Unlad’s project targets to benefit 38 overseas Filipino workers and OFW families as well as a hundred farmers, 85
local workers, and 37 micro-entrepreneurs.
         The project hopes to create a migrant and community investment fund that will fund some of the town’s social
services for women, youth, and even OFW families.
         Project proponents, according to Roldan, would also conduct business advisory services to set up the three target
social enterprises within a year.
         Kolambogan’s website lists down some 45 ―investible programs‖ for local and outside interested parties to consider –
from school buildings to agriculture and fisheries projects.
         Another outcome of the Panibagong Paraan project, Roldan said, is the setting up of an OFW desk in the LGU.
         Roldan added that Unlad would try to access soft loans from a one-year, P10 million credit facility that the
Development Bank of the Philippines entrusted to Unlad Kabayan for the whole of Lanao del Norte.
         This Mindanao-targeted loan facility that Unlad Kabayan will manage as a business assistance center was turned
over weeks before Panibagong Paraan.
         Some 110 of these beneficiaries are women, Unlad Kabayan’s Panibagong Paraan project brief wrote.
         But DBP president Reynaldo David said the bank’s microfinance and non-microfinance wholesale partners, including
Unlad Kabayan, should offer easy terms to micro-entrepreneurs.
         ―Or else, [DBP] will not deal with them the following year,‖ David told reporters.
         This is why some incomes from Panibagong Paraan project will go to an migrant and community investment fund,
Roldan explained.
         The 12-year-old Unlad Kabayan is applying its migrant savings and alternative investment (MSAI) approach that it
began among migrant workers in Hong Kong.
         According to the group’s press materials, two strategies make up MSAI: social entrepreneurship and enterprise
development services, and business incubation.
         The Panibagong Paraan grant is the third successful award that Unlad Kabayan secured this year after its major fund
source, coming from Netherlands-based donor Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation, dried up.
                                                                                              OFW Journalism Consortium

                                               For comments, email ofwjournalism@gmail.com and editor@ofwjournalism.net

                  Ambitious zero-illegal recruitment bid
                    faces many hurdles in La Union
                                              by JEREMAIAH M. OPINIANO

MANDALUYONG CITY–A BID to stomp out illegal recruitment in La Union province within a year got off on a slow start, with
the nonprofit group leading this ambitious project bracing itself for ―booby traps‖ along the way.
         Marge Madiguid of Kanlungan Centre Foundation Inc. said there was no formal launch yet for its ―zero illegal
recruitment campaign,‖ planned to start this June.
         The campaign won for Kanlungan a P0.92-million grant in May from the World Bank-sponsored contest called
―Panibagong Paraan‖.
         Madiguid told the OFW Journalism Consortium that while there’s no formal launch for the project, they have met and
discussed the campaign with local government and nongovernment groups and agencies.
         She’s hoping that all committees they plan to organize for the campaign would be formed before July.
         But the slow start is the least of Kanlungan’s problems as Madiguid said a lot of hurdles await the project.
         The biggest hurdle, she said, is the alleged links between recruiters and executives of the local government, which is
one of Kanlungan’s partner in the project.
         La Union, some 235 kilometers north of Manila, hit the headlines in 2006 when former Agoo assistant provincial
prosecutor Catalino Pepi was reportedly sentenced to life imprisonment for illegally recruiting factory workers bound for South
         The conviction decision of the Regional Trial Court in Agoo read that Pepi connived with a Manila recruitment
agency, and even used his office, to collect placement fees ranging between P40,000 to P150,000 from each applicant.
         Another news report cited the arrest of provincial board member Pablo Olarte after three people filed a case against
the former mayor of Agoo, La Union, for not being sent overseas.
         A 2006 POEA release cited Olarte as proprietor of Sabloak Philippines, a consultancy firm offering paid services for
jobseekers wanting to meet immigration requirements for Canada.
         Madiguid, however, defended Olarte, describing the government officials as a ―victim, too.‖
         She added that Olarte, the former mayor of Agoo, is a pro bono lawyer for three illegally-recruited provincemates.
         That explains his attachment to recruitment regulations, Madiguid said.
         Olarte apparently lobbied for the provincial ordinance requiring recruiters to apply for license from the provincial
government before practicing their trade.
         Still, she thinks the project will ―test his sincerity‖.

LA UNION has the largest number of recorded illegal recruitment cases for the Ilocos region, according to government data.
         Kanlungan Centre, a 20-year-old counseling center for domestic workers, has provided service to more than 300 IR
cases in La Union over an 11-year period.
         This meant on the average, the Quezon City-headquartered group’s satellite office in La Union, handled 27 cases a
         Deployment data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in 2006 showed that La Union
was the birthplace of some 9,677 land-based and 1,717 sea-based temporary contract workers.
         On the other hand, 1988-2005 data of registered emigrants from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas revealed
some 15,343 permanent residents abroad came from La Union.
         According to Madiguid, some 30 recruitment agencies are active in the province.
         POEA’s directory of licensed agencies shows that La Union has a homegrown recruitment agency, Beldevere
Manpower, and nine Metro Manila-headquartered licensed recruitment agencies that have branch offices in the province.

         Ten of these are in San Fernando City: 2000 Miles Placement Agency; Active Works Inc.; Aim High International
Placement Corp. (two branches); Greenworld Placement Services; Humania International Inc.; Interworld Placement Center;
and, St. Georges Recruitment International (two branches).
         Another recruitment agency, AD’s Overseas Placement Agency, has a branch office in the municipality of Bauang.
         Beldevere Manpower (www.beldeveremanpower.net), for its part, even has extension offices in Manila and in
London, United Kingdom.
         The La Union provincial government website showed that Beldevere and three Metro Manila-based recruiters placed
job orders in 12 countries through the provincial government’s Public Employment Services Office (PESO).
         The PESO hosts job fairs for local and overseas jobs.
         In a State of the Province Address, Governor Pablo Ortega reported that in 2006, the PESOs tapped 250 firms,
recruitment agencies, and government offices for local and overseas jobs.
         Out of 3,589 applicants for local and overseas placement, some 1,713 were employed, Ortega reported.
         However, the website of the Labor department’s Bureau of Local Employment noted that a dozen of the 21 PESOs in
La Union are ―non-operational‖.
         Four of the nine areas of Kanlungan-La Union’s project sites, namely Bagulin, Naguilian, Santol, and Sudipen, have
non-operational PESOs.
         ―They do not screen the companies involved in their job fairs,‖ said Madiguid.
         She cited an IR case that Kanlungan handled wherein the potential OFW learned about an overseas job opening
through the PESO.
                                                                                              OFW Journalism Consortium

                                              For comments, email ofwjournalism@gmail.com and editor@ofwjournalism.net

               Pinoy band builds watering hole in Hanoi
                                                by JEREMAIAH M. OPINIANO

HANOI, VIETNAM–TRUE to their band’s name, four Filipinos here are carving Melia Hanoi hotel’s watering hole for fellow
OFWs craving for a taste of home.
          They call themselves the D’Sensations, now on their second month here in a years-long tour of gigs across Asia.
          Hanging out here helps us get over loneliness for being away from our families in the Philippines, Cresliejoy Abiang
tells the OFW Journalism Consortium.
          Abiang, who said she works at a textile firm here as a technician, is a regular at the hotel’s Latino Bar where the
D’Sensations play.
          That night, Abiang and some of her Filipino co-workers tap their feet as the D’Sensation band belted out Gloria
Estefan’s Conga.
          This is where we really hang out, Abiang said as some customers took the floor to sway as D’Sensation’s lead singer
Liza asked everybody to ―feel the fire of desire.‖
          ―Simple unwinding here helps us, especially when we feel we worked too hard this week,‖ Abiang said.
          Abiang’s officemate Gina brought her two children, who vacationed in Hanoi for a month and were going back to their
home in Bataan the next day.
          ―I keep in touch with them. I send them money,‖ Gina said.
          This motive of overseas Filipino workers like Gina and the Abiang siblings is the reason why they work too hard.
          Too hard that the 200 OFWs here can’t meet as a community, complains Philippine Ambassador Laura del Rosario.
          Del Rosario was referring to Philippine holidays like the Independence Day on June 12 but which the embassy here
celebrated June 8.
          ―They say they’d rather rest.‖
          Rest they need, as D’Sensation band reflects.
          After the third of six sets of a total 48 songs for the night, the members who came from Bataan and Davao, grab the
nearest bottle or glass of drink each can get their hands on.
          Still, everybody here is easy to entertain, says Liza.
          Indeed, it is since Hanoi has been considered Vietnam’s cultural center aside from serving as its capital.
          As a hub for universities, Hanoi, 1,751 kilometers northwest of Manila, is perfect for Filipinos here who are mostly
high-level professionals and executives in leading international and Vietnamese companies, restaurants, hotels, food industry,
and special infrastructure projects.

―THANKS for the beer,‖ D’Sensation lead guitarist Jun salutes a group of six Filipinos who bought him a bottle.
         Jun said that since they began doing gigs here, they were amazed by the spirit of hard work among Vietnamese.
         Hence, they also prove Filipinos are equally hard-working.
         For instance, their band begins their first set at 8:30 p.m. every day until their last set of eight songs end, or half-past
         Jun says at least five of their regular customers are Filipinos.
         ―That’s why sometimes we play Filipino songs or Latina music with Filipino melodies,‖ he explains.
         Indeed, on their fourth set, where they played ―Manila Girl‖ by Put3ska, customers leapt on their feet.
         Hence, the Thai-owned bar has been tagged a watering hole for Filipinos. It also helped that its manager and
Cresliejoy’s brother Jay Abiang, is a Filipino.
         ―Hanoi is visibly progressing, so Filipinos work harder here,‖ he said.
         Rising remittances from an estimated 1,300 OFWs in Vietnam (including those in Ho Chi Minh City) indicate their
hard work.
         From January to October 2007, more than US$0.667 million were sent back home, above the $0.471-million figure in
the same ten-month period the previous year.

         Deployment of newly-hired and re-hired OFWs to Vietnam also reached a record in 2006 with 1,348 workers,
according to Philippine Overseas Employment Administration data.
         The Commission on Filipinos Overseas reports two Filipinos are permanent residents of Vietnam.
         Some 14 overseas performing artists were sent to Vietnam in 2006, POEA data reveals, making the communist
country the ninth leading destination country of OPAs that year.
         Some of these OPAs, Jun says, are performing in Vietnamese and foreign restaurants in downtown Hanoi.
         Some Filipinos have also married Vietnamese nationals and have set up businesses there, while a few are unskilled
workers and minors.
         One rare time that the Filipino community in Hanoi became visible was during the November 2006 summit of the
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) when President Macapagal-Arroyo was in Melia Hanoi herself on a side event.
         ―Let's try emulating that discipline Vietnam displayed,‖ Arroyo told the Filipinos there led by members of the group
Pinoys sa Hanoi.
         That discipline is mirrored by Jay’s fingers dancing on the frets of his electric guitar.
         Hard work and discipline are what OPAs like him and the D’Sensation band members make labor migration a
sensational success for the Philippines.
                                                                                                   OFW Journalism Consortium

                                               For comments, email ofwjournalism@gmail.com and editor@ofwjournalism.net

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      (United States)                                    Ako ay Pilipino                                                    Philippines Today
                                                        (United Kingdom)                                                          Paraiso
                                                                                                                            Silangan Shimbun

                        OVERSEAS-BASED FILIPINO                     Radyo Pilipino
                      MEDIA OUTFITS IDENTIFIED TO BE               Vaticano, Ako ay                        Multi-country newspapers that use OFWJC stories:
                      PUBLISHING AND BROADCASTING                    Pilipino (Italy)           Global Pinoy (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, United States)
                        THE STORIES OF THE O.F.W.                 Ipahayag Mo Pinoy                Planet Philippines (USA, Canada, Singapore, United Kingdom, Italy,
                        JOURNALISM CONSORTIUM                            (Spain)                               Germany, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates)
         Gov’t hikes funding for OFW-related agencies
                                            by RUBEN JEFFREY A. ASUNCION

QUEZON CITY–TWO government agencies expected to help overseas Filipino workers received increases in funding for this
year, budget records showed.
          The 2008 General Appropriations Act bared that assistance projects for OFWs by the Department of Labor and
Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) got the increments the agencies proposed in last year’s
budget hearings.
          The labor department got a P33.3-million increase in allocated funds for its ―Social Protection Program,‖ where the
budget item ―Workers Protection and Welfare Service to Overseas Filipino Workers‖ falls under.
          The program was given P383.3 million this year, up nearly ten percent from its P350 million budget last year.
          In addition, the labor department’s ―Emergency Repatriation Program,‖ an item absent from its budget last year, was
given P50 million. Another P50 million was allocated for the one-year-old National Reintegration Center for OFWs.
          The center was formed during then-Labor Secretary Arturo Brion’s watch. It is expected to provide economic and
psycho-social reintegration services to returning OFWs and to OFW families.
          Another attached agency, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration also received increases in its budget.
The POEA’s ―Workers Welfare Assistance and Overseas Placement Services‖ line item received a budget of P39.5 million.
This was nearly two-percent higher than its P38.8-million allocation last year.
          A similar increase has also been made in the POEA’s line item ―Adjudication Services‖ with P28.5 million for this
year, compared with P27.6 million for last year.
          But while these Manila-centric units got majority of the labor department’s total P6.3-billion pie, DOLE’s offices in the
regions got a measly share for ―workers’ amelioration and welfare services‖.
          In addition, these regions, where most prospective and former OFWs and OFW families live, saw budget for these
services reduced by nearly P3 million to P36.6 million from the P38.2-million budget allocation last year.
          In contrast, the labor department’s allocation for personal services (PS) continued to see year-on-year increases as
against, for one, maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE).
          For the item ―Workers Protection and Welfare Service to Overseas Filipino Workers,‖ for example, around P207.6
million for personal services was allocated for this year.
          This amount is nearly double than the P168.2 million allotted for maintenance and operating costs for this year.
          Last year, the program received P202.7 million for PS while its MOOE was allocated only P145.3 million.
          Over-all, the labor department’s budget this year increased by 28.24 percent to P6.271 billion from nearly P5 billion in
2007. POEA’s budget, which is part of the total budget, also increased to P238.9 million this year, from P231.6 million in 2007.
          POEA’s budget is merely 20 percent of the total collection of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, if OWWA
was able to collect the $25 from 3,000 OFWs leaving every day.
          Since it is a government-owned and controlled corporation, the OWWA is excluded from the annual GAA and relies
mainly on the membership fees being paid by departing OFWs, and not from taxpayers’ money. The US$25 contributions are
for the provision of welfare and economic services to OFWs.
          Assuming the a million OFWs left last year, OWWA’s coffer would be around a billion pesos at an average exchange
rate of US$1=P42. That amount would just be 17 percent of the labor department’s budget.
          OWWA’s Board of Trustees provides the annual budgets, which must be requested to them.
          In 2006, says a Commission on Audit report, OWWA spent some PhP910.715 million while earning P2.062 billion.
          Another agency tasked with the welfare of overseas Filipinos is the Department of Foreign Affairs, which also
received an increased budget.
          The DFA’s provision on the ―Implementation of RA 8042‖ was increased by 170 percent to P236.7 million this year
from only P87.7 million in 2007.
          Being funded under this category are the Legal Assistance Fund for the litigation cases of OFWs and the Assistance-
to-Nationals Fund. The latter is the department’s funds for the repatriation of OFWs.
          The over-all budget of the department for 2008 is at P10.2 billion, up by P2.8 billion from the allocated 2007 budget of
P7.4 billion.
          Meanwhile, funds being allocated for the maintenance expenses of ―Implementation of RA 8042’ are higher than for
personal services, both for the years 2007 and 2008.
          For this year, around P223.69 million were set-aside for MOOE while P13.03 million were allotted for PS. Meanwhile
for the previous year, P77.99 million were allocated for MOOE while only around P9.7 million were allotted for PS.
          The government has allocated a total of P 1.066 trillion for the 2008 national budget.
          However, the 2008 General Appropriations Act also showed that a government agency tasked with assisting Filipino
immigrants overseas received lesser funds for the same purpose for 2008 as compared to the previous year.
          The Commission on Filipinos Overseas received only around P26 million for its ―Development Coordination and
Implementation of the Welfare Programs for Filipinos Overseas,‖ down from the P27.2 million the commission got in 2007.
          For 2008, the program’s funds for its personal services were allocated at around P14.4 million, higher than the P10.6
million budget allocated for its maintenance expenses. In 2007, PS got P14.89 million while MOOE received only around
P10.19 million.
          The CFO’s over-all budget for 2008 was P38.3 million, down by P2 million from the P40 million it received for the
previous year. The commission is attached under the Office of the President.
          Despite these increases in government’s cachet of funds mainly for welfare of OFWs, Senate President Manny Villar
proposes a law to set aside P1 billion for welfare and legal assistance to distressed OFWs.
          Ellene Sana of nonprofit Center for Migrant Advocacy, however, told the OFW Journalism Consortium money is not
the solution to such cases.
          The Philippine government already has a system of assisting distressed OFWs, Sana said.
          What hinders that meaningful environment of providing assistance unto OFWs is the implementation of ―a
comprehensive set of laws protecting overseas workers.‖
          ―Implementation in reality remains wanting,‖ she added.                                   OFW Journalism Consortium

                                                For comments, email ofwjournalism@gmail.com and editor@ofwjournalism.net

No. 1 in tiny Palau, second in the US

                    Pinoys top foreigners in 16 countries
                                                                      by MADELAINE JOY A. GARCIA

                                             MANILA–FILIPINOS are slowly conquering various countries through sheer
                                                       A recently-released report by the World Bank identified Filipinos as among
                                             the top 10 foreigners in 16 big and small countries in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and
                                             North America.
                                                       The WB’s Migration and Remittances Factbook 2008 cited Filipinos lead
                                             the number of foreigners in Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Canada,
                                             Cyprus, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Marshall Islands,
                                             Micronesia, Oman, Palau, Saudi Arabia, the Solomon Islands, and the US.
                                                       Five of these countries are members of the bloc Organization for
                                             Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
                                                       The World Bank report bared data on the estimated number of migrants –
                                             or what it calls ―immigrants‖– based on the 2005 United Nations Population Division
                                                       The tiny island of Palau, some 800 kilometers east of the Philippines,
                                             hosts the most number of Filipinos among 3,036 foreigners. This diving haven is
home to some 20,000 people.
          Data from the state-run Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) show there are 4,495 Filipinos in Palau. Twenty-
one of them are considered permanent residents while some 4,434 are temporary migrant workers. CFO estimates the rest
are undocumented.
          Manila to Koror, Palau’s capital, is 90 minutes apart. It takes half that time if flying to or from the southern Philippine
province of Davao.
          Meanwhile, Filipinos are the second biggest foreigner group in Malaysia, Brunei, and the United States, according to
the World Bank report and CFO estimates.
          The US, the Philippines’s top source country of remittances, has some 38.4 million foreigners, says the WB.
          Filipinos are behind US neighbor Mexico as the biggest foreigner group, as CFO estimates that there are now 3.4
million Filipinos in that continent.
          The WB report showed that of Malaysia’s 1.6 million foreigners, over a hundred thousand are Filipinos (100,233).
The CFO June 2007 data confirms this.
          Brunei, for its part, has some 124,193 foreigners; CFO estimates some 22,939 are Filipinos.
          Filipinos form the third-biggest number of foreigners in Korea (50,165 of a total 551,193 foreigners) and the Marshall
          The Marshall Islands, located in the western Pacific Ocean, have a thousand Filipinos as the third biggest foreigner
group out of its estimated number of 1,667 foreigners: 2.7 percent of its total 65,000 people.
          Solomon Islands has some 3,279 foreigners out of some 489,000 people. CFO estimates there are 758 Filipinos
          Filipinos are also the fourth-biggest group in Italy, which has roughly 2.5 million foreigners. Some 119,083 Filipinos
are estimated to be in Italy, says CFO.
          Saudi Arabia, the workplace of an estimated 1,016,820 Filipinos according to CFO data, shows that Filipinos are the
fifth biggest immigrant group.
          The Muslim nation of some 24 million has some 6.36 million immigrants.

           Filipinos form also the fifth-largest immigrant group in Japan; the country having some 2.05 million foreigners,
according to the World Bank report. There are an estimated 313,291 Filipinos in Japan, CFO data reveals.
           Cyprus is estimated to have some 116,137 immigrants and Filipinos are ranked sixth. CFO data show that there are
12,406 Filipinos in Cyprus.
           Filipinos are also the sixth-biggest in Oman, which has some 627,571. CFO estimates there are some 33,000
           Filipinos are the seventh-biggest foreigner group in Canada (total of 6,105,722 foreigners) and Iceland (23,097
foreigners). In these countries, CFO estimates there are 789,943 and 1,400 Filipinos in Canada and Iceland, respectively.
           The eighth-biggest group of foreigners in Australia’s 4.1 million and Cambodia’s 303,871 immigrant population are
Filipinos, which are estimated to number to 232,447 and 1,572, respectively.
                                                                                               OFW Journalism Consortium

                                              For comments, email ofwjournalism@gmail.com and editor@ofwjournalism.net

Male OFWs sent home bigger slices of bacon in past six years

           Women OFWs many but remit less than men
                                               by JEREMAIAH M. OPINIANO

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA–FOR 12 years, Rita’s family in the Philippines was fed through two shoe-box sized containers
at her feet.
           The rectangular matte-black boxes, scuffed with use, contain Rita’s tools of the trade: nail clippers, nippers, two-inch
tall bottles of silver, gold, and red nail polishes, blush-on brushes and mascara.
           For more than a decade, Rita relied on her being a manicurist and pedicurist, enabling her to send money to her
family in Bansalan, Davao del Sur.
           Rita is one of millions of female laborers and unskilled workers who remain the leading number of OFWs in the
annual Survey on Overseas Filipinos (SOF) of the National Statistics Office.
           But their meager salaries abroad have not made them the top remitters compared to their counterpart male low-
skilled workers.
           While not revealing how much she sends monthly, Rita says she earns an average 100 ringgits (a minimum of
P1,365.40 at current exchange rates) a day.
           Notably, that is still below the RM150 daily cost of living allowance that the Malaysian Trades Union Congress
(MTUC) said the government provided to public sector employees last year.
           Malaysia, where Rita is, hosts some 244,967 Filipinos there, according to newly released stock estimates of the
government-run Commission on Filipinos Overseas.
           Of this number, the CFO estimates nearly half are undocumented; the rest have declared Malaysia their permanent
home (26,002) while the remaining are temporary migrants with legal travel and working documents.
           The CFO data, sadly, is not gender-disaggregated.
           The SOF, however, is. In 2006, it affirmed there were more women OFWs: 764,000 versus 751,000 men working and
living outside the Philippines.
           That year, they poured into the Philippines an estimated P102 billion in cash and in-kind remittances
           Cash remittances refer to those sent from host countries, as well as money that OFWs brought home.
           That estimated total cash and in-kind remittances was higher than the PhP85.1 billion total in the 2005 SOF.
           For cash remittances, the 2006 SOF saw OFWs remitting nearly P76 billion from April to September that year.
           But while there are more women OFWs, male migrant workers sent more during that period: nearly P51 billion as
against the P26 billion by women.
           Analysts expect remittances from women to drop as there was a decrease in the deployment of Filipino domestic
helpers last year.

WHILE laborers and unskilled workers were the most number of OFWs from the 2001 to the 2006 editions of the SOF, two
occupational groups of male workers have been the leading remitters.
           From 2001 to 2005, male "plant and machine operators and assemblers" have been the top remitters –from nearly
P8 billion in 2001 to just above P10 billion after five years.
           Two years ago, male "trades and related workers" grabbed the top spot by remitting some P13 billion.
           The NSO survey aims to know remittance amounts and channels by OFWs by age, sex, country of work, and region
of origin in the Philippines.
           Female laborers and unskilled workers alone make up the largest OFW group by type of occupation and gender.
           Of the estimated 1.515 million OFWs in the 2006 SOF survey, a third of them are laborers and unskilled workers —
including some 313,000-plus females. There were some 268,000 female laborers and unskilled workers in the 2003 SOF.

          OFWs categorized as "trade and related workers,‖ are those who ―apply their specific knowledge and/or skills in the
field of mining, construction, form metal, set machine tools, or make fit, maintain, or repair machinery, equipment or tools
produce or process food stuff, textile or wooden, metal and other articles‖.
          ―Plant and machine operators and assemblers" are workers who ―operate and monitor industrial machinery and
equipment on the spot or by remote control, drive and operate trains, motor vehicles and mobile machinery and equipment, or
assemble products from component parts‖.
          Laborers and unskilled workers are made up of those workers "who perform simple tasks which mainly require the
use of hand-held tools and often some physical effort‖.
          Rita is under this category.
          For 12 years, Rita has provided manicure and pedicure services to Filipino, Malaysian and foreign customers at a
shoe store inside Kota Raya mall. Her ―office space‖ is a half-square-meter floor filled to the ceiling with boxes of shoes that
she also sells.
          She shares the space with a Malaysian with a dining table for two customers.
          She and women and unskilled OFWs like her have the lowest six-month average cash remittance sent, according to
the SOF.
          The average monthly remittance by female laborers and unskilled workers was pegged by the SOF at P36,000.
          The 2001 to 2006 SOF results showed laborers and unskilled workers, trade and related workers, and plant and
machine operators and assemblers always outnumbered professionals in terms of actual worker count and remittance
                                                                                                 OFW Journalism Consortium

                                                For comments, email ofwjournalism@gmail.com and editor@ofwjournalism.net

                   Losing World Bank contest a start
                for migrant-backed dev’t efforts in Bicol
                                             by LUIS CARLO S. LIBERATO

PASIG CITY–LAS Vegas, Nevada-resident Melvin Romano wasn’t worried when he lost in betting that a local governance
concept for his hometown in Bicol could best other groups.
          ―We didn’t lose. We’re just starting,‖ Romano said after his group Amus Na Kita Oasnon’s (Anko) project wasn’t
chosen among the World Bank’s grant awardees in its recently-concluded contest for social development ideas.
          Romano was echoing the message sent via mobile phone by townmate Francine Chamorro in New York.
          ―No one lost; Oas and Oasnon won in this effort. We are just warming up, and there is no going back to the old way
of doing things in Oas, and that is progress right there.‖
          Romano and Chamorro have gone back to their drawing board for a social enterprise to push their hometown of Oas
in Albay into one of the progressive municipalities of that southern Philippine province.
          Their move to refine their plan of using the Internet to pool resources of Oasnons abroad was emphasized by the
poor turn out in a meeting after the WB awards night.
          Of 66 townmates they invited to a fast food restaurant for the meeting, only ten, including Romano, showed up.
          ―I don’t mind where we hold the meeting and how many we are today,‖ Romano said. ―We have a hometown to help.‖
          Anko, a member of the Manila-based Oragon Po –a play on the name Oas Rainbow Go-alition of NGOs/Pos - is one
of more than 500 nongovernment groups and people’s organizations that entered the World Bank ―Panibagong Paraan‖
          Since it was launched in 2006, the bi-annual WB-led contest for community projects for a P1-million peso grant has
seen an increasing number of migrant-backed organizations entering proposals for social enterprise.
          Migrant groups Unlad Kabayan and Kanlungan Centre Foundation were the only groups that were chosen for
          The entry of these groups in contests such as Panibagong Paraan comes after more than three decades of
Philippine labor export.
          Likewise, these groups’ social enterprise ideas stem from what institutions like the WB call as the development
potential of migrant remittances.

THIS town, 545 kilometers south of Manila, is neither a stranger to misery nor to magnanimity.
         This farming municipality, for instance, was hit hard by a typhoon two years ago.
         Despite that, the town still posted a nearly P3-million income that year, though becoming the second lowest-
performing municipality in Albay province, according to Commission on Audit data.
         The town of Oas was not abandoned during that time by relatives of its more than 60,000 residents.
         These included those in Los Angeles, California, who sent US$5,000 for typhoon victims, according to the website
         A volunteers’ group called Care4Oas was formed after that. The support that flowed because of the typhoon led to
the formation of the Metro Manila-based nonprofit group Anko.
         Anko’s project titled ―Participatory Governance in the Internet Age: Linking Progress with Responsible and Effective
Leadership‖ was among 99 finalists in the Panibagong Paraan.
         Anko’s Ruben Ricasio explained the project sought to use websites to allow local and overseas-based Oasnons to
check on the performance of the hometown local government.
         It is also aimed at hastening gathering resources for natural calamities.
         Typhoons are always part of the equation when it comes to handling development initiatives, says Romano, since
typhoons can ―easily wipe out our hard work‖.

          Romano, Ricasio, and overseas Oasnons pooled money for their entry and booth in Panibagong Paraan.
          Romano blamed himself for the group’s failure to win a grant.
          ―You gave us the authority to deliver this project: We offer no excuses: the responsibility for its failure is ours alone,‖
he told his fellow Anko members.
          To note, Oragon is ―proudly overbearing‖ in English.
          For Ricasio, it is the Oasnons’ ―traditional ways‖ that hinder his town’s advancement.
          ―Some values that the Oasnons observe are not appropriate at [sic] this modern age.‖
          Ricasio didn’t elaborate and just shook his head.
          ―What was Oas then is what Oas remains to be now,‖ Romano interjected.
          Nearby the town is Ligao City (formerly a municipality), and Romano thinks ―Oas is being left behind‖.

OAS, nonetheless, hasn’t left behind its tradition.
         For nine days in May, the town appeared it has also left behind its problems.
         Current mayor Gregorio Ricarte revived Karangahan, a province-wide nomenclature for the Albay fiesta that
expresses wealth brought about by a good harvest.
         Ricarte also used the website for helping typhoon victims to solicit for the fiesta, promising an agro-industrial fair;
street dancing; cultural shows; basketball, boxing, billiards, and chess tournaments; marathon; marching band competition;
and, a beauty pageant.
         Such spending rankle Oragon Po’s Aldwin Requejo’s feelings.
         While the fiesta is okay, Requejo said the local government should also ensure delivery of basic services.
         Requejo claims this is what Oragon Po and the network of groups it build aim for.
         The project that lost in the Panibagong Paraan cited that Oragon Po would build a database of Oasnons in and
outside the Philippines.
         The project expects to entice these Oasnons to give back to their town by putting up a ―virtual‖ or simulated
municipality where they can become mayors for a day.
         The project also claims it would offer prizes for Best NGO project and most outstanding NGO to entice such
development groups to focus on their town.
         Romano promised they would continue applying such components despite losing in the World Bank competition.
         ―We’re bringing in the new wave of social initiatives.‖                                OFW Journalism Consortium

                                                  For comments, email ofwjournalism@gmail.com and editor@ofwjournalism.net

                  On the occasion of the Philippines’s hosting
          of the Second Global Forum on Migration and Development
                          (27-30 October 2008, Manila)

                                                               OFW Journalism Consortium

                                                                  in partnership with the
                                                               Royal Netherlands Embassy
                                                                    in the Philippines

                                      will soon release

A free special policy magazine on international migration issues from a Filipino’s eyes

                          Companies or groups wishing to place advertisements in the magazine are welcome.
                                                        For inquiries, email the OFW Journalism Consortium
                                                        at ofwjournalism@gmail.com or call 63-02-796.26.39


                  9-year-wait to publish book of notable
                  overseas Pinoys over with HK launch

                                                                                                       HONG KONG S.A.R.—
                                                                                                       ONE-HALF of the two-
                                                                                                       volume Mga Bagong
                                                                                                       Bayani – Inspiring
                                                                                                       Filipinos Overseas, was
                                                                                                       recently launched here.
                                                                                                                 Said to be ―a
                                                                                                       Mga Bagong Bayani
                                                                                                       features at least a
                                                                                                       hundred pages of the
                                                                                                       Dr. Jose P. Rizal Trek
                                                                                                       (Book One), where the
                                                                                                       book’s team led by
                                                                                                       journalist Ricky Sadiosa
                                                                                                       (wearing a barong in the
                                                                                                       photograph)      retraced
                                                                                                       the footsteps of national
                                                                                                       hero Dr. Jose. P. Rizal,
                                                                                                       around the world.
        For its part, Book Two, set for launch this August in multiple countries, will feature 280-plus Filipinos overseas from
50 countries
        It took at least nine years for the book to be produced and printed.
        For inquiries about Mga Bagong Bayani, interested parties may email Mr. Ricky Sadiosa at rsadiosa@yahoo.com.

                                         Letters to the Editor

            Padala quirks with the Bureau of Customs
                                             (Email in Filipino unedited)

Dear Editor:

Ako po ay OFW dito sa Hong Kong. Pitong taon na po akong nagtatrabaho para sa aking pamilya.kahapon po april
18 2008 bumalik ang aking tiyahin sa Pilipinas at ipinapakidala ko ang aking lumang SAMSUNG LCD 17"
computer screen. Binili ko ito nuon pang 2004. Siningil po ang aking tiyahin ng customs dahil ang sabi nila base sa
kanilang pagkakakita sa nasasabing computer LCD monitor e "brand new" daw po at nakakahon pa maingat lang
po ako sa gamit.hinold ang aking tiyahin sa Customs at kukunin daw ang lcd pag hindi nagbayad.
         Sa takot ng aking tiyahin sabi nya na 1500 peso na lang ang pera nya at nagbayad naman
sya.nagtatrabaho po ako dito at ilang beses na din po akong nagpabalik balik sa atin ng may dalang second hand
na electronics dahil mejo may kamahalan nga ang bago.nais ko po sanang palagpasin dahil sa 1,500 peso lamang,
subalit hirap na hirap na po ako dito sa Hong Kong tapos ang tiyahin ko nagkakatulong tapos pinapunta lamang
dito ng kanyang amo at nakisuyo lang ako para dalhin ang gamit tapos ipipilit ng ating mga opisyal na bago ang
gamit.nag issue ng resibo ang customs. gusto ko pong magkaroon ng katarungan itong kaso na ito.
         Hindi na po maganda ang nangyayari na ito. kahit na i-give up ko ang pagka-Pilipino ko sa ganitong
ginagawa sa atin ng kapwa nating Filipino sa sarili pa nating bansa.ipinilit nilang bago ang LCD dahil nakakahon pa
daw.naitago ko po ang kahon na iyon dahil maingat din po ako sa gamit at kung sakaling ibenta ko at least e mejo
di magagasgas at kung maglilipat kami dito sa Hong Kong.nakakainis po kasing isipin na ganito ang ginagawa sa
atin.ipapabalik ko po dito ang LCD at kayo na po ang bahala...kahit na di na ako bumalik ng bansa para lang
mailabas itong kahihiyan na itong ginagawa sa atin.napakababaw po pero kailangan na natin ng pagbabago.

Jordan, from Hong Kong <trumantraffic@yahoo.com>


Description: 50 Successful Pinoy Entrepreneurs document sample