OFW railway engineer returns to PH to help build subway, LRT-2

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 5, 2019   •   2761

Engineer Deo Miranda

An Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) railway engineer in Denmark has returned home to the Philippines in order to help build the LRT-2 subway.

Deo Miranda attended the flag ceremony of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday (November 5).

As a railway engineer in Denmark, Deo has the skills and knowledge to know about the said transportation.

When he stumbled upon a viral post of a cutter head prototype for the Metro Manila Subway Project, he knew what he had to do.

On Monday (November 4), Deo started his work as Engineer IV for the LRT-2 East and LRT-2 West Project Teams. He left his stable job overseas in order to contribute to the development of his country.

“We are here to support our current administration who has the vision and commitment to achieve the comfortable mass transport for Filipinos,” Deo said after receiving the call that confirmed his employment with government.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade lauded Deo’s choice of giving back to country.

“Para sa akin, bayani ang mga OFWs. Bayani sila dahil sila ay nagsasakripisyo at nakikipagsapalaran sa ibang bansa para maiahon ang kani-kanilang pamilya sa hirap. Ngunit talaga ring nakakaantig ng puso kung ang isang OFW, kahit sobrang laki ng kinikita sa ibang bansa, magdedesisyong bumalik at tumulong sa bayan at magsabing: Pilipinas naman (For me, OFWs are heroes. They are heroes because they sacrifice and work overseas in order to help their family. But it is really heartwarming that an OFW, despite the hefty salary overseas, decided to return to help the country: It’s the Philippines’ turn),” he said.

Deo and other OFWs already met with the DOTr and other transport officials at the ASEAN Convention Center in Clark, Pampanga in July 2019 to discuss about the country’s transit system.—AAC

Filipinos, Americans top holiday arrivals

Maris Federez   •   December 27, 2021

PASAY, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday reported that Filipinos top airport arrivals for December 2021.

BI data showed that 141,216 Filipinos, mostly overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) arrived during the holiday season, according to a BI statement released December 27.

This was followed by Americans with 12,455 arrivals, Canadians with 2,805, and Japanese with 1,645.

“This is expected since many of our kababayans who are now living abroad wish to spend the holidays here with their families,” said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente.

BI Port Operations Division Chief Atty. Carlos Capulong, meanwhile, said that arrivals for December 24 and 25 doubled compared to last year’s figures.

“Last year, there were only 5,478 arrivals for the two days, while this year, it increased 100% to 11,074 for the Christmas eve and Christmas day,” said Capulong.

“While the numbers are still relatively low, we are confident that this increase will continue until next year, given the government’s aggressive vaccination campaign,” he stated.

Capulong also thanked immigration officers who were on duty during the holiday.

“Our officers sacrifice their time with their families to render their duty and provide service for incoming and outgoing passengers,” said Capulong.

Frontliners were barred from going on vacations during the peak season, the statement said.

Be wary of ‘too good to be true’ job offers online — DOLE

Maris Federez   •   November 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The labor department has warned Filipinos aspiring to work overseas to be wary of spurious job offers online.

In a statement released Sunday, DOLE said the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Madrid, Spain received a request to verify an online job offer for a fruit farm cashier position in the country with a salary of 3,000 or 6,000 Euros.

POLO Madrid Labor Attaché Joan Lourdes Lavilla advised job seekers to be careful in entertaining ‘too good to be true’ job opportunities abroad amid numerous job offers proliferating on social media.

“What our kababayan did was right. She checked with us first before grabbing the job opportunity,” Lavilla said.

The Labor Attache said scammers use names of legitimate companies but usually offer jobs that are too good to be true.

Another indication of a spurious job offer is if the company gives mobile numbers only.

“One tip is to check their given address using Google maps because sometimes there is no actual structure or company,” Lavilla said.

She also said that another red flag of a scam is when an applicant is being required to send out money to an individual through a remittance center.

DOLE said legitimate job offers are listed on the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration’s website at https://www.poea.gov.ph/.

Meanwhile, Lavilla reported that with the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in Spain, more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are now back to work.

She said Spanish employers prefer Filipino workers because of their capacity to speak and understand the English language.

According to the POLO Madrid official, OFWs in Spain, Andorra, France, Portugal, and Monaco, are composed of household service workers; hotel and restaurant staff; and professionals like Information Technology personnel, researchers, managers, and nurses. —/mbmf

Bello: KSA to pay P4.6B unpaid salaries of OFWs in December

Maris Federez   •   November 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has announced that overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who were forced to return to the Philippines after they stopped receiving remuneration will be able to receive their unpaid salaries in December.

The DOLE said the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is expected to pay P4.6 billion in unpaid salaries to 9,000 OFWs.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, in a statement, said he is optimistic the payment will be made when KSA Labor Minister Ahmed al-Rajhi visits the country in December this year.

“So, the unpaid salaries of our OFWs can be settled just in time for Christmas,” the Labor chief said.

Bello was in KSA last week to attend the Abu Dhabi Dialogue, a forum for talks and cooperation between Asian Countries of labor origin and destination.

It aims to enable safe, orderly, and regular labor migration in some of the world’s largest temporary labor migration corridors.

There, Bello was invited by Al-Rajhi for a private meeting where the KSA labor executive appealed for the lifting of the suspension on Arab mega recruitment agencies.

These agencies were reportedly the ones who were responsible for the deployment of OFWs whose salaries and benefits remained unpaid.

Bello assured Al Rahji that the Philippines would lift the deployment ban in exchange for the payment of salaries of the OFWs.

Repatriated by the government in 2016, the unpaid OFWs, through the help of state lawyers, won the case over their unsettled pay in KSA.

Despite the legal victory, however, the KSA government refused to pay the OFWs.

“But our government is really thankful that the meeting with the KSA labor minister was fruitful,” Bello said. —/mbmf

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