Kapihan’ tackles Pinoy housing, labour issues
By: Michelle Fe Santiago
First posted in www.arabtimesonline.com
KUWAIT CITY, April 26: The Representative of the Home Mutual Development Fund (PAG-IBIG Fund) Mahmoud Khalil urged all Filipino workers in Kuwait to avail the benefits of being a PAG-IBIG member after the Philippine government has imposed the mandatory contribution to all OFWs across the globe. Khalil made this call on Friday during the “Kapihan sa Kuwait” talk show at the Carlton Tower Hotel in Kuwait City.
The Filipino Magazine (TFM) Music station’s Internet-based Filipino radio talk show ‘Kapihan sa Kuwait’ fifth live show hosted by Pastor Gil Bantugan, Hermy Gernale (TFM), Ben Garcia (Filipino Panorama Editor) and Maxxy Santiago (ABS-CBN Middle East Correspondent) tackled with Khalil the various benefits being offered by PAGIBIG Fund to its members and how to avail them. Joining the show were Philippine Labour Attache Atty Cesar Chavez Jr and newly posted Department of Social Welfare and Development Welfare Attache Annie Mendoza who discussed her tasks in looking after the welfare of OFWs especially those Household Service Workers (HSWs) who experienced various forms of abuses.
During the talk show, Khalil outlined that one of the mandates of PAGIBIG Fund is to reward the efforts of OFWs through an effective savings and home financing scheme. OFWs can avail, Housing Loan, Multi- Purpose Loan or Short Term Loan. “One of the mandates of PAG-IBIG Fund is to be of assistance to the public in providing cheap financing for their housing needs. PAG-IBIG accomplishes this by working in partnership with the local Real Estate Developers and arranging affordable loans to real estate buyers (PAG-IBIG members). An affordable loan means lower interest rate compared to the prevailing rate in the market and payable in longer terms” explained Khalil who was awarded as one of the top performers for successfully increasing the number of new PAGIBIG members in Kuwait from around 3,000 to over 70,000.
He added that there is a Calamity Loan for members affected by unforeseen calamity like flood, fire, volcanic eruption and other similar cases. There is also a Multi-purpose loan that one can use for whatever reasons: financing a micro-business or buying the latest appliance or gadgets. “To all those who are interested to know more of the PAG-IBIG benefits, please visit me in my office at the Philippine Overseas Labour Office,” he enthused. Meanwhile, the hosts welcomed Mendoza to the show and introduced her to the audience.
Mendoza was deployed to Kuwait by the DSWD last March to provide psychological support, counseling and stress debriefing to rape victims and victims of physical abuse and trauma. She is currently assigned at the Assistance to Nationals Unit (ATNU) at the Philippine Embassy. “I was sent here to lay down the groundwork in providing support to our distressed OFWs. I also do hospital and jail visitations. I also assist those abandoned Filipino kids or those born out of wedlock on how they can go home to the Philippines with the assistance of the embassy and he Kuwait government,” she pointed out. On the other hand, Chavez updated the attendees on the latest activities of the POLO-OWWA as he invited all the Filipino organisations to take part in the beach clean-up on May 2 to commemorate the Labour Day.
Those who are interested to take part in the beach clean-up may keep in touch with Oliver Diong of Club Ilonggo in Kuwait. During the intermission, talented Filipina singers Jennifer Uy, Shaima Khuraibet, Sara Al-Ameri, Najwa Marie Lacson, Sheila Manota and sisters Tanya and Fahreen Dawood entertained the audience with their bombastic song numbers. The Pobreng Rapper Group also performed the Kapihan sa Kuwait theme song to the delight of the audience. The talk show sponsored by Western Union, Aim Global, Ana Del Mundo of ADM International Manpower Services and Dolor Elenany of Al Alamia International Manpower Services was followed by an open forum wherein Chavez and Narvaez addressed all the issues raised by some of the attendees. The event was capped by a dinner buffet courtesy of Danny’s Pilipino Restaurant.
By: Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Times Staff