Featured Video

From Janitor to Entrepreneur, an OFW story

Managing several outlets of his famous chain of restaurants--Tamayo’s and other businesses, including a consultancy firm, a flower shop and catering services, Steve considers himself as one of the luckiest people in the world.

Overseas Filipino workers mostly young but getting 'older,' says NSCB

Young Filipinos still make up the bulk of Overseas Filipino workers but there is a very slight trend showing that OFWs are getting older, according to a report by the National Statistical Coordination Board.

Pinay OFW work for free for 2 years

A Filipina domestic helper was repatriated Monday after a Chinese couple in Hong Kong forced her to work without pay for two years.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Overseas Filipino workers mostly young but getting 'older,' says NSCB

Young Filipinos still make up the bulk of Overseas Filipino workers but there is a very slight trend showing that OFWs are getting older, according to a report by the National Statistical Coordination Board.
The report, "The Pinoy Diaspora: Where do our OFWs come from and where do they go?" posted on the NSCB web site said that although OFWs in the 25 to 29 age group comprise about a fourth of all Filipinos leaving for work abroad, data for the last three years show that the number of older workers is increasing slightly. OFWs in the 30 to 34 age bracket rose from 21 percent in 2008 to 21.7 percent in 2009, and 22.88 percent in 2010.
But overall, the average age of OFWs has been consistently 34.4 years, with males tending to be older at 36 compared to the females at 34, according to the report based on data from the Survey on Overseas Filipino Workers of the National Statistics Office.
Young OFWs however continue to dominate the NSCB figures, with data compiled over a three-year period indicating that overseas workers in the 25 to 29 age bracket make up 25.7 percent of OFWs in 2008, 24.8 percent in 2009, and 24.98 percent in 2010.
The results, the NSCB said, show that young Filipinos are leaving the country for work, spending what is perhaps their most productive years away from their country and families.
"When can we offer them job opportunities so that this group of young people, many of whom are almost fresh out of college, will be directly helping our economy grow rather than those of other countries? When can we contain the social cost of the Pinoy diaspora?" the NSCB report asked.
Not surprisingly, the number of OFWs is generally increasing, the same report indicated. From 2 million in 2008, it slipped to 1.91 million in 2009 but rose to 2.04 million in 2010, or about two percent of the countryĆ¢¿¿s total population.
Overall, for every 10 women who work abroad as OFWs, there are 11 men.
However, the sex distribution of OFWs is very different for Soccsksargen (central Mindanao), the Cagayan Valley, ARMM, and CAR. In these regions, for every 10 female OFWs, there were only from 3 to 5 male OFWs from 2008 to 2010.
"In fact, the sex ratio of OFWs for 2008 to 2010 is 100 females for every 123 males in Luzon, 100 females for every 119 males in the Visayas, and 100 females for 62 males in Mindanao. Why are there more women than men from Mindanao who leave the country for work?" the NSCB asked.
Female OFWs also outnumber their male counterparts in the younger age groups, with only 6 men for every 10 women aged 15 to 24 and 9 men for every 10 women aged 25 to 29. This calls attention to the greater vulnerability of our female OFWs compared to the males, the NSCB report noted.
Female OFWs are predominantly working as laborers and unskilled workers (domestic helpers), clerks, service workers, as well as shop and market sales workers, the NSCB said.
Regionally, Calabarzon sends out the most number of OFWs, followed by Central Luzon and the National Capital Region. Caraga (northeastern Mindanao), MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), and CAR (Cordillera Autonomous Region) send out the least, each with a share of less than 2 percent. An increasing number of OFWs has been coming from the Ilocos Region, Central Visayas, and Cagayan Valley, NSCB said.
In terms of skills profile, about 76 percent of Filipino OFWs covered by the report are laborers and unskilled workers, service workers, shop and market sales workers, plant and machine operators and assemblers, or are engaged in trade and related work. Only 10 percent are professionals, technicians and associate professionals.
The same report indicated that 79 out of a hundred OFWS work all over Asia, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE); 9 work in Europe, 8 in North and South America, 2 in Australia, and 2 in Africa. The three biggest OFW destination countries are Saudi Arabia (21 out of 100), UAE (15 out of 100), and Malaysia (10 out of 100).
In terms of the "most economically active population," or those aged 20 to 39, OFWs are represented at 7 percent in 2008, 6.6 percent in 2009, and 6.9 percent in 2010, the NSCB said.
OFWs aged 45 and above made up 16.4 percent of OFWs in 2008, 16.2 percent in 2009, and 16.58 in 2010.
Thirty-five to 39-year-olds had a 15.1 percent share of OFW deployment in 2008, 15.5 percent in 2009, and 15.18 percent in 2010. Those aged 40 to 44 had an 11.8 percent share in 2008, 12 percent in 2009, and 11.39 percent in 2010.
The 15 to 24 age bracket had the smallest share with 10 percent in 2008, 9.8 percent in 2009, and 8.99 percent in 2010.
 


Get regular updates straight from your Facebook and Twitter accounts with The Blog of Innocence: SilentVoice Points. Make sure that you keep informed about the latest happenings around you. Be a fan of VoicePoints page on Facebook. Join the online conversation of the people behind your history. Follow and get some tweet updates from @voicepoints on Twitter. Discuss and be a part of this changing world. We believe in your voice. We believe in you. Shout! Speak your mind! Join now! You have the right. You have the freedom!

If you have a story to tell, click this to submit.

Need advertising partners? Email us now silentvoicepoints@yahoo.com.  Advertise with us! 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pinay OFW work for free for 2 years

A Filipina domestic helper was repatriated Monday after a Chinese couple in Hong Kong forced her to work without pay for two years.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima and Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar welcomed the woman when she arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2, accompanied by her mother and sister.

Salazar, who heads the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), said he believes the woman, who is in her early 20s, is a victim of a Philippines-based human trafficking syndicate that lured her into accepting an offer to illegally work in Hong Kong.

All work, no pay
The woman entered Hong Kong as a tourist in 2008 after she was promised work as a caregiver for the aging mother of her recruiter’s sister-in-law.

Upon her arrival in Hong Kong, the woman was made to work for a Chinese couple who served her employer, while her employer kept her passport. Even when she fell ill, she was not allowed to return to the Philippines.

Her family never received the salary her recruiter promised, Salazar said.

The woman’s employer only allowed her to leave when her father died in 2010. She said her employer warned her not to disclose her status as an illegal worker and the treatment she received.

The woman surrendered to Hong Kong immigration officials. She was jailed for two more years while the Sha Tin court tried her for overstaying and working without the necessary permits, the DOJ said.

When news of the woman’s plight reached the DOJ last month, De Lima said she dispatched Salazar and other IACAT officials to assist the woman and facilitate her repatriation.

De Lima, in a press conference Monday, vowed to pursue charges against the woman’s recruiter.

“We are mobilizing the resources of government and our private sector partners to make sure there will be no repeat of cases similar to this,” she said. “The government and our partners are determined to protect the rights and interests of Filipinos even beyond our borders.”

Meanwhile, the IACAT and its non-government partner, the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, lauded a Malaysian court for ending the human trafficking activities of Singaporean man Eugene Lim Beng Huat, also known as “Alfred Lim,” who allegedly victimized more than 100 Filipina workers.

The sessions court of Malaysia sentenced Lim to a total of six years imprisonment after finding him guilty on two counts of human trafficking of two Filipinas four years ago.

Earlier reports linked Lim to a pattern of illegal recruitment and trafficking with some immigration officials at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, implicating 18 immigration officers stationed there. De Lima dismissed the 18 immigration officials in 2010 and charged them with grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service, dishonesty, gross neglect of duty.

According to witnesses, the women were physically and sexually abused by employers who paid Lim in advance. Some of them were forced into prostitution at Lim’s three-story townhouse in Kuala Lumpur, they said.

Lim also beat up women who were returned by their dissatisfied employers who seek a refund, officials said. - By Rudy Santos (Philstar News Service, www.philstar.com) 

Get regular updates straight from your Facebook and Twitter accounts with The Blog of Innocence: SilentVoice Points. Make sure that you keep informed about the latest happenings around you. Be a fan of VoicePoints page on Facebook. Join the online conversation of the people behind your history. Follow and get some tweet updates from @voicepoints on Twitter. Discuss and be a part of this changing world. We believe in your voice. We believe in you. Shout! Speak your mind! Join now! You have the right. You have the freedom!

If you have a story to tell, click this to submit.

Need advertising partners? Email us now silentvoicepoints@yahoo.com.  Advertise with us! 

POEA Ordered Forced Closure of Two Agencies

Overseas recruitment agencies who fail to follow the rules and regulations in hiring overseas workers face the risk of having their licenses canceled. However, even with cancelled licenses, some recruitment agencies continue to hire applicants for overseas deployment.

Such is the case with Northwest Placement Inc. and Reajent Manpower Services Inc. To make sure that these agencies will not be able to continue their illegal operations, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief, Hans Leo J. Cacdac and Vice-President Jejomar Binay, which is the head of the Presidential Task Force on Anti-Illegal Recruitment (PTFAIR), closed the offices of Northwest Placement Inc. and Reajent Manpower Services Inc.

Cacdac said, “This enforcement effort of the POEA and the Office of the Vice-President underscores the importance of punishing recruitment violators and upholding the rule of law.  And we will not rest.”
The order for immediate closure was issued by POEA after discovering that Northwest Placement Inc. continue to hire housekeepers for the United States of America even after its license was cancelled on April 25, 2012 because of the excessive fees it charged to applicants.

The office of Reajent Manpower Services Inc. was also closed by the POEA because they continue to accept applications for the position of fruit pickers for Australia that was found out to be non-existent.  Reajent was under preventive suspension since February 28, 2012.

Get regular updates straight from your Facebook and Twitter accounts with The Blog of Innocence: SilentVoice Points. Make sure that you keep informed about the latest happenings around you. Be a fan of VoicePoints page on Facebook. Join the online conversation of the people behind your history. Follow and get some tweet updates from @voicepoints on Twitter. Discuss and be a part of this changing world. We believe in your voice. We believe in you. Shout! Speak your mind! Join now! You have the right. You have the freedom!

If you have a story to tell, click this to submit.

Need advertising partners? Email us now silentvoicepoints@yahoo.com.  Advertise with us! 

From Janitor to Entrepreneur, an OFW story

These days, Lady Luck is probably smiling from ear to ear on businessman Sebastian “Steve” Tamayo.

Managing several outlets of his famous chain of restaurants--Tamayo’s and other businesses, including a consultancy firm, a flower shop and catering services, Steve considers himself as one of the luckiest people in the world.
But life was not all a bed of roses for this self-styled restaurant owner. He, like, many of us, had been knocked down and hit rock bottom a couple of times.

Humble beginnings

Steve was brought up by the Tamayo couple of Hagonoy, Bulacan to be a hard working lad. Coming from a middle-class family, at an early age, he was taught by his parents, particularly his mother, to help in household chores.
“I was only in grade six when I helped in the chores in the house. I mostly helped my mother in the preparation and cooking native delicacies for our small carinderia (eatery) in Bulacan then,” he recalled.
Being the 11th child of a brood of 12, Steve said his father was paralyzed then so he had to help with the chores, along with his other siblings.
Along with some of his older brothers, Steve would fish at a nearby lake at night. Proceeds from the sale of any fish caught made up his allowance the next day. He promised himself that the hardships he had experienced that day would all change someday with hard work, and determination.
When he reached adolescence, Steve decided to stay with his relatives while attending Marcelo H. del Pilar High School in Malolos, Bulacan. Some of his brothers and sisters had families of their own at that time.
In exchange for the free board and lodging, he helped in the cooking and other household chores.
“I was attending school and surviving with only P5 a week,” he said, noting the money came from what he earned from fishing.
To make matters worst, the Tamayo patriarch died while Steve was in second year high school. But that tragic event did not diminish the perseverance of the Bulakenyo.
After finishing high school, he immediately went to Manila to pursue a college degree, taking up Commerce, major in accounting, at the University of the East in Recto, Manila at the same time took up typing course.
While studying, he got a job as a janitor at then Hong Kong-Shanghai Bank in PAL building on Ayala Avenue, Makati.
“I was assigned at the midnight shift there. We were assigned to clean eight floors,” he said, being assigned to different chores every week. He was even tasked to scrub the dirty toilet bowls, a job he was not embarrassed to admit.
“I would really make sure that the toilet bowls were cleaned,” he said.
Steve also managed to land a job as a part time waiter at former Silahis Hotel-Playboy Club Manila through the help of co-bed spacer in P. Campa, Manila.
At 16, Steve was taking up Commerce and typing and maintaining two odd jobs at the same time.
His routine, which only afforded him four hours of decent sleep a day, lasted for several months until he was made a regular bus boy at the hotel and he resigned as janitor from the bank.
The Break

Steve was a natural public relations man. The ability to entertain guests was a talent innate to him.
One day, an Arab guest who became his friend, offered Steve work at his hotel in Saudi Arabia. So as soon as he graduated from college in 1981, he grabbed the opportunity and flew to the Middle Eastern country.
“In that hotel, I worked not only as a waiter but sidelined as a butler and house cleaner and a cook,” Steve recounted, as his network of friends, both business and personal, steadily grew.
Only after two years in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, he had earned enough to build his own house. There, he also met his wife, Mila, who had been very active in the Church.
After four years in Saudi Arabia, Steve decided to move on to Kuwait where his abilities and business acumen would be fully realized.
And as he predicted, the Tamayo business empire even grew in Kuwait, where he ventured into selling T-shirts and other items to his kababayans who would be sending gifts to their relatives in the Philippines.
But his clientele was not only Filipinos but also other foreigners, who craved his famous “ube.”
Tamayo also joined the choir of a Catholic Church in Kuwait and continued his religious service.
“I was high in business and at the same time I was high in God,” he said, while working as manager in Mary Jane Hotel in Kuwait and became active in Church with Mila.
Steve also befriended and served as a household help for a Swiss couple staying at the penthouse of the hotel.
After three months of cleaning the penthouse, he was invited again by the Swiss couple to a party. He was now being introduced by the couple not as a helper but a family member to the guests in the party, where he rubbed elbows with sheiks.
Steve Tamayo, the Entrepreneur

When he earned enough, he resigned from work at the hotel and established his own business, SM (which stand for Steve, Mila) Fashion Wear at one of the prestigious hotel/commercial buildings at a financial district in Kuwait.
“I was very successful at that time and I felt very blessed… I considered myself as the biggest Filipino businessman in Kuwait that time,” he said.
After two years, he went back to the Philippines and married Mila. He returned to Kuwait to continue his business.
In July 25, 1990, the ribbon cutting ceremony of his shop was covered by the local media in Kuwait with a Philippine ambassador doing the honors. The next day the event landed on the front pages of two big newspapers—Arab Times and Kuwait Times—with screaming headlines “Steve Tamayo, Filipino Entrepreneur.”
The first 15 days of its operation, Tamayo’s business venture earned almost P1 million.
Leap of faith

In July 31, 1990, although tired, Steve called up his wife in the Philippines to share the good news—that the shop in Kuwait was doing very well.
“She was crying that time because the news in the Philippines was that there was already war in the Middle East and Kuwait,” he said.
Steve called one of his brothers, who was with Mila that time, to calm her down. After the call, he and his other brothers prepared the orders for ube to be delivered the following day to their clients.
His brothers turned in around midnight, while Steve stayed up until 2 a.m. All of them stayed at the penthouse at 17th floor of the residential/commercial building.
Around 4 a.m. he was roused by noises outside the establishment. He got up and saw from the sea, countless speedboats speeding towards the shore. Not contented, Steve decided to investigate the noise and look down from his suite.
He saw on the streets just below his penthouse were several battle tanks with red flags. Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait.
Fearing for their lives, Steve hurriedly woke up his brothers to leave the building.
“I knew then that it was not safe for us to stay in that building because it would be the first ones to be ransacked by the soldiers,” Steve said.
He tried calling his wife on the phone inside the building but the lines were cut off by the invaders.
Steve managed to get his relatives to the Mary Jane hotel where he used to work. But he was left alone in the streets where gunfights were starting between the Kuwaiti troops and Saddam’s Red Guards.
“That time, I made a pact and prayed to God that if He will spare my life and bring me back to the Philippines alive, I will leave all my investments in Kuwait,” he said, with the lingering feeling that he might get killed during the invasion.
Just as the tanks and the firefights were getting closer, Steve felt some force that made him leap into a large open trash bin.
“I was like Lito Lapid and hurriedly jumped into the bin to elude the crossfire. My ears hurt because of the volley of gunfire around me while I’m in the garbage bin,” he said.
DENNIS CARCAMO
abs-cbnNEWS.com

Get regular updates straight from your Facebook and Twitter accounts with The Blog of Innocence: SilentVoice Points. Make sure that you keep informed about the latest happenings around you. Be a fan of VoicePoints page on Facebook. Join the online conversation of the people behind your history. Follow and get some tweet updates from @voicepoints on Twitter. Discuss and be a part of this changing world. We believe in your voice. We believe in you. Shout! Speak your mind! Join now! You have the right. You have the freedom!

If you have a story to tell, click this to submit.

Need advertising partners? Email us now silentvoicepoints@yahoo.com.  Advertise with us! 

Filipina Maid inherits $6M

A lot of us have been dreaming of winning big in Sweepstakes, all ticket buyers and non-ticket buyers alike. :) I myself have been imagining on hitting the lucky pot, especially when the stake in the Philippine Lotto hits 741M Php (S$22.45M). And when a certain lucky guy hit it, that was the time when I realized that I was only dreaming as I was not buying any lotto ticket for me to win. Anyone willing to buy a ticket for me? Just hit me a message. Hehe.

One time while I was waiting for a lift in one of the malls here in Singapore, there was one particular Ad that caught my eyes from the TV screen, "Filipina Maid inherits $6M from her employer". I can't help but became curious on what the story behind this but it was only this morning that I was able to find time to do a research while office works seem to be less.

So, here's the story of Filipina woman, an OFW from the province of Negros Oriental who went here in Singapore serving her employer for 20+ years, whom in return not only learned to trust her but treated her as a member of the family.

Straits Times Singapore, 21 Jul, 2010, Wednesday
$6m maid
Filipina inherits cash and Leonie Hill apartment
By Sujin Thomas

IN 1986, a petite Filipina arrived here to take up a job as a maid to a general practitioner.

She did the usual household chores for Dr Quek Kai Miew and looked after the doctor’s ailing mother until the older woman’s death three years later.

But what happened to the Filipina since Dr Quek herself died a year ago is far from usual – she has inherited a cool $6 million from her grateful employer’s estate, including the apartment in Leonie Hill (right) which her late employer called home.

But the 47-year-old former maid – and now millionaire – insists that little in her life has changed.

The unmarried eighth child in a family of nine told The Straits Times in an exclusive interview: ‘I do not really think much about the money I got. I just live my life as I did before, and not as a rich person.’

She wears her hair in a trouble-free short crop and dresses simply in blouses and slacks; she does not hanker for all the worldly goods her money can buy – what she casually dismisses as ‘fluffy things’.

She refused to go into the details of the inheritance, and refused to be named for fear of possible threats to her life in the Philippines.

Let us call her Christine.

She went back to the Philippines in February, about seven months after Dr Quek’s death, but returned here on Sunday, a day ahead of the first anniversary of the death.

She brought along her mother and sister-in-law. The women, here on 21/2-month social visit passes, have moved into the Leonie Gardens apartment off River Valley Road.

The Straits Times understands the apartment may actually have been willed to Christine and a nephew of Dr Quek’s, but this could not be verified.

Christine has applied for permanent residency here because this is where she spent more than 20 years working for Dr Quek.

The late doctor probably had a lot to do with Singapore feeling like home.

Fresh off the boat from the Philippines’ central Negros Oriental province, she said she was treated by Dr Quek – herself unmarried – like a daughter.

This came through in the interview, during which she referred to her late employer interchangeably as ‘Dr Quek’, ‘madam’ and ‘mother’.

The doctor always listened to her personal problems, she said. ‘I always opened up to her. Even if she scolded me, we always discussed it.’

She added that Dr Quek shared with her not only the comforts of her home, but also good food such as laksa.

When diabetes made it difficult for the doctor to get around unaided, it was Christine who pushed her in a wheelchair when she needed one, such as during medical check-ups. She said: ‘I was always beside her. Wherever she went, I was with her.’

They were apart only during the maid’s short trips home to the Philippines once every few years.

Dr Quek was 66 when she died on July 19 last year of heart failure; she had complained of chest pains three days earlier.

Christine, recalling that day, said the doctor died peacefully, with her family and her maid around her: ‘She did not say a word when she left us.’

The doctor is said by family friends to have retired about a decade ago. In the 1970s, she headed the Health Ministry’s Nutrition Unit, and was known as a charitable and decisive boss.

She was also a senior member of the Singapore chapter of the World Red Swastika Society, an 88-year-old organisation grounded in Buddhism and Taoism, and which seeks to promote a world without boundaries or discrimination.

Her wealth came from her heavy investments in property, much of it from the collective sale boom.

She has relatives here and abroad, but was not close to them, except for the nephew who visited her just about every week.

Christine said Dr Quek drew up the will some time in late 2008, and discussed it openly with her.

She said: ‘There were no secrets between us. I was not surprised at all when she told me how much I was going to get.’

After Dr Quek died, Christine could not bear living in the apartment, so she moved in with Dr Quek’s nephew when she got permission to stay here until her work permit expired.

She said of the grieving: ‘It was heartbreaking for me as I saw more years with Dr Quek than with my own mother. I would break down every time I thought about her. I could not be by myself.’

When her 85-year-old mother came here to be with her shortly after the death, the pair moved back to Leonie Gardens, but they left for the Philippines in February.

Last Sunday evening, after Christine, her mother and a sister-in-law came back here for the death anniversary, there was a ‘makan’ session at the apartment, and Dr Quek’s relatives came over.

All declined to be interviewed.

Christine is still in touch with her friends here and said even those relationships are still pretty much unchanged.

‘I am still who I was before. I cannot behave differently because I have money now. Even my Filipino-maid friends here still treat me the same.’

Now that she is not working, she has been able to spend the last few days showing her sister-in-law – her brother’s wife – Singapore’s sights. They have seen the Merlion and Sentosa.

Christine said, laughing: ‘I have spent half my life here, and I know the country very well. I am now a tour guide.’

Asked whether she considers herself fortunate, she replied: ‘I am, but I cannot express what to say.’

After a moment’s thought, she added: ‘I am the luckiest maid in Singapore, with or without the money.’

News Story Copyright by Straits Times Singapore.
Get regular updates straight from your Facebook and Twitter accounts with The Blog of Innocence: SilentVoice Points. Make sure that you keep informed about the latest happenings around you. Be a fan of VoicePoints page on Facebook. Join the online conversation of the people behind your history. Follow and get some tweet updates from @voicepoints on Twitter. Discuss and be a part of this changing world. We believe in your voice. We believe in you. Shout! Speak your mind! Join now! You have the right. You have the freedom!

If you have a story to tell, click this to submit.

Need advertising partners? Email us now silentvoicepoints@yahoo.com.  Advertise with us! 

Follow by Email

Powered by Blogger.

Share

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More