Tag Archive: Overseas Filipino


SSS Flexi-Fund

Bonjour. Mabuhay.

Know something new for OFWs and the SSS Flexi-Fund.

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What is the SSS Flexi-fund?

The SSS Flexi-fund is a voluntary, provident fund for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). It is an additional service provided by the SSS on top of the regular OFW membership.

Why do I need to join the SSS Flexi-fund Program?

The SSS, through the Flexi-fund Program, provides OFWs the opportunity to set aside a part of their earnings abroad and maximize the returns on their Flexi-fund contributions. Your accumulated funds are investments for the future. It is offered as a supplement to SSS benefits, which you are entitled to as a regular OFW member, by promoting savings generation, thus serving as your additional layer of social security protection.

Who may enroll in the SSS Flexi-fund?

The Flexi-fund is open to all OFWs who are:

  • recruited in the Philippines by foreign-based employers for work abroad;
  • having a source of income in a foreign country; or
  • residing permanently in a foreign country.

What benefits am I entitled to under the Flexi-fund Program?

As a Flexi-fund member, you will receive additional income from your savings in your Flexi-fund account, on top of the benefits under your regular SSS coverage. Members who reach the retirement age of 60, or become disabled or get injured at work, are entitled to Flexi-fund benefits, either in the form of a monthly pension, lump-sum payment, or combination of both. Beneficiaries of a pensioner who has passed away shall be given a lump sum amount equivalent to the cash value of the remaining pension.

Why is the SSS Flexi-fund a good investment?

The contributions that you remit to the SSS Flexi-fund are invested in government securities. The interest earned by your Flexi-fund deposits is based on the average 91-day Treasury bill rate, thus ensuring a transparent, high-yielding and risk-free investment of your hard-earned income abroad.

What may Flexi-fund investments be used for?

The SSS Flexi-fund provides good security for your future and your family’s. Primarily, the program aims to supplement your pension benefits. Aside from this, you may apply for early withdrawal of Flexi-fund savings to support urgent financial needs when your overseas employment contract ends. It can also be used to finance schooling, construction of a house or a small business of your own.

When may I withdraw my SSS Flexi-fund contributions?

An OFW member may withdraw his Flexi-fund contributions with interest, either in full or partial lump sum, anytime, especially in times of need.

Find out more here: READ MORE

Source: https://www.sss.gov.ph/sss/index2.jsp?secid=812&cat=7

Bonjour. Mabuhay.

 

News flash for OFWs vacationing for the holidays:

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“Avoid the rush. Avoid the long lines”.

Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac advised balik manggagawa or overseas Filipino workers spending the holiday season in the Philippines to get their overseas employment certificate or exit clearance early and not get caught with the last-minute dash to return to their jobs abroad.

Cacdac said that the POEA, for several weeks now, have been gearing up for the anticipated arrival of thousands of OFWs this December and their subsequent departure after Christmas and New Year’s Day.

“The POEA has been improving its systems and expanding its facilities for the workers’ convenience, but still, we warn our OFWs not to wait for the last day of their vacation to get the exit clearance,” Cacdac said.

Cacdac advised OFWs to avoid the week after December 25 and January 1 when thousands of them troop to the POEA main office to have their travel documents processed.

He said the satellite processing units Trinoma, Quezon City; SM Manila near the Manila City Hall; and the Duty Free store in Parañaque City are now operational and are ready to accept applications for exit clearance during shopping hours.

OFWs going to their provinces may also acquire their exit clearance from the POEA’s offices in Baguio City; San Fernando City, La Union; Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark Field, Pampanga; Calamba City; Legaspi City; Tacloban City; Iloilo City; Bacolod City; Cebu City, Cagayan de Oro City; Butuan City; Davao City; and Zamboanga City.

However, Cacdac said the most convenient way especially for those with tight schedule or little time to spare for the exit document, is to use the POEA’s balikmanggagawa appointment system which is free and available at bmappointment.poea.gov.ph. With the appointment service, the worker may choose the time, date, and processing unit most suitable to him or her.

Cacdac said OFWs may also get their exit clearance or OEC at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) nearest their jobsite before their departure to the Philippines.

The POEA also issues to OFWs a multiple travel exit clearance (MTEC), co-terminus with the validity of their employment contracts, but which shall not exceed two (2) years. The worker has the option to secure a maximum of 2 travel exit clearance during the validity of her or his existing contract depending on the provisions of the contract allowing frequent vacations.

According to Cacdac, the following are considered balik-maggagawa:

1). a worker who is on vacation or on leave from employment under a valid and existing employment contract and who is returning to the same employer regardless of any change in jobsite, to finish the remaining unexpired portion of the contract;

2). a worker who was rehired by the same employer after finishing his/her contract and who is returning to the same employer, regardless of a change in jobsite;

3). a returning worker whose employment contract was not processed with the POEA but was subsequently verified and registered with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in the jobsite and who is returning to the same employer either as a worker-on-leave or rehire, regardless of any change in jobsite.

Returning workers would have to pay Php100 for POEA processing fee; US$25 or its peso equivalent for OWWA contribution on a per contract coverage; Php1,200 for one year Philhealth coverage; and a minimum of Php100 contribution to Pagibig Fund, Cacdac added.

The required documents are:

1) Php passport valid for 6 months from time of
departure;

2) Valid working visa/work permit: 3) Proof of employment such as
certificate of employment, company ID, pay slip, and other equivalent document.

 

http://www.manilachannel.com/2012/12/05/poea-to-vacationing-ofws-get-your-exit-clearance-early/

Bonjour. Mabuhay.

It seems like the illegal thing was over exaggerated naman ata.

If the process is within the law and the right and proper procedures are met, then by all means, let us support our seafarers who are also bayaning OFWs.

You be the judge of this issue:

A nongovernmental organization managing a seafarers’ center in Manila maintained Friday that the office has not been involved in illegal recruitment, saying its primary activity has been informing seafarers about jobs overseas.

As proof, the Luneta Seafarers Welfare Foundation (Luswelf) said the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) could check out the Luneta Seafarers’ Center along T.M. Kalaw Street for themselves to find out if there was anything questionable in the operations of the facility.

“Since the POEA temporarily suspended its memorandum of agreement with Luswelf in May 2009 and stopped issuing a special recruitment authority to manning agencies in the area, we have abided by its decision,” Luswelf administrator Anfred Yulo said in a statement.

“We have regulated manning activities in the area and prevented them from going beyond information dissemination, advertising and the promotion of seafarer job vacancies in their respective companies,” he added.

Yulo said the center mainly serves as a meeting place for seafarers and local manpower agency representatives.
“The formal recruitment process happens at their respective offices, from the time a seafarer fills up an application form to formally signing a shipboard contract with them.” Yulo said.

The Luswelf official added that the installation of closed circuit television cameras had effectively monitored and regulated the activities of manning agencies which maintained booths at the center.

“As an advocate of seafarer welfare, the Luswelf has never allowed and will never allow illegal recruitment activities at the Luneta Seafarers’ Center. In fact, we forbid manning agencies to post their salary rates at the center to level the playing field,” Yulo said.

The center has been a convergence point for seafarers since the ’80s and a venue for manning agencies to showcase their companies to job applicants.

“Luswelf has never been and shall never be in the business of recruitment. We welcome the POEA to the center so the agency can regulate and monitor for itself the activities of manning agencies in the area,” Yulo said.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/232377/no-illegal-recruitment-at-seafarers-center

Bonjour. Mabuhay.

 

OFW online registration with COMELEC makes perfect sense.

I hope this can also be done efficiently in the country, either online or via home to home services. I won’t mind paying extra for a service to have me registered properly. Specially if you don’t have the time. Of course dapat kasama na ang pag issue ng valid Viter’s ID sa ganyan :).

 

Read on friends:

 

The Migrante Sectoral Party (MSP) yesterday asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to study the concept of online or Internet registration to enable overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to exercise their right of suffrage as absentee voters.

In a statement, MSP chair Connie Bragas-Regalado said the use of cyber space “will hasten the process and solve the common difficulties encountered by most of the OFWs which is accessibility to designated registration centers.”

Citing records of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), she noted that only around 161,000 OFWs have applied for voter’s registration as of July 1 and this is a “dismal number in relation to the 12-million” OFWs.

“Obviously, the 161,000 plus new overseas absentee voters (OAV) comprised a small percentage of the total number of overseas Filipinos abroad considering that the system is not new and have been a component of the Philippine electoral exercises for more than a decade since the passage of the OAV law,” Regalado said.

She said there is no record as to how many out of the 161,000 new registrants will actually cast their votes.

Based on DFA reports, most of the registrants came from Los Angeles, California; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Kuwait; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Milan, Italy; San Francisco, California; Tel Aviv, Israel; Singapore; Hong Kong; Rome and Italy.

She said MSP is not surprised that as per region, those from the Middle East and Africa got a good number of new OAVs compared to other regions.

“This is mainly due to our consistent OAV campaign education and information dissemination efforts on that region,” she added.

 Regalado urged the Comelec to beef up efforts to reach out to migrant Filipinos.

The OAV registration started on Oct. 31, 2011 and will end Oct. 31 this year.

 

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=830027&publicationSubCategoryId=63

Bonjour. Mabuhay.

 

Good news for Seafarers. Read the news article below.

 

Seafarers will no longer have to present their overseas employment certificate (OEC) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for validation after the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) issued a memorandum exempting them from this procedure.

Citing a one-page Memorandum Circular No. 1, POEA administrator Hans Cacdac said in a statement that the measure, which took effect last week, aims to decongest the long lines of OFWs, who are having their OECs validated at their Labor Assistance Center (LAC) in NAIA.

“This will declog the overflow of OFWs queuing at the Labor Assistance Center for the validation of their travel exit documents, departing seafarers, which comprise minority of worker deployment,” Cacdac said.

Historically, seamen compose only about 20 percent of the country’s total deployment.

Instead, he said manning agencies will now be required to submit the clear copies of the e-receipts or OECs of the seafarers not later than 10 a.m. at the POEA’s Seabased Center at the POEA head office in Mandaluyong City after their departure from the airport. “We urge manning agencies to strictly comply with the requirement for the convenience of their seafarers as the process will allow additionally quality time to bond with their families, instead of queuing at the airport for the validation of their travel documents.” – http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/360418/seamen-exempted

 

Hope this helps declog and create an atmosphere of appreciation for every Pinoy doing their part for the country.

 

Regards,

 

MC

Bonjour. Mabuhay.

Found out that the OEC delivery service is now currently stopped.

I wonder what options vacationing OFWs now have in getting oEC. Lahat ba dapat pumunta sa POEA?

Kawawa naman ang mga bagong bayani ng bayan kung mahirap ang transaction sa pamahalaan. Services should be useful to people and proactively efficient.

Anyways, nabsa ko lang to. Let’s see what the future brings.

POEA Balik-Manggagawa OEC Delivery

Dear OFW,

Due to the changes being implemented at the POEA, our POEA Balik-Manggagawa OEC Delivery Service will be unavailable starting April 12.
POEA is currently in the stage of refurbishing its OEC services to OFWs and has done so without the advantage of the delivery service you have enjoyed over the years.

We hope you had enjoyed the convenience of the service during your vacations and we appreciate your continuous appreciation of the service all these years.

We look forward to providing you once more with services worthy of a “Bagong Bayani”.
Rest assured, we will continue to design and develop new ways to be able to deliver quality Citizen Services to you soon.

 

http://citizenservices.com.ph/blog/view/id/384

 

Bonjour. Mabuhay.

In order to address the illegal recruitment problems we have in the country, certain steps are being done by our government. Read the news below to see one.

Ang tanong is, will this work? Of course it will, if our elected officials and all government officials do their jobs right. We can always hope 🙂

Read on.

ANGELES CITY, Pampanga, The provincial government on Friday inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with certain national government agencies in a bid to make Pampanga illegal recruitment-free.

Provincial Public Employment Service Office (PESO) manager Luningning Vergara said the MOU, a first of its kind in the Philippines, seeks to “harmonize the various efforts of the local government units in Pampanga and national government agencies to curb illegal recruitment as well as human trafficking.”

“The foremost reason for the escalation of the problem is the lack or low level of public awareness on the modus operandi of illegal recruiters and the pernicious effects of illegal recruitment. Hence, this partnership will help Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) bring down their respective information campaigns to the grassroots level,” Vergara added.

Under the MOU, POEA will regularly furnish the provincial government- thru its PESO with an updated list of licensed recruitment agencies and entities and POEA-Government Placement Branch vacancies for dissemination to constituencies together with travel updates and advisories.

Also, POEA will make available its personnel to act as resource speakers for pre-employment orientation and anti-illegal recruitment (AIR) seminars and capability enhancement trainings.

Meanwhile, OWWA will assist in the distribution of AIR information materials to its Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Family Circles and OFW Help Desks and integrate the AIR module prepared by the POEA in its regular conduct of trainings and orientations for OFWs and their families in Pampanga.

On the other hand, DOLE Regional Office 3 shall provide aid in the conduct of trainings and other capability building activities of provincial, municipal and city PESOs to effectively deliver AIR campaigns and address related issues.

DOLE-3 will also integrate AIR information campaigns in its various activities such as career coaching sessions and job fairs.

Moreover, the CFO will coordinate with the provincial government in the conduct of an annual Community Education Program (CEP) in Pampanga.

CEP shall promote awareness on concepts, issues and concerns on the challenges of international migration.

CFO shall likewise provide the provincial PESO with information materials on the campaign against human trafficking and refer local cases reported via action hotline 1343 for appropriate actions.

Present in the MOU signing were governor Lilia Pineda, POEA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, OWWA administrator Carmelita Dimzon, CFO undersecretary Mary Grace Tirona and DOLE Central Luzon assistant regional director Jeraldine Panlilio along with the some mayors of the province. http://www.pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?article=561335717016

Still, the best way to avoid being a victim is to stop being one. Kailangan kasi mag tanong, maging maalam at huwag basta basta magtiwala sa mga taong hindi natin kilala ng lubusan. Kahit nga yung kakilala na natin minsan naloloko pa tayo.

Magbasa at sabihin sa ibang tao ang alam mo o ang natutunan mo. Isa ito sa mga bagay bagay na makakatulong sa atin. Tandaan, ang magandang bagay na nagawa mo para sa iba ay babalik rin sayo sa tamang panahon. The same goes for the bad things you do to others.

Regards,

MC

Bonjour. Mabuhay.

In case you haven’t heard. Be warned. Be informed.

 

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration advised  would-be overseas Filipino workers to reject or at least be careful about job offers that require them to leave for abroad through the country’s “southern backdoor.”

POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac said the exit points in the southern parts of the country were the favorite routes used by human traffickers to smuggle out their victims.

“From the southernmost parts of Mindanao and Palawan, traveling by sea to Malaysia is the more convenient way for a human trafficker to move its victims to their final country of destination,” Cacdac said.

He said workers who use the “southern backdoor” usually end up either stranded and without work in a foreign country, or are forced to accept low-paying household jobs, or as farm hands on remote plantations, or in establishments used as fronts for prostitution.

Cacdac said human traffickers use these southern exit points to deploy workers without proper work documents to countries such as Malaysia, South Korea, China, Morocco, Lebanon, Syria, and other Middle East countries.

Recently, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Kuala Lumpur reported that five Filipino women were being held in a night club in Malaysia controlled by a large syndicate involved in human trafficking for prostitution, Cacdac said.

The syndicate reportedly transported the victims through the Zamboanga-Sandakan-Kota Kinabalu-Johor Bahru route, he added.

Cacdac said recent studies on human trafficking in the Philippines also indicated that most of the victims were travelers deceived by their recruiters about their real jobs or the conditions of their employment overseas.

“Hence, I would advise aspiring OFWs to be doubtful when recruiters offer Mindanao and Palawan as exit points. Please be very, very careful and always check whether the recruiter, foreign employer, and the job order are in POEA records,” Cacdac said. http://globalnation.inquirer.net/33235/poea-warns-against-overseas-jobs-via-%E2%80%98southern-backdoor%E2%80%99

 

Be smart people.

 

MC

Bonjour. Mabuhay.

I think tama itong idea ni Ople.

We need more people pushing for this.

The executive director of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, a non-profit organization that assists distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs),  is pushing for amendments to the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, specifically to remove the provision protecting the identity of illegal recruiters.

On ANC’s Headstart, Susan Ople said they want to remove the section that protects illegal recruiters’ idenity, which makes it harder ro expose them to potential victims.

She expressed hope that once the Anti-Trafficking Act is amended, the law would protect Filipinos who are seeking to work overseas.

Ople added that human trafficking must be stopped while the victims are still being recruited.

“What’s sad is we rely on the immigration as the last sentinel when it should be on the prevention side, at the barangays. The barangay captain should know sino umiikot dito, nagrerecruit,” she said.

She likened illegal recruitment to multi-level marketing, where people get commissions for recruiting workers.

“You have a foreign agency that is bypassing the POEA to cut down on costs. They look for scouts, who refer women to a ‘mother recruiter’ here, so they get paid per head. The women are sent abroad, mostly through the backdoor,” she explained.

Ople hailed the case of 2 Filipinas who recently won in a landmark case against an abusive Singaporean recruiter in Malaysia.

But she noted the fight against human trafficking is still a long battle, and the government needs to address this, especially the country’s high unemployment rate.

Ople said she has interviewed many women who have sought jobs abroad as domestic workers.

“I try as much as possible to interview those who have been repatriated from Syria, Jordan, even from Malaysia and I asked them bakit kayo? Anong ginagawa ng husbands niyo or sons niyo? Lalo na for those with babies, young children, they would tell me at a certain age sa atin, mahirap makakuha ng job yung lalaki and to keep it. So its the women because of the domestic worker market overseas. They’re the ones sent or by their own volition try to find work as DH,” she said.

One of the problems is unemployment, Ople noted.

“The problem is the scale. It’s really the unemployment figures. They tell a different story, even if we say the economy’s growing. The time it takes to cascade all these gains not even the poorest of the poor, or middle-class, it’s so slow. Then you have these sweet-talking recruiters. Wala naman silang puhunan. Ginagamit lang nila promise of a better life attached to a passport so that you can use to escape,” she said. http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/global-filipino/04/09/12/ople-pushes-changes-anti-trafficking-act

 

Ano sa tinging mo?

 

Best regards to everyone. Hope you had a great Lenten break.

 

MC

Bonjour. Mabuhay.

Take this info at heart if your planning to apply for overseas job.

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The licenses of two recruitment agencies have been cancelled after they were found be collecting excessive placement fees from Filipinos applying for work overseas.

“The public should be extra cautious when applying for work overseas and report to POEA any observed irregularity,” said Viveca Catalig, Officer-in-Charge of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Catalig identified the two agencies as Lucky International Placement Services Inc. and Tai-Fil Manpower Services Inc.

She said a complainant against Lucky International claimed that she was charged P101,000 for her job as caretaker in Taiwan.

Under POEA Governing Board Resolution No. 6, issued in 2006, recruitment agencies are strictly prohibited from collecting any placement fee from applicants for household service worker positions, including caregivers.

Lucky International and its surety company were also ordered to reimburse to the complainant the amount of P79,060 representing the amount illegally collected. In the employment contract, the applicant has the obligation to pay for pre-departure expenses amounting to P21,940.

As a consequence, the officers and directors of the company as of April 2007 were disqualified from engaging in the business of recruitment of Filipino workers for overseas jobs.

Meanwhile, Catalig said Tai-Fil Manpower Services Inc. collected from another complainant in 2008, a placement fee amounting to P100,000 for a job as a food processor, also in Taiwan.

Section 3 of Rule V, Part 2 of the POEA Rules and Regulations prescribes a placement fee ceiling equivalent to a hired worker’s one-month salary. The prevailing salary in Taiwan in 2008 was NT$17,280.00, which is roughly equivalent to P23,000.

POEA also ordered Tai-Fil Manpower to pay a fine of P40,000, and to refund to the complainant the P77,000 excess of the placement fee collected by the recruitment agency.

The agency’s officers and directors at the time the offense was committed were disqualified from engaging in the business of recruitment OFWs.

“Always check the status of your recruitment agencies for your own protection by visiting our website, www.poea.gov.ph or by calling POEA hotlines 722-1144 / 722-1155, and report those that are still recruiting despite the suspension or cancellation of their licenses,” Catalig said.

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