Thursday, October 18, 2012


(From left: Lt. Gen. William K. Hotchkiss, CAAP Director General with   
Capt. John Andrews, Deputy General for Operations, CAAP)

 Bird strike at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) does not only poses an imminent danger to the safety of airlines and its passengers , but also a threat to our country’s economy as well. We may never earn an upgrade of our aviation safety classification from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to boost our tourism industry and increase commercial activities in the metropolis and parts of central Luzon, because of such issue, other than the modernization of our airports.
Lately, there was tremendous increase of bird strikes at NAIA.  There were  49  bird strike recorded by CAAP from January to September, compared to 30 bird strikes in 2011 and 25 in 2010, which makes the danger more imminent.  Thus, NAIA was prompted to issue a warning to the pilots of the danger to land and take off at NAIA. 

It was reported that a Philippine Airlines (PAL) Flight PR 124 to Manila was canceled last September after birds got sucked into the plane’s engine in order to ensure the safety of passengers and crew. Cebu Pacific's Cotabato-Manila flight was delayed for more than four hours also in the same month.  Earlier in July, it was reported that  PAL flight PR 105 that just arrived in Manila from Guam  also suffered from the same incident and the aircraft’s entire set of fan blades had to be replaced due to irreparable damage. It was reported by TV 5 News that from January to July this year, 39 bird strikes have been reported at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), 50 percent more than the same period last year, data from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) indicated.  These incidents involve aircraft of Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific, Zest Air, Cathay Pacific, Jet Star Asia, Air Philippines Express, and Qatar Airways.
The population of migratory birds nesting at the Las-PiƱas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Eco Tourism area located about 15 kilometer away from NAIA pursuant to Executive Order No. 1412 issued by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, allegedly surged more than double its size through the years.  Consequently, migratory birds flock to NAIA as its resting place early in the morning and from 3:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon, everyday.  Likewise, it seems that there is no immediate and viable remedy at hand or an alternative solution presented by interests group to control its population.  Meanwhile, the damage to airplanes costs millions already, while NAIA allegedly needs a budget  more than P 45-Million yearly additional budget just to control migratory birds from colliding with the airplanes that lands and takes off at NAIA with no assurance that an incident shall not happen.   

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


(From left: Edwina Beech,  President Emeritus, Philippine Association of Service Exporters Incorporation (PASEI); 
Elisa Villa, Director  (PASEI); Lito B. Soriano, President & CEO of LBS Recruitment Solutions and President Emeritus, PASEI; Liberty Casco, Deputy Administrator, POEA)  

International Labour Conference Convention (ILO C) No. 189 offers specific protection to domestic workers, that need to be ratified by the receiving government as a commitment to implement its provision. The Department of Foreign Affairs on October 15 to 16, 2012 conducted International Migrant Domestic Care Workers at the Interface of Migration and Development : Action to Expand Global Practice in the Asian Region, advocating for the ratification of ILO C 189, which defines a domestic worker as, “any person engaged in domestic work within an employment relationship.” 

“For the past five years, deployment of domestic workers grew at the same time that our GDP improved. POEA data disclosed that in 2008, there were 70,000 domestic workers that were deployed abroad. The volume increased in 2010 at 96,000. In 2011, it ballooned to 142,000 and most of them are women. On other hand, only 41,900 land based skilled workers were deployed abroad in 2010. This data is disturbing, because most of the recruitment agencies are into deployment of skilled and professional workers. POEA’s data disclose that many of OFWs deployed abroad are factory workers and 45% were domestic workers and most of them are women”, said Lito B. Soriano, President & CEO of LBS Recruitment Solutions and President Emeritus of the Philippine Association of Service Exporters Incorporation (PASEI). “While there are many available positions for skilled and professional workers abroad, they are, however, not qualified because their work experience is not relevant to their educational”, he further stated. 


Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Common reports about domestic helpers in KSA are usually denied of their rights as workers. They have no weekly day offs, no work hour limits and no overtime pay. Based on the 2008 Human Rights Watch report, domestic helpers in Saudi Arabia work 18 hours per day, 7 days a week and have little power to collect back wages in labor disputes.

There are even issues of unpaid wages ranging from few months to several years. Aside from these, there were reports of sadistic treatments by their employers, domestic workers were restricted to their workplaces, sometimes locked in and forbidden to leave. Let’s hear  POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac, PASEI’s Vice President Edwina Beech, and LBS Recruitment Solutions President Lito Soriano discuss what domestic workers can do to enjoy the protections offered by the famous ILO- Convention No. 189?