Taiwan now allows entry of Filipino workers starting this week

Taiwan now allows entry of Filipino workers starting this week | Juan Manila

 

After a six-month lockdown enforced by Taiwan on 22 May 2021, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are now allowed to go back to their work in the island nation, as Covid cases have declined.

Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) similar to the Philippines IATF gave the official go for migrants to get into their borders.


 

MANILA, Philippines — Taiwan’s Ministry of Labor requested the CECC to allow migrant workers to enter the country owing to a shortage of trained labor in huge building projects and understaffed industries producing electronic items.

More than 270 factories from China’s mainland have relocated. Due to China’s increasing economic circumstances and electricity problems, activities have been relocated to Taiwan.

Around 4,000 Filipino employees who were granted visas before the 22 May shutdown would be able to join the firms who hired them by next week.

Meanwhile, after the Chinese New Year from 01 to 06 Feb 2022, 20,000 more OFWs are be expected to be deployed in the island nation.

For the past 30 years, Taiwan has been the most sought-after foreign employment for OFWs because it pays the greatest wages for blue-collar employees and provides very substantial social insurance benefits.

Currently, the country has around 180,000 OFWs, the greatest number in the world, followed by Thais and Vietnamese. (ER/JuanManila)

Pinoy teacher among 10 finalists for Global Teacher Prize

Pinoy teacher among 10 finalists for Global Teacher Prize | Juan Manila

 

A science teacher hailing from Cebu is one of the ten finalists for the Global Teacher Prize, an award that promises a $1 million (P50 million) cash prize.


 

LAPU LAPU CITY — Science and Technology Education Center Senior High School (STEC-SHS) teacher Bryant Acar finds himself in the shortlist for the 2021 Global Teacher Prize.

“Being in the Top 10 is something I did not expect. There are so many teachers with high qualifications and great accomplishments, so many of us are clueless as to who will make it to the list,” stated Acar.

He is among 8,000 nominations and applications from 121 countries around the world.

He quit teaching in the university and took up a post in STEC-SHS back in 2016 to teach “deserving students from poor backgrounds.” The school had no science laboratory, so he linked up with universities in order for his students to use them for science experiments.

Acar is also known for creating his own textbooks, teaching modules, learning resources, and worksheets, all of which were even reproduced for the use of ten neighboring senior high schools.

His students have also won science competitions both locally and abroad. He draws inspiration from his students, he said.

In 2018, Acar was named the second best science teacher in Southeast Asia in 2018 at the SEAMEO QITEP in Bali, Indonesia. He was named “outstanding educator” at Thailand’s INCEED and SPACE International back in February 2020.

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he stated, “I should never give up because of this pandemic. This did not cripple me from giving my best in teaching. The platform may have changed to online, but a motivated teacher will always find a way to rise to the occasion.”

The Global Teacher Prize is set to virtually announce their winner on 10 November 2021.

Acar said if he wins the award, he plans to buy a school bus for STEC-SHS to travel to competitions and be more mobile, conducting outreach programs. He also plans to travel to schools around the world to learn their best practices regarding teaching and educating the youth.

He plans to build a Global Teacher Prize Learning Hub as part of STEC-SHS, where both students and teachers can conduct training, conferences, and research.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones lauded Acar’s contributions, stating, “We will always be rooting for the likes of Teacher Bryant, as we are dedicated to further develop their skills and talents in the teaching profession.”

The Global Teacher Prize is an annual award presented by the Varkey Foundation in London. The winner of the prize is “an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession.” (RF/JuanManila)

Ressa’s Peace Prize ‘places Duterte in an awkward position’

Ressa's Peace Prize 'places Duterte in an awkward position' | Juan Manila

 

The outpouring of joy over the Peace Prize accorded to staunch Filipina investigative reporter Maria Ressa, CEO of the news site Rappler and the first Filipino to ever receive a Nobel Peace Prize continues.

She has now divided the Senate on which stance to take regarding the awarding of the Senate Medal of Excellence.


 

MANILA — The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Maria Ressa on Friday, 08 October 2021 along with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov for their role in safeguarding “freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace”.

While many Filipino netizens rejoiced her victory, Malacañan’s initial silence was simultaneously brought to everyone’s attention.

Even the Senate is left divided by her reception of this award.

The Senate created the Medal of Excellence on the 24th of August, adopting the Proposed Senate Resolution No. 781, in recognition of outstanding Filipinos “for their exemplary service, outstanding achievements, and invaluable contributions to nation-building”.

These achievements include the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the A. M. Turing Award, the Ramon Magsaysay Award, and finally, an Olympic medal—which was the most relevant at the time—would be eligible for the Senate’s awarding.

Olympic medalists Hidilyn Diaz, Carlo Paalam, Nesthy Petecio, and Eumir Marcial all officially received this honor on 06 September.

 

Amended confusion

Although the Resolution clearly states that a Nobel Prize makes any Filipino eligible for the Senate Medal of Excellence, the divide on Ressa’s victory falls on an amendment made to the medal’s creation.

According to Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Ressa’s courage to stand up to the Duterte administration’s silencing of press freedom was awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. This entails an “automatic” granting of the Medal of Excellence.

Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, however, cited Senator Drilon’s own amendment, stating that the granting of the Senate Medal also requires a unanimous vote among members of the chamber. Senate President Vicente Sotto III said that Ressa’s awarding “will have difficulty” due to the unanimity clause.

Senator Francis Pangilinan said it places the Duterte administration “in a very awkward situation, considering how it has repeatedly attacked Rappler and filed all sorts of bogus cases against her [Ressa]”.

“We can take this up when we get back in November. [The conferment on Nobel winners] should have been automatic. However, there is a Drilon amendment that states it’s upon the unanimous vote of all members, so if nobody objects then it is automatic. That’s in the approved rules,” Zubiri said.

 

Breaking its silence

Meanwhile Malacañan has released its late statement on Ressa’s win, after three days of silence on the matter.

“It’s a victory for a Filipina and we’re very happy for that kasi wala naman pong utak talangka dito sa (because no one has a crab mentality here in) Malacañan,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a briefing.

“Of course it is true there are individuals who feel Maria Ressa still has to clear her name before the courts,” he added.

Regarding the government’s position on the message of Ressa’s win, Roque also stated, “It is not a slap on the government; it was made by private individuals in Norway. We respect their decision. There is no slap there because as everyone knows, no one has ever been censored in the Philippines. A journalist who claims a chilling effect should not be a journalist.” (RF/JuanManila)

Ressa, Muratov win Nobel Peace Price 2021

Ressa, Muratov win Nobel Peace Price 2021 | Juan Manila

 

Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, a precondition for democracy and lasting peace, tweeted The Nobel Prize.


 

MANILA — Rappler’s chief executive officer Maria Ressa is one of two journalists to be awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, 08 October.

With Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov, Ms Ressa won for their work to protect freedom of the press and freedom of expression.

Ressa is the first Filipino to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

“The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”

 

“I am in shock,” Ressa told a live broadcast by Rappler. A staunch advocate of press freedom amid the alleged oppressive regime of
President Rodrigo Duterte, she had faced several cases that they claimed were only meant to harass critics of the administration. (HMP

Featuared image: For their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace, the Norwegian Committee awards the Nobel Peace Prize to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov. /Credit: The Nobel Prize @NobelPrize

Linggo ng Katandaang Pilipino honors centenarians

Linggo ng Katandaang Pilipino honors centenarians | Juan Manila

 

The Department of Social Welfare and Development distributed a ₱100,000 cash gift to each of the 1,130 centenarians nationwide.

In compliance with Republic Act No. 10868, also known as the Centenarians Act of 2016, a Letter of Felicitation from the President and a Centenarian cash gift is provided to all Filipinos, whether residing in the country or abroad, who turn 100.


MANILA — Apart from being a celebration of longevity, this Act also honors the National Respect for Centenarians Day, held on the first Sunday of October. This day is celebrated as part of the Elderly Filipino Week (Linggo ng Katandaang Pilipino), which occurs during 01 to 07 October annually.

The special day entails additional ceremonies and plaques of recognition for the centenarians of that fiscal year, to be held and arranged by the respective municipalities.

As of August 2021, among the 1,319 seniors who turned 100 this year, a total of 1,130 seniors have already been given their cash gifts. A total of ₱113 million has been given to the centenarians.

The DSWD has issued a statement Friday 01 October, reminding relatives of centenarians to submit primary documents (birth certificates or Philippine passports) to the city or municipal Social Welfare Office and the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) in their respective localities in order to avail the benefits.

If either document is unavailable, any primary identification card issued by the OSCA, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), or the Social Security System (SSS) will suffice. The centenarian’s driver’s license, Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) license, or Commission on Elections (Comelec) voter’s ID will also be accepted.

The DSWD enforces a house-to-house delivery scheme to ensure everyone’s safety during the pandemic.

The DSWD continues to work with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and local government units (LGUs) to estimate the number of centenarians for the upcoming year. (RF/JuanManila)

GCash helps EntrePinoys cope with pandemic

GCash helps EntrePinoys cope with pandemic | Juan Maniila

 

ASPIRING EntrePinoys and small business owners from Novaliches can now sustain their means of livelihood, earn money from home and stay safe from the pandemic, thanks to Globe’s GCash app.

Globe has partnered with Pinas Forward — a nation-building movement — in helping Filipinos shift to the ‘new normal’ lifestyle under a new livelihood program.


 

Under the livelihood program, select beneficiaries from the Savings and Loans Group of Muling Pagkabuhay Parish in Bagbag, Novaliches were given funds to start or sustain their businesses through the help of the GCash app. Beneficiaries were also trained on financial literacy and use of e-wallets.

The undertaking is in line with Globe’s advocacy for financial inclusivity and using financial technology to serve the unbanked.

 

Bridging the Gap Between Financial Technology, Poverty

A study by the Women’s World Banking and the International Labour Organization (ILO) showed that low income earners risk being left behind in Filipinos’ shift to digital solutions due to the pandemic.

This is because of the low earners’ inexperience and lack of trust in digital platforms, which GCash aims to solve by expanding the low-income population’s access to available digital financial services.

Father Ross Dela Cruz, from the Diocese of Novaliches, said GCash is a helpful solution for those who want to start a business but are low on capital.

The Savings and Loans Group is one of the approaches by the Diocese for community empowerment and savings mobilization of parishioners—most of whom are currently in low financial standing and living inside the cemetery beside the parish.

“Ang pandemya at ang mga problemang idinulot nito sa kabuhayan ng mga miyembro ng community ang inspirasyon [ng partnership na ito]. Gusto naming matulungan sila na magkaroon ng pagkakakitaan during these trying times para sila ay makabangon. GCash is perfect [for those starting a business] lalo na ngayong panahon kung saan napakaimportante ng safety and convenience,” the priest said.

 

GCash For All

This sentiment is echoed by Nicholas Allan Guerrero, a beneficiary who used the money he received from the program as an additional fund for their sari-sari store and new e-loading business in his hometown in Ilocos province.

“Mahalagang matuto tayo sa paggamit ng e-wallet kagaya ng GCash dahil ito ay cashless at mas convenient. Hindi na rin natin kailangan pang lumabas ng ating mga bahay kapag gagamit nito,” he said.

“Sa tulong ng programa ng Pinas Forward at SHeG, napalago namin ang aming negosyo sa tulong ng GCash. Dahil from P5,000.00 medyo lumalago na ito, ngayon ay umabot na ng Php 10k hanggang P30,000ang pinapaikot naming pera para sa GCash,”Nicholas added

Shiryl Pasacay, a 37-year-old mom of two kids, used the money she got from the program to sustain her sideline of buying and selling marinated meat. She now uses GCash as one of the modes of payment for her business, and she also started offering e-Loading services via GCash.

“Ang payment transactions ng customers ngayon ay through GCash. Malaki talaga ang tulong dahil cellphone lang ang gamit pero kikita ka na. Less ang physical contact kaya mas safe lalo na ngayong time ng pandemic,” Pasacay said. John Paul Bayson, another beneficiary, stressed the importance of finding innovative solutions to cope with the challenges brought by the pandemic in people’s livelihood. “Sa panahon ngayon, bida ang malikhain. Bida ang madiskarte. Sa pamamagitan ng e-wallets tulad ng GCash, nabibigyan ng oportunidad ang mga tao at maliit na negosyante like us to reach out more to clients and to give a safe and reliable way to earn a living,” she said.

Maritime firms seek Gov’t assist for seafarers’ welfare

Maritime firms seek Gov’t assist for seafarers’ welfare | Juan Manila

 

Thousands of Filipino seafarers are suffering after serving beyond their contracts in international vessels because of the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic on the country’s manning industry.


 

MANILA — Maritime groups have issued an appeal to President Rodrigo Duterte asking immediate help in obtaining an extension to the cap for returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

In a letter to the chief executive, the maritime group ALMA (Association of Licensed Manning Agencies), comprised of 59 licensed manning agencies, reveals, they need the swift intervention of the president to direct airlines to bring down their fares with zero to minimal rebooking charges, as a way of honoring the so-called ‘modern day heroes’.

According to ALMA trustee and labor and employment external affairs sub-committee chair Atty. Iris Baguilat, their latest appeal to President Duterte is a reiteration of their earlier letter requesting an increase in inbound flight passenger limit as well as additional quarantine facilities to their arriving crew.

Ms Baguilat expresses the group’s utmost appreciation of the president’s pro-OFW stance and unequivocal support for the welfare, safety and employability of Pinoy seafarers.

At this time, with ALMA responsible for deploying more than 160,000 seafarers to various shipping companies, the maritime group is also proposing a new tack while addressing basically the same concerns of relaxing the 2,000-limit in inbound passengers and providing additional hotel rooms for quarantine purposes to facilitate the return of the country’s beleaguered seafarers.

The group echoes the manning industry’s call to extend the spirit of the Philippine Green Lane to returning seafarers. To recall, the Green Lane was adopted to ensure unhampered but safe movement of seafarers up for deployment overseas.

“In short, we seek to exempt the Filipino seafarers from the passenger limits without a need for a specific exemption per case. Additionally, we call for authorities to direct the airlines to honor the Filipino seafarers’ marine fare to become cheaper compared to the normal booking rates and fully-flexible-to-changes with zero-to-minimal rebooking charges,” Ms Baguilat says in her appeal. (TRC/JuanManila)

PH athletes to 2020 Paralympics down to 5

PH athletes to 2020 Paralympics down to 5 | Juan Manila

 

The Philippine contingent in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, reduced to five from 21, is representing the country in the athletics, swimming, and taekwondo events.


 

MANILA – In accordance with health and safety protocols set by organizers of the Paralympic Games, members of the Philippine contingent who tested positive were not allowed to leave for Tokyo.

In Tokyo, Philippine differently abled athletes to represent the country in the aforementioned events are:

Athletics
Jerrold Mangliwan: Men’s 400 m; Men’s 1500 m; Men’s 100 m
Jeanette Aceveda : Women’s Discus Throw

Swimming
Ernie Gawilan : Men’s 200 m individual medley; Men’s 400 m freestyle; Men’s 100 m breast stroke

Gary Bejino : Men’s 200 m individual medley; Men’s 100 m breast stroke; Men’s 50 m butterfly; Men’s 400 m freestyle

Taekwondo
Allain Ganapin : Men’s 75 kg

 

Despite the unexpected setback, Michael Barredo, PPC president, is optimistic Team Philippines will be able to find success in Japan until 05 September 2021.

“We are confident our athletes will give their best in pursuit of their Paralympic dreams and to bring honor and glory to our country,” says Mr Barredo. (TRC/JuanManila)

Nurses are qualified for risk allowance and other benefits

Nurses are qualified for risk allowance and other benefits | Juan Manila

 

President Rodrigo Duterte says more health frontliners fighting Covid-19 should receive special risk allowance (SRA).

Meanwhile, nurses who are also directly exposed to the virus are seeking risk allowance coverage as well.


 

MANILA — According to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, there are some nurses who say they should also be included (in the special risk allowance coverage) as Covid-19 continues to spread and they are now directly exposed (to the virus). This is being verified by the Department of Health now,” says Mr Nograles during a dzBB interview.

Last week, nurses and other healthcare workers threatened they would conduct “mass resignation” since they have not received the promised SRA and active hazard duty pay by the Department of Health (DOH).

The DOH admitted to the need in improving the distribution of special risk allowance to health care workers after the Commission on Audit, in its report, exposed ₱67 billion in budget anomalies in the health department.

“The DOH recognizes the need to further improve inter-agency coordination and communication and streamline processes among its operating units to ensure dispatch in providing benefits for our frontliners who have worked tirelessly to keep Filipinos safe,” it says in a statement yesterday. (HMP/JuanManila)

Health workers to get their benefits within 10 days

Health workers to get their benefits within 10 days | Juan Manila

 

Government-promised benefits for health workers, frontliners amid the health crisis that resulted from the coronavirus pandemic, did not reach them, at least the ones still demanding them say so.

This time, upon the intervention of President Rodrigo Duterte, benefits demanded are expected to reach health workers in ten days.


 

MANILA — Directing the Departments of Health and of Budget Management to resolve in ten days the still unattended issue on health workers’ benefits, President Duterte expects to see these health workers receive their long-due benefits.

Iyong mga nagrereklamong frontliners about their allowances, or about whatever, pati itong volunteers na magbakuna, I am ordering Secretary Duque, bayaran mo. Use whatever money there is,” Duterte says in a taped speech.

Calling the shots this time, he also instructs the DBM to release the funds, giving them 10 days.

“I know that ‘Bayaran mo,’ it is upon your request to the DBM. Hindi ikaw magkuha dyan sa bulsa mo para ibayad mo. I would like now, itong naghawak ng pera or authority to spend, DBM, I’m giving you 10 days,” Duterte says.

The DOH already said it would look into its savings that it might align to fund the SRAs (special risk allowance) of health workers. Meanwhile, it sought an additional ₱3.6 billion to pay for the said benefits. (HMP/JuanManila)