Manual Aims To Streamline Gov't Services For OFWs

The Joint Manual of Operations highlights roles and responsibilities of government agencies in serving overseas Filipinos

Source:

Rappler
http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/balikbayan/103047-joint-manual-government-ofws

7baldoz delrosario 7050667D0D1E496BA838ED0ABF18F85E
SIGNED. Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz (left) and Foreign affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario (right) sign the operations manual which consolidates and streamlines services for OFWs. Photo courtesy of the Department of Foreign Affairs

MANILA, Philippines – A common complaint among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families is that government services they require are spread across too many agencies. This can be inconvenient and confusing for workers needing information.

The government hopes to end this confusion soon, after heads of government agencies serving OFWs signed a document that aims to streamline these various services.

The Joint Manual of Operations in Providing Assistance to Migrant Workers and Other Filipinos Overseas, signed Tuesday, August 18, outlines the roles and responsibilities of their respective agencies and overseas offices to “effect a cohesive, seamless, efficient, and effective delivery of government services to overseas Filipinos, particulary those who are in distress,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement.

The document was 2 years in the making, under the directive of President Benigno Aquino III to transform Philippine diplomatic missions abroad into Centers of Care and Excellence for Overseas Filipinos.

The Joint Manual, which has obtained the endorsement and approval of the House of Representatives through the Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs, is comprehensive in its breadth and depth, and covers almost every conceivable situation migrant Filipinos may find themselves in while abroad.

It provides clear and concise step-by-step processes, lines of accountabilities, modes of reporting and coordination, and even specific timelines and sharing of resources and obligations.

“We are glad that we are part of this initiative showcasing convergence of government services and resources for the protection of migrant workers and other Filipinos overseas. Ensuring the psycho-social well-being of our countrymen abroad is vital to ensure that they are capable of meeting the challenges of working or living in a foreign land,” DSWD Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman said.

The agencies involved in this initiative include the DFA; the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE); Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); Department of Helath (DOH); Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA); and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

The ceremonial signing was held at the Labor Governance and Learning Center of the Blas F. Ople Hall at the DOLE Executive Building in Intramuros.

“The challenge that lies before us now is to implement this Joint Manual with utmost consistency, efficiency, and professionalism. I am confident of the success of this Joint Manual as everyone here has the interests of our overseas Filipinos at heart. It will enhance the Philippines’ reputation as a model for migration governance. It is proof-positive of our collective commitment for our overseas Filipinos,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said.

“The issuance of this Joint Manual is another important milestone in our continuing pursuit of program and service improvement for our overseas Filipinos,” said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said.

"We expect that this Joint manual would lead us toward this direction and bring about a higher caliber of government service and program delivery to those Filipino migrants in need of government assistance,” she explained.

On the DOH’s part, Health Secretary Jeanette Garin said: “We, in the Department of Health, believe that there can be no 'Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (universal health),' if migrant workers and other Filipino overseas are excluded or left behind.

“Addressing migrant health needs a collective effort, not just from the DOH, but from sectors involved in migration. Thus, this Joint Manual is an affirmation of the DOH’s position on taking the whole of government and whole of society approach in promoting the health of our migrants and overseas Filipinos, including their families,” she concluded.

Civil society organizations and non-government organizations, like the Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute, Center for Migrants Advocacy, Global Filipino Movement Foundation Inc., and the OFW Family Club of the HCOWA, also gave inputs of the manual’s draft.

The Joint Manual immediately takes effect upon its signing. The DFA said that it should be jointly reviewed and revised every 3 years. – Rappler.com


Source:

Rappler
http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/balikbayan/103047-joint-manual-government-ofws

 

 

Can OFWs Invest Even When They're Abroad?

Source:

Randell Tiongson
Philippine Daily Inquirer
http://business.inquirer.net/196888/can-ofws-invest-even-when-theyre-abroad

QUESTION: I’ve been reading your investing articles and want to try it myself. However, I’m an OFW. Is there any way for me to invest in the Philippines while I’m abroad? —Bea via e-mail

Answer: It’s heartening that OFWs respond to financial education positively and quickly. While it’s unfortunate that our banks still require mountains of forms, signatures and personal appearances, it’s not impossible for OFWs abroad to open accounts and start investing. It just initially requires some amount of time and effort to secure your financial future.

Below, I’m going to show you how you can invest in the Philippines even while you’re abroad.

Mutual funds

You can open a mutual fund from overseas. Once you’ve selected the mutual fund you want to participate in, contact an agent who can assist you with opening an account. You can submit forms via DHL or FedEx, and deposit your funds via wire transfer to specific accounts for the mutual fund.

Or, because a lot of mutual fund companies accept deposits from major Philippine banks, if there’s a branch or remittance/representative office near you, you can make your deposit there. You can then view the performance of your mutual fund online. Companies like Sun Life, First Metro, and Philam have online facilities that OFWs can use to monitor their investments.

Also, COL Financial, an online stockbroker, launched in May the COL Fund Source, which is basically a mutual fund supermarket. I’ll tell you more about opening an account with them later.

UITFs

Many banks require a personal appearance for you to open a UITF account with them but some banks can help you open an account overseas. If you already have a PNB account, you can open a UITF account online. They also have the “Global Filipino Funds” UITF, specifically for OFWs and available as a peso money market fund or a dollar money market fund.

If you already have a BDO, BPI or Metrobank account, you can contact your Philippine branch via e-mail or telephone and they can facilitate your application for UITFs by sending you the required forms, which you can fill out, sign and then send via courier.

If your bank was not mentioned, get in touch with it to ask about opening a UITF from abroad. If it’s not possible, set aside a day or two to open an account the next time you’re here and monitor your investments’ performance online.

Stocks

Many online stockbrokers will allow you to open an account from overseas. Once you’ve chosen an online stockbroker, send them an e-mail and they will assist you in your application. Usually, you will need to fill out some forms and send scanned copies of a government-issued ID. Funding your account will involve wire transfers or remittances. COL Financial, for example, will accept two forms of overseas remittance: through iremit.com or by sending a remittance to COL’s BDO account. If you do the latter, you’ll have to e-mail them your receipt to ensure your funds are properly credited. Check with your online stockbroker for options.

Bonds

The Bureau of the Treasury (BTR), through accredited banks, offers Multicurrency Retail Treasury Bonds, available in US dollars or Euros. OFWs can participate for as low as US$100 or €100. OFWs have a tax advantage with bonds, too: for investments of up to $100,000, the BTR will assume the payment of the 20 percent final withholding tax for the Target Retail Investors (which include OFWs and migrants with Filipino citizenship, their parents, children, spouses).

These 3- and 5-year bonds are sold by the following agents: BDO, BPI, DBP, First Metro, Landbank, ING Bank, Metrobank, and PNB. Nominate your settlement account, fill out some forms, submit an ID and your OFW contract to avail yourself of the tax exemption. Consult your bank for more details.

Real estate

According to a MoneyMax.ph article about the best investments for OFWs, “Most OFWs prefer to invest in real estate rather than other vehicles. One reason is because owning a home is tangible and concrete compared to stocks and mutual funds.” But buying property from abroad isn’t as straightforward as the other methods of investing. You need to entrust the process to someone physically present in the Philippines, such as a relative. You will have to give them Special Power of Attorney (SPA) to act on your behalf, a form that needs to be notarized by the Philippine consulate.

They can also apply for housing loans on your behalf, but you will need to provide supporting documents, which vary from bank to bank. The property developer will assist you in the process of purchasing from them as well, but it’s your representative that will be handling everything so it’s very important that you pick someone you trust.

Investing in the Philippines for OFWs is not as easy as it could be, but it’s definitely doable. Hopefully, this article can help OFWs and their families take the first step in providing for their future via investing.

I will conduct finance seminars at Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Singapore in September and October 2015. For details, please visit my website, www.randelltiongson.com, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@randelltiongson).

Randell Tiongson is registered financial planner of RFP Philippines. To learn more about personal financial planning, attend the 49th batch of RFP Program on Aug. 22- Oct 10. For details, inquire at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or text at 0917-3464126.


Source:

Randell Tiongson
Philippine Daily Inquirer
http://business.inquirer.net/196888/can-ofws-invest-even-when-theyre-abroad

 

ENFiD 2015 Malta Conference Statement

Source:

Rohlee de Guzman
Conference Chairperson
http://enfid.org/enfid-2015-malta-conference-statement/

15enfidmaltaconferencestatement2

Download ENFiD 2015 Malta Conference Statement

We, the 92 Filipino diaspora delegates and guests coming from 13 countries in Europe (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, UK, Switzerland, Malta, Sweden, Norway) and joined by guests and delegates from the Philippines, United States and Israel, convened in the Second European Regional Overseas Filipinos Conference with the theme “Overseas Filipinos (OF) for Transnational Development Make a Self-Assessment (Ako ay Pilipino, Ganito Ako Ngayon, Paano Ako Bukas / This is how I am today, how will I be tomorrow?)” on August 1-2, 2015 in St. Pauls Bay, Malta hereby state the following:

1. Social Remittances(#1) as drivers of change equal the value that 1 financial remittances carry. Social remittances include also the psychological-emotional-cultural-social (PECS) aspects which OF’s contribute to the Philippines.

2. The effects of financial remittances and social remittances, including PECS, mutually reinforce each other. While financial remittances can effect a change in the Philippine economy, social remittances have the power to positively influence Philippine culture and society.

3. Therefore, social remittances should not be treated as a separate issue but as a cross-cutting element of issues of all migrant concerns.

4. Euro-Pinoys are engaged in various forms of coping strategies while giving content and gestalt to our hyphenated identities(#2). We recognize the merits of cross-cultural/transnational identities in the integration of Euro-Pinoys in the host countries.

5. Due to feminization of Filipino migration in the 80’s and 90’s, Filipino women now hold a crucial role in diffusing the PECS remittances.

6. Poignant issues such as the unfounded Chinese territorial claims in the West-Philippine Sea and Trafficking in Persons have impact on the lives of Euro-Pinoys.

7. The situation of the Filipino youth including 2nd generation and 1.5 generation have special particularities which require specific attention from the Euro-Filipino communities.

8. A lack of gender equality within many Filipino migrant organizations continues and was discussed with concern by the delegates.

9. The Uníted Nation´s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, to be endorsed in September 2015, provide an important policy framework to address concerns worldwide and are recognised as a valuable guidance for the future priorities of ENFiD and partner organizations.

10.The delegates exchanged experiences in being serviced by personnel of the Philippine Embassies and Consulates in Europe. It was noted that in some cases the attitude of personnel in dealing with OF’s was sub-optimal and in need of improvement.

Based on the discussions and agreements, we recommend the following:

1. For ENFiD to take the lead in initiating seminars and meetings about the social remittances, including PECS, at country levels in coordination with other Filcom and other ethnic communities in Europe.

2. For Philippine government institutions, especially the CFO, PhilHealth and other relevant institutions to integrate attention to the social remittances in their policies, programs and projects.

3. For all OF’s to be conscious of the potential positive and negative impacts of their attitudes, behaviour and mind-set (through the social remittances) diffused to families and friends back home and their host countries.

4. For the delegates of this conference, to share with their own organizations the knowledge and consciousness gained from the sessions of this conference as well as the knowledge and insights gained during their daily interaction with fellow delegates.

5. For ENFiD, to function as a platform for coordinating advocacy work at the European level and to establish within the ENFiD structure a special committee to support and assist in streamlining the contents of local and national initiatives like the lobby against Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea.

6. For ENFiD, to further promote social-economic development in the Philippines, to partner with various NGOs and institutions and to support efforts to mobilise Diaspora initiatives for local investments. In addition, to assist in providing financial education and highlighting the role of social remittances in development.

7. For ENFiD, to advocate with other overseas Filipino communities globally for setting up opportunities for on-line registration and on-line voting in order to strengthen ties of the OF’s with the Philippines and to further the democratic process in our home country.

8. For the Philippine Government to address the portability of medical health care of Filipinos living in Europe and for ENFiD to initiate a review of various health care systems in European countries to inform the Philippine Government on various options to address this matter.

9. For ENFiD, to promote gender sensitivity concerning issues of migration and development.

10.Explore the possibility of having direct electoral representatives/participation of OF based in the US, Europe and the Middle East in the Philippine Parliament.

11.For ENFiD to conduct a baseline study of Filipino identity, type of remittance and investments made to the Philippines which includes not only financial remittances but also social remittances. The survey questions presented by Ms. Anny Hefti from Berne can be used as a reference.

12.For the DFA, to pay more attention to the selection and performance review of personnel working in Philippine Embassies and Consulates in Europe so that OF’s are treated with more earnestness.

(#1) As defined by Peggy Levitt (1998) social remittances are usually defined as the ideas, 1 practices, identities and social capital that flow from receiving to sending country communities.

(#2) Baubock (1998) talks of additive identities and additive assimilation, which is retaining a 2 previous cultural membership while acquiring a new one.

The Delegates highly appreciated the warm welcome of ENFiD by Malta President Marie Louise Preca. She stressed the positive contribution of the Filipino community in her country and expressed full support to their concerns. Her commitment strengthens ENFiD in further pursuing its goals. We thank the Tourism Ministry of Malta in facilitating the successful hosting of this conference.

The delegates hereby thank all Filipino and Maltese individuals for their warm reception. To the dedicated organizers and secretariat members, our endless gratitude!

This statement was signed on 2 August 2015 in Malta by 92 delegates present.

Download ENFiD 2015 Malta Conference Statement


Source:


Rohlee de Guzman
Conference Chairperson

http://enfid.org/enfid-2015-malta-conference-statement/

2nd Regional Summit in Malta

Source:

Virgilio Cuizon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4GQtdXCPw0

132nd Regional Summit in Malta
Click here to view the video

H.E. Marie-Louise Coleira Preca, President of Malta gave an inspirational message to the opening of the 2nd Regional Conference of ENFID ( EUROPEAN NETWORK OF FILIPINO DIASPORA) held at San Antonio Hotel in Malta. 

She also praised the Filipinos in Malta.

 
Source:

Virgilio Cuizon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4GQtdXCPw0

Location Map


CFO locationmap mini

Contact Us


CFO - MANILA
Citigold Center, 1345 Pres. Quirino Ave.
corner Osmena Highway (South Superhighway)
Manila, Philippines 1007
Telephone: (+632) 552-4700
Email: info@cfo.gov.ph

CFO - CEBU
4th Floor, K&J Building
#4 Don Julio Llorente St.,
Capitol Site, Cebu City 6000
Telephone: (032) 255-5253
Email: cfocebu@cfo.gov.ph

Connect With Us


MONTHLY eBULLETIN

     Sign up for the latest news and events

We're on Social Networks. Follow us and get in touch!

           facebook twitter2 youtube

Back to Top