The Voice of the Modern Living Heroes

T he Of fici al P u bli ca ti on of Fil i pin o EPS W or kers Ass oc ia ti o n - So u th K o rea (F EW A)

필리핀 EPS ( (외국인 고용허가제) 근로자 협회 공식 발행 – 대 한민국 필리핀 EPS 외국인 고용허가제) 근로자 협회 공식 발행 – 대 한민국
2011 www.sulyapinoy.org

Volume 2

Issue 16

NOT FOR SALE

People and God-centered Association
OFW-KOREA-2006-001

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he Ministry of Employment and Labor (Minister Lee Chae-pil) said on June 21 that an amendment to the Enforcement Decree of the Act on Foreign Workers' Employment etc., containing this feature had been passed at a cabinet meeting. Any employer who employs nonprofessional foreign workers (those holding E-9 or H-2 visas) under the Employment Permit System should take out departure guarantee insurance so that he/she can make retirement payments to the foreign workers when they depart from Korea. This has so far applied only to businesses or workplaces with five workers or more. However, the retirement benefit system was extended from workplaces with five workers or more to those with four workers or less on December 1, 2010.

retirement payments to them on time. For these reasons, the scope of workplaces required to buy departure guarantee insurance is expanded to include workplaces with four workers or less. The revised decree will enter into force on August 1. According to it, workplaces with four workers or less should buy departure guarantee insurance only for foreign workers whose employment contracts will take effect on or after August 1. * Foreign workers employed before August 1 will receive retirement pay according to the retirement benefit system. Besides, the amendment abolishes the requirement for employers to return

* Each employment permit contains the name and passport number of the relevant foreign worker, so there is little chance of misuse even if it is not returned. However, up until now the law has required a return of employment permits if they are revoked, which has done nothing but cause unnecessary inconvenience to employers. In order to enhance punishment for repeat offenders, the amended law imposes additional fines if it has been repeatedly violated over a two-year period. " The amendment will help foreign workers in small workplaces to receive retirement pay promptly and reduce workplaces' burden of making retirement payments all at once," said Lee Jae-gap, Deputy Minister of the Employment Policy Office. " The Ministry will distribute detailed implementation

Source - http://www.moel.go.kr/english/topic/employment_policy_view.jsp?& idx=8 0 3

ADVISORY on Contract Extension
Filipino EPS Workers are warned about disinformation and rumors being spread regarding the 2 year contract extension. The Philippine Embassy, POLO, HRD-Korea and MOEL have not made any official pronouncements to confirm this. The current EPS-MOU is on a status-quo. Beware of individuals, syndicates and other unscrupulous agency promising you assistance in exchange of expensive fees to process for change of visa or extension of contract. Protect yourself from these illegal activities and prevent them from victimizing other Filipino EPS workers. Please report them immediately to FEWA or POLO. Only deal with the proper authorities and officials with regards to your change of contract status.

SULYAPINOY is accepting cash donations for its monthly printing expenses. You may deposit them @ Account # : 1002 640 334730 / Acnt Name: Marcelino M. / Bank: Woori Bank - Hyehwa-dong Branch

Is Reintegration an Option?
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eintegration is a government program to encourage Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to stay and work in the country instead of going abroad again. In his pronouncements President Pnoy himself desires that Filipinos working abroad should be a matter of choice rather than a necessity. Promising as it may seem, reintegration for most OFWs may not be a practical choice but a nochoice. The Ramdam Survey made by Sulyapinoy on contract extension showed that many of these Employment Permit System (EPS) Filipino workers are soon to bid goodbye to South Korea. When they were asked about their readiness to go back home, only 10% of those who answered said they are ready, 24% will apply for other countries, 59% would want to come back to Korea, and the rest answered they are undecided. This proves that many are not yet ready to reintegrate for various reasons. The survey also shows that many of those whose contracts have ended or about to end and do not have guarantees of being able to come back because of their age have opted to become undocumented. Their number becomes substantial when added to other nationalities choosing to become undocumented to ensure continued work. In the Middle East, governments are aggressively pursuing nationalization of jobs so that their own citizens can work instead of hiring migrant workers; a clear indication of dwindling and more competitive international labor markets for OFWs. Philippine data shows that in Saudi Arabia more than 60% of OFWs are rehires compared to those newly hired pegged at less than 40% . Saudi Arabia, a country employing the biggest number of OFWs in the Middle East, is finally implementing its long protracted Saudization policy. The Philippine government is trying to allay fear among OFWs with their wait-and-see attitude, but for most migrant workers and their families Saudization is a serious issue. Although no clear estimate has been made so far as to its possible impact on the economy, it should be considered as cause for concern for everyone. Calamities like the earthquake that turned into a nuclear disaster in Japan, the internal conflict in Libya and other threats to peace and security in other countries are adversely affecting the livelihood of many of our OFWs. Some were forced to evacuate, leave their jobs and go back to the Philippines without jobs. Responding to these situations, last June 7, 2011 the Philippine government launched a 2-Billion Pesos Reintegration Program in Manila in time for the Migrant Workers’ Day and First National Congress of OFWs and Families. The Reintegration Program is a joint project of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). The reintegration program will support viable businesses of OFWs especially in agribusiness, tourism, education, and healthcare. “OFWs with existing businesses or those who want to start any business or livelihood project may apply for loan assistance of up to 2 million pesos without collateral payable in 7 years with 7.5% annual interest. For many OFWs reintegration is the last recourse especially when they are unable to find jobs because of their age. Some groups are criticizing the loan under the reintegration program. They believe that it is a potential pitfall for OFWs to sink further in poverty once they failed in their business enterprises, since not all OFWs are capable of putting up and sustaining a successful business. Other groups claim that OFWs do not need loans, but should be provided with a job for their source of livelihood. Whether reintegration is an option or no-choice at all, OFWs will have to deal with it in the short or long run. But for many, they are not yet keen to bite the bait of the government, particularly with the present economic condition and the prevailing job market situation. Instead many still prefer migration as their only solution to their economic woes. And for some EPS workers they will ignore the danger and insecurity of being an undocumented worker just to have a continued job.

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, e-mail: editorialstaff@sulyapinoy.org or sulyap.editorialstaff@gmail.com


Contributor : Gennie Kim, J ack Rusl, Ehd Villarta, Benjue del mundo and Marzy Serdena

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.

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JUNE 2011

EDITOR’ S NOTE

Guidelines for Happy Return for Foreign Workers in Korea
BENEFITS FROM RETURN

Solidarity
By Airlinehunk24

JUNE 2011

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DepEd K12+ Program: Setback or Solution?
By Corinna B. Estarija

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he Department of Education announced last year plans of adding more years in the basic education system of the country, citing that the Philippines is lagging behind compared to other countries, not only in terms of its quality but also of the accepted length of basic education. May of this year, training of teachers for the inclusion of the mandatory kindergarten and additional two years in high school started for the planned implementation next year. Since the announcement, the initial preparations have already been met with mixed reactions from the people here and abroad. Some have agreed to the plans, in light of the increasing competition in the international education review rankings and job market in the Philippines and abroad. Currently, the Philippines is the only country in Asia still practicing the 10-year basic education curriculum, compared to our other Asian neighbours who have within a decade decided to move their minimum years of basic education to either 11 or 12 years. Proponents agreeing with the move contend that this may help with the economic condition of the country, while others cite that this may contribute to our students’ competitive edge in the international arena. There are those who also disagree with this move, citing reasons of economic difficulties or the specific feasibility evidences that support the general claim. The government’s provision for public schools have not improved compared to the country’s financial state, state universities are also receiving a slashed budget from the approved budget proposal, and teachers are again being fought for by various civic groups with reasons of under compensation compared to the amount of work being given to them. Others say that the reason for the suffering quality of education cannot be blamed on the number of years in school, but mostly also on the curriculum being followed predominantly in the public schools. Others are questioning the overall preparedness of our schools and school personnel, the budget, the students and parents themselves, and the resources available such as the books and school supplies. The confusion with what to do and how to reconfigure the system is also not helped with the changing question of if the traditional subjects, how they are taught, or how they are being received by the students are still useful in the present times. Further, not only in the Philippines but the dominant Western countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United States, are also experiencing trouble, with issues of tuition fee increases and slashed university education budgets. As witnessed in and Kuya Nhads months Photos by Samuel Grado the previous

in local and international media, the disagreement of the political moves inside the halls of Congress or Parliament have moved to the streets as demonstrations were waged and witnessed, clashes between the students, teachers and professors, and concerned parents who take the heavy brunt of churning their wallets and breaking their backs for loan payments to get through their studying. Add to this the concern of being underemployed or being completely unemployed even, and you have a crisis that branches out to more than political unrest and economic discontentment. Our elderly often tell us of a Filipino belief, that material wealth can be stolen and taken from us but not our education, our degree, and/or of what we keep inside our heads. Many OFWs send children to school and universities. Given our family values, more often than not these children may not just be our own but may also be our relatives, nephews, nieces, even grandchildren. Either way, we feel a sense of pride

when they are able to graduate, but are also involved when they themselves feel the frustration of not being able to find employment that may correspond to their needs and training, not to mention double the hurt when they cannot finish at all. More importantly, we assist in sending them to school even from afar because it is our hope that they can pass along the thought that with the education they receive they can get out of the difficult plight we found ourselves in, a plight they hopefully do not have to experience themselves. But what happens when the educational system that you rest your hope on is in itself lacking? How do you make up for that deficiency, if you do not know where to start or where to put the supplementing aids? There is room for experimentation and the exploration of possibilities, but no one will disagree that there is very little room, if any at all, when it comes to considering the future of our country’s children and with what they are taught.

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JUNE 2011

Ang Tatay ko na OFW
Mary Ann Octavio

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a unang baitang sa Elementarya tinalakay ng aking maestra sa Sibika at Kultura ang kahalagahan ng ama sa isang pamilya. Ito daw ang nagsisilbing haligi ng tahanan. At ang tahanan ay hindi matatawag na tahanan kung wala ang haligi nito. Kaugnay rin ng salitang Ama ang mga salitang, proteksyon, kalinga, responsibilidad at gabay ng pamilya. Sa aking murang isipan batid ko ang kadahilanan ng kawalan ng haligi ng aming tahanan, sapagkat lumisan ang tatay patungong Gitnang Silangan. Sa hirap ng buhay, talamak na kurapsyon at mangilan ngilang opportunidad sa Pilipinas, hindi sapat ang kita ng tatay para tustusan ang pag aaral naming apat na magkakapatid. Kaya’t minabuti ng tatay na makipagsapalaran na lamang sa ibayong dagat. Hindi man namin sya kapiling, tinayuan niya ang responsibilidad na ibigay ang aming pangangailangan. Subalit may mga pagkakataon na nagtatampo ako sa aking tatay. Naiisip ko noon na hindi lubos ang pagmamahal niya sa amin, dahil mas prayoridad niya ang pinansyal na pangangailangan namin. Tila ba yun lamang ang alam niyang pangangailangan namin. Pano ang pagkalinga, pagtatanggol at proteksyon, hindi ba niya alam na kailangan rin namin yun? Wala siya para ipagtanggol ako sa mga mapanukso kong kaeskwela na ang tawag sa akin ay “tabatsoy.” Wala din siya para daluhan ang taunang “PTA Meeting.” Disin sana ay paborito rin ako ng mga guro tulad ng mga anak ng PTA officers. Kung pwede lang hatiin ng nanay ang katawan niya para daluhan sabaysabay ang PTA meeting ko, ng kuya ko at ng nakakababata kong kapatid, marahil nakaligtas ako sa hagupit ng pamalo ng aking guro na walang kasing hapdi pag dumapo na sa aking binti. Lagi na lang daw kasing absent sa meeting ang mga magulang ko. Gayunpaman, kasabay ng pagdampi niya ng yelo sa namamaga kong binti, ay ang walang sawang pagpapaliwanang ng nanay ng dahilan kung bakit wala ang tatay para daluhan ang mga ganung pagpupulong. Kung bakit wala ang ang tatay sa tuwing sasapit ang pasko at kaarawan ko. Kung bakit ang panganay kong kapatid at hindi ang tatay ang magsasabit akin ng medalya sa tuwing may honor ako. Dumating ang araw na pinakaantay ko. Ang pagdating ng tatay. Sa wakas, madadaluhan niya na rin ang PTA meeting; makakabili na rin kami ng isang lata ng floor wax na tiyak na ikatutuwa ng aking guro. Hindi na ulit ako mapapalo sa binti. Hindi na rin ako tutuksuhin ng aking mga kaeskwela. Takot lang nila sa tatay ko. Subalit sa halip na magalak, nabalot ng lungkot ang aming tahanan sa pagdating ng tatay. Lulan ng kanyang wheel chair ang mala lantang gulay niyang katawan, bakas pa ang mangilang ngilang pasa sa mukha - pinilit ng tatay na salubungin kami ng ngiti. Family Driver ang trabahong nakuha ng tatay sa bansang Bahrain. Bukod sa pagmamaneho, pamamalantsa at paglalaba ang trabaho ng tatay doon. Malimit siyang ikulong ng mga amo niyang arabo sapagkat bawal sa bansang iyon ang makisalamuha ang mga kalalakihan sa mga kababaihan. Mapalad na raw ang tatay kung makakain siya isang beses sa isang araw. Sa konting pagkakamali - hampas, palo at tadyak ang inaabot ng tatay sa malulipit niyang amo. Hindi namin batid ang paghihirap na iyon ng tatay dahil pulos magagandang balita ang laman ng mga liham niya sa amin. Wala kaming kamalay malay na ang pagkaing ihinahaain ng nanay sa aming hapag ay buhat sa pawis at sakit ng katawan na tinitiis ng tatay.

Likas man ang mapagtiis sa ating mga pilipino, dumarating rin ang mga panahong sinusukuan na rin natin ang mga sitwasyon na tila walang ng katapusang magpapahirap sa atin. Tulad ng tatay, sinubukan niyang takasan ang pagpapahirap na iyon. Ngunit sa kasamaang palad, hindi siya nagtagumpay. Bago pa man niya tuluyang nalisan ang mala impyernong tahanan ng malulupit niyang amo, sunod na sunod na palo sa ulo, tadyak at hampas sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng katawan ang tinamo ng tatay. Nawalan ng malay ang tatay, sa ospital na ng muli siyang magkamalay. Sa tulong ng tiyahin ko na nuon ay nasa bansang Bahrain din, naipagamot at nakabalik sa Pilipinas ang tatay. Kung ilang hampas, palo at tadyak ang tinamo ng tatay sa bansang iyon, tanging ang tatay na lamang ang nakakaalam. Hindi awa, kundi matinding paghangga ang naramdaman ko sa tatay ko noon. Sadyang napakapalad ko pala sa tatay ko. Kulang ang mga salitang papuri para mapantayan ang mga sakripisyo niya para sa amin. At hindi mababayaran ng salapi o anumang halaaga ang ipinamalas niyang kadakilaan. Madalas ay nakakaligtaan natin ang mga sakripisyo ng mga amang pinagkakautangan natin ng ating buhay. Iba iba man ang paraan nila ng pagpapakita ng pagmamahal, kapiling man natin sila o hindi, iisa lang nais nilang lahat - ang mapabuti ang hinaharap ng kanilang mga anak. Ang sakripisyong iyon ng tatay ang naging gabay naming magkakapatid sa pakikipagsapalaran sa buhay. Sakripisyong nagbigay sa amin ng ugat at mga pakpak. Ugat, para matunton ang tahanang aming pinagmulan, at mga pakpak para lumipad at isabuhay ang mga pagpapahalagang itinuro nila sa amin. Dalawa sa kapatid kong lalaki na pawang OFWs din ay hindi matatwaran ang pagmamahal at sakripisyong ipinamamalas sa kanilang mga supling. Ganun din ang aking panganay na kapatid na nanahan ngayon sa bansang Korea, katuwang ang kanyang responsableng asawa sa pagtataguyod ng kanilang anak - ayun sa turo ng butihin naming ama. At ako, katulad ng aking mga kapatid sa iba’t ibang dako ng mundo, san man ako dalhin ng aking mga pakpak - ay magbabalik sa Pilipinas na siyang aking pinag ugatan, kung saan nananahan ang dakila naming Ama at Ina.

Si Mary Ann Octavio na tubong Bulacan ay kasalukuyang nag-aaral ng Lengguwaheng Koreano sa Ehwa Language Center.

JUNE 2011

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NOTICE OF REGISTRATION AND ELECTION TO ALL FILIPINO CITIZ ENS
By: COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, MANILA

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otice is hereby given that under Republic Act No. 918 9, otherwise known as “The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003”, all citizens of the Philippines abroad, not otherwise disqualified by law, at least eighteen (18 ) years of age on the day of the election, and who are registered overseas absentee voters with approved application to vote in absentia, may vote for Senators and Party-List Representatives. For this purpose, all qualified Filipinos citizens not registered as voters under Republic Act No. 8 18 9, otherwise known as “The Voters Registration Act of 1996”, (the system of continuing registration) shall file an application for registration while those who are already registered under the said Act shall file an application for certification. For purposes of the May 13, 2013 elections, the filing of applications for registration/certification and transfer of registration records shall be filed at the Post or other designated registration areas from October 31, 2011 to October 31, 2012. The 30-day voting period will commence on April 13, 2013 until 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon (Philippine time) of May 13, 2013 at any Philippine embassies or consulates. Source - http://www.philembassy-seoul.com/ann_details.asp?id=447

Seoul-mazing Race

Pumunta sa Fund Transfer
Members of Filipos and FEWA wowed organizers and participants of Seoul-mazing Race, organized and sponsored by NEH magazine, a publication catering to expats in Korea. (June 11, 2011, Youido Park)

Section ng Korea Post branch na pinakamalapit sa inyo. KRW 8,000 lang ang Remittance fee para sa perang padalang aabot sa halagang USD 1,000 o KRW 1 M!

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JUNE 2011

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