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Archives For December 2010
I N V I T A T I O N
In commemoration of Dr. Jose P. Rizal’s 114th Death Anniversary, the Philippine Consulate General invites all the Filipinos in Hong Kong to a wreath-laying ceremony that will be held on Thursday, 30 December 2010, in three (3) different locations in Hong Kong.
The first ceremony will be at Wanchai Park, Morrison Hill Road at 10:00 a.m., to be followed by ceremonies at Century Square, D Aguilar Street, Central and at 2 Rednaxela Terrace, Shelly Street, Central in Hong Kong.
Rizal requested his family, persecuted and driven out of their home in Calamba by the Spanish friars aided by the guardia civil , to join him in Hong Kong. At 2 Rednaxela Terrace, Rizal lived with his family and held a clinic. He held another clinic along D’ Aguilar Street. Both sites have been marked with a special commemorative marker put up by the Antiquities Authority of Hong Kong. A third marker stands on Morrison Hill Road where the first Philippine flag was sewn in May 1898 by Marcela Mariano Agoncillo, wife of Felipe Agoncillo, a member of the so-called Hong Kong junta that consisted of Filipino revolutionaries fighting for the independence of the Philippines from the Spanish rule who sought refuge in Hong Kong. Agoncillo would become one of the first Philippine diplomats of the Revolutionary Government.
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Source Verification: Lina Yamat
Chairperson – Migrante Macau
Strengthen the Unity, Create Harmony and Struggle for Migrants Rights
We non-resident workers in Macau comprise almost 14% of the population of the territory. And a number of us from different nationalities have started to unite and create harmony while struggling for our rights. The celebration of the 2nd International Migrants Day in Macau is a reaffirmation of these while at the same time an opportunity to impart to the residents of Macau about our real situation and aspirations.
In October of this year, our number reached 74,780 out of 549,500 people in the territory. We come from more than ten countries and territories and majority of us are from Mainland China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Indonesia. Most of us are unskilled workers who toil in factories, construction sites, homes, and in the service sector.
We first started to unite with advocates when a proposed law for the employment of non-resident workers was first suggested last year and which took effect on April 26, 2010. Since its implementation, our worst fears on one of its provisions have become a reality.
This pertains to the 6 months ban which disallows us the right to transfer to other jobs which offer better opportunities. Such provision is oppressive and discriminatory to us non-resident workers. Of the 862 banned from April 26 – October 25, 644 or (74.7%) are females. At the same time data until August 2010 also showed that domestic workers were the overwhelming majority victimized by the ban, mostly from the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.
These numbers show what critics of the ban have said all along: that this policy is discriminatory to women and to foreign domestic workers. As expected, this is now being used by employers to get rid of such kind of non-resident workers who would want to assert their rights and welfare as stipulated in their labor contracts and the labor law of Macau.
Other than the 6 months ban, other problems that we non-resident workers in Macau have included the following:
- Working permit/visa is co-terminus with the employment contract and one can only stay for another ten days.
- Illegal and excessive charging of placement fees by recruitment agencies
- Violation of our employment contracts
- Discriminatory social services
- No minimum wage
If the employer had requested the Immigration Department (ID) to cut the working permit/visa of his her employee a day or more days after the request was made, the non-resident worker becomes an overstayer and has to pay the ID a penalty of MOP200 a day for this. Usually the ID would not give a damn to ask the side of the employee on this matter but if the non-resident worker would want to initiate the cutting of the working permit, the ID would tell them to obtain the written consent of the employer first.
There is even a case of a Filipina whose name we cannot state at the moment because she wants to come back to Macau, who was penalized for MOP1200 for not applying for an extension of stay because she had a sick leave of 6 days after her work permit was cut after she left the hospital. She was hospitalized after suffering from a mild stroke. She was even told by a staff of the ID that she should have come to their office right after being discharged from the hospital so that she would have not overstayed.
Essentially the ID discriminates, criminalizes and treats us non-resident workers inhumanely. And why should we apply for an extension of stay when this can be granted automatically like in the HK SAR. At the same time the ten day extension of stay is too short especially if one needs to file a case against his/her employer, to appeal against the 6 months ban and even to find work in the territory.
Another problem which affects us is the illegal and excessive charging of placement fees especially on Indonesian migrant workers. Filipinos are charged up to MOP6000 to work as domestic workers while Indonesians of the same job category need to pay up to 6 months of their salary if they come from HK and up to 10 months of their salary if they come from Indonesia. This is tantamount to debt bondage or modern slavery especially for Indonesians and should be raised as a trafficking issue in Macau.
Under Macau’s Decree-Law No. 32/94/M, non-resident workers can only pass through fee charging recruitment agencies. At the same time in the same law, it does not specify the maximum amount that such agencies can charge employees. It only stipulates that after working for 60 days the recruitment agency can charge the employee it successfully placed, the agreed amount of the recruitment fee.
Other than these, another problem we have is the violation of our contracts by our employers. These include among others insufficient food; no proper accommodation; confiscation of passport/blue card; sexual assault; salary deduction; illegal work; not provided days off and/or statutory holidays; no housing allowance for those who stay out; non-payment of medical expenses; not providing air ticket.
We also experience discriminatory social services as our children who may be allowed to stay with us pay much higher tuition fees than residents and we need to pay double the charges in San Ting hospital or Hospital Conde S. Januário.
Finally like the local workers, we are not covered by a Statutory Minimum Wage (SMW). A number of the former like those working in manufacturing, in homes and even as waitresses in restaurants receive less than MOP4000 a month. But unlike residents who earn an income less than this, the Macau government has an allowance scheme for them. It would be better though for all workers whether they are residents or not to be covered by an SMW.
The only way to change our conditions for the better is for us to strengthen our unity and harmony and to continue to struggle for our rights. It would also do well that we get also the support of advocates including those coming from the local working people. Because essentially it is us the working people who should share the fruits of our labor as we are the ones who create wealth and prosperity for the Macau society.
Scrap the 6 months ban!
Stop Discrimination on Non-Resident Workers!
Implement a Statutory Minimum Wage for All!
December 19, 2010
ALIANSI PERSATUAN BMI MACAU – PEMACU (Alliance of Indonesian Migrant Workers in Macau)
I N V I T A T I O N
The Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong, in cooperation with the Chaplaincy for Filipino Migrants, Couples for Christ-FFL Hong Kong, and JVP Marketing and Entertainment, invites all Filipinos in Hong Kong to attend the Misa Aguinaldo at 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Friday, 24 December 2010, and the Christmas Day Mass on Saturday, 25 December at 9:30 a.m..
Both masses will be held at Chater Garden, Central. The Misa Aguinaldo will also includes a Christmas Parol Competition and Christmas Caroling.
For inquiries, please contact the Cultural Section at telephone nos. 28238534 / 28238536 and email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Team Philippines consisting of players from Ateneo De Manila and Adamson University, has won two consecutive games, at the 18th 3-D Gold Super Kung Sheung Cup, which is being held at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai, Hong Kong. Their coach is Coach Norman Black.
Team Philippines are consisted of the following players;
- Dela Cruz, A. (Jersey No. 4)
- Tiongson, J. (Jersey No. 5)
- Nuyles, A. (Jersey No. 6)
- Alvarez, L. (Jersey No. 7)
- Austria, R. (Jersey No. 8 )
- Colina, J. (Jersey No. 9)
- Erram, J. P. (Jersey No. 10)
- Long, J. K. (Jersey No. 12)
- Camson, E. J. (Jersey No. 13)
- Salva, N. R. (Jersey No. 14)
- Sumalinog, C. (Jersey No. 17)
- Golla, F.J. (Jersey No. 21)
The first game was against Team Thailand. Both teams has a roster of great players. Only team work, experience, and luck determined who would be the better team. It was a close game at first, but on the second half Team Philippines took the lead further and further. This time around it was Team Philippines. The final score for this game was 83 – 63.
The second game was against Team G.C.C. of China. Team G.C.C. had bigger players, but in basketball height is not the only advantage you have. You must also posses speed, good offensive, and defensive skills, and you also need luck, which Team Philippines possessed. At first Team G.C.C. was in the lead all the way to the third quarter. Team Philippines had a hard time catching up, but got lucky in the fourth quarter, as the spread got thiner and thiner, until Team Philippines was in the lead. In the final seconds of the game Team G.C.C. got furious, and started to man handle the Team Philippine players, even got to a point of a scuffle between No. 15 Li, and No. 6 Nuyles. The referee had to step in to break the scuffle. There was also the point where No. 12 Long, was hit on the nose. But in the end, Team Philippines fought a good fight and won. The final score was 78-73.
The third game will be tonight December 16, 2010, Thursday. This time it will be against the Prudential Group of Hong Kong. Will let you know the results as soon as the game is finish.
With two wins, Team Philippines is already in the standing to win this cup.
Go Team Philippines! Mabuhay kayong lahat! We in Hong Kong are proud of your achievements. Win this cup for the glory of the Philippines.
ADVISORY: Issuance of OEC at Philippine Consulate General is Temporarily Suspended
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is still waiting for the National Printing Office to supply them the OEC’s and the corresponding official receipts. To date, POEA has not sent this office any OECs and receipts for issuance to the public.
In this regard, concerned individuals are advised to secure their OEC at POEA Head Office in Ortigas or at the POEA Regional Office nearest them.
We will inform the public as soon as OECs are again available. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.
PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS LABOR OFFICE HK (POLO-HK)
ADVISORY: Pagpapalabas ng OEC sa Konsulado ng Pilipinas Pansamantalang Sinuspindi
Ang Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) ay kasalukuyan pang hinihintay ang mga ipapadalang OEC at opisyal na resibo na manggagaling sa National Printing Office. Sa ngayon, hindi pa nakakatanggap ng aming tanggapan mula sa POEA ang mga OEC at resibo na maaring ibigay sa publiko.
Kaugnay nito, pinapayuhan ang publiko na kumuha na lamang ng OEC sa punong tanggapan ng POEA na matatagpuan sa Ortigas o kaya naman ay sa mga tanggapang pang-rehiyon ng POEA na pinakamalapit sa kanilang lugar.
Makakaasa ang publiko na agad naming ipababatid kung kailan muling magkakaroon ng OEC sa aming tanggapan. Kami po ay humihingi ng paumanhin sa anumang abalang naidulot ng pangyayaring ito.
PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS LABOR OFFICE HK (POLO-HK)