Imbak para sa Disyembre, 2008

POEA OEC Services

Is it Overseas Employment Certificate or Overseas Exit Clearance? Anyway, I am glad Philippine Overseas Employment Administration offices are open on December 22, 23, 24, 26 and 29 and January 2, 2009. All returning cash cows like me should not forget to apply for an OEC to avoid hassle in the airport when they leave beloved Pilipinas again. See this news advisory from POEA:

If for some reason (like avoiding blood pressure elevation) you don’t want to see any POEA personnel, you can apply for OEC online through Citizen Services.  I haven’t tried this yet but I celebrate POEA for having this option made available to OFWs… But honestly, it would have been much better if they remove the Php 100.00 processing fee. Massive OFW remittances to the country should be enough to cover for this. Besides, “processing” is an integral function of a government agency. Why charge for it?

Bawat kibot mo talaga sa Pilipinas kailangan may bayad.  Tsk tsk…


My top 4 all-time favorite Filipino government officials as of today

I am so happy because we have leaders like Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Noli De Castro, Prospero Nograles and Marianito Roque. Monuments should be erected and songs should be written in their honor. Streets, avenues and highways should be named after them. They should be praised for their contributions to Philippine politics, culture and society.

Leader No. 1. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

The photo-op President. I am sure those retrenched workers from Taiwan who wanted an audience with her but got “a bagful of brochures” instead would be delighted to hear that she found 37,000 job vacancies in Qatar recently. That is really something Mrs. President. Hurrah! Just when we thought the country would be swamped with thousands of returning OFWs because of the global economic crisis, you found another foreign land that would gladly absorb them. You are really getting good at this Filipino brain and talent exporting business thingy, Madame. That is just what the country needs right now. The more Filipinos sent abroad, the better for the economy! I think, if Oxford would ever consider adding a definition for the acronym “OFW” in future editions of its dictionary, it should state that “OFW” is slang for “a THING or COMMODITY akin to electronic chips, computer parts or even dried mangoes, which can be exported, used and abused by the government as leverage for economic growth.”

Leader No. 2. Noli De Castro

The “Kabayan” Vice President—during the inauguration of a BPO facility in Pasay City—is so proud that “the Philippines has enough supply of educated English-speaking labor force”. Right on! That is also a must for a country that has a multitude of dialects. Forget the Filipino language, we don’t need that anymore. We need more English-speaking youths and more call centers. That is the enlightened path the Philippines should take in the 21st century. We should promote the country as a BPO haven so that it will be forever chained to the economies of the English-speaking world. Forget heavy industries and high local content manufacturing. BPO is the way to go!

Leader No. 3. Prospero Nograles

The Speaker. I almost broke my neck the other day nodding in agreement with Noggy’s proposal to remove the existing limitations on foreign ownership of land. This should have been proposed a long time ago. Come to think of it, why did we ever remove the rights of Spain or the United States to own vast tracts of lands in the Philippines? They should have been invited to stay to cultivate and develop the land for us. Bad Filipinos! Look at what you’ve done! Now, we have to lure back some foreigners again because we are hopeless without them.

Along with Noggy’s, the collective mindset of Leaders 1 and 2 is highly sound and ultra-clear. Actually, there is a mathematical formula for it. Here,

MORE Filipinos working abroad +
MORE English-speaking Filipinos +
MORE foreigners possessing Filipino land =

Very simple. That is not too difficult to comprehend isn’t it? Cool then! Now, let’s continue extolling Noggy’s virtues. On the issue of Charter change, he was quoted to say that, “Only members of Congress can vote on these measures and they may possibly be influenced by the public outcry. But the demonstrations on the streets and its leaders cannot vote for or against Cha-cha [Charter change]. It’s the vote of congressmen and senators that will count. Not the streets.”

Well said, Mr. Honorable Speaker! You are truly the SPEAKER of the people. Crush the puny minority! Majority wins! Authority rocks! The House of Representatives should not be bothered by anyone. Most especially, it should not care about the people who it should be “representing” in the first place.

Leader No. 4. Marianito Roque

The DOLE Head. He is my favorite Secretary in the executive branch because this guy thinks fast and has valuable foresight. Imagine, he was able to identify the Middle East as shock absorber for OFWs facing possible retrenchment. Not only that, he has also found Canada and Australia as promising OFW destinations despite the global financial crunch. He recently announced that Canada has issued 8,000 visas to Filipinos! Wow! I couldn’t count all of that using my fingers and toes! Well, need I say more about the brilliant secretary? He is a true marvel. I would be eternally indebted to Sec. Roque, if I were among the 8,000 selected to go to Canada. These Filipinos are so darn lucky because finally, they would be earning Canadian Dollars. More importantly, they would have better chances of acquiring Canadian citizenship, which would allow them to leave our sick and yucky country for good. Probably, take a relative or two with them at that. Why not? It is also a good way for the government to ease population stress in the country. Not to mention, these future ex-Filipinos would still probably remit money to the country anyway. That’s a win-win-win scenario isn’t it?




I am not really a big fan of political rallies but I went to some major ones when I felt that the need was pressing.  If I were already old enough to carry a placard in 1986, I would almost certainly be in the first EDSA crowd calling for Marcos to leave Malacañang. The last mass protest I’ve been to was when people clamored for Erap’s resignation in 2001. I was among the thousands gathered in front of the EDSA shrine when the military top brass lead by then AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Angelo Reyes defected to the side of the people calling for reform.

Tomorrow, a big rally against charter change or Cha-cha will be held in Metro Manila and in other parts of the country as well. If I were in the Philippines, I would probably join this one too. But sigh! I am trapped here in a foreign land (until my flight back home next week Yipeeeeee!), so I resort to blogging instead, to voice out. Thank you wordpress!

I believe the renewed calls for Cha-cha especially the proposal to extend the terms of all incumbents including the president is highly deceptive and ill-timed! Some politicians are using the global economic slump as an excuse for amending the constitution as if term-extension is the silver bullet versus this problem. On the contrary, shouldn’t they be blamed for not doing enough to buffer the struggling economy against further decline? In other countries, particularly in the United States where it all started, the incumbent leaders are being blamed for the financial crunch. I doubt that our current set of Philippine leaders is guiltless with respect to the harm that this crisis is bringing to our country! This gives us more reason to oppose any move that will cancel or postpone the general elections in 2010. We need fresh leadership. More importantly, we need a new president!

Speaking of president, I do not understand how and why pro-Cha-cha lawmakers think they could trick the Filipino people into believing that we need to extend President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s term given her tarnished resume. To illustrate: 1) PGMA won (many say she cheated Fernando Poe Jr.) with the narrowest of margins in the 2004 Presidential race. 2) PGMA’s term has been marred with controversy after controversy; from the “Hello Garci” scandal to the fertilizer fund scam to the ZTE-NBN deal. 3) PGMA has had four impeachment complaints to date. 4) PGMA’s cabinet, 10 of them, resigned en mass in 2005. Well, that tells a lot about her doesn’t it? 5) PGMA’s approval rating has been in the negative since 2005 making her the most unpopular president since Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. Translated, most Filipinos do not trust her anymore nowadays!

Seven plus two more years (until her presidency expires in 2010) under the Arroyo administration is enough for me. Adding a couple of years to that will be too much and will create further public outcry! I voted for PGMA in 2004 thinking that she is the “lesser evil” (I didn’t want FPJ to win).  However, if by some manipulative political design, legislators are able to push for Cha-cha and term extension, there will be no doubt in my mind that she is one of the “most evil” leaders our country has ever had.

If she would put an end to Cha-cha version 2008, PGMA should be allowed to finish her remaining years as president. I have not been too keen about impeachment claims filed against her because I think the most probable next-in-line replacements would just be the same banana. Then what? Impeach her successor as well? Impeachment proceedings just create political noise, which cause more harm than good to the country. It impedes growth, which in fairness to PGMA has been observed during her tenure, regardless of whether she was directly responsible for it or not. In the current context, it is a waste of time and resources. However, I believe that Cha-cha, if shoved down Filipino throats will galvanize mass action and bring the impeachment fight to the streets.

Don’t get me wrong. I am also pro-Cha-cha. I see the merits of revising the Constitution. I am pro-federalism, in fact. However, now is not the proper time for Charter change. We should wait until after the elections of 2010. Let us be vigilant and help ensure that the elections in that year will be clean and credible so as to avoid any legitimacy questions like that which hounded PGMA ever since she became head of state.



...sapagkat ang gobyerno natin ay may "cash cow mentality" pagdating sa mga Overseas Filipino Workers.

(Read On "Milking the Cash Cow")

...sapagkat ako ay isa ring OFW; may mithiin, marunong magisip at nagnanais marinig... Makabagong bayani daw... Sa totoo'y tampok na gatasan ng pamahalaan. (English)

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