PH, New Zealand landmark agreement to benefit OFWs

posted September 24, 2015 at 11:35 pm
by Boy P.

Kudos to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz who just works quietly without any fanfare—unlike some others who are big on motherhood statements and inviting media people to (contrived) activities and events to fool the public into thinking they are actually doing some work.

Just recently, the Philippines and New Zealand entered into an agreement that will benefit overseas contract workers and protect them from the clutches of human traffickers. Lengthily titled as the “Arrangement on the Principles and Controls on the Recruitment and Protection of Filipino Workers in New Zealand,” the agreement strongly enforces a no placement fee—that’s right, no placement fee —for OFWs to New Zealand. That should come as a big sigh of relief to many applicants especially those coming from the provinces who have to hock the cow, the farm and sometimes even the nipa hut just to pay for those onerous placement fees charged by recruiters. The agreement also calls for the prosecution of illegal recruiters and human traffickers for document fraud and other recruitment anomalies and violations—which should serve as a warning for those who are engaged in these unlawful activities.

According to Secretary Baldoz, both the Philippines and New Zealand are working together to eliminate high job placement and other recruitment-related charges, and more importantly, to zero-in on those who forge documents, conduct bogus trainings and falsify qualifications and credentials of applicants. An important aspect of the agreement—which has been hailed by OFW groups—is the provision to ensure that the job terms and conditions offered to OFWs in New Zealand are actually reflected (and followed).

We’ve heard so many stories about workers who are told that they would be hired for a certain job with certain benefits and wages – only to find out later that none of the conditions outlined in the employment contract are being followed and by then, it is too late because they have sold everything to pay for the recruitment fees, and many could not face the embarrassment of coming back home empty handed, the objet of pity and ridicule for having been duped by illegal recruiters. That is, if these OFWs have a choice at all to come home—since others are kept in the host country against their wishes.

VW chief resigns, to get $32-m retirement package

The emissions scandal that has rocked Volkswagen has resulted in a further drop in share prices and cost chief executive Martin Winterkorn his job because the guy has announced his resignation. In case you missed our previous article that came out on Sept. 22 (http://manilastandardtoday.com/2015/09/22/vw-caught-cheating-with-emissions-results/), the German car manufacturer has been caught lying and cheating about the low emissions test results of its supposedly “clean” vehicles.

According to reports, VW installed a software technology that could tell if the car is being tested for nitrogen oxide (nox) emissions through the movements of the pedal and the steering wheel, so the so-called “defeat device” that installed pollution control mechanisms get activated. The rest of the time ,however, the so-called clean cars are anything but—with nox emissions that go as high as 35 to 40 times over legal limits.

Accounts show that the big farce was discovered when this group called the International Council on Clean Transportation became curious after noticing a discrepancy on the tests and the real-road performance of the vehicles, so they collaborated with researches at a university—with shocking results.

Caught, VW is trying to come out clean, admitting that 11 million of these “clean” vehicles mostly sold in the US and Europe were fitted with the cheating device. The company, who lost one third of its market caps in the wake of the scandal—has also announced a freeze on US sales for the 2015 and 2016 “clean diesel” cars. Meantime, Winterkorn—who is known as the second highest paid CEO in Germany and has been defended by colleagues as “innocent” of the wrongdoing, will get a severance package of $32 million plus an additional perk of getting to ride in a company car—a clean diesel model?—during the time it takes for payout to be completed.  Someone if asking if that retirement package should be called “dirty money” – we leave you readers to decide.

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