Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Statement from PM

We are featuring today a relevant statement from Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) labor party. We are part of the larger sector of migrant workers and the exploitation we experience here by our placement agency are part of a bigger issue on the protection of migrant workers' rights and the promotion of migrant workers' welfare.

We are dubbed as "Mga Bagong Bayani" ("New Heroes") for our remittances keep the Philippine economy afloat and our sacrifices result to our financially stable families. The sad reality however is that we are left powerless and vulnerable to abusive and greedy agencies like PARS International Placement and Universal Placement International.

It is true that we are not the only ones experiencing these horrible stories. News abound about migrant Filipino workers worldwide who are abused and oppressed in different ways. But that is not a reason for us to simply sit down and accept our fate as natural victims. Moreso, this should be a motivation for us to pursue our struggle to end the injustices perpetuated by PARS-Universal particularly that of its owner, Lourdes Navarro, as this will be our big contribution to the common cause of migrant workers in general.



Partido ng Manggagawa
Statement
October 2008

For a paradigm shift away from labor export to domestic employment
For a global movement of workers to protect migrant rights and welfare


A funny thing happened on the way to the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). While the excesses and essence of globalization has been exposed with the unraveling of the financial meltdown and economic recession in the US that threatens to go global, the framework of the GFMD remains firmly in the grip of the neoliberal agenda.

The Partido ng Manggagawa (Labor Party) as the independent political party of the working class in the Philippines, oppose the GFMD for its framework on migrant workers is “economic development” not human rights. Behind its stated goals of “maximizing remittances and the benefits of migration” is the opportunist attitude that migrant workers are commodities for sale not humans with rights. Among its participants is a preponderance of big businesses with interests in the remittances of migrant workers.

Just last week a Filipino worker in Saudi Arabia was killed by beheading while another Filipino migrant is scheduled for a similar fate in the coming days. What can the GFMD do to save migrants workers? The main problem it is trying to solve is how to profit from remittances not how to protect migrants.

It is not an exaggeration to say that labor migration today is the modern-day form of slavery. Five hundred years ago the age of mercantilism saw the heyday in the trade of human slaves. In the era of globalization, millions of workers cross borders in search of greener pastures or simply to survive in the face of joblessness and destitution in their home countries.

The pull of a substantial wage differential between the sending and receiving country is enough incentive for massive labor migration. That has of course resulted in significant transfers of wealth and token alleviation of poverty in the home countries. Yet the fact that millions of migrants are involved and the reality of lack of protection for basic worker rights and respect for labor standards results in so many victims of abuse.

In the Philippines, no reliable data exists but it is common knowledge that migrant workers fall prey to excessive fees from labor contractors and employment agencies. Once abroad, many are underpaid or not paid their salaries at all. Some are forced to work 50 to 80 hour workweeks and usually without overtime pay. There are many abusive employers and some labor under unsafe conditions. Contracts are breached and migrant workers are without recourse for redress. In the worst cases, workers end up as bonded labor or sex slaves, if not incarcerated despite being innocent or dying in unsolved murders.

In many receiving countries, basic labor rights and standards are not respected and implemented. Even in advanced countries where there are formal guarantees of workers rights, baiting of immigrants and restrictive immigration policies lead to the proliferation of so-called illegals. As illegal immigrants, they are without the protection of the law and thus easily victimized. Moreover they are hunted by the governments of host countries and if caught deported back home with their dreams broken.

It is a glaring contradiction that in the era of globalization, goods, capital and information flow freely across the world and yet the free movement of labor is restricted. Trade in goods and capital flows are fully liberalized through multilateral agreements but labor migration is highly regulated through unilateral actions. This is one fundamental aspect of the grave inequalities and double standards under globalization.

Fact is neoliberal capitalist globalization is the key link in the flood of labor migration in recent times. There are an estimated 150 million migrants and immigrants around the world. Meaning 2.5% of the global population had to cross borders and oceans just to find their daily bread. In 2005, their combined remittances amount to $167 billion and could reach up to a quarter billion if those sent through informal means are counted.

Around 10% of Filipinos, almost 9 million out of a population of 80 million, are living or working abroad. Undocumented migrants and immigrants will bloat this figure further. About half are contractual workers, now called overseas Filipino workers (OFW’s), principally found in Saudi Arabia, Japan, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates and Taiwan. The other half has emigrated mainly to advanced countries like the US, Canada, Australia, Japan and the UK. In some families, there are already two generations of migrant workers with the next on the path of becoming the new batch of OFW’s.

More than $14 billion in remittances were sent to the Philippines in 2007 alone or above $1 billion per month. The figure would rise by an estimated 50% if money sent through informal channels were included. Just the official figure of $14 billion in remittances already constitutes 10% of GNP. That amount exceeds both official development aid and foreign direct investments received by the Philippines. Without the influx of dollar remittances, the country’s current account would be negative.

The growth of remittances has been explosive, commensurate to the number of migrants and immigrants. Back in 1993, about half a million OFW’s were deployed while the remittances were worth just $2.5 billion. Yet even then this was considerable since it already equalled half of the foreign debt service.

The Philippine government actively promotes labor migration. In fact, the export of labor is part of the yearly target for employment creation. About a million migrant workers are deployed yearly. Everyday almost 3,000 Filipinos leave to work abroad.

The number of women migrant workers has been increasing and in 2007 they constitute half of new hires. Many are domestic helpers like in Hong Kong, entertainers like in Japan, and nurses like in the US. The feminization of labor migration and the lack of protection for migrant workers have led to rising cases of abuse, harassment and rape.

While the pull factor in labor migration is mainly the wage differential—a fact that exists even before globalization—the push factor is principally the deepening poverty and worsening unemployment brought about by near universal enforcement of neoliberal policies worldwide. The policies of liberalization, deregulation and privatization have led to the collapse of local industry and agriculture. Together with policies of cheap labor, labor flexibility and others associated with globalization, workers are encouraged if not forced to look for work abroad despite all the dangers, hardships and costs.

Still labor migration is a right that workers must enjoy in a globalized world. Even more than goods and capital, labor must be able to move freely across the world. Labor must be mobile in order to seek better wages and working conditions.

We insist on internationally enforceable rights and standards for all migrant workers. All internationally recognized basic labor rights and standards—as enshrined in the ILO conventions including the right to organize, bargain and strike—must be extended to all migrant workers wherever is their host country. The freedom to migrate should be a guaranteed right and discriminatory immigration polices must be cease.

A key element of the promotion of migrant workers rights and welfare worldwide is the establishment of a global movement of workers and global unions that transcend borders, race, gender and nationality. This is the challenge that the international labor movement must face squarely.

We call for an end to the promotion of overseas employment. The decades-long policy of labor export has not redounded to national development and instead has resulted in grave social costs and has exacerbated the collapse of local industry and agriculture. As a means of job generation, it has become a sorry excuse for government to abandon the goals of full employment and local industrialization.

We demand a stop to the deregulation of labor export. While government has promoted labor export, it has left migrant workers at the mercy of the scams of private manpower agencies and the whims of host country regimes. The exploitation for profit of labor export and the train of abuses it necessary entail must halt.

Decades of promoting overseas employment has not led to social progress in the Philippines and other labor-exporting countries. In fact from a long-term perspective, the social costs and the brain drain may offset whatever economic benefits accrue from labor migration.

The policy of labor export promotion must be reversed and instead governments must ensure full employment in their countries. Such a policy change can only be realized as part of a paradigm shift away from neoliberal capitalist globalization. Without falling into the trap of autarky, the domestic economy must be strengthened so that local industry and agriculture can generate decent jobs and a living wage for all the people.

18 comments:

  1. Amen! Mga bagong bayani kumilos na! Ipakita nga natin ang tunay na dugong Pilipino - matapang, matalino at handang kumilos para sa kapakanan ng nakararami.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I support the fight of FILIPINO TEACHERS in Louisiana, USA. PARS must wake up and help this TEACHERS. Return to this Teachers the overcollected fees. MA-AWA na kyo.TO THE FILIPINO TEACHERS KEEP GOING AND CONTINUE YOUR FIGHT WITH PARS. WE pray for all your success. MABUHAY KAYO!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am also a would be applicant to PARS and perhaps I meet some of this FILIPINO Teachers who was deployed last AUGUST 2008. I extend my wholehearted support to them. For the mean time enjoy your stay in the USA and PLEASE SAY A LOT OF PRAYERS

    ReplyDelete
  4. My Simple Advise to Lulu Navaro from Backdoor Viewer:

    Lulu, alam ko na hindi rin happy si Mel sa mga nangyayari. Si Mel ay mas humane yan kaysa sa iyo. Simple lang ang gawin mo Lulu para naman matigil na itong mga hinanakit ng mga guro.

    1. Huwag mo na silang takotin pa.

    2. Hayaan mo silang mag decide kung aling apartment sila titira. kung gusto naman nila manatili dyan sa Savoy ay decision na nila.

    3. Kahit hindi mo aminin, talaga naman kasing shady ang pagcollect ng bayad sa apartment. Kasi ang regular charging ay 800+++ at ang singil sa mga guro ay 1240 dollars per apartment. Syimpre kitang kita ng mga guro ang pamemera mo sa kanila. Ewan ko kung alam ba ito ni Mel ng Pars.

    4. At yong sobrang binayad nila, dapat klarong klaro sana sa kanila kung ano ang mangyayari doon. The best thing nga ay isauli mo. Hindi mo ba naisip na mahihirap lang sila at lalo pang naghihirap ngayon dahil sa iyo. Matindi ang karma nyan Lulu.

    5. At isa pa, mga guro naman itong biniktima mo. Nag-iisip din sila. Kaya lang sinamantala mo yata ang takot na nasa loob-loob nga karamihan sa kanila. Huwag mo na kasi silang takutin kasi mas lalo silang mag-iipon ng lakas loob at mas lalong dadami ang magbibigay sa kanila ng simpatiya... kagaya ko.

    6. Sa tingin ko dito, ang mali mo lang ay na sobrahan mo lang talaga ang pangungupit sa kanila. Sana sinabihan mo na lang sila nito "O, sige ha, nandito na kayo so kaya nyo na ito. Kayo na ang bahala. Itong Savoy ay ang ma i recommend ko na tirahan ninyo ngunit kung sino man yong gustong lumipat sa ibang tirahan ay magsabi lang at tingnan natin ano ang safe at pwede sa inyo." Ang ginawa mo kasi Lulu ay napaka obvious na may cut ka nga sa apartment. At hindi mo pa na bigyan ng tamang briefing ang Savor Office kung sakaling may guro na magtanong. Alam mo ba na ang sabi lang ng Savoy sa kanila ay "There is special arrangment." Naku, e di sino bang teacher ang hindi mag doubt sa inyo.

    7. Kung ako sa iyo,kasi ito ha nasa Inquirer at ABS CBN na,lalaki pa ito at makabangga mo pa ay government na...isauli mo na lang pera nila. Or choice mo, hintayin mo ma kaladkad ang lahat ng baho mo, makikita tuloy doon na tax evader ka both in Philippines and America for not issuing receipts. Hala lagot ka, government na naman ang kalaban mo. Ipatrace kaya yong mga loans ng teachers at saan binayad... ipatrace kaya yong BDO deposits nila... lahat yon may record so malaki ang sasagutin mo.

    8. At yong mga gurong hindi masyadong maganda ang evaluation sa performance, huwag mo na imanipulate. Dinadagdagan mo pa ang stress nila. Baka gamitin mo naman silang front liners mo. Malay ko, baka gawin mo silang false witnesses kasi kaya mo silang i manipulate sa ngayon e dahil tinakot mo na pala silang pauwiin sa Pilipinas. Alam mo ang dapat mong ginawa sana... pinakiusapan mo na ang EBR at sinabi mo na lang sana na bigyan sila ng chance kasi naman one year naman yong contracts nila... baka makayanan pa nilang i improve yung mga performances nila.

    9. Tingin ko naman kasi sa yo pera lang talaga ang goal mo sa buhay. Hindi naman sa lahat ng panahon pera at pera lang tayo. Alam mo ba kung ano ang wisdom na inabot ng mga guro kung bakit one year lang ang VISA nila from your agency whereas sa Healthquest ay 3 Years... "Alam na nila na Modus Operandi mo yan para magkapera ka ng magkapera mula sa kanila every year kasi renew sila ng renew at ikaw collect ng collect." Alam mo silent lang sana ako dito pero talaga sa tingin ko napakaobvious naman kasi ng mga ginagawa mo na pang aabuso.

    10. Huwag na huwag kang magkamaling gawing false witnesses yung 15 teachers in your favor kasi, mas lalaki ang kaso mo. Madagdagan pa yan ng iba pang uri ng crime.

    Sana naman ma advise ka ni Mel. Si Mel siguro mas may puso kaysa sayo. Kaya lang pati si Mel, madadamay yata dito sa mga ginagawa mo.

    Ako naman, Backdoor Viewer lang. Nag e express lang din ako ng wisdom na naabot ko so sana huwag kang magalit sa akin ha. Instead, pakinggan mo payo ko para yung mga teachers na victim mo ay may matira pang awa para sa iyo.

    Hindi na kasi pera ang katapat mo dito, dapat kasi Konsensya mo na sana. Ewan ko kung meron ka pa nyan pero alam mo Lulu, naniniwala pa rin ako na kahit kahayupan yung ginawa mo, may natira ka pa sigurong konting bait.

    Sana makinig ka.

    ReplyDelete
  5. my advise is to write your blog comments in English because many local Baton Rouge persons are already monitoring this blog.

    ReplyDelete
  6. From my perspective, teachers here are also trying to manipulate people who are for people because they just want money too... hahaha...
    in the first place,you should not have signed
    the contract if you did not understand it..
    hahaha...

    ReplyDelete
  7. concerned citizen --sbNovember 26, 2008 at 2:40 PM

    "From my perspective, teachers here are also trying to manipulate people who are for people because they just want money too... hahaha...
    in the first place,you should not have signed
    the contract if you did not understand it..
    hahaha..."

    Response: It is not the case of signing or not signing. The teachers were already taken advantage under distress. Wanting to go to the US
    for a better life is the main driving force.
    The teachers know that will pay the amount provided by the Philippine law then suddenly at the last moment they are charged exorbitant fees. What would you do? Not because you acquiesce to a contract by signing, you can not change your mind, Have you ever thought of money back guarantee? Yes, it is included in the law if you ever read it. Not because you signed a contract and you found out later that it is unlawful, will you follow it? Yes, there is law, court and judge to rule over the contract. Not because you signed a contract to be a prostitute, you will do it. Prostitution is illegal therefore the contract is invalid.

    So you see, it is not a matter of signing or not signing. I guess your knowledge of the law is shallow. Contracts can be invalidated.
    Just keep reading and you will learn more.

    Here is an article about contract.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contract

    ReplyDelete
  8. concerned citizen --sbNovember 26, 2008 at 4:33 PM

    Just in case..regarding libel, defamation or slander.

    These are the defenses against libel, defamation or slander.

    1. Telling the truth. The statement is factual based on your experience or encounters. This must be proven false to be defamatory or slanderous/libel.

    2. "Statements made in a good faith and reasonable belief that they were true are generally treated the same as true statements"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation#Other_defences)

    3. "Opinion is a defense recognized in nearly every jurisdiction. If the allegedly defamatory assertion is an expression of opinion rather than a statement of fact, defamation claims usually cannot be brought because opinions are inherently not falsifiable."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation#Other_defences

    4. "Claimant is incapable of further defamation–e.g., the claimant's position in the community is so poor that defamation could not do further damage to the plaintiff. Such a claimant could be said to be "libel-proof," since in most jurisdictions, actual damage is an essential element for a libel claim. Essentially, the defense is that the person has a bad reputation before the libel, hence there was no further damages by the statement."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation#Other_defences

    ReplyDelete
  9. concerned citizen --sbNovember 26, 2008 at 4:55 PM

    Another defense against libel lawsuit.

    Linking articles already published online is
    protected by Communications Decency Act of 1996.
    Read on.

    Monday, November 20, 2006
    Calif. Court Issues Broad Libel Protection
    The California Supreme Court today issue a decision affirming sweeping protection against online defamation under the Communications Decency Act of 1996. In today's decision, Barrett v. Rosenthal, the court said that the common law distinction between "publishers" and "distributors" makes no difference under the CDA -- both have broad immunity against liability for defamatory materials published online. The court further held that the CDA protects providers and users of online computer services equally, without regard to whether the user is "active" or "passive."

    from the site,
    http://www.legaline.com/2006/11/calif-court-issues-broad-libel.html

    ReplyDelete
  10. You are right concerned citizen sb.Thanks for giving a factual informations.It is a big help for the teachers so that they will know thier rights and know where they stand...you are a person with a sharp wisdom..please keep on monitoring..keep it up

    ReplyDelete
  11. sharp wisdom? yet you don't see the domino effect it will cause from it? na baka ma black list na ang mga teachers natin abroad? can't you solve this problem discreetly by facing the person involved directly? or KSP lang talaga kayo...

    ReplyDelete
  12. there were lots of attempts and initiatives already, individual and by group, but all failed because of lulu's way of stooping the issue --- by intimidation and threat which dampen the teachers' spirits. so facing her is obviously useless.

    i dont also believe that the rest of the filipino teachers will be blacklisted. first de facto,u.s needs highly qualified teachers and we can cater to such need. secondly, there were experiences before that only the erring agency is dropped in the picture of recruitment and placement of teachers.

    teachers need to enjoy the beauty of democracy ... the beauty of america... and that is we have choices.

    the choice is clear...to remain or not in the claws of lulu?

    as said, we have a choice.

    ReplyDelete
  13. lourdes has been convicted of fraud and shady business practices before. and she is doing it again in a different style. if you will not pursue your legal actions, she is going to this again ang again. she is a professional thief. she is robbing you right before your eyes.
    please know that we are here to give our moral support.

    ReplyDelete
  14. reading all the comments here made me conclude that you guys out there are divided! YOU NEVER LEARN FROM HISTORY'S LESSON! (That is the only lesson from HISTORY anyway. Aguinaldo was captured because of a fellow Filipino. Bonifacio was executed because of a fellow Filipino! Heto na naman naglaban laban na naman. I know those who are pro LULU are not happy about you....TAKE ACTION NOW, No matter what!
    1. STAND TO YOUR GROUND. Any contract has certain conditions, once a single provision is violated, YOU CAN BREAK A CONTRACT. AS A PROTEST, IF YOU FEEL YOU WERE CHEATED IN THE APARTMENT, THEN GET OUT FROM THERE, NOT LATER, NOT TOMORROW, NEXT WEEK OR NEXT MONTH....BUT NOW!
    2. Check the number of occupants prescribed for an appartment, if it is only good for 2 persons with a prescribed rent, then additional payment for co-boarders (lodgers). You have to be conscious of these, whatever happens, THE REGISTERED RENTER will be the ONLY one to receive FULL benefits from the government in cases of fire and other natural calamities. TECHNICALLY, it is against the housing law to crowd in an abode. So an apartment is only a two bedroom, there should be to the most 4 people leaving there....If you crowd in there, then it is the prerogative of the owner, (RISK) and that is why they will collect some amounts on the top of the normal rent. (I have never been Louisiana renting....What is the situation there?
    3. DO MASS ACTION, THE LONGER YOU STAY THERE, THE MORE YOU ARE TORTURING YOURSELF.

    ALL the best! Huwag na kayong maniwala sa Labor Unions! History will tell us that only the leaders and those who are on top positions are benefited. (I am sorry, I am speaking from my experience ...I hope you a different on, but mine was terrible.)

    YOU ARE NOW IN AMERICA...THIS IS THE PLACE WHERE YOU CAN REALLY ADVANCE AS A PERSON, AS AN INDIVIDUAL!

    PACK UP! MOVE OUT! STAND UP!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have been reading this blog for the past days. I am one of the teachers being deployed to the US by the Universal Placement and the Pars Placement. Yes, it is true that the first few years are extremely challenging but I will become smooth in years to come.
    We, teachers have arrived in the US with H1-B visa, meaning our stay is only temporary unless we will be petitioned by our employer to live and work permanently. We might lose our job any moment (I hope not). No one is ever sure who will have his job tomorrow. Some brag that we are competent teachers that the school districts will not give us up. Very funny and assuming!!! I thought it was rather a boast in its greatest sense. We are not citizens of the United States. We are petitioned only to fill in the gap on teacher shortage. Now that recession has been gobbling the country, many citizens have been interested in the job. I have a lot of friends employed in teaching and non-teaching jobs who are also in the brink of losing their jobs. Remember guys, that frugality is the name of the game in the US nowadays. Also remember, the doctrine FIRST-IN -FIRST OUT. It is already happening in California.
    Guys, it is good to have Filipino values and maintain them. However, such values might not work here in the US. We are here to solve employers’ problems and not the other way around. I thought it would be good to view the situations with a positive and hopeful perspective. Let us face our situation with grace and with a marked degree of professionalism. People who live in gossip, complaints and animosity will not see the beauty of life being intertwined with challenges. People want instant comfort. That might not happen here in an instant. It takes a great deal of perseverance and positive outlook in life. Many Filipino in the US started with a lot worse situation than we have now. Years of perseverance and patience, they reaped their success in the end.
    I remember the times when we lined up in the Philippines for interview for US teaching jobs. We were extremely nice. We signed the contract calmly. We knew it would cost us something. We knew what we would have to do the following year. Now, that the contract is in its execution, many of us are revolting. Why did we sign the contract in the first place? I assume that the contract is not the reason for your revolt; it is rather your loan in the Philippines and your personal obligation to your family. Do not attribute your financial difficulty to Universal Placement. Your financial difficulty is a product of your own decision. You did whatever had to be done. There are consequences in your own action.
    I am sure if it the agency were owned by Americans, we will not react the same way we react now. Because the agency is owned by a former Filipino citizen, you thought that Filipino values including an act of charity and benevolence should be in the picture. Business is business. I hope we know that. Contract is contract. It is a mutual agreement.
    I am very thankful to Lulu Navarro. I arrived in the US without a family and friends to start with. She found me a place to stay. It is not her job to look for housing but she did it because she knows that it is hard for us to find a place and have access to transportation initially. She is not a housing agency but she is going out of her way for us to continue with our life. It is challenging yes. Please forget about instant comfort as we are in an entirely new environment.
    Whether or not housing is good, what matters is we are housed. It is a lot better than looking for apartments or houses ourselves. I am sure we cannot find one as we did not have our SS number and credit history to start with. Did we have money to pay upfront for deposits and similar charges? Lulu did this for all of us. Some people are just inherently negative. All they want is to take and take and not give or share. Let us learn to be appreciative too.
    On the other hand, it is a fact that a number of us borrowed money from the financing agency in order to fly here. However, it is our choice to borrow. Never were we forced to borrow money from these financial institutions. It might have been suggested or recommended but it was never ever forced. I am in the same situation so I also experienced the same. All agencies in the Philippines have partnership with these financing institutions. I assume that the interests are big as they are loans without collateral.
    I just hope that our employers will not get tired of our drama. It is our personal drama and I do not see any reason why employers have to be included in the casting of our own drama. Employers do not want dramas. We solve their dramas. I am not surprised when our employer will get rid of us because of dramas. Now, will you still boast that you are competent teachers and that you are teachers to die for? I doubt it. I hope that we will not be labeled as drama queens and drama king because of our own action. I hope not. The worst scenario to happen is losing our job, the domino effect is more terrible than you imagine. Think about your own actions guys. I suggest that you just work and impress your employer within your job description. Do not include them in your drama. We are Filipinos and our employers are not. Chances of cultural differences and misunderstanding are at a certain degree. Filipinos have their own thinking so do foreigners. I hope you will not lose your job and your family will suffer very badly as a result. This is my opinion. Thank you very much.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have been reading this blog for the past days. I am one of the teachers being deployed to the US by the Universal Placement and the Pars Placement.
    >> Being deployed? Is it still occurring? <<

    Yes, it is true that the first few years are extremely challenging but I will become smooth in years to come.
    We, teachers have arrived in the US with H1-B visa, meaning our stay is only temporary unless we will be petitioned by our employer to live and work permanently. We might lose our job any moment (I hope not). No one is ever sure who will have his job tomorrow.
    >> True. Even citizens are also affected by this crisis.>>

    Some brag that we are competent teachers that the school districts will not give us up. Very funny and assuming!!! I thought it was rather a boast in its greatest sense. We are not citizens of the United States. We are petitioned only to fill in the gap on teacher shortage. Now that recession has been gobbling the country, many citizens have been interested in the job.
    >>It is your opinion.>>

    I have a lot of friends employed in teaching and non-teaching jobs who are also in the brink of losing their jobs. Remember guys, that frugality is the name of the game in the US nowadays. Also remember, the doctrine FIRST-IN -FIRST OUT. It is already happening in California.
    >> I do not know what you mean by this, FIFO. There is also LIFO (last in first out). These concepts are used in merchandise.>>

    Guys, it is good to have Filipino values and maintain them. However, such values might not work here in the US. We are here to solve employers’ problems and not the other way around. I thought it would be good to view the situations with a positive and hopeful perspective. Let us face our situation with grace and with a marked degree of professionalism.
    >> You are hired to teach and not to solve employer’s problems. Those are not your concerns and are done on a different level.>>

    People who live in gossip, complaints and animosity will not see the beauty of life being intertwined with challenges. People want instant comfort. That might not happen here in an instant.
    >> I think you are wrong here. You deal with generalities without supporting these with facts. The people I met can not move about their
    personal business without the ‘prying’ eyes of the ‘tsutsu’. They just want their freedom to associate, meet or do anything. I have first hand information how the recruiter treated some teachers. For example, remember the incident that occurred in the orientation of the new teachers few months ago. They were witnesses.>>

    It takes a great deal of perseverance and positive outlook in life. Many Filipino in the US started with a lot worse situation than we have now. Years of perseverance and patience, they reaped their success in the end.

    >> I have sisters who dealt with employment agencies before. They did not pay a single dime. Sorry, I did not experience this and did not go through an agency.>>

    I remember the times when we lined up in the Philippines for interview for US teaching jobs. We were extremely nice. We signed the contract calmly. We knew it would cost us something.

    >> Was this the first time you signed a contract? Where did you sign the contract? Was there a third-party witness present when you signed this contract?

    Did you initialed each page? Was the contract notarized after you signed it?
    Did you ask if this was an “approved” contract? There are so many questions to be asked.>>

    We knew what we would have to do the following year. Now, that the contract is in its execution, many of us are revolting.

    >> If you have read my blog regarding the legalities involved in contracts then you would have an understanding why others are revolting. There is no need to elaborate here the concept since you only want to read what you want to read. Employment agencies under the law can only charge a fee of up to month’s salary- whether upfront payment or by installment. What language can’t you understand here?>>

    Why did we sign the contract in the first place? I assume that the contract is not the reason for your revolt; it is rather your loan in the Philippines and your personal obligation to your family.
    >>Your assumption is wrong. The reason is to recoup what is not supposed to be paid and to pay partially for the loan in the Philippines. Another reason is to stop this agency from doing business in the Philippines and the U.S.>>

    Do not attribute your financial difficulty to Universal Placement. Your financial difficulty is a product of your own decision. You did whatever had to be done. There are consequences in your own action.

    >> Of course, this is of personal responsibility. And now, it is being corrected
    by questioning the practices of the employment agency.>>

    I am sure if it the agency were owned by Americans, we will not react the same way we react now. Because the agency is owned by a former Filipino citizen, you thought that Filipino values including an act of charity and benevolence should be in the picture.
    >> Sorry. Your assumption is wrong again. Americans or not, the employment agencies are subject to US laws. Please go back what this person had done in the past. She was involved in Medi-Cal scam in the state of California. There is no need to elaborate here. Please read the other blogs not the ones you only want to read.>>

    Business is business. I hope we know that. Contract is contract. It is a mutual agreement.

    >>I agree totally. The business is also under the laws of the U.S. and laws have to be followed. No business is above the law. Once again, you failed to include this very important concept in your argument. Please read the blog about contracts so will know certain aspects about contracts. Contracts are also governed by Civil codes under the state of California laws.>>

    I am very thankful to Lulu Navarro. I arrived in the US without a family and friends to start with. She found me a place to stay. It is not her job to look for housing but she did it because she knows that it is hard for us to find a place and have access to transportation initially. She is not a housing agency but she is going out of her way for us to continue with our life.
    >> There is no such thing as free lunch. Your response is elementary as if you are very innocent of what happened regarding the rentals snafu. Some teachers did not have a choice but to accept and live in the apartment complex. You paid rent which is above the published rate and your beloved Lulu got a total of $12,000 a month just to refer you and others to that apartment compound.
    And you are thankful.>>

    It is challenging yes. Please forget about instant comfort as we are in an entirely new environment.
    Whether or not housing is good, what matters is we are housed. It is a lot better than looking for apartments or houses ourselves. I am sure we cannot find one as we did not have our SS number and credit history to start with. Did we have money to pay upfront for deposits and similar charges? Lulu did this for all of us.

    >>I got an apartment when I got here and did not have a SS. I did this all by myself. Do you think Lulu will do this for free?

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  17. Sana malaman ng lahat na si JAVE PAJUELAS ay kasama sa panloloko sa ating mga guro dito sa LOUISIANA. Naalala niyo ba? nang pina-attend tayo ng PARS ng " US-101 " American Accent! Pinagbayad ng P2,000 pesos sa wala namang katuturang seminar. "Visayan Accent pala at hindi American Accent". Ang tanong? Bakit isa siya sa mga nagrereklamo? binayaran siya ni Mel Villarba. Dapat isa siya sa ireklamo...... Pag-uwi ko sa pilipinas sasabihin ko sa Immigration Officer ang pangalan niya para fair. Parusahan ang lahat ng nagsamantala bisaya ka!!!!

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  18. We Saw, We Came and We Conquered!!!! Salute to all yah pinoy teachers.... Click the link below to see PARS' official POEA status. Panatilihing tikom ang kamao para sa nakararami!!!


    http://www.poea.gov.ph/cgi-bin/agSearch.asp

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