Apr 302013

MANILA, Philippines -Lawmakers vowed to reintroduce in the 16th Congress a measure expanding the prohibited acts of discrimination against women on account of sex.

Rep. Emil Ong (2nd District, Northern Samar), chairperson of the House Committee on Labor and Employment, said amending Articles 135 and 137 of Presidential Decree 442, as amended, also known as the Labor Code of the Philippines, will level the playing fields of women in all areas of employment and job opportunities.

“House Bill 4643 will secure equal opportunities and fair treatment for female employees vis-a-vis their male counterparts in the workplace,” Ong said.

“The measure was extensively discussed then approved by the House during the 14th and 15th Congress; and transmitted to the Senate,” he added.

Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo I (2nd District, Valenzuela City), author of the bill, said there has been a marked increase in the number of women now working in a variety of jobs in which, at times, their entry and subsequent opportunities are dampened, if not altogether stopped, by discrimination.

“This situation makes it imperative to institute mechanisms that will provide equal employment opportunities for all, regardless of sex, which is one step towards departing from the prevailing social and economic inequity in the country,” Gunigundo said.

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“Gender bias, both in the recruitment and in the conditions of the workplace, bolsters the traditional perception of society that a woman’s proper place is at home, a view that has become an obstacle to the employability of women,” Gunigundo added.

Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro), another author of the bill, said “as enshrined in the Constitution, the State recognizes the role of women in nation-building, and shall ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men.”

“The State shall promote equality of employment opportunities for all and are elaborated in laws which give women equal legal status with men. But much has to be done to promote women’s welfare and status,” Rodriguez said.

Rep. Maximo Rodriguez (Party-list, Abante Mindanao), who also authored the bill, cited a report by the Bureau of Women and Young Workers and the National Statistics Office stating that women employees generally earn less than their male counterparts because they are predominantly in low-skilled jobs, and only a few of them advance to the top of the organizational hierarchy.

“Thus, one can see the disparities engendered by sexual discrimination, a reality that calls for a positive and concerted action,” Rodriguez said.

“In keeping with the belief that sex-based discrimination in employment should be eliminated, it shall be unlawful for any employer to deny any woman the benefits of employment or other statutory benefits under the law by reason of her sex, age, ethnic origin or beliefs or relations by affinity or consanguinity,” Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara (Lone District, Aurora), also an author of the measure, said.

“House Bill 4643 seeks to encourage employers to recruit and hire more women in the workplace, eliminating the big stumbling block to women’s employability,” Angara said.

Under the measure, any employer found guilty of favoring a male employee over a female employee with respect to dismissal of personnel or the application of any retrenchment policy of the employer solely on account of their sexes shall be fined or suffer imprisonment or both.

“It is also a violation to deny any woman the benefits of employment or other statutory benefits under our laws by reason of her gender,” Rep. Susan Yap (2nd District, Tarlac) said.

“Companies are prohibited from specifying gender preference either through job notices or during hiring,” Yap said.

In addition to other penalties provided by law, violators and their accomplices, shall be fined of Fifty Thousand Pesos to Two Hundred Thousand Pesos and imprisonment of two to four years.

A non-Filipino offender after serving the imposed penalties shall then be deported.

The measure also mandates the issuance of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) upon consultation of the Secretary of Labor and Employment with the Tripartite Industrial Peace Council.

Apr 302013

INFLATION could fall below 3% in the second quarter with commodity and fuel prices likely to ease on the back of better inventories and continued slow demand due to the weak global economic environment, according to First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) and the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P).

Apr 302013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Overseas Filipino who could not find their names in the voters’ lists of Philippine embassies and consulates general abroad may still be able to vote after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) issued new guidelines to address their concerns. The Philippine Embassy said the Committee on Overseas Voting of the Comelec issued the new guidelines […]

Apr 302013

Announcements 1. Library Fellowship for SE Asian Studies, University of Michigan 2. Study Grants: American Institute for Indonesian Studies 3. Postdoctoral Fellowship: Southeast Asian History, National University of Singapore 4. Call for Papers: Urban Hybridity in the Post-Colonial Age 5. Call for Papers: Asia in Memory and Imagination 6. Call for Papers: Consensus and Conflict in […]

Apr 302013
Anti-Filipino graffiti slams Fil-Ams; police probing it as hate crime

INQUIRER.net U.S. Bureau 4:19 am | Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 UNION CITY, California–A vandal or vandals defaced Filipino-American establishments over the weekend by spraying graffiti anti-Filipino messages, and police are investigating the case as a hate crime. UnionCityPatch.com http://unioncity.patch.com/, a hyperlocal news site reported that those targeted were the Toppings Too restaurant, the Filipino Advocates for Justice office and the Filipino Community of Alvarado and Vicinity building, which houses various offices including the Union City Chamber of Commerce. The pieces of graffiti appear to be written in the same handwriting. Though the identity of the perpetrator is unknown, the graffiti appears to name two ethnic groups. On the Filipino Community building, located at 3939 Smith St., the vandal crossed out “Filipino” and wrote “Mex” above the word “community,” with “f— Filipinos” underneath. Similarly, the graffiti scrawled on Toppings read “Mex” and “f—- Filipinos” on one side of the restaurant’s entrance door with “AMS” on the other, suggesting possible tensions after the renaming of Alvarado Middle School after Filipino-American labor leaders Larry Itliong and Philip Veracruz. Members of the Filipino-American community were saddened to see such divisive messages in the community. Tracie Noriega, a member of the New Haven Pilipino American Society for Education, said in a statement that the acts of vandalism are “extremely disheartening.” “It is also disheartening that the vandalism is claimed by and against two ethnic groups that have roots in very similar experiences,” Noriega added. “The formation of the United Farm Workers Union was grounded in Read More …

Apr 302013

Largest Filipino media network’s popular channels – TFC, Bro, Cinema One Global & ANC – available on OSN starting May 1 REDWOOD CITY, CA, April 24, 2013 – ABS-CBN Corporation, a publicly listed Philippine firm and the country’s largest Filipino multimedia network, announced today that its subsidiary, ABS-CBN Middle East, has partnered with OSN, the leading […]

Apr 302013
2 bettors share P95.932M Superlotto jackpot

Two lucky bettors will be about P47.96 million richer each after bagging the jackpot in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s Superlotto 6/49 draw Tuesday night. In a post on its website, the PCSO said the two got the combination of 06-10-16-24-09-05 to jointly win the jackpot worth P95,932,278. As in the past, the PCSO is not likely to name the winners for security reasons. Just last Monday, a lone winner won the Megalotto 6/45 draw, getting the combination of 34-37-17-09-14-21 to bag the night’s jackpot worth P45,049,768.20. Last April 20, a lone winner became P132 million richer after bagging the PCSO Grand Lotto draw jackpot. But the biggest lotto prize ever won is still the November 2010 draw, when a lone bettor won P741.176 million for getting the winning combination 11-16-42-47-31-37. — DVM, GMA News

Apr 302013
Philippines suspends live shrimp imports

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) – The Philippine government today suspended the import of all live shrimps and susceptible crustaceans to prevent the entry and spread of shrimp diseases such as Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) in the country. The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) said it issued the suspension on the recommendation of shrimp disease expert Dr. Donald Lightner and after local shrimp operators expressed concern over the possible entry of infected shrimps from heavily-affected countries The DA said the Philippines remains free from EMS, a disease characterized by massive mortalities during the first 30 days. Infected shrimp samples show slow growth, corkscrew swimming, and pale coloration.   The government said it will closely monitor airports and seaports to ensure that infected shrimps from heavily-affected countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia will not enter the country.