Feature: Explaining Philippines-Korea G Column: Labor Updates Column: Not my Concern?


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Editorial: Women Empowerment: Work in Progress 3

Oth er Stories: FEWA Monthly Meeting Held Oth er Stories: A Place to Call their Own

Volume 3 Issue 3 2010 www.sulyapinoy.org


by Mikel Lee

eollabukdo , Korea--Gimje City, "The only place where Heaven and Earth meets" as the town folks call the place. The historical place is also called the “ Rice County : the birthplace of Korean rice farming culture”. Last February 28, 2010, the group of FEWA/Sulyapinoy officers headed by Marzy Serdena III- FEWA President and Aquilino Juanites - Chairman of the Board in Sulyapinoy and other officers went to Gimje City for its Community partnership visit. As one of the project of FEWA and Sulyapinoy to have a COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP in all part of Korea which aim to Community Partnersh ip : Mr. Jeong Joo Lee (center left), Multi-Cultural Centre Administrator and Adviser of DAMAYAN FilCom, and members and unify and build common goals, objectives and visions for the with FEWA and SULYAPINOY led by Labor Attache Delmer R. Cruzofficers of DAMAYAN together (center right) of the Philippine welfare of all the EPS and Filipino Migrant and Non-Migrant Overseas Labor Office, posed for a souvenir photo as a symbol of their partnership in helping the Workers. The Filipino Workers Orientation Seminar in Gimje City Filipino Community in South Korea. was held at Multi-Cultural Center, Gimje City and the programmed started at 10:00 in the morning. The group was welcomed by the Damayan officers headed by Marjorie Casarino – President of Damayan and Cielo Marie Surio – Assistant Secretary together with other officers namely Leovic Vasquez – Vice President, Kathlyn Bilino – Secretary, Carolina Cabrera- Treasurer, Michelle Pablo and Lailanie Delos Angeles – P.R.O, Esmeralda Anaya – Auditor, Evellyn Caballero and Aiza Dela – Board of Directors. Mr. Jeong Joo Lee, Multi-Cultural Center Administrator and Adviser of Damayan also welcomed the officers and participants of the seminar. Kimje City Association of Filipino Immigrants Korea ( KAFIKO) was organized last June 2008 for Filipina immigrant women married to Korean which objectives were to promote and maintain the general welfare of all members and become productive members in Korean society. November 2009, KAFIKO became DAMAYAN Filipino Community in Gimje City for not only Filipinos married to Korean but also all the Filipino EPS workers regardless of status was formed. The Filipino Workers Orientation Seminar discussed about the Revised Labor Act on Foreign Workers and Labor updates which was presented by Aquilino Juanites – Chairman of the Board in Publication, and Rights of Workers for Undocumented Workers and How to Respond on a Crackdown presented also by Noel Joseph Alvarez – Board of Publication in Training & Seminar. After the discussion, there is an open forum for all the questions about the topics and giving away leaflets and pamphlets for the migrant workers.
by Marvin Babasa


yewahdong, Seoul -- The officers of the Filipino EPS Workers Association (FEWA) and Damayan Filipino Community of Kimje City, Jeollabukdo S. Korea held a meeting with Professor Maragtas S.V. Amante PhD. last February 7, 2010 at Hyewahdong in Seoul. Professor Amante is a Financial and Business professor and also former Dean of the School of Labor and Industrial Relations of the University of the Philippines. Now, He is a professor in Hanyang University in Ansan, South Korea. In the said meeting, he emphasized that OFW’s while still working here in Korea shall study how their employers run their respective companies. So that when they return home in the Philippines, they can apply the knowledge/ skills gained on setting up their own businesses. He also mentioned that the Philippines, with its economic and political instability were left behind by its neighboring countries in Asia. But we can still move forward, “Hahabol Tayo” , he added because we have so much resources and manpower. All we must do is to DREAM and PLAN. Furthermore, He acknowledges FEWA/SULYAPINOY’s effort on providing such services and useful information’s to its fellow OFW’s here in Korea.



By Professor Maragtas SV. Amante The writer is a professor of business at Hanyang University, Erica Campus in Ansan City. He is a member of the Philippine Resource Persons Group (PhilRPG), an organization of Filipino professors in Korea. This article appeared in JoongAng Daily News, on December 28, 2009.
hy did Korea became rich, leaving behind other countries in similar or better condition in the 1960s, such as the Philippines? What explains the gap in economic and social performance between these two countries in East Asia? What are the implications to economic development models? These questions sound simple, even tedious and useless. Yet these issues are often topics for dinner conversation, an appetizer in confidence building between Koreans and Filipinos who want to be serious friends, business partners or even spouses. Aside from economic indicators such as income, trade, investment, productivity or employment, social and cultural factors should be important explanations. Variations in work ethic, values such as pride in one’s nation and culture, and even climate and geography are likewise significant. Differences in history and politics should not be ignored as well. Raw discussions of the gap between Korea and the Philippines often reveal one’s prejudices and ignorance. Korea and the Philippines have had 60 years of diplomatic relations, since 1949. Serious scholars need to explain the gaps between Korea and the Philippines, to promote better relations in business, economics and culture. The Philippines, named after a Spanish king no one remembers for doing anything useful, has 7,100 islands with numerous ethno-linguistic groups. In contrast, South Korea is a peninsula, with Korean as a common language acting as a strong unifying force. The Philippines attracted three foreign colonizers: Spain for 330 years, the United States for 45 years and Japan for three years. Koreans are most bitter at Japan’s colonization from 1910 to 1945. Korea’s strong national unity is a legacy of the Joseon Dynasty rulers, while Filipinos had fragmented, ethnic-led, and failed rebellions against colonizers. Harmonious relations emphasized by Confucianism and Buddhism make up the religious culture of Korea. The virtues of cannibalism, suffering, poverty, and forgiveness of sins in Spanish Catholicism dominate the Philippines. Korea has favorable weather and few natural disasters, while the Philippines is vulnerable to numerous devastating typhoons and volcanic eruptions all year round. In the late 1950s, the Philippines had average per capita income of about $1,100, while Korea had $ 900 per capita. The war with the North devastated Korea’s economy. After the Korean War, international assistance, mostly from the U.S., and industrialization propelled South Korea’s economy. South Korea’s per capita gross domestic product grew from $1,226 in 1960 to $1,745 in 1980, an increase of 42 percent. Korea’s GDP per capita then jumped to $11,347 in 2000 - a giant 550 percent leap! Korea’s GDP per capita is estimated at $16,450 in 2009.

South Korea’s transformation into a developed country during this short time period is known popularly as the “miracle on the Han River.” In contrast, the Philippine economy has experienced repeated boom-andbust cycles in the five decades since the nation became independent from the United States in 1946. Philippine per capita GDP was $672 in 1980, growing to just $ 718 in 1990 (7 percent growth), $987 in 2000 (37 percent growth), and $ 1,720 in 2009 (74 percent growth). In the 1950s and early 1960s most statistics show that the Philippine economy ranked as the second-most-progressive in Asia, next to that of Japan. However, the U.S. continued to wield power and influence through compliant political and economic elites , the “comprador bourgeoisie” - parasites benefiting from American trade and business. Attempts at agrarian reform failed as big landlords continued their feudal practices in agriculture, limiting domestic market development and capital accumulation. In Korea, agrarian reform carried out in the wake of the Korean War supported local capital accumulation. Land redistribution was accomplished swiftly after the war. Land ownership gave farmers incentives to increase productivity, incomes and savings which sustained capital accumulation and domestic markets. After 1965, when Ferdinand Marcos became president, the Philippines experienced economic problems and social unrest. Corruption and cronyism - social plagues also known as “bureaucrat capitalism” - worsened, as friends or relatives of the elite were appointed to well-paid posts even without merit or qualifications. In 1972, with America’s blessings, Marcos declared a dictatorship under martial law to stifle unrest and achieve a “new society.” Democratic institutions disappeared, as huge foreign debts and peso devaluations brought down the economy. The Philippines became the “sick man of Asia.” The power of the Philippine landlords, however, continued, and their parasitic hold over economic and social policies preventing capital accumulation and efficient, competitive markets from taking root. Economic policies such as industrial and anti-poverty programs failed from one landlorddominated presidency to another: Aquino in 1986 to the current Arroyo administration. After the Korean War, with U.S. support, the military, as the most organized social unit, became the leading force in Korea’s society and economy. After the coup d’etat by General Park Chung Hee in 1961, the military government intervened systematically and comprehensively in many areas of economic life. Yet, after his assassination by his intelligence chief, Park died relatively poor, with no evidence of illegal wealth. Today, the South Korean economy is dominated by large business groups known as jaebeol - family-owned business conglomerates. These include companies such as Samsung, LG, Hyundai, Daewoo, Kia and SK. The jaebeol are government-supported multinationals. Most important, there is a strong national passion throughout Korean society to get even with Japan and catch up with the West through technological innovation. In contrast, people in the many isolated Philippine islands have still to build a strong nation, overcome social divisions and structures and adopt continuous innovation and hard work as patriotic values for growth and development.


2 www.sulyapinoy.org



hile in the past women have been traditionally disempowered in Asia, these days times are changing. We see more and more women in powerful positions.

For instance, most Filipinos believe in martyrdom and sacrifice and extol them as virtues. While this is true in some cases we also need to remember that self-love is also important. And this we often forget, on so many levels. Even with the advent of the career woman, and organizations such as Gabriela, I do not think that women in the Philippines have reached that stage of being truly empowered on a deep and subconscious level. Once a Filipino male friend said, quite seriously that ‘ the ratio of men to women is 1:3. Therefore, the more successful a woman gets, the harder it is for her to find a husband and get married’. Here in Korea, the concept of being a ‘gold miss’ is becoming more popular. This is basically a girl who is past the traditional marrying age and has a good job, is self-content, and happy with her life. These days many Korean women don’t want to get married or settle for a husband who is less than what they think they deserve. ‘Gold miss is better’, as a friend of mine used to say. We still don’t have that concept in the Philippines...because all we have is an ‘old miss’. The good thing is that these days as Korea is learning to be more open to other cultures, we can expect that certain unhealthy traditional attitudes towards women would change as well.

Although we have certainly come a long way, I do not think we are quite there yet. We are in the process of trying and improving, but if we really take a deeper look, Asian women have not yet reached that stage of true liberation and empowerment. This can be seen not only on the societal level but on the individual and emotional level as well. These days we see more and more international marriages between Filipinos and Koreans, mostly, between Korean men and Filipino women. Sadly, most of them result in situations where women are continuously disempowered. For instance, many Filipinas give their salaries to their husbands, because of fear of being abandoned should the wife become too strong or independent. In some cases, the husband even goes to the woman’s workplace to claim his wife’s salary. It is his way of retaining control and power in the family. ‘Woman is earth and man is sky’, is an old Confucian adage, a belief that many traditional Korean men still cling to. But we are also partly to blame. We Filipinos, in general, are very traditional by culture. We tend not to question things, but rather we often just conform, or accept everything that is told to us. The aspect of women, provides no exception. We tend not to question societal roles and programming.

It is not easy for us women to take back th e power th at was taken from us a long time ago. Y et it is possible. It is a work in progress.
by Beverly Tamargo
Chairman: Aquilino Juanites Jr. V-Chairman: Teofilo Camo Secretary: Eva Del Monte Board of Publication in: Printing and Distribution: Bong Del Mundo Outreach, Recreation and Religious Programs: Ma. Lea Wenceslao Website Development and Maintenance: Zack Robles Sponsorship & Promotions Program: Annabelle Lopez Trainings & Workshop: Noel Joseph Alvarez Budget & Finance: Yeng Malonzo Consultants: Fr. Alvin B. Parantar, MSP; Prof. Emely Dicolen-Abagat, Ph.D.

Editor-in-Chief: Bevi Tamargo Opinion Editor: Rebenson B. Recaña Literary Editor: Amie Sison Photojournalist: Norman Matudan Managing Editor: Zack Robles News Editor: Noel Joseph Alvarez Cartoonist: Reynaldo Ranara Layout Artist: Edward Castro

Circulation Managers: Rodel Arias, Rudrigo dela Cruz, Alwyin Casino, Ismael Calandria Community Correspondents: Billy Vela (Ansan); Anthony Carl Dacones (Kasan) Noel Joseph Alvarez (Cheonan) Contributors in this Issue: Atty. Delmer Cruz, Vice Consul Arnel Talisayon Adviser: Cathy Rose Garcia (Staff Writer of the Korea Times) Labor Consultant: Prof. Maragtas SV. Amante

SULYAPINOY Office Address: 115-9 Songbuk-gu, Songbuk 1 dong, Songbuk Villa, Seoul, Korea 136-020 FEWA Office Address & SULYAPINOY Distribution Center: Inside WOORI BANK, Hyehwa-dong Branch, Jongno-gu, Seoul D I S C L A I M E R
Different opinions are encourage to stimulate member input and involvement. SULYAPINOY’s role is to provide information that permits FEWA members to develop informed opinions on subjects that will affect their status as migrant workers and, in some instances, their personal lives. FEWA does not hold itself responsible for statements made by any contributor. Statements or opinions expressed in SULYAPINOY reflect the views of the author(s) and not the official policy of FEWA unless so stated.

For Comments, Suggestions, Contributions & Advertisements
Please submit them to our website or to the following emails below:
All Staff: editorialstaff@sulyapinoy.org or sulyap.editorialstaff@gmail.com

* SULYAPINOY observes the Philippine Press Code of Ethics . * We reserve the right to refuse any submission we deem does not meet our policies and guidelines. * SULYAPINOY is still in need of writers and community correspondents. Aspirants may email the Editorial Staff for more details.

Thank you for your time and interest!


Compiled by Aquilino Juanites Jr. Source: Easy Korean Labor Labor (2007) and Korean Labor Education Institute by Welfare Officer Rose Ilo
The National Labor Consultation Center would like to inform foreign workers pertaining to information related to Change Of Workplace under the revised Act.(Act On Foreign Workers, Employment. Act No. 6967, August 16,2003, Newly Amended By Act NO. 9798, October 9,2009) In principle, foreign workers shall work for the workplace which employs him after entry. However, they are allowed to change workplace if there are legal reasons specified in the Foreign Employment Act. Are the following: 1. The employer terminates during employment period for justifiable reasons or refuses to renew the labor contract after completion of labor contract. 2. The foreign worker cannot continue to work in his/her workplace due to reasons not attributable to him/her, such as closure or temporary shutdown of business. 3. In case the employment permit is cancelled pursuant to Article 19(1) or any restriction is imposed on the employment of foreign workers pursuant to Article 20(1) 4. In case working conditions are completely different from the terms of the labor contract or employment relations are deemed impossible to be maintained by social norms due to employer's unfair treatment including violation of working conditions; 5. In case it is deemed inappropriate for a foreign worker to continue his/her work in the business or workplace due to an accidents, etc but he/she can continue to work in a difficult workplace or business So, According to old EPS, for the first three year sojourn period, the workers may change workplace up to three times and after reemployment, for the second three year sojourn period, the workers may change workplace up to 3 times. However, According to revised EPS, for the first three year sojourn period, the workers may change workplace up to three times and after reemployment, for the second sojourn period( less than 1 years and 10 months), the workers may change workplace up to 2 times. And Under the revised Act, "In case it is deemed impossible to continue to work in the current workplace due to business suspension, closure, and other reasons not attributable to the worker", the changing of workplace is excluded in the counting the number of workplace changes. Enforcement Date of the Amended Act. Amended Act will be entered into force on April 10, 2010 ( six months after the promulgation). However, provisions on the RE- Employment (Art,18-2) and Changing of Workplace ( Art. 25) are enter into force From ( two months after the promulgation). Labor Contract Period under Revised Act. The provision on the restriction on Employment period is to be applied to Labor contracts to be signed or Renewed after April 10.2010.Example, In case an employer signed a labor contract with foreign worker who entered Korea on May 1, 2009. For a year from May 1, 2009 to April 30, 2010, the employer can renew the labor contract within two year period from May 1, 2010. Signing of Labor Contract effective April 10,2010.(Art.-3) The employer who obtained employment permit pursuant to Article 8 and the foreign worker may Conclude or renew a Labor contract for a period decided by mutual agreement within the period pursuant to Article 18 (1). RE- Employment ,According to the Enforcement Rule of The Foreign Employment Act, An employer is required to submit a re-employment application 90 days to 30 days prior to the expiration of the employment period of the worker. Limitation on Re-employment- re-employment is only allowed once. If Re-employed , workers’ Reemployment period can be extended for less than two years.( One year and ten months). Number of Change of Workplace, How many times can foreign workers apply for Change of workplace. For the first 3 year ( maximum ) employment period , workers are allowed to change workplace for up to 3 times in principles. In case employment period is extended for RE-employment , workers can change workplace for up 2 times during the re- employment period if Legitimate reasons exist. Changing of workplace before and after Re- employment is counted separately. In case It is deemed impossible to continue to work in the workplace due business suspension, closure and other reason not attributed to the worker ( Art. 25(1)-2 will not be counted. For more information, please call us at 1350 or 031-345-5000.or www.eps.go.kr,www.molab.go.kr

Before I was posted here in South Korea , I was very much involved in conducting Human Resource Seminars and Values Orientation Workshops in different government offices and even in private companies in the Philippines . There were some seminars and workshops that I had conducted together with my husband Francis. Among the varied groups that we had the privilege to handle were the groups of Barangay Chairmen and councilors from the First District in Tondo, Manila .. These seven batches of Values Enhancement and Team Strengthening Workshops were sponsored by their congressman in the district. Among the objectives of the workshop were to give emphasis on the positive traits of the persons in working with a group, to awaken the spirit of involvement and a sense of commitment in the performance of their duties in whatever capacity they have. In all the workshops that we had conducted we never forgot to tell the simple story of a mouse trap in a farm. I delivered the anecdote in Tagalog and it goes like this: “May mag asawang magsasaka na nakatira sa isang baryo. Sa kanilang bakuran ay may alaga silang manok, baboy at isang baka. Meron ding isang daga na nakatira sa kanilang bakuran. Isang araw, habang ang daga ay nanginginain ng mga nalaglag na mais sa bakuran ay nakita siya ng asawa ng magsasaka. Nabahala ito na baka dumami ang daga sa kanilang bakuran kaya siya ay nagbilin sa magsasaka na bumili ng isang bitag ng daga sa pagpunta niya sa bayan. Nang madinig ito ng daga ay nag-alala ito at pinuntahan niya ang kaibigang manok at sinabi ang kanyang narinig. Ang sabi ng manok ay; “Bitag pala ng daga yan eh, wala akong pakialam dyan. Di naman ako apektado nyan.” Pinuntahan naman ng daga ang kaibigan nyang baboy at sinabi nya ang tungkol sa bitag. Nagwika ang baboy ng ganito; “Ano ang pakialam ko dyan eh para pala sa iyo ang bitag na yun. Ikaw ang may problema nyan. Hindi ako makikialam dyan.” Malungkot na umalis ang daga at nagpunta sa kaibigan nyang baka at sinabi nya ang kanyang problema tungkol sa bitag ng daga. Umiling lang ang baka at sinabi ang ganito; “Sa tingin ko eh ikaw ang may problema dyan, kailangan kang magingat para hindi ka mahuli ng bitag na iyan. Wala akong pakialam dyan, dahil sa laki kong ito, hindi ako apektado niyan. Mula noon ay naging maingat na ang daga sa paglibot sa bakuran ng mag-asawang magbubukid. Takot siyang mahuli ng bitag. Isang araw, may nahuli ang bitag. Akala ng maybahay ng magbubukid ay ang daga ang nahuli ng bitag, ngunit ito pala ay isang makamandag na ahas at siya ang natuklaw nito nang buksan nya ang bitag. Dahil dito sya ay nagkasakti at masyadong nanghina. Sa kagustuhan ng lalaki na lumakas ang kanyang asawa ay pinatay at iniluto niya ang manok at ipinakain dito, subali’t hindi pa rin ito gumaling.



Pagkaraan ng ilang araw ay tuluyan na ring namatay ang kanyang maybahay. Dahil wala siyang pera ay kinatay nya ang kanyang alagang baka saka ibinenta ang karne nito upang may magastos sya sa pagpapalibing sa namatay na asawa.” Sa madaling sabi, nakita natin kung ano ang nangyari sa tatlong kaibigan ng daga na nagsabi na wala silang pakialam sa pagbili ng magsasaka sa bitag ng daga. Bagamat ito ay hindi diretsong para sa kanila, sila ang naapektuhan nang mga pangyayari na akala nila ay walang epekto sa kanila. Samantalang ang daga na siyang dahilan ng bitag ang nanatiling buhay dahil sa kanyang pag-iingat at pag alam sa mga nangyayari sa kapaligiran”. . Our lives have a parallelism with this anecdote. Not everything that happens around us may be directly affecting us. However, we must not be complacent. We must be aware of the things that are going on around us, especially in our community. We must not say that it will not concern us because in many instances, an unfortunate turn of events may directly affect us and sometimes it is already too late for us to react. Let the day-to-day events in our community and country become challenges to us. Let us be concerned with the developments that are unfolding in the Philippines and let us do something to prevent any untoward or negative effects that these may have in our lives and that of our families. Even while we are here in Korea , we can express our love and concerns for the future of our country. Especially this coming election, let us all get involved... Let us cast our ballots wisely. Let us participate in choosing the future leaders of our country. This is the time where small voices of the people can be heard. “Ipakita natin na tayo ay may pakialam, lalo na kung para sa ating sariling bayan”.

By Joseph Tatoy buhay sa pinas,ay sadyang maralita kaya't ako'y nangarap,makapagtrabaho sa ibang bansa nawalay sa pamilya,napunta sa korea nagtiis at naghirap,mapasaya lang ang pamilya hindi naglaon,dumami ang kakilala paghahanap ng kaligayahan,sa barkada napunta sugal,alak at babae,lahat ng bisyo'y pinasok na upang makalimutan,lungkot at pangungulila aking nakilala,pinay na si ligaya katulad kung nag iisa,puno rin siya ng pagdurusa kami ay nagkasundo,tuluyan ng magsasama sa kabila ng katotohanang,kami ay kapwa may asawa sa pinas mga anak naghihintay,nangungulila sa ama't ina isang gabing tahimik,panginoon sa aki'y nagpaalala mahal kong anak,wika niya,ano ang iyong ginagawa hindi ba't nangibang bansa,upang makatulong sa pamilya bakit ngayo'y nakalimutan,at sa kasalana'y nalugmok na salamat po panginoon,tunay ka ngang mapagsinta makasalang katulad ko,minahal mo at inaruga susundin ko ang iyong utos,salita mo'y ipapamalita upang aking madarama,handog mong tunay na ligaya

by: Annabelle Lopez

In my dreams last night, by enchanted candle light You were a prince under a spell Everywhere there lies, mountain's so high Difficult challenges and trials. Have no fear, I'll be here, wishing on the star that's near. Finding a way to rescue you On my knees I pray, with all my heart Asking for courage, wisdom and strength. Beyond the sinking sand and enchanted sea Deep at the heart of a dark cave, I faintly see you Go ahead dear prince and take my hand We will feel our spirits risi'n in the air. Ever so free, across the sky, We'll soar the universe just you and I Don't be afraid, I'd give the world for you There's nothing more precious, than to be with you.

nameuQ yendoR :yb nameuQ yendoR :yb nameuQ yendoR :yb nameuQ yendoR :yb

Enchanted Dream

Pag-Asa ng Bayan

Dalaga, binata o merong asawa Sa hirap ng buhay, hangad mo'y iisa Iahon sa dusa ang abang pamilya Nag-abroad kahit na magpa alila. Naging construction worker at naging caregiver Sa hirap ng buhay, salat na sitwasyon Nagtiis at nagtiyaga bunga ng kahirapan Sapagkat ang buhay ay weather-weather lang yan Noon: sila sa itaas, ngayon: ikaw naman. Eh ano kung utusan? Eh ano kung alila? Tao'y kanya-kanyang diskarte't dilihensya Ano'ng pipiliin? Maging terorista? Mangidnap-for- ransom?Mang- agaw ng cellphone? mag-rally sa Edsa? Meron pa bang ibang aasahan Liban sa sariling sikap at paraan? Hawak mo ang susi sa kinabukasan Kaya nga Bayani ang turing sa iyo ng ating lipunan. At habang abala sa kaban ng bayan, Press release, interbyu, debate, bangayan Ang Kongreso, Senado, at ang Malakanyang “Umaasa kami, sa iyong patuloy na monthly remittance.”



in high school. Even then, Yang recalls how willing immigrants were to share with her their stories of mistreatment and discrimination at their jobs. “They were really really negative,” she said. Often the foreign workers felt they were, “treated like animals,” she said. “They actually said that, to me, even [though] I was a high schooler.” While Yang still hears accounts like this, she is optimistic conditions are improving. “Nowadays, some of them are still treated unfairly, but most conditions I think [are] getting better.” While an immigrant’s experience on the worksite depends heavily on his or her boss, Koh and Yang have heard that small business owners do not always afford foreign people fair treatment, “especially [those] who cannot work properly,” due to illness or injury, Koh said. “We have the responsibility as the Korean people to provide some condolences for those people that are suffering from pain.” South Korea has an impressive set of laws on the books ensuring that foreign workers have the same legal rights as Koreans. According to the Korean government’s Employment Permit System, which regulates foreign workers, the law and employers alike are expected to, “Apply identical labor conditions and human rights [to the foreign workers] as the native workers.” This includes National Health Insurance, which is funded by taxes and and should ensure that all residents of Korea can receive medical care at the same low costs regardless of nationality. But, as Raphael Clinic Director Sophia Kim explains, that is not always the reality. “Since most companies that hire foreign workers are unstable, workers who work in those companies are not given medical insurance,” she explained in an e-mail. Even when workers receive National Health Insurance, the low costs are too much to pay for some. “Workers who are admitted to Korea legally cannot receive medical insurance because a payment of about 25,000 won every month for foreign workers is burdensome” Kim pointed out. 25,000 won equates to approximately $ US dollars. 22 Making do with what you have Visit internationalunderground.org to find more pieces about the Filipino community in Seoul. This article is part one of two. If you ask Dr. Young-Cho Koh how many years he has spent volunteering in charity hospitals, you will have to wait for for him to do the mental math. “You know, it’s a very long story.” Koh explains. Muttering dates to himself leads Koh back to medical school, where he got his first taste of volunteering in, “1973,” he concludes, “so it is already 37 years continuing my volunteer [work] as a medical doctor.” Now, decades later, Koh spends much of his time at Konkuk University Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea, where he has progressed from a fledgling medical student to a Chairman and Professor of Neurosurgery and the Neuroscience Center. Rather than sitting behind a desk at his office, today he is seated on a rickety stool behind a plastic card table at the Raphael Clinic, located in Seoul’s Hyehwa neighborhood. Just yards away lies a waiting room filled with people from countries spanning the world. Filipinos speaking in Tagalog sit beside Chinese patients chatting in Mandarin. Conversations in more languages, from Vietnamese to Russian, create a low hum in the line of people winding up the stairs to the clinic's entry. With a population of over one million foreign workers in South Korea, every Sunday a small slice of them find their way through this line to the Raphael Clinic, run by approximately 300 Korean volunteers. Ranging from doctors and lawyers to medical students and teenagers, once every week this team works together to offer free medical services to foreign workers. A hallway by week, clinic by weekend This is not the clinic’s first home. Having overgrown previous spaces, it now resides in a building owned by a local high school. Inside is a large auditorium and an assortment of other rooms, but you won’t find the clinic inside any of them. The Raphael Clinic calls the labyrinth of the building’s third floor hallway home. “They lend us this place for free,” head volunteer Min Jik Yang explains. A friendly woman in her twenties, Yang is a longtime veteran of the clinic. She first donated a Sunday’s worth of time while “I think this is a big hallway,” Yang says, and she is right. About as wide as a subway car, it occasionally broadens and has plenty of corners utilized for storage, a precious commodity for an operation that has to pack up every week. Over a dozen propane tanks used to fuel the clinic’s many space heaters fill one corner. A metal cabinet with a sturdy lock sits open for the moment, until the clinic’s close, when all the valuables will be stowed away and locked up until next Sunday. Surrounded by eye charts, exam tables, and a hodgepodge of other hospital gadgetry, it's still hard to forget that this is a hallway. (To be continued) As Yang leads us through the clinic’s halls, she points from one makeshift department to another. “Here is ENT,” she says, pointing to the Ear, Nose, and Throat department, consisting mostly of a small desk pushed against a hallway wall. On it lies a laptop, a diagram of the human sinus system, a stethoscope, and a box of cotton swabs. A long list of medical departments unfolds as we proceed down the hallway, “Internal medicine, family medicine, EKG,” she recites. Labelled by signs suspended from the ceiling, desks line both sides of the hallway: dental, neurology, OBGYN, psychology, cardiology, orthopaedic surgery, and more.

by Lea Wenceslao


yewadong, Seoul -The officers of the Filipino EPS Workers Association (FEWA) and the Board of Publication of SULYAPINOY Newsletter held its monthly meeting last February 8,2010 at the 2nd floor, Wooribank building, Hyewadong, Seoul South Korea.

The meeting was presided by the president of FEWA, Mr. Marzy Serdena III and was started with an opening prayer led by Alwyin Casino, one of the Board Members. Mr.Serdena presented Mr. Ed Villarta as the newly appointed PRO of FEWA. The first agenda was the proposed general assembly of all the members of the FEWA, and the group decided that the tentative date for the proposed assembly is on April 18, 2010 that may take place at the Saint Benedict Parish Church or at the 2nd floor of Woori bank which is the FEWA office . The officers discussed some upcoming projects of the association. They are proposing a “Balik Tanaw Project” which aiming to help a rural public school in some schools supplies for the kids and some school materials that the association can come up. The said project is expected to put in action and be done between May and June of the same year. Mr. Yeng Malonzo and Mr. Ronald Austari gave updates on the breakdown of expenses and the cash on hand for the SULYAPINOY Newsletter and FEWA as the treasurer of the said group. Some issues were tackled such as the strengthening of the organization, revising the Constitution and By Laws of the association and discussed how to solve some of the minor problems of the group. The meeting ended at 4:00 pm with a closing prayer led by Mr. Loreto Agustin, FEWA Administrative Adviser.

The Filipino community and Seoul’s foreign worker population find a rare place made for them in the Raphael Clinic
by Danielle Harms




Our DEAR ARIES PSYCHIC READING COLUMN is your very own special place where you can get fun and free psychic readings! Before we get too excited, SULYAPINOY would like to remind everyone that the psychic readings are only meant in a fun and lighthearted way. Read this only in the spirit of entertainment. SULYAPINOY will not be responsible for people’s reactions before, during and after the readings. Ultimately, you still must make your own decisions in life and not rely on the mere readings. So, take what you want and leave the rest. And most importantly, have fun! Aries De Guzman is a 23 year old Filipina psychic. She has been doing psychic readings since she was 6 years of age. If you wish to ask for an online reading, please email your name, date of birth, and full background of the problem to dg.raisa@yahoo.com

me telling me that my parents are harassing her, accusing her of infidelity while she had done nothing wrong as a housewife managing our little sari-sari store. My parents also called me up telling me that someone told them that they saw my wife and my best friend going out together and having a good time with my son. My parents also told me that they have a suspicion that my son is not mine but my bestfriend's. My bestfriend also emailed me telling me that my parents went to their house and started a riot, and he has no idea as to why. I feel so distressed because I cannot come home until after 2 months. What do you think I should do? ANSWER: Dear Solite, First, I would like to suggest that you express your feelings away from the people involved. This way, you have given yourself the freedom to just be you for a moment before you allow your mind and heart to actually act upon the matter. Next, I suggest that until you have full hard evidence on your hands, do not make any harsh decisions or judgment. Make your own decision based on what is actually there and not what is supposed to be there. I feel that the Divine has given you this to assess your current choices with regards to your family and friendship. I also feel that the reason that the Divine has made this known to you 2 months before you go home is so that you can actually think about it thoroughly. Your plan, your action... and your thoughts. Hoping for the best.

Name: "Solite" Birthdate: (Kept as personal request) FULL BACKGROUND ON THE PROBLEM: I am currently working in Oman right now. I have been married to my wife for 25 years already. I have a son who is 18 years old. Ever before I married my wife, my parents never approved of her. I do not know why, but I love my wife. So I still married her. Now, just 3 days ago, my wife emailed

Aries link http://groups.yahoo.com/group/needingangelicguidance/



SULY APINOY www.sulyapinoy.org

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