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Tag Archives: Susan Ople

Ople asks DoJ to withdraw complaint against OFW; says “tanim-bala” incidents have created climate of fear among OFWs

tanimbalaatetootsA Call for the Government to Withdraw the Criminal Charges against Nanay Gloria Ortinez, to Release her from Jail, to let her Leave and Work Abroad for her Family!

Ople asks DoJ to withdraw complaint against OFW;
says “tanim-bala” incidents have created climate of fear among OFWs

27 OCTOBER 2015 – OFW advocate Susan Ople urged the Department of Justice to immediately withdraw the case filed against overseas Filipino worker Gloria Ortinez for the illegal possession of ammunition that could lead to a twelve-year jail term for the 56-year old migrant worker.

Ople, a former labor undersecretary, said that the State should not be seen as inflicting its might and resources on a hapless overseas domestic worker who already spent two nights under detention for a crime that she did not commit.

“I join the call of millions of OFWs for the full liberty of Nanay Gloria, and for the State to allow her to leave for Hong Kong where her employer of 13 years awaits,” the labor advocate said.

This series of “tanim-bala” incidents has created a climate of fear among returning overseas workers. “Yung tanim-bala naging tanim-takot na,” Ople said, adding that the OFW sector is

Fighting age discrimination in the Philippines

Pass a law to ban age discrimination in the workplace.

By Susan Ople
First Posted in ArabNews

On Labor Day, the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, a non-government organization that I head, launched an online petition urging Congress to pass a law against age discrimination in the workplace. As I write this column, more than 200 petitioners have signed up in a span of two and a half days. An uphill battle is expected considering the divided attention of Congress amid corruption cases, a draft Bangsamoro Basic Law as well as the 2015 national budget.

Susan Ople: Filipino graduates face tough economy

Susan “Toots” Ople is the youngest daughter of the late Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas F. Ople. She has a Sunday column in Manila Bulletin’s Panorama Magazine and Tempo and two public service radio programs, “Bantay OFW” at DZXL RMN 558 every Monday to Friday, 12.30-2 pm and “Global Pinoy” at DWIZ 882 every Saturday from 5.30-6.30 pm.

Filipino graduates face tough economy
by: SUSAN V. OPLE
AS Published in Arabnews
Tuesday 8 April 2014

It is graduation season in the Philippines, and one can’t help but wax nostalgic about youthful indulgences and daydreams about making it to the top. Unlike Saudi nationals whose own government has made it a mission to “nationalize” the workplace, in the Philippines, the jobless compete not only with each other but also with those returning from abroad as well as hundreds of thousands of fresh graduates. Unfortunately, our society has an unspoken rule of favoring young applicants over the more experienced, but older ones. The Philippines has no law against age discrimination in the workplace. The economic burden has shifted to the shoulders of the youth.

I am sure that Filipinos in Saudi Arabia have their own stories to tell about sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, and even grandkids who are new graduates. One needs only to look at the timelines and newsfeeds on Facebook to see graduation pictures galore, with the parents standing right beside the latest star in the family. Why not? When our kids graduate, we, too, get an invisible diploma for a job well done, as parents.

Susan Ople: After the hoopla, the hard work begins

Susan “Toots” Ople is the youngest daughter of the late Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas F. Ople. She has a Sunday column in Manila Bulletin’s Panorama Magazine and Tempo and two public service radio programs, “Bantay OFW” at DZXL RMN 558 every Monday to Friday, 12.30-2 pm and “Global Pinoy” at DWIZ 882 every Saturday from 5.30-6.30 pm.

After the hoopla, the hard work begins
Susan V. Ople
Published in Arabnews — Tuesday 1 April 2014

There is absolutely no doubt that the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was a historic milestone, not just for the Philippines, but also for Southeast Asia, if not the world.

It took 17 years of on-again and off-again talks for a final peace agreement between the two parties to be signed, and so the hoopla that greeted the formal signing ceremony at the Palace grounds was justified, and expected.

What happens next? The Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) chaired by MILF leader and chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal is expected to submit the formal draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law to President Aquino this week.
Within the BTC, the government representatives are actually the minority, with seven designated members compared to the eight members handpicked by the MILF. The BTC is a government body that operates on a regular budget subject to the usual liquidation procedures. One can say that the BTC is the MILF’s first taste of actual governance, under the “daang matuwid” (straight path) leadership approach of the president.

Susan Ople: Art of ‘errorism’

Susan “Toots” Ople is the youngest daughter of the late Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas F. Ople. She has a Sunday column in Manila Bulletin’s Panorama Magazine and Tempo and two public service radio programs, “Bantay OFW” at DZXL RMN 558 every Monday to Friday, 12.30-2 pm and “Global Pinoy” at DWIZ 882 every Saturday from 5.30-6.30 pm.

Art of ‘errorism’
by Susan Ople
First posted in susanople.com

A world-class performer cannot help but wince when someone sings out of tune. Athletes frown at an extra slice of pizza and a chocolate bar that mere mortals devour unburdened by the thought of calorie count and body fat. Writers have their own pet peeves — the dreaded typo errors, letters missing or added, that lead readers astray and authors embarrassed.

On Facebook, a friend of mine wrote about a man who killed his wife because of a dreaded typo. The man’s neighbor and good friend texted him to say: “I am deeply sorry for using your wife without permission. Mine wasn’t available so I had to use yours, but it was only for a brief moment. It won’t happen again.”

Susan Ople: Life in Basilan

Susan “Toots” Ople is the youngest daughter of the late Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas F. Ople. She has a Sunday column in Manila Bulletin’s Panorama Magazine and Tempo and two public service radio programs, “Bantay OFW” at DZXL RMN 558 every Monday to Friday, 12.30-2 pm and “Global Pinoy” at DWIZ 882 every Saturday from 5.30-6.30 pm.

Life in Basilan
by Susan Ople
First posted in susanople.com

I read a news story about South Sudan. Warring political factions have resorted to excessive violence, sparing no one even those in the intensive critical unit of a hospital. They shot hospital patients dead and even razed an entire hospital to the ground. It was brutal, the doctors who were on duty, said.

Stories such as these should serve as a reminder on how fortunate we Filipinos are. While peace and order remains a major concern, we are still able to freely go around and stay out late, as long as we know how to take care of ourselves.

This has not always been the case for Nurkisa Alidain, a resident of Lamitan, Basilan. Fifty-year old Nur works as assistant to the provincial administrator in the provincial capitol. I met Nur during a summit of civil society organizations on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and its Annexes held in Davao City.

Susan Ople: Who says all diplomats are gentlemen?

Susan “Toots” Ople is the youngest daughter of the late Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas F. Ople. She has a Sunday column in Manila Bulletin’s Panorama Magazine and Tempo and two public service radio programs, “Bantay OFW” at DZXL RMN 558 every Monday to Friday, 12.30-2 pm and “Global Pinoy” at DWIZ 882 every Saturday from 5.30-6.30 pm.

Who says all diplomats are gentlemen?
by Susan Ople
First posted in arabnews.com

IT is assumed that diplomats behave like perfect gentlemen and gentlewomen, using wit and humor to make their guests feel at home, and comporting themselves with grace and dignity at all times.

Among peers, that is what most diplomats would appear to be. A true test of a diplomat is when the doors are closed and he has a domestic worker in front of him. All the academic credentials, framed diplomas on the wall, and years of service in government will pale in comparison to that momentary test of character: How does a seasoned diplomat deal with a simple, humble domestic worker?

The House of Representatives is looking into this matter because of formal complaints filed against some Filipino diplomats in the Middle East for their alleged involvement in human trafficking of household service workers. A Kuwait Anti-Trafficking Task Force headed by State Prosecutor Darlene Pajarito was formed by the Department of Justice primarily to look into these complaints.

Moro leaders must unite for peace – Susan Ople

Susan “Toots” Ople is the youngest daughter of the late Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas F. Ople. She has a Sunday column in Manila Bulletin’s Panorama Magazine and Tempo and two public service radio programs, “Bantay OFW” at DZXL RMN 558 every Monday to Friday, 12.30-2 pm and “Global Pinoy” at DWIZ 882 every Saturday from 5.30-6.30 pm.

Moro leaders must unite for peace
by Susan Ople

Do you see a glass half-full or half-empty? For the peace talks in Mindanao, a lot depends on whose table that glass happens to be. If you talk to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), the peace agreement between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine government (GPH) is a prescription to war in Mindanao. A faction of the Moro National Liberation Front that identified with Chairman Nur Misuari has found common cause with the BIFF and has called for “Kosovo-style” of democratic assemblies against the latest peace pact.

Peace is not without its “enemies” because its virtues have recently been closely associated with the MILF, an 11,000-strong rebel group in Mindanao that has successfully concluded what shall soon be known as a comprehensive agreement on the Bangsamoro. MILF chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal has repeatedly said that it was only by accident that he headed the panel. The peace agreements that have been signed with the Philippine government are for the benefit of all stakeholders in the Bangsamoro, Iqbal said.

Susan Ople: 1536

Susan “Toots” Ople is the youngest daughter of the late Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas F. Ople. She has a Sunday column in Manila Bulletin’s Panorama Magazine and Tempo and two public service radio programs, “Bantay OFW” at DZXL RMN 558 every Monday to Friday, 12.30-2 pm and “Global Pinoy” at DWIZ 882 every Saturday from 5.30-6.30 pm.

1536
by Susan Ople
First posted in susanople.com

EFFECTIVE January 1, 2014, the monthly PhilHealth contributions of members with the lowest salaries was doubled to P200, with the additional Php100 contribution to be shouldered equally by the worker and his or her employer. In the case of overseas Filipino workers, this adjustment translates into a P2,400 annual contribution compared to last year’s P1,200 annual rate.

PhilHealth Circular No. 0025 s. 2013 issued in October 2013 provides for two payment options for OFWs set to leave this year:

Pay the P2,400 annual contributions in one sweep at all PhilHealth accredited collection agencies including the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and accredited recruitment agencies; or,
Pay P1,600 valid for six months premium with an understanding that the contributions for the succeeding six months will be settled within six months after the expiration of the initial coverage in order for the OFW to enjoy full benefits of the program.

Susan V. Ople: Controversy brews over PhilHealth premiums

Susan “Toots” Ople is the youngest daughter of the late Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas F. Ople. She has a Sunday column in Manila Bulletin’s Panorama Magazine and Tempo and two public service radio programs, “Bantay OFW” at DZXL RMN 558 every Monday to Friday, 12.30-2 pm and “Global Pinoy” at DWIZ 882 every Saturday from 5.30-6.30 pm.

Controversy brews over PhilHealth premiums
by Susan Ople
First posted in Arabnews.com

Appeals from various overseas Filipino community groups for the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to reconsider its premium adjustments will likely fall on deaf ears now that the Office of the President has publicly declared support for the new rates.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said in his weekly media briefing aired over state-run Radyo ng Bayan that the Palace has no intention to stop the increases, citing the need to sustain the government’s social protection program.

Effective Jan. 1, 2014, the monthly PhilHealth contributions of members with the lowest salaries was doubled to 200 pesos, with the additional 100 pesos contribution to be shouldered equally by the worker and his or her employer. In the case of overseas Filipino workers, this adjustment translates into a 2,400 pesos annual contribution compared to last year’s 1,200 pesos annual rate.

Susan Ople: Time to review Philippine overseas employment program

Time to review Philippine overseas employment program
by Susan Ople
First posted in arabnews.com

The Philippine overseas employment program requires a holistic review in light of emerging realities on the migration front. Online recruitment websites connect employers and job applicants worldwide. Popular social media sites like LinkedIn enable companies and international organizations to spot talent with a click of the mouse. Interviews are done via Skype. Budget flights make it easier to fly talents from where they are to places where they are needed.

When should a complete review of the Philippine overseas employment program take place? Next year, would be apt. A series of dialogues and roundtable discussions on how to improve the program can be conducted prior to the 40th anniversary of the overseas employment program on May 1, 2014.

Susan Ople: Mindanao peace pact is a breath of fresh air

Susan “Toots” Ople is the youngest daughter of the late Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas F. Ople. She has a Sunday column in Manila Bulletin’s Panorama Magazine and Tempo and two public service radio programs, “Bantay OFW” at DZXL RMN 558 every Monday to Friday, 12.30-2 pm and “Global Pinoy” at DWIZ 882 every Saturday from 5.30-6.30 pm.

Mindanao peace pact is a breath of fresh air
by Susan Ople
First Posted in Arabnews.com

The timing couldn’t have been better. Coming at the heels of massive destruction caused by super typhoon Haiyan (“Yolanda”), the Philippines is in dire need of good news. That such news springs from a region known for decades of war and conflict sharpens the message of peace, with a historic texture unique to the people of Mindanao.

Last Sunday evening, the Philippine government peace panel (GPH) led by Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) negotiating panel led by Chair Mohagher Iqbal, signed a third annex to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This annex provides for the division of powers between the central or national government and the Bangsamoro government. This leaves the signing of a fourth annex on normalization and an addendum agreement on Bangsamoro Waters as the final steps toward a comprehensive peace pact for Mindanao.

Susan Ople: OFWs face new chapters in life

OFWs face new chapters in life
by Susan Ople
First posted in Arabnews

Filipino worker Reynaldo Esmero Reposar, 71, walked the length of a dimly lighted street in Marikina City, trying to identify which house was his. His confusion was understandable. The elderly gentleman had not seen his family in more than 10 years. He arrived in the Philippines on Nov. 6 as part of the first batch of workers repatriated from Saudi Arabia as an offshoot of the Kingdom’s ongoing Saudization program. His wife couldn’t leave the house to fetch him at the airport due to her own fragile health. This writer brought Tatay Rene home, and ended walking up and down the street until he could pinpoint where exactly his house was.

Susan Ople: Homecomings

Sen. Villar listens to Diego Mag-atas Sr.

Homecomings
by Susan Ople
First posted in SusanOple.com

Sen. Cynthia Villar listens as OFW Diego Mag-atas, Sr. shares his stories about life in Saudi Arabia. The 53-year old worker suffers from a rare spinal ailment, and will receive free medical services courtesy of the Villar Foundation.

Sen. Cynthia Villar listens as OFW Diego Mag-atas, Sr. shares his stories about life in Saudi Arabia. The 53-year old worker suffers from a rare spinal ailment, and will receive free medical services courtesy of the Villar Foundation.

Susan V. Ople: Pacquiao brings hope to Filipinos

Susan “Toots” Ople is the youngest daughter of the late Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas F. Ople. She has a Sunday column in Manila Bulletin’s Panorama Magazine and Tempo and two public service radio programs, “Bantay OFW” at DZXL RMN 558 every Monday to Friday, 12.30-2 pm and “Global Pinoy” at DWIZ 882 every Saturday from 5.30-6.30 pm.

Pacquiao brings hope to Filipinos
by Susan Ople
First posted in susanople.com

The streets of Metro Manila were eerily quiet like they would be at midnight. Millions of Filipinos were glued to their radio sets while the luckier ones watched the boxing fight live via pay-per-view cable TV in restaurants, stadiums, movie houses, and yes, public plazas where even typhoon victims in the Visayas region gathered to watch.

Filipino boxing champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao entered the Cotai Arena of the Venetian Casino in Macau under the most extraordinary circumstances. Thousands of typhoon victims in Eastern Visayas knew about his fight, and were banking on his victory. Homeless, penniless, and in various stages of mourning, these victims see hope in boxing gloves worn by someone familiar, someone who made it to the top despite all adversities. The fight between Pacquiao and Mexican boxer Brandon Rios was more than just a boxing match. It was a metaphor for their lives.

Susan V. Ople: Resilient Filipinos thank the world

Resilient Filipinos thank the world
By Susan Ople
First posted in Arabnews

Hope springs among the ruins as helping hands reach out across the world to send help to victims of super Typhoon Haiyan. Today, foreign aid for typhoon victims has reached $271 million. In Saudi Arabia, diplomatic officials and Filipino nationals welcomed news about the Saudi king’s donation to typhoon victims with profound appreciation.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has ordered the donation of SR37.5 million ($10m) to typhoon victims. According to the official government website, the Department of Social Welfare and Development would be the conduit for this donation. These funds will go a long way in keeping several evacuation centers running, while making sure that child victims and the elderly get the care that they deserve.