Kapat ir an par a s a Kar apat an at Kaunlar an

ng M ang g agaw ang Pilipino s a Ibayong da gat
Issue No.: 2 Geneva, Switzerland May 2002

Noong ika 21 ng Abril 2002 ay inilunsad ang KAKKAMPI o Kapatiran para sa Karapatan at Kaunlaran ng Manggawang Pilipino sa Ibayong dagat. Kasalukuyan ay may 30 kasapi ang samahan na nagtutulungan para magsagawa ng mga proyekto-serbisyo para sa mga migranteng manggaggawa. Ilan sa mga proyekto ay: a) Computer Learning Center; b) mga talakayan tungkol sa mga isyu na nakakaapekto sa kalagayan ng mga migranteng manggagawa; k) OJT program. Ginanap ang okasyon sa WCC Open house kung saan may 70 katao ang dumalo. Kasabay ng paglulungsad ay isang

Samahan ng mga Pilipinong Migranteng Manggagawa ay inilunsad

talakayan kung saan nagsalita si Atty. JeanPierre Garbade tungkol sa isyu ng permits. Si Mayan Villalba ng Unlad Kabayan naman ay naglahad ng mga proyekto-serbisyo ng kanilang samahan. Nagsalita si Genevieve Gencianos tungkol sa ginagawang “advocacy” ng MRI kung saan ay kasapi siya. Nagpalabas din ng isang dokumentaryong pelikulang pinamagatang “Breaking the Silence”. Kasama sa mga dumalo ay sina Lily Angelical ng Babaylan, Luis Cid ng Syndicat Sans Frontier, Christian Egger, Alvaro Senturias at Cecilia Jimenez ng Geneva Forum

Mag-impok at Mamuhunan, Itatag ang Kabuhayan Part 1 a KAKKAMPI-Unlad Kabayan MS-AI initiative in Switzerland

KARAPATAN
Kap at ir an par a s a Kar apat an at Kaunlar an
ng M an gg aga w an g Pil ip ino s a Ib ay on g da g at

If individual OFWs and their families learn to save and invest their earnings in self-sustaining local livelihood activities, labor migration in the country can be greatly reduced and economic development hastened. This is one of the visions of Unlad Kabayan. Livelihood projects create a condition for OFWs and their families to improve their standard of life. It is more profitable and selfsustaining than bank deposits, and provides a more stable and, self-sustaining alternative to migrant work. Other members of the community would also benefit from the enterprise investment of OFWs. They can generate jobs and thus help raise the standard of life in the community where they are located. Unlad Kabayan believes OFWs themselves can reduce the pervasive need for migration and accelerate economic growth for the rest of the country by investing their hard-earned incomes in livelihood activities. In the first place, a better life is the primary motivation of OFWs for finding work overseas. Secondly, their living condition, if not their socioeconomic status, is expected to improve as a result of their overseas work. But overseas work by nature is temporary. Thus in order for them to accomplish their objective for migrating, they must plan ahead and not depend solely on their earnings as OFWs.

Because of the temporary nature of overseas work, OFWs are aware that they must take advantage of the higher income they generate overseas. But many are unable to do so. Due to lack of savings values and consciousness, they fail to set aside enough income for long-term productive activity. Alternatively, many of those who have invested in livelihood projects are unable to sustain their venture because they lack skills in identifying a viable enterprise and in managing a business. The cycle of labor migration will thus persist until OFWs and their families learn the values and skills needed in utilizing their advantage of earning higher income to improve their standard of life. This will be the first of a series of articles that urges migrant workers and their families to rethink their savings practices and use of credit, to learn the value of working together, to discover how best to invest their income in ways that would create long-term benefits not only for their families but as well for the community where they live, and to develop among migrant workers an awareness of the importance and role of savings and financial placement in making changes in their lives and in society.

Bagong Bayani sa Hong Kong (BBHK)
Bagong Bayani sa Hong Kong (BBHK) was formed in May 1998 with an initial membership of seven women migrants, most of whom came from Sanchez Mira, Cagayan Province. They decided to set monthly savings for each member at US$25, a meager 5% of their monthly salary. They also agreed to contribute US$1.30 each as monthly dues to cover the cost of organizational operation. By December 1998, seven months after its formation, BBHK has accumulated more than US$5,400 (PhP200,000) in savings. The group decided to start a reintegration project in their hometown in the Philippines. They entered into an agreement with Unlad-Kabayan, which helped oversee their project while they continued their work in Hong Kong. By January 1999, BBHK’s reintegration project -. a school and office supplies shop -. was started. It was managed by the migrants’ family members. The shop was formally opened on April 18, 1999 — eleven months after the group started in Hong Kong. Upon agreement of the group, one member finished her contract in Hong Kong and returned to the Philippines in 1999 to run the project and ensure that the families are involved in the process. In July 1999, the BBHK school and office supplies shop was registered as a cooperative, with the board of directors consisting of representatives of the members who are still in Hong Kong. The business since then has also expandeed into a new branch. The BBHK cooperative plans to organize the municipality’s small vendors and farmers and encourage them to join the cooperative. It also plans to extend accessible and easy credit and self-help services to its members in the future. BBHK members in Hong Kong continue to pool their resources together as they prepare to go home and reintegrate into their community.

- Unlad Kabayan Migrant Services Foundation Inc. Part 2 of Mag-impok at mamuhunan will feature the context of labor migration, the role of migrant labor in producing the world’s wealth, the challenge to migrant workers.

KAUNLARAN
Kap at ir an par a s a Kar apat an at Kaunlar an
ng M an gg aga w an g Pil ip ino s a Ib ay on g da g at

KARAPATAN

Karapatan at Kaunlaran ng

A forum with Filipino migrant workers in Geneva

Jean-Pierre Garbade with Alvaro Senturias, former chairman of GFPC

... around 70 people attended the forum

Mayan Villalba of Unlad Kabayan with KAKKAMPI members

Kap at ir an par a s a Kar apat an at Kaunlar an

KAKKAMPI Newsletter Editorial Board Clarissa Balan, Marylou Panpilo-Levraz, Gemma Layco, Belen Conti, Dennis de Guzman Layout & Design: Dennis de Guzman Articles, opinions, letters to the editor should be sent to kakkampi@hotmail.com

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World Council of Churches Open house * 21 April 2002

Migranteng Manggagawa

migrant workers ask questions ...

Cecilia Jimenez (in eye glasses), chairperson of Geneva Forum

... more questions about Unlad Kabayan
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KAUNLARAN
Kap at ir an par a s a Kar apat an at Kaunlar an

KALAMANSI AT SUGAT KALAMANSI AT SUGAT
ni Pepe Dimasalang

KARAPATAN
Kap at ir an par a s a Kar apat an at Kaunlar an
ng M an gg aga w an g Pil ip ino s a Ib ay on g da g at

ISANG PANAYAM KAY SISTER STELLA L.
Sa Mater et Magistra , ito ang sinabi ni Pope John XXIII: “We consider it our duty to reaffirm that the renumeration of work is not something that can be left to the laws of the marketplace; nor should it be a decision left to the will of the more powerful. It must be determined in accordance with justice and equity; which means that workers must be paid a wage which allows them to live a truly human life and to fulfill their family obligations in a worthy manner.” Sa Quadragesimo Anno, lininaw din ni Pope Pius XI: “In the first place, the worker must be paid a wage sufficient to support him and his family” Gayon din sa Gaudium et Spes na ilinabas ng Vatican II na sinasabi: “Remuneration for work should guarantee man the opportunity to provide a dignified livelihood for himself and his family on the material, social, cultural, and spiritual level, taking into account the role and productivity of each, the state of the business, and the common good.” Inusig din ng propetang si Jeremiah ang di makatarungang pag-walang bahala sa pagbabayad ng sapat at tamang sahod. “Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice; Who makes his neighbors work for nothing, and does not give them their wages” Jeremiah 22: 13

Noong Mayo 1, habang naglalakad at nagmumuni-muni sa kalagitnaan ng gabi sa gare de Cornavin ay ako’y nabulaga ng isang madre na tila yata’y kalalabas lamang sa simbahan ng Notre Dame. Akin siyang binati at dahil sa matagal pa ang dating ng susunod na bus, inimbitahan ko na rin si Sister mag-“vous-voulez café”. At dahil sa araw ng paggawa, ang talakayan namin ay sumentro sa paggawa at karapatang manggagawa. Ito ang ilan sa mga excerpts. Pepe: Sister, isa sa pinaka-mainit na isyu ay ang “sapat na sahod” ng mga domestic workers. Bagama’t may batas sa canton ng Geneva na nagsasaad na ang minimum wage ay 2,400 Swiss francs, marami pa rin ang di sumusunod sa batas, kabilang dito ang ilan nating kababayan. Mayroon pa ngang nagsasahod ng kasing baba ng 150 US dollars. Sabi ng iba ay sapat na raw yun, ma-swerte na nga daw sila at nakarating sila sa ibang bansa at dapat pa nga raw tumanaw ng utang na loob. Sister Stella L: Malinaw ang Catholic Social Teachings dito. Mula sa Rerum novarum na sinulat pa noong 1891 ni Pope Leo XIII, hanggang sa mga dokumento ng Vatican II ay malinaw na ang mga mangggagawa ay may mga batayang karapatang pantao tulad ng karapatang magtrabaho, tumanggap ng sapat na sahod, at mag-organisa.

Ngayon anong papel nating mga Kristiyano ? Anong sabi ni Pope John Paul II sa Laborem Exercens ? “We must consequently continue to study the situation of the worker. There is a need for solidarity movements among and with the workers. The church is firmly committed to this cause, in fidelity to Christ, and to be truly the “church of the poor”. Pepe: Sabi ng iba “divisive at ma-popolarize” daw ang kumunidad ng Pinoy sa Geneva kapag tayo’y magkaroon ng “preferential option for the poor”. Masyado daw na “extreme” at “radikal” ang ganyang posisyon. Dapat daw ay neutral at huwag kumampi sa mga employer kahit na malinaw na di sumusunod sa minimum wage o di kaya’y minamaltrato ang kanilang mga caregivers. Sister Stella L.: Malingmali ang ganitong pananaw. Ang pagiging “divided at polarize” ay sa tingin ko’y bunga lamang ng pagkawala ng katarungan. Sa usaping “preferential option for the poor, sabi nga ng mga Obispo sa Estados Unidos sa kanilang dokumentong “Economic Justice for All” na inilabas noong 1986, “The primer purpose of this special commitment to the poor is to enable them to become active participants in the life of society. It is to enable all persons to share in and contribute to the common good. The “option for the poor,” therefore, is not an adversarial slogan that pits one group or class against another. Rather it states that the deprivation and powerlessness of the poor wounds the whole community. The extent of

their suffering is a measure of how far we are from being a true community of persons. These wounds will be healed only by greater solidarity with the poor and among the poor themselves.”

Pepe: Ay naku Sister, late na pala, yung huling biyahe in 5 minutes. Salamat sa maikling panayam at buti’y mayroon akong natutunan hinggil sa Catholic Social Teachings. Hindi ko naririnig ito sa ibang mga grupong pang-relihiyon eh.

Sister Stella L.: Salamat din. Minsa’y di lamang nabibigyan ng tuon ang mga ito ngunit ito’y importanteng bahagi ng pananampalataya. Kapag wala yung isa ay talagang kulang. Sabi nga sa “Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions, U.S. Bishops, 1998, “Just as the social teaching of the Church is integral to Catholic faith, the social justice dimensions of teaching are integral to Catholic education and catechesis. They are an essential part of Catholic identity and formation. If Catholic education and formation fail to communicate our social tradition, they are not fully Catholic.”

Dumating ang bus, at sumampa si Sister Stella L. habang dahan-dahang naglaho ang kanyang imahe sa kalaliman ng gabi. Samantalang ako nama’y nakarinig ng malakas na tinig ng aking butihing kabiyak na si Pilar. «Hoy Pepe...gising na..»
Kap at ir an par a s a Kar apat an at Kaunlar an

KAUNLARAN
ng M an gg aga w an g Pil ip ino s a Ib ay on g da g at

KAKKAMPI-MRI OJT Program

KARAPATAN

On-the-Job Training (OJT), is a program that MRI participates in with a local migrant worker’s association in Geneva, KAKKAMPI. The OJT program is part of KAKKAMPI’s computer skills training project for migrant workers. Because MRI believes in assuring the human rights of migrant workers, it is happy to offer the participants in KAKKAMPI’s computer classes an opportunity to have some training out of the classroom as volunteers at MRI through KAKKAMPI’s OJT program. There are four goals of this program. Capacity building The volunteers are able to learn new things and increase their capacity for knowledge through this program because they are constantly learning new things and then putting those things to practical use in the real world as the volunteer at MRI. Retooling Many of the members in the OJT program are actually university graduates in their home countries who have just not used their skills because of their current situation. Although the majority of the volunteers have degrees in anything ranging from teaching to engineering, they have been working for a long time as domestic workers. Through the experience they have as volunteers at MRI, they are able to “increase their tool-kit”. Confidence building Roughly 95% of the volunteers -and the members of KAKKAMPI- are women and some no longer have confidence in themselves as they no longer use the skills they learned at the university. The OJT program helps them work in a professional yet kind environment where they can help rebuild their lost confidence.
Kap at ir an par a s a Kar apat an at Kaunlar an

Exposure to advocacy work Through the very nature of the work of MRI, the participants in the OJT program are exposed to advocacy work. By viewing the actions and advocacy of MRI, the volunteers can see that there are ways in which they can be empowered. Tasks The volunteers in the OJT program have two main tasks. They are to input data into the computer which will later be used for cataloguing MRI’s library, and they are to commence with the inputting of data into the computer for MRI’s contacts database. Both the library catalogue and the MRI contacts database are works in progress.

- Candice Black (MRI)

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