Thursday, 23 May 2013
The Senate Judiciary Committee accepted by unanimous voice vote the Filipino Veterans Family Reunification amendment introduced by Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono (D) on May 21, 2013 late afternoon.
After a 4-minute discussion, the chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), called for a voice vote. There was no opposition.
Sen Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) also recognized the sole Filipino American WWII veteran who was present and witnessed the vote. Mr. Celestino ALMEDA, 96, stood up to be recognized and was thanked by senators. Almeda saluted the senators in front the TV cameras despite his difficulty in hearing and walking.
The committee later approved the amended Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill to be sent to the Senate floor for a full debate and vote next month.
"Our veterans have earned it. They paid a high price. Thank you very much," Almeda told Sen. Hirono after the final votes of the committee.
Almeda is the spokesman for the American Coalition for Filipino Veterans, an national advocacy Washington-based organization. He was accompanied by Angelyn Tugado-Marzan, a daughter of a disabled WW2 veteran, who attended the five days of committee meetings with him.
Adult children of living or deceased Filipino American WWII veterans who have approved petitions and have been waiting for more than a decade to immigrate will have immediate priority in getting visas once the CIR bill is passed by the Senate and the House and then signed by President Obama.
"We won the first round, thanks to Senator Hirono's untiring leadership. We extend our gratitude to the senators of the judiciary committee, Democrats and Republicans, by unanimously passing our amendment. We now have hope for the children of our comrades. Some of them have waited 22 years to live in America," said Franco Arcebal, 89, vice-president of coalition who watched the proceedings on cable television in Los Angeles. "We fervently hope the Republican majority in House will vote for the CIR including our amendment," Arcebal added.
See below text of Hirono Amendment No. 1 to S. 744 CIR bill.
The coalition estimates 20,000 visas could be issued to the sons and daughters of Filipino American WWII veterans if the CIR is made into law.
------------Hirono Amendment #1 to S. 744-----------
AMENDMENT NO. __ Calendar No. __
Purpose: To exempt children of certain Filipino World War
II veterans from the numerical limitations on immigrant
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES—113th Cong., 1st Sess.
To provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for
Referred to the Committee on llllllllll and ordered to be printed
Ordered to lie on the table and to be printed
AMENDMENT intended to be proposed by Ms. HIRONO
1 At the end of subtitle C of title II, add the following:
2 SEC. 2320. REUNIFICATION OF CERTAIN FAMILIES OF FILI-
3 PINO VETERANS OF WORLD WAR II.
4 (a) SHORT TITLE.—This section may be cited as the
5 ‘‘Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act’’.
6 (b) EXEMPTION FROM IMMIGRANT VISA LIMIT.—
7 Section 201(b)(1) (8 U.S.C. 1151(b)(1)), as amended by
8 sections 2103, 2212, 2307, and 2402, is further amended
9 by adding at the end the following:
10 ‘‘(O) Aliens who—
2 EAS13437 S.L.C.
1 ‘‘(i) are the sons or daughters of a citizen
2 of the United States; and
3 ‘‘(ii) have a parent (regardless of whether
4 the parent is living or dead) who was natural-
5 ized pursuant to—
6 ‘‘(I) section 405 of the Immigration
7 Act of 1990 (Public Law 101–649; 8
8 U.S.C. 1440 note); or
9 ‘‘(II) title III of the Act of October
10 14, 1940 (54 Stat. 1137, chapter 876), as
11 added by section 1001 of the Second War
12 Powers Act, 1942 (56 Stat. 182, chapter
photographer for ACFVets
Wednesday, 22 May 2013
A new study at the government-run Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) has noted a growing phenomenon of migrant workers getting positions lower than their educational attainment or experience.
Called “deskilling,” the practice is “damaging” and causes “unnecessary burden” to migrants, which governments of both countries of origin and destination of the workers play critical roles in addressing, the study said.
PIDS Director for Research Information Sheila Siar said in a discussion paper titled “From Highly Skilled to Low Skilled: Revisiting the Deskilling of Migrant Labor” that “from a macroeconomic perspective, deskilling is a double jeopardy for countries of destination and origin.”
“It represents a loss for destination countries as they are not fully utilizing the skills and talents of their skilled migrants. At the same time, there are also negative consequences for origin countries when they lose a significant number of their skilled workforce,” she added.
Deskilling, as defined in the study, is the “deployment to positions lower that the migrants’ educational attainment, training, or experience, owing to the non-recognition of their overseas qualifications and the bias for education acquired in the host country, local experience, cultural know-how, and English proficiency.”
Siar said that while many traditional immigration countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have strong preference for migrant workers with higher education, skills, and professional training, it is still not unusual for migrants to be relegated to lower status or to have lower paying jobs.
“Certain professions like medicine, nursing, law, and teaching also require overseas-educated migrants to undergo a ‘bridging’ course or a supervised training and even work as an intern (in the case of doctors), and pass a licensing examination. These requirements may take a few months or some years to complete,” PIDS said.
The study also noted the effects of race, gender, and ethnicity in the deskilling of migrant workers.
“In Canada, for example, there is less chance for migrants to hold a managerial position. Migrant engineers who migrated after the age of 27 and those who were born in the Philippines or in Eastern Europe have the lowest probability of holding engineering or managerial positions,” the study said.
The paper said there are several ways by which countries of origin and destination can help mitigate the negative impacts of deskilling.
Siar said that origin countries must improve the quality of information given to their departing migrants to prepare them for challenges ahead.
“To facilitate successful integration, it is imperative to prepare the migrants while they are still in their home countries so they can anticipate the challenges and plan on how to address them,” the paper said.
“Home countries, particularly their governments, have a responsibility to inform and educate their citizens,” it added.
Siar said that in the case of the Philippines, the government, through the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, conducts country-specific pre-departure orientation seminars which are compulsory for all departing permanent migrants.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration provides seminars for those who are leaving the country on labor contracts.
The PIDS study said that topics covered by these seminars include travel regulations, immigration procedures, cultural differences, settlement concerns, employment and social security concerns, and rights and obligations of Filipino migrants.
“But even if these programs exist, there is a need to continuously improve the quality of these seminars and ensure that they do reflect the real issues that migrants will face overseas and to suggest strategies on how these can be addressed,” it said.
On the other hand, the research author said that governments of destination countries should have a more in-depth investigation of the actual situation of their migrants instead of just relying on statistics and evaluation reports proclaiming the success of their migration policies.
Lastly, the study noted that the mismatch between immigration laws and labor policies must be addressed by destination countries.
“There should be better labor policies and suitable settlement strategies for their migrants to provide them with a positive environment to achieve professional and economic stability with less difficulty,” the PIDS paper said.
Friday, 17 May 2013
At the invitation of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the CFO joined migration experts from the MENA Region and EU in a 2-day conference in Tunisia to share recent initiatives of the Philippine Government in addressing jobs-skills mismatch among the youth. Representing the Chairperson Imelda M. Nicolas and the Commission was Director Maria Regina Angela G. Galias who presented on the Philippine Experience in Matching Economic Migration with Labor Market Needs.
Much like current conditions in the Philippines, countries belonging in the OECD and MENA region are highly concerned about the growing number of educated yet unemployed youth. Matching the skills of these young persons with the labor market needs is particularly important for these countries as more and more skilled individuals between the ages of 15 and 24 are looking for job opportunities overseas. According to OECD and UNFPA, this may have detrimental effects on the development prospects of the origin countries and even more if migration occurs among young graduates in critical sectors such as education and health. According to reports, in 2010 about 380,000 new migrants from the MENA region settled in OECD countries accounting for about 7% of total immigration flows.
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
14 May 2013 – The Department of Foreign Affairs is urging irregular overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Saudi Arabia to heed the advice of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and take advantage of the opportunity given by the Saudi Government to correct their residency and labor status.
The guidelines which were announced by the Saudi Ministries of Interior and Labor last May 10 allow irregular workers to correct their status or leave the country without obtaining No Objection Certificates
Irregular OFWs have the following options:
- Workers can return to their original employer upon mutual agreement, or transfer to a new employer even without permission or consent of the original employer.
- Companies can correct the occupations of their workers during the grace period, free of charge.
- Runaway household workers (“huroob”) can return to their original individual employer or transfer to a new individual employer. The prospective individual employer may complete the procedure for the transfer of the worker through the Jawazat Offices (Saudi Passport Office).
- Household workers can also transfer to a private sector company through the Saudi Labor Offices.
- Illegal Filipino workers have the option to leave the country (final exit) instead, without the need to obtain No Objection Certificates from their current employers, provided that they do not have criminal charges or records against them. They will also be allowed to return to the country in the future if they are able to obtain valid working visas.
- Hajj and Umrah (pilgrims) overstayers who arrived in the Kingdom before July 04, 2008 can correct their status as either a household service worker or as private sector company worker. Overstaying Hajj and Umrah who arrived after that date may leave without penalties.
All penalties and fines accruing to an illegal worker before April 06, 2013 will be waived, except for regular processing charges.
Private rights claims between a Filipino worker and his/her current employer will be settled through the court, and will not prevent the Filipino worker from transferring to a new employer.
Employers are now clearly obligated to hand over to the worker all his personal documents – such as passports and residency permit (iqama) – upon request. Employers are also obligated to make sure that the residency permit (iqama) of workers are valid. Failure to do so is sufficient grounds for a worker to end their contractual relationship.
The deadline to avail of these concessions is July 03, 2013. After this deadline, the Saudi Government will resume its inspections and arrest and / or apply fines against violators – both employers and employees.
Specific details of the guidelines are available in both Filipino and English on the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh’s website: www.philembassy-riyadh.org Affected OFWs may also contact the Saudi Ministry of Labor’s (MOL’s) customer service number, 920 001 173.
Irregular Filipino workers are advised to read the guidelines carefully and make their way to the nearest Passports Office (Jawazat) or Labor Office as follows:
OFFICE TO PROCEED TO
Illegal Filipino worker wanting Final Exit
Passports Office (Jawazat)
Absconded (“huroob”) workers wanting to return to their original employer or transfer to a new employer
Runaway household service worker wanting to return to their original individual employer or transfer to a new individual employer
Passports Office (Jawazat)
Runaway household service worker wanting to transfer to a private sector company
Hajj and Umrah overstayers wanting to correct their status with original individual employer
Passports Office (Jawazat)
Hajj and Umrah overstayers wanting to correct their status with private sector companies
Passports Office (Jawazat),
then Labor Office
For further inquiries, irregular OFWs may call the following numbers in their respective regions:
Riyadh, Hail, Qassim, Northern Border, Al-Jou
Jeddah, and regions under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah (Makkah Al-Mukarramah, Tabuk, Al-Madinah, Abha, Jizan, Najran)
The MOL has announced that it will be open from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in addition to regular working hours. In addition, it has encouraged companies to use its e-services portal.
The Embassy is confirming if the Jawazat Offices will extend their hours, and will inform Filipinos accordingly.
There is no need to coordinate with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) for the transfer to a new employer or verify the new employment contract prior to the transfer. The priority is for the new employer to transfer the services through the concerned Saudi authority as soon as possible.
Filipinos who need to look for a prospective employer may also wish to check the Ministry of Labor’s www.redyellow.com.sa which has jobs posted with entities that are in the green or excellent zone. They may also call MOL customer service hotline, 920011884.
Department of Foreign Affairs
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
Washington, D.C. – Filipinos and Filipino American commu-nity leaders and supporters joined a nationwide “Call to Action” today to press immediate passage of an immigration reform bill that would provide a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants and protect family reunification provisions.
At a rally on Capitol Hill, which drew thousands of leaders and supporters from religious communities, immigrant rights coalitions and labor organizations, these de-mands were repeated by speakers who fired up the crowd with chants of “Si, Si Puwede” (Yes We Can) and “The Time Is Now.”
- Influential overseas Filipino groups endorse candidates on basis of competence, integrity
- More Than 500 Overseas Voters Cast Ballots In Phl Embassy In Rome
- Philippines, Russia Sign Customs Mutual Administrative Assistance Agreement
- FEU Commencement Address of Dept. of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima
- My billion-peso vote
- Overseas voters still confused
- 159 Filipino Household Service Workers To Be Repatriated From Kuwait
- Freedom Bike Ride calls on ASEAN Experts Working Group meeting here in the Philippines to come up with a Regional Comprehensive Approach to Combat Human Trafficking
- The Asian Population: 2010
- The Drivers of Diaspora Donations for Development: Evidence from the Philippines
- ENFiD widens network and focuses on its institutional strengthening
- Phl Ambassador Re-opens Philippine Honorary Consul's Office in Chittagong, Bangladesh
- A Guide to Saudi Labor and Immigration Rules
- Phl Embassy in Timor-Leste Commences Overseas Voting
- New initiative to teach young Filipino children how to save money
- Supreme Court sacks 4 judges
- Voters urged to contact consulate for ballot envelopes
- Overseas voters given until May 13 for reinstatement
- Thousands of overseas Filipino voters at risk of non-voting in May midterm elections
- DFA-OAVS, COMELEC,The Filipino Channel Expand Overseas Voting Information Campaign
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