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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Implementation Of Expanded OFW Protection To Start This August

The new law that would give more benefit and protection for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is set to be implemented this month. According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), this development would be to the advantage of about eight million OFWs all over the world.

Rosalinda Baldoz, the new Labor Secretary said in an article that appeared in the DOLE website, “With the publication of the implementing rules and regulations, I now direct the family of agencies under the DOLE that have OFW-related mandates to craft their own internal rules and regulations for the smooth operationalization and implementation of the provisions of the law."

Aside from the DOLE, other government agencies that need to work on their internal rules about OFWs are the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and other agencies with OFW-related mandates.

The implementing rules and regulations of this new law have already been published in major newspapers and would take effect on August 13. According to Baldoz the implementation of expanded OFW protection law or Republic Act 10022 is a challenge that puts the DOLE at an even bigger forefront of OFW social protection.

The following are some of the highlights of the new law:

* Stronger bilateral and multilateral relations with the receiving countries for OFW protection;
* Provision of free skills training and livelihood programs for OFWs;
* “Positive and concrete measures" of host countries to protect the rights of migrant workers;
* Prohibition of acts that may constitute illegal recruitment by both licensed and unlicensed agencies;
* Implementation of anti-illegal recruitment programs;
* Placement of the responsibility for OFW repatriation upon the principal or employer and licensed recruitment agency;
* Establishment of the National Reintegration Center for OFWs;
* Protection from abusive medical clinics;
* Legal assistance fund for filing of cases against erring or abusive employers;
* Compulsory provision of insurance to cover agency-hired workers for accidental death, natural death, permanent total disablement, repatriation costs, subsistence allowance benefit, money claims, compassionate visit, medical evaluation, and medical repatriation.

Source: http://www.ofwguide.com/article_item-1384/Implementation-Of-Expanded-OFW-Protection-To-Start-This-Month.html

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Most of OFW Families are Poor

There's an article I read which is somehow old, but I want to share it here for my fellow OFWs to read (hopefully learn from it). The actual article is posted below:

‘60% of OFW families are poor’
Written by Estrella Torres / Reporter
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 23:37

DESPITE the steadily rising remittance levels of Filipino migrant workers—reaching $18 billion in 2009—at least 60 percent of their families remain poor, according to a Church-backed group doing support work for the sector.

This, as the head of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in the Philippines raised concern that the situation for the families of Filipino migrant workers will remain unchanged or may worsen due to their consumerist attitude.

Linda Wirth, ILO director in Manila, said migrant workers and their families are constantly exposed to various risks that require huge levels of spending. These include illnesses, accidents, loss of property, natural and man-made disasters, climate-change impact and the lingering global financial crisis.

She said families of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) also belong to the 80 percent of the global population who do not have access to basic social services.

“While not all of the OFWs are poor, there is a bigger percentage of them who came from poor families and these are the ones who are sending money more regularly to their families compared with those migrant families who are already doing well. The tendency is really to seek help from friends and relatives,” Wirth said at a press briefing of the ILO in Makati City on Wednesday.

Fr. Edwin Corros, executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, a panel of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said the Philippines has more than 8 million OWFs, and at least 60 percent of their families remain poor.

This is so because these migrant workers are predominantly classified as unskilled or semiskilled, such as household-service workers who end up empty-handed when they return to the country, as wages promised them are lower than promised and they have to pay off debts incurred in preparing for overseas work. Worse, many of them also suffer from abusive employers and/or fall prey to human traffickers—tragedies that entail extra costs for them and their families in terms of hospitalization, loss of wages and legal fees.

“It is very difficult to convince them to save because they will need it in the future,” Corros said during the ILO press briefing for the Pamilyang OFW Savers and Wellness Club.

Ferdinand Berba, senior vice president for Business Development of Pioneer Life Insurance, said the savings rate for the Filipino migrant workers is way below their counterparts from China and Indonesia. They are faring a little better than migrant workers from Myanmar and Cambodia.

He said 42 percent of the savings of Filipino migrant workers are usually spent on emergency expenses ahead of the allotment for children’s education (34 percent), food (6.6 percent), marriage or other future plans (5.9 percent), business investment (3.4 percent), housing (2.9 percent), among others.

“We can see that they are not saving for the future. The tragic thing is that they go home unsuccessful, and they don’t have any savings. Their life as well as their families is very far from what it used to be when the OFW is abroad,” Berba said.

Talagang nakakalungkot at nakakapagbagabag kapag nakakabasa ka ng ganito. Sana magsilbing "eye opener" sa lahat ng OFWs ang ganitong impormasyon. Dapat talagang sikapin ang "mag-ipon" at hindi yung puro gastos lang. Hanggat maari huwag bumili ng mga bagay na hindi naman kailangan. Kadalasan kasi kapag lumaki na ang sweldong natatanggap, lumalaki rin ang gastos sa "luho". Hindi na naiisip na hindi habang-buhay ay ganun ang sitwasyon. Isipin natin ang magiging kalagayan natin sa mga susunod na araw at darating na panahon. "KAPAG MAY ISINUKSOK MAY MADUDUKOT"

Sa mga pamilya namang naiiwan sa Pinas, sana ay ugaliin din ang "magtipid". Huwag nang magyabang sa mga kapitbahay at kamag-anak. Kadalasan, kapag merong nasa abroad eh nag-iiba narin ang "lifestyle". Dati sanay naman sa ganitong klase ng buhay aba eh nung medyo nakakaluwag biglang taas narin ng cost of living. Dapat isipin lagi na hindi madali ang kumita ng pera.Hindi yan basta-basta pinupulot sa kalsada. "MAS MADALING GASTUSIN ANG PERA KAPAG HINDI IKAW ANG KUMIKITA."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Remittance Channels in Saudi Arabia

Kumusta sa lahat ng mga Kabayan dito sa Saudi Arabia. Naisipan kung i-post ang listahan ng mga remittance centers na pwede nating pagpadalhan ng pera papuntang Pilipinas. Sana ay makatulong sa inyo ang mga impormasyon na ito. Kung meron pa kayong alam na remittance centers na hindi nakasali sa listahan maaring pakilagay nalang as comment para maidagdag ko. Salamat...

Remittance Center: NCB-QuickPay/MoneyGram (*recommended)
Service Charge: 20.00 SAR *net (no other charges on the benefeciary)
Supported Currency: PHP / USD
Channels for Sending:
1. Visit any of NCB ATMs or branches, located across the Kingdom
2. Call the QuickPay Phone Service on 920000330
3. Log in to the Online Banking to transfer money online (if you have regular bank account)
(Account opening should be made personally on the QuickPay Branches)
Channels for Receiving:
1. Direct deposit - transfers money directly to your beneficiary's bank account
2. SMART Money account (for Filipino customers-should have ChinaBank account)
3. Cash pickup -allows your beneficiary to pick up the cash from any QuickPay bank partner
4. Courier - provides door-to-door delivery
Delivery/Receiving Time:
Direct deposit - 24 to 48 hours (depending on the bank and timezone)
SMART Money account - within 2-5 seconds delivery time
Cash pickup - 24 hours (depending on the bank's business days in Philippines)
Courier - 24 to 48 hours

Personal Note: Ito ang existing kong ginagamit na channel for remittance. Mas madali kasi ang magpadala, once na setup na yung account mo.Hindi ka magdudusa sa mahabang pila dahil pwede kang magpadala thru NCB-ATMs.So, 24/7 pwede kang magpadala as long na may NCB ATM sa lugar mo.Hindi rin hassle kapag inabutan ka ng salah (prayer-time) dahil basta online ang ATM pwede ka makatransact.Hindi tulad sa ibang remittance center, talagang tigil ang transaction kapag salah time na.Pwede rin na itawag lang (call charges apply) sa Phone Banking Service nila.Another advantage yung net na service charge, wala ng additional charge pagdating sa beneficiary.Kung magkano ang amount na nakikita mo sa resibo, yun at yun ang natatanggap (minsan may labis na cents dahil binubuo na, pero walang kulang).Mas mataas din ang forex conversion nila kumpara sa iba. Guaranteed na mabilis ang pagdating ng padala.Based on experience ko kapag BPI ang account mga maximum of 6 hours tanggap na (depende sa oras sa Pinas). Nasubukan ko rin magpadala sa BDO at less than 1 hour natatanggap na. Yung smart-money nila talagang guaranteed in seconds lang tanggap na.Parang Western Union lang.Ang tie-up nila sa Pinas para sa Smart-Money is ChinaBank. So open ka muna ng special Smart-Money account sa ChinaBank tapos register mo as beneficiary.

Remittance Center: Al Rahji Bank - Tahweel
Service Charge: 18.00 SAR
Supported Currency: PHP/USD
Channels for Sending:
1. Over the counter on Tahweel Centers
2. Through Online Banking (need to have AlRajhi Account)
Channels for Receiving:
1. Cash On Pickup
2. Direct Deposit To Account
3. Courier / Door to door
Delivery/Receiving Time:
1. Cash On Line (Pickup) - 2 hours on Metrobank and BDO (specific branches)
2. Direct Deposit - will take 24 to 48 hours
3. Door to Door - 1 to 5 days

Remittance Center: ANB - Telemoney
Service Charge:
22.00 SAR credit to bank account
15.00 SAR using ATMs
32.00 SAR for door to door
Supported Currency: PHP/USD
Channels for Sending:
1. Over the counter on Telemoney Centers
2. ANB ATMs (only for account holders on ANB)
3. Through TeleMoney Phone Banking
Channels for Receiving:
1. Credit to bank account
2. Door to door cash delivery
3. Cash collection (over the counter payment)
Delivery/Receiving Time:
48 to 72 hours

Remittance Center: Bank Albilad Enjaz / Western Union
Service Charge:
16.00 SAR - bank transfers and pickup
35.00 SAR - Western Union
Supported Currency: PHP/USD
Channels for Sending: Over the Counter on Enjaz Centers 
Channels for Receiving: Direct Deposit To Account, Cash On Pickup / Payout
Delivery/Receiving Time:
Direct Deposit To Account - 24 to 72 hours (depending on the bank's business days in Philippines)
Western Union - within minutes (depending on the timezone of the Agent)

Personal Note: Dito ako dati nagpapadala, siguro mga 1 taon din bago nagka QuickPay dito sa Riyadh. Based on my own experiences, isang factor dito ay ang mahabang pila kapag magpapadala. Talagang kailangan mong paglaanan ng oras. Tapos may mga additional charges pa pagdating sa beneficiary account. Medyo mababa din ang forex convertion nila, maliban pa na mag suffer ka sa 2-way conversion. Kasi from SAR convert muna nila sa USD tapos from USD ska i-convert sa PHP.

Remittance Center: SAMBA - SpeedCash
Service Charge: 21.00 SAR
Supported Currency: PHP/USD
Channels for Sending:
1. Over the Counter on SpeedCash centers Kingdomwide
2. Through SambaPhone if you have a Samba account
Channels for Receiving:
1. Direct Deposit To Account
2. For cash pickup
Delivery/Receiving Time:
1. Direct Deposit To Account - within 24 hours
2. For cash pickup - within minutes (depending on the time in the Philippines)

Remittance Center: Al Zamil Exchange Remittance Company
Service Charge: 14.00 SAR
Supported Currency: PHP/USD
Channels for Sending: Over the counter in the nearest branches
Channels for Receiving: Cash-to-Bank Transfer, Cash-to-Cash Transfer, Door-to-Door Payments
Delivery/Receiving Time: no data available

Remittance Center: Alamoudi Exchange Service Company
Service Charge: 15.00 SAR
Supported Currency: PHP/USD
Channels for Sending: Over the counter in the nearest branches
Channels for Receiving: Cash-to-Bank Transfer, Cash-to-Cash Transfer, Door-to-Door Payments
Delivery/Receiving Time: no data available

Clarify ko lang po na yung mga figures and data are applicable as of posting date. So pwede mabago without prior notice. Saka clarify ko lang din na hindi ako nagtatrabaho sa NCB :) kasi baka bigyang malisya yung comment ko and pag recommend sa remittance channel nila. Actually sa bank din ako nag work pero hindi sa NCB. Dito sa amin, libre para sa mga staff ang fund transfer kaso bank to bank transaction kaya dumadaan ng SWIFT. So, mas matagal bago makarating mga 3 days. Saka pagdating sa Pinas may additional charge pa na binabawas ang receiving bank kaya hindi pratical na dun magpadala. Kung meron po kayong mga correction on any information sa taas paki-leave nalang as comment.