Miyerkules, Agosto 17, 2016


Life is an Illusion

Playing Your Part

By: Evelyn T. Du

This world we perceive as real is actually an illusion, not unlike a film being projected.

As children, most of us sang that mesmerizing, wistful lullaby that ends with the words, “Life is but a dream.” Including watching all Walt Disney Films like Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Alice in Wonderland and many more magical stories.

This is a classic example of a deep, sophisticated truth hiding, like an underground stream, in an unlikely place. 

It winds its way through our minds like a riddle or a Zen Koan, coming up when we least expect it and asking that we consider its meaning. 

Many gurus and philosophers agree with this mysterious observation, saying that this world we perceive as real is actually an illusion, not unlike a film being projected on a screen. 

Most of us are so involved in the projection that we don’t understand it for what it is. 

We are completely caught up in the illusion, imagining that we are in a life and death struggle and taking it very seriously. 

The enlightened few, on the other hand, live their lives in the light of the awareness that what most of us perceive as reality is a passing fancy. 

As a result, they behave with detachment, compassion, and wisdom, while the rest of us struggle and writhe upon the stage in the play of our life. 

Having the wisdom to know that life is but a dream does not mean that we ignore it or don’t do our best with the twists and turns of our fate. 

Rather, like an actress who plays her role fully even as she knows it’s only a role, we engage in the unfolding drama, but with a little more freedom because we know that this is not the totality of who we are. 

And life is more of an improvisation than it is like a play whose lines have already been written, whose end is already known. 

Like an improviser, we have choices to make and the more we embrace the illusionary quality of the performance, the lighter we can be on the planet, on others, and on ourselves. 

We can truly play with the shadows cast by the light of the projector, fully engaging without getting bogged down. (VerGarciaBlogs)




Labor and Employment Sec. Silvestre H. Bello III in an interview with the media. (Photos by: Ver Garcia and Teddy Cho).

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the POEA with DOLE Sec. Silvestre Bello III and POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac.

To carry out the Department Labor and Employment’s national and regional action plans on eliminating ‘endo’ and other illegitimate forms of contracting, Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III has directed for the training of regional directors, technical service division chiefs, mediator-arbiters, and labor laws compliance officers (LLCO) in determining labor-only contracting (LOC).

“Labor-only contracting, which is an arrangement where the contractor or subcontractor merely recruits, supplies, or places workers to perform jobs, work or services for a principal, is prohibited,” Bello said.

Through a training workshop jointly implemented by the DOLE and the International Labor Organization, the participants undergo learning sessions on labor administration, labor inspection, joint assessment, as well as case analysis on contracting and subcontracting arrangements.  

Senior officials from DOLE, headed by Undersecretary Ciriaco A. Lagunzad III, and Undersecretary Joel B. Maglunsod, together with Bureau of Labor Relations Director Benjo Santos M. Benavidez, Legal Service Director Romeo M. Montefalco, Jr. National Wages and Productivity Commission Executive Director Alex V. Avila, and Bureau of Working Conditions OIC Director Alvin B. Curada serve as resource speakers in the training-workshop.

Sec. Silvestre Bello III in a very happy mood, all smiles ear to ear when interviewed by the media practitioners. (Photo by: Ver Garcia)

Sec. Bello said the capacity building activity prepares the labor laws compliance officers, under the supervision of DOLE regional directors, as well as other senior DOLE regional officers, in strictly implementing and enforcing the workers’ rights to security of tenure. They are also being trained to counter and stop practices that constitute ‘endo’ by identifying knowledge or policy gaps in the implementation of Department Order No. 18-A, or the rules and regulations on contracting and sub-contracting; studying different models of hiring practices in contracting arrangements; and in examining new and developing schemes in contractualization. 

“Regional directors shall have authority to declare the existence of labor-only contracting between the contractors and subcontractors, and the principals. Workers of labor-only contractor/subcontractor are considered employees of the principals,” Bello said.

Through the training, it is also expected that accuracy in documenting contractors’ profiles and assessment results in labor laws compliance system management information service will be achieved.

In support of President Duterte’s directive to eliminate ‘endo’ and other forms of illegitimate contracting, Sec. Bello has issued Labor Advisory No. 10, Series of 2016 prohibiting labor-only contracting. 

In Photo.. Blogger Editor Ver M. Garcia in an 
interview  with  POEA  Admin.  Hans  Cacdac
The practice of labor-only contracting, according to the advisory, is deemed existent when the contractor or sub-contractor does not have substantial capital or investment in the form of tools, equipment, machinery, work premises. It is also practiced when the workers recruited and placed by such person are performing activities which are directly related to the principal business of such employer.

DOLE’s capacity building program conducted in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao is expected to equip the labor laws compliance officers and senior regional officials to efficiently assess business establishments’ strict compliance to labor laws and ultimately support the target of abolishing ‘endo’ and other illegitimate forms of contracting in 2017. (VerGarciaBlogs)

Linggo, Agosto 14, 2016


The Admirable Launching Of M/V Starlite Saturn In Batangas Port, Philippines 
By: Ver M. Garcia
STARLITE FERRIES, INC.. M/V Starlite Saturn launching at the Batangas Port in the Philippines with Sec. of the Department of Transportation Arthur P. Tugade (4th from Left) and Starlite Ferries Inc., Pres. Francis Cusi of Starlite ferries (3rd from Left), Inc., highlights the modernization of the RoRo Shipping Industry. M/V Starlite Saturn has an average speed of 13.5 knots per hour and can ferry 711 passengers and can carry 21 buses in its hold. It's fast, safe and cost efficient.. a sea transport that will benefit the Filipinos and foreign travelers in the Philippines with Sec. of Energy Alfonso Cusi (1st from Right).

The M/V Starlite Saturn Ferry.. — at Batangas Port, Batangas City, Philippines.

BATANGAS PORT, PHILIPPINES.. The M/V Starlite Saturn Lifestyle and Travel Bloggers Group.. In photo.. Lariza Garcia, Claire Pajarillo Santiago, George Nava True, Dems Angeles, Nadtja Villaber, Ver Garcia, Leo My, Cie Cisneros and others.

Invited to grace the occasion with sunglass is an investment banker Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas.

The fast and highly efficient leader in the shipping industry with its fleet of highly modern Japan made RoRo vessels consuming 20 percent  less fuel than the old ones. It's fast, safe and cost-efficient means of sea transport for travelling Filipino community rendered the Starlite way.

The  assembly  area  of  the  distinguished lifestyle and travel
bloggers at the branch of Tiendesitas Mcdonald in Pasig City.

An emerging leader in the Philippines Shipping Industry, Starlite Ferries, Inc., through its pioneering effort and leadership on the RoRo shipping indusrty. In terms of connectivity from Pier to Puerto.

Starlite Ferries, Inc. launching of M/V Starlite Saturn, its 4th brand new roll-on, roll-off vessel recently at the Batangas Port, Starlite Ferries marks yet another milestone in its continuing effort to modernize the inter-island travel in the country wherein bloggers were invited to grace the occassion were welcome by the staff and officers of the company. The newest addition to the Starlite fleet. The company President Mr. Francis Cusi said they have ordered 7 ships from Japan, with 8 more to be custom built in the future for a total of 15 newly built RoRo vessels.

Distinguished Bloggers waiting early in the morning for others to come at the assembly area.

Starlite Ferries, Inc., is a one-hundred percent Filipino-owned company which became operational in 1995 with their initial route Batangas-Calapan-Mindoro. The company brought convenience to Filipino sea travelers by opening new routes such as: Roxas-Caticlan, Roxas-Odiongan and guarantees more routes to open as they connect from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The Philippines is composed of 7,100 islands, Starlite's modern RoRo vessels will significantly boost tourism industry on both local and international market as they can easily facilitate trips from various destinations in the Philippines. Tourists and local residents alike can now afford to explore the different islands with ease, safety and comfort as Starlite vessels can provide a scenic alternative and a healthy sea breeze to land and air travel.

Launching of M/V Starlite Saturn with distinguished lifestyle and travel bloggers and journalists. — at At the passengers deck of M/V Starlite Saturn.

M/V Starlite Saturn has a tremendous speed 13.5 nautical miles per hour. She has a rounded hull that rest deeper in the water for greater stability, bow thruster for vessel assistive maneuverability and a bulbous bow that enables it to cut through waves more efficiently. The 2,700 gross  ton ship can carry 710 passengers and 20 drivers in bunk comfortably on its  ground level deck and up to 21 buses in its hold.

M/V Starlite Saturn and other vessels in the Batangas-based shipping companies fleet are designed to navigate the country's open sea routes and seasonal rough waters.

LAUNCHING OF M/V STARLITE SATURN.. Sec. Arthur Tugade of the Department of Transportation happily shakes hand with Lifestyle and Travel bloggers Dr. Ver Garcia, Admin. of the Bloggers Association of the Philippines at the launching recently of M/V Starlite Saturn in Batangas Port, Batangas City. Sec. Tugade in his speech avers that there is a need to establish connectivity of the port from different parts of the archipelago to spur and fastrack economic development in the Philippines.

Sabado, Agosto 13, 2016


Larawan ni Labor Sec. Silvestre Bello III inabot ang tseke na insurance claim sa biyuda ng asawang si Rolando Cadoma na isang OFW sa Saudi Arabia.

Labor Sec. Silvestre Bello Nagpasalamat Kay

Saudi King Salman  Tungkol Sa Mga Stranded

Na OFW's

Dept. of Labor & Employment Sec. Silvestre Bello III, according to Sec. Bello 8,500 stranded OFW's are still awaiting to be repatriated as of press time.. by: bloggers association of the philippines reportorial team.

POEA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac spearheaded the launching of POEA 24/7 Hotlines and One Stop Service Center for OFW's.

Ipinahayag kahapon ni Kalihim Silvestre H. Bello III ang magandang balita sa repatriation assistance ng mga overseas Filipino worker (OFW) kasabay ng kaniyang pasasalamat kay King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud ng Saudi sa pagaatas nito sa kaniyang Ministry of Labor na asikasuhin ang pagbibigay ng tulong sa mga OFW na nasa Saudi Arabia.

“Lubos na pasasalamat ang aming ipinaaabot kay King Salman sa kanyang pagmamalasakit sa ating mga OFW,” ani Bello, sa kanyang paghahatid ng update mula sa Philippine Overseas Labor Office sa Riyadh.

Kabilang sa mga iniatas ni King Salman ang pag-aalis ng immigration penalties dahil sa nag-expire na working visa, bayad sa eroplano ng mga OFW na pabalik ng bansa, pagkain, tulong-empleo sa mga nagnanais na magtrabaho sa ibang kompanya, at tulong legal para sa kanilang money claims.

Sinabi ni Bello na kinumpirma ng Ministry of Labor ng Saudi ang atas ng Hari upang tiyakin na mapoprotektahan ang mga karapatan ng mga banyagang manggagawa sa Saudi Oger at iba pang kompanya na naapektuhan ng krisis sa krudo.

“Ito ay isang malaking tulong sa ating pagpupunyagi na mapangalagaan ang kapakanan ng ating mga OFW,” ani Bello.

Maaari nang bumalik ng bansa ang mga manggagawang Filipino na-stranded sa Saudi Arabia dahil inalis na ni King Salman ang multa sa mga banyagang manggagawa na naapektuhan ng malawakang layoff at retrenchment. Sasagutin ng pamahalaan ng Saudi ang bayad nila sa eroplano.

Magbibigay din ng pagkain ang pamahalaan ng Saudi sa mga manggagawang nanatili sa lahat ng company camp, at ipadadala din ng Ministry of Labor ang kanilang mga abogado sa camp upang likumin ang mga money claim at iba pang kaugnay na reklamo upang maihain sa tamang lugar.

“Ipinaalam din sa amin ng Ministry of Labor na papayagan ang paglipat ng mga manggagawa sa ibang kompanya kung nanaisin pa ng mga ito na ipagpatuloy ang pagtatrabaho sa KSA. Maaaring maghanap ng bagong employer ang mga manggagawa, at ang mainam dito gagamitin ang Mega Manpower Companies para mag-alok ng trabaho sa mga manggagawa,” ani Kalihim Bello.

Ayon sa Kalihim, ipinaalam ni Ministry of Labor Director General Mohammed Al Sharekh ng KSA sa POLO-Riyadh na sa halip na hilingin sa libong manggagawa na ihain ang kanilang kaso sa Saudi Labor Office building, opisyal nilang tatanggapin ang mga kaso na kanilang makakalap mula sa camp.

Isa sa mga naging suliranin na kinaharap ng mga OWF ay nang mag-expire ang kanilang work permit matapos silang ma-retrench ng mga kompanyang nalugi dahil sa krisis sa krudo sa Middle East.

Nagtatag ang pamahalaan ng Pilipinas ng inter-agency emergency relief assistance mission, na binubuo ng Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, at ang Public Attorney’s Office, upang sumuporta sa kasalukuyang operasyon ng tatlong Philippine Overseas Labor Office sa KSA.

Babalik sa susunod na linggo sa Saudi Arabia si Kalihim Bello, kasama sina Undersecretary Ciriaco A. Lagunzad III at POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, upang personal na tingnan ang nasabing mission operation.

Hinati sa tatlong grupo ang mga opisyal ng DOLE, na binubuo ng labor attaches, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration lawyers, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration welfare officers, at training personnel mula sa TESDA, para sa magkakasabay na pag-deploy sa Riyadh, Jeddah, at Al Khobar. Sila ay tutulong sa pagpapatupad ng Relief Assistance Program sa pamamahagi ng pagkain, medisina, at cash assistance sa mga OFW na nasa company camps at shelters. 


One-stop service center for OFWs opens Aug. 15, 2016

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is launching a one-stop shop for OFWs on Monday, August 15, where all government frontline services are made accessible to Filipinos who are currently working or planning to work overseas.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said this is in response to President Rodrigo Duterte's directive to make it easier for OFWs to avail the services of the government.
Sec. Bello said the One-Stop Service Center for OFWs (OSSCO) is located at the ground floor of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration’s main office at Blas F. Ople Building in Ortigas Avenue corner EDSA, Mandaluyong City.
He said the one-stop service center is seen to reduce transportation expenses of OFWs and shorten the processing time of their documents.
Aside from making available to OFWs information on their respective programs and services and responding to queries of clients, the various government offices’ services to OFWs are as follows:
1. Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
· Passport Services
· Passport Validity Extension for Balik-Manggagawa (vacationing Workers)
2. Overseas Welfare Workers Administration (OWWA)
· Processing of OWWA Membership/Renewal of Membership
3. Technical Education and Skills Development (TESDA)
· Assistance for Competency Assessment
· Verification of Certificates and Special Order
· Assistance for Replacement of National Certificates (NC)/ Certificates of Competency (COC)
· Training Assistance and Scholarship Program
4. Professional Regulation Commission (PRC)
· Issuance of Professional License
5. Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA)
· Issuance/ Revalidation of Seaman’s Book
6. Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF)
· Processing of Pag-ibig Membership
7. Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC)
· Payment of Philhealth Contribution
· Member registration and updating
8. Social Security System (SSS)
· Registration and Membership Data Amendment
· Acceptance of Loan and Benefits Claim Applications
· Loan Verification and Status
· UMID Capturing and Card Releasing
· Response to Queries
9. Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)
· Processing and Copy Issuance of:
* Certificate of Live Birth
* Certificate of Marriage
* Certificate of Death
* Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR)
10. Bureau of Immigration (BI)
· Departure Clearance Information
11. National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)
· Issuance of NBI Clearance
12. Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
· Verification and Authentication of School Credentials
13. Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA)
· Travel Tax Payment
· Processing of Travel Tax Exemption and Reduced Travel Tax
· Response to Queries
14. Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)
· Documentation of Workers (Landbased and Seabased)
· Documentation of Workers-On-Leave/Balik-Manggagawa
· Registration of Landbased Worker-Applicants
· Verification/Certification of OFW Records
· Provision of Legal Assistance
· Response to Queries
Sec. Bello said one-stop centers will also being set-up in all regions spearheaded by the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Offices in coordination with the regional offices of the agencies cited above, local government units, and other partners and stakeholders.
The OSSCO in Ortigas and the regional offices will be opened from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday to Friday, or in its discretion, with prior approval of the POEA or DOLE Regional Office, it may extend services during weekends and holidays. (VergarciaBlogs)

Biyernes, Agosto 12, 2016


Women's Work

Tending the Chores at Home

By: Evelyn T. Du

The importance of tending the Chores at Home that nurtures all who lives inside the house is a beautiful thing.

In the recent past, the term women's work has come to have a derogatory connotation. 

Women's work encompasses all the domestic chores that have historically been associated only with women—cooking, cleaning, and raising children. 

Whenever a person is limited to only certain kinds of work in a society, there is a need to break free from that work in order to inhabit a place of choice. 

However, when we choose to do women's work because we enjoy it, there is nothing degrading about it. 

There is an honor to it, and when done alone or in a group this work can be truly meaningful and fulfilling because the home is the foundation of security for all who live in it. 

In addition to being essential to the functioning of the world, women's work offers creative fulfillment, intimate interaction, and personal satisfaction. 

The more we become aware of the significance of this realm of labor, the more fulfilling it will be to those who do the work and those who benefit from it. 

A well-set table and a delicious, healthy meal can heal us on multiple levels. Clean, crisp sheets on a bed allow us to enter a deep slumber, inspiring a sense of safety and trust. 

Our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health all rest upon the smooth functioning of our homes. 

The gift of women's work, which still often comes from the hands of women, now also comes from fathers, husbands, and hired help. 

Whatever the source, our sincere gratitude upon receiving these treasures reminds us of the profound value of what is traditionally known as women's work. 

The more we acknowledge the tremendous importance of this work, the more we are able to do it with a sense of pride, never feeling for a moment that our efforts are less significant or meaningful than those working outside the home—on the contrary, it is this work that makes all other work possible.