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Issue No.: 1
Geneva, Switzerland
April 2002
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KAKKAMPI holds a forum

KAKKAMPI

Projects and Activities

Projects and Activities

KAKKAMPI or «Kapatiran para sa Karapatan at Kaunlaran ng mga Manggagawang Pilipino sa Ibayong dagat» together with Geneva Forum for Philippine Concerns; Migrants Rights International (MRI) and Unlad Kabayan will hold a forum «Karapatan at Kaunlaran ng Migranteng Manggagawa» on the 21st of April 2002 at the WCC Open house (Route de Ferney 150, Geneva) from 13H00 to 17H00. The forum focuses on migrants rights and economic welfare. Invited guest are:

Ms. Genevieve Gencianos who will speak about MRI and their activities; Ms. Lily Angelical of Babaylan will talk about the other filipino groups in Switzerland, their project-

KAKKAMPI CLC

Free computer classes for migrant workers are offered at the KAKKAMPI computer learning center. The center has 10 computers with MS Windows 2000 and Office XP installed in a network environment with internet access. The courses include: Introduction to computers, MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint; Access and HTML. Plans are underway for another KAKKAMPI CLC.

ON-THE-JOB TRAINING

Links with other NGOs are being established to provide an on-the-job training for students of the computer learning center. Currenty, there are 7 student-members

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KAKKAMPI in one of their General Assembly meetings

services for migrant workers; Jean-Pierre Garbade will talk about his book “Know Your Rights” and about the status of migrant workers in Geneva; Ms. May-an Villalba will present Unlad Kabayan to the filipino community in Geneva. She will talk about re- integration, their work and their achievements. Also part of the progam is a film showing «Breaking the silence» and a panel discussion.

participating in an OJT program with Migrants Rights International, a KAKKAMPI partner organization.

MIGRANT RESOURCE HANDBOOK

KAKKAMPI will be publishing a handbook containing information about services available for migrant workers including contact information. A rough edition is currently scheduled for release.

KAKKAMPI is inviting new members. Who are qualified to join? Any person of legal age, regardless of his/her status, and who adheres to the objectives of the Association can be admitted as a member. For more information, email to KAKKAMPI@hotmail.com

UNLAD KABAYAN

Understanding the difficulties faced by migrant workers, KAKKAMPI will be working closely with Unlad Kabayan, a philippine based NGO that has successfully implemented a re-intergration program for 6 years now. Unlad Kabayan is another KAKKAMPI partner organization.

Re: The Dinia Baliton Case

the statement of Geneva Forum for Philippine Concerns

While similar to a host of other documented

cases depicting the dark side of overseas

employment, the case of Dinia Baliton demands

greater attention from the Philippine Government

as her tragic situation can be traced to her

employer – Ms. Teresa Paran, a diplomatic

official of the very government that has placed

the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)

as one its topmost national foreign policy

concern.

The Baliton case raises issues beyond

determining the liability of her diplomat employer

for her alleged failure to comply with the

employment contract she has signed which

contains provisions requiring her to observe the

minimum standards of domestic work

employment prevailing in Switzerland and the

Canton of Geneva.

Its impact to the overseas

Filipino Community extend beyond the search for

the truth about the allegations surrounding the

motive and immediate circumstances that

compelled Dinia to attempt to leave the 4 th floor

Paran apartment making use of a make-shift

rope of clothes. The truth about all these have

now been lost because the diplomat employer

and her family have chosen the cowardly option

to leave Geneva and to seek solace in the cloak

of diplomatic immunity. The flight of the Paran

Family enabled them to evade the jurisdiction of

appropriate courts of Geneva where these factual

matters could have been determined. This is

most damaging as this can be legally interpreted

as an admission of guilt.

This case places in doubt the sincerity of the

Philippine Government and its foreign service

officials in implementing this national policy of

compassion and support for the welfare of

overseas Filipinos. It has not been reassuring

that the diplomat involved, Ms. Teresa Paran,

has now been reassigned by the Department of

Foreign Affairs to another diplomatic post in the

country of Sweden instead of being compelled to

answer these charges made by Ms. Baliton. The

reason for this new assignment is not clear, but

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what is obvious is that she has left behind a broken Dinia – permanently disabled and with her future uncertain. To aggravate matters, Ms. Paran has not submitted herself to the jurisdiction of the Geneva labor court which is hearing Dinia’s case nor has she made any formal manifestation to the court, directly or through any representative, of an intent to answer the charges against her.

How the Philippine Government and the Department of Foreign Affairs will act on this case will be indicative of its capacity to provide effective redress under this unique circumstance

wherein a Philippine diplomat is directly involved. This case and its resolution will test the most recent declaration of President Gloria Macapagal –Arroyo regarding Philippine foreign policy that

“overseas Filipinos shall be the primary clientele

of our foreign policy and foreign service”. More than oft-repeated platitudes regarding the heroic attributes of OFWs coming from the mouths of our elected or appointed leaders, concrete action to difficult cases such as Dinia Baliton’s will best reassure overseas Filipinos of the sincerity and credibility of our Government and its foreign

service and consular officers to the task of looking after the welfare of their countrymen.

In the meantime that no action has been taken against Ms. Paran to compel her to answer these charges, the Philippine Government and its foreign consular offices will have to bear questions of credibility. This will make it more difficult for our government’s consular offices abroad to aspire building a strong foundation of trust and confidence with the bigger section of the overseas Filipino Community, especially with those who are most vulnerable because of their irregular status and who require their assistance more than the rest.

This is not the first time that a Philippine diplomat has been involved in the oppression of her own compatriot, neither will this be the last. But let this be an opportunity for our Government to show its resolve to dispense justice by initiating concrete steps to discipline its own diplomatic officer.

This is not the first time that a Philippine diplomat has been involved in the oppression of her own compatriot, neither will this be the last. But let this be an opportunity for our Government to show

its resolve to dispense justice by initiating concrete steps to discipline its own diplomatic officer.

Towards this objective, we demand that the following steps be initiated:

  • 1. For the Department of Foreign Affairs to recommend to the Office of the President not to invoke or otherwise recall any previous declaration of diplomatic immunity in favor of Ms. Teresa Paran in so far as the charges filed against her arising from the complaint of Ms. Dinia Baliton filed with the appropriate court in Geneva ; for the Department of Foreign Affairs to recall Ms. Paran from her present post and to compel her to submit to the jurisdiction of the appropriate Geneva Court to answer the charges against her; and, to initiate the appropriate administrative proceedings against Ms. Paran should the Geneva Court find her liable for the charges filed against her.

  • 2. For the Philippine Government, through its consular offices in Switzerland, to extend support to Ms. Dinia Baliton, particularly in her effort to pursue her legal action against Ms. Paran and to provide for her continuing insurance coverage to enable her to avail of appropriate medical and rehabilitation requirements arising from the injuries she has suffered from her fall.

  • 3. For the Department of Foreign Affairs to establish procedures that will effectively monitor compliance to employment contracts entered into between its foreign service officers assigned to overseas posts and their respective Filipino domestic workers.

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Mga Kuwento ng Buhay sa Geneva

Sinabi niya na bukas ang bintana kung gusto kong umalis. Nagbabantay ang asawa ng amo ko para di ako makadaan sa pintuan. Sinabi ko sa aking amo na kung dadaan ako sa bintana ay puede akong mamatay.

Ang sagot sa akin ay ipapasunog niya ang aking bangkay at ibibibigay sa aking magulang.

Ang pagpunta ko dito ay isang magandang pangarap na nauwi sa isang mabigat na pagsubok na hanggang ngayon ay dala-dala ko pa. Isang trahedya na hanggang sa ngayon ay nararamdaman ko pa rin ang sakit.

Naranasan ko ito sa kabila ng pagsunod ko sa aking amo na isang diplomat sa mission at kamag-anak. Ginagawa ko ang lahat bilang isang katulong: ang gumising ng 5:30 ng umaaga; maghanda ng araw-araw na menu, at marami pang iba. Nagtatrabaho ako ngunit di ko naman nakukuha ang aking buwanang sweldo at ni minsan ay di ko naranasan ang mag day-off. Ang nakuha kong sweldo sa loob ng dalawang (2) taon at tatlong (3) buwan ay 1,900 U.S. Dollars. Pinagalitan pa ako bago ko ito makuha. Ito lang ang naipadala ko sa aking magulang.

Nang magbakasyon ang aking mga amo sa ibang bansa ay saka ko pa lamang naranasan ang mag-simba ng nag-iisa. Nakapamasyal din ako matapos ang aking gawain. Makalipas ang isang buwan ay dumating na

sila at dito at balik na uli ako sa dati kong gawain. Sinubukan kong magpaalam upang magsimba. Pinayagan naman nila ako. Nagluluto muna ako ng pagkain bago ako umalis. Eto ay mula Septembre hanggang ika 3 December, 2000. Hindi ko alam na ito pala ang magiging dahilan nila para ako ay kanilang tanggalin sa trabaho at pauwiin sa Pilipinas. At dahil dito ay nagsimula kaming magtalo tungkol sa aking kontrata: na dapat ay may isang buwang palugit bago ako tanggalin; ang hindi pagbibigay ng day-off at marami pang iba. Gayun pa man, nakiusap ako sa kanya na hayaan akong makahanap ag mapapaglipatan ng aking permit upang makapagtrabaho muli. Hindi siya pumayag at nagalit siya sa akin. Sinabi niya na bukas ang bintana kung gusto kong umalis. Nagbabantay ang asawa ng amo ko para di ako makadaan sa pintuan. Sinabi ko sa aking amo na kung dadaan ako sa bintana ay puede akong mamatay. Ang sagot sa akin ay ipapasunog niya ang aking bangkay at

ibibibigay sa aking magulang.

Pinagdugtong-dugtong ko ang ilang piraso

kong damit upang makagawa ako ng lubid upang makalabas ng bahay. Mula sa ikalimang palapag ang nasabi ko na lamang ay DIYOS KO GABAYAN MO PO AKO at kayo na po ang bahala sa akin. Nagising na lamang ako na nasa hospital na. Hindi ko maikilos ang aking katawan. Kinailangan akong operahan sa dami ng buto ang nabali sa aking katawan. Hangang sa ngayon ay patuloy parin ang aking theraphy at general check-up. Maaring hindi na maibalik ang dating lagay ng katawan ko ngunit sana ay mabigyan ako ng katarungan.

Mga Kuwento ng Buhay sa Geneva Sinabi niya na bukas ang bintana kung gusto kong umalis.

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Sa ngayon ay di ko alam kung ano ang bukas para sa akin. Malaki ang aking pasalamat sa DIYOS at binigyan pa niya ako ng panibagong buhay at lakas. Ang nakatanim na lamang sa aking isipan na sa pangingibang bansa ay di laging tagumpay minsan ay mayroon din mabigat na pag subok ngunit kailangang maging matatag at huwag mawawalan ng pag-asa at tiwala sa DIYOS.

- db

Unlad Kabayan comes to Switzerland

Unlad Kabayan comes to Switzerland

Unlad Kabayan has helped to build and to support more than 300

micro and small enterprises owned and managed by migrant

workers and members of their families

In a forum organized with KAKKAMPI, Unlad Kabayan will be presented to the filipino community in Geneva. May-an Villalba will speak about re-integration, their work and their achievements.

What is Unlad Kabayan? It was established in

  • 1994 as a program of the Asian Migrant Center

(AMC), a non-government organization based in Hongkong. After years of organizing migrant workers and providing various services to help them cope with their problems, the AMC decided that the long term solution to migration is saving mobilization, building of savings associations among migrant workers and alternative investment at home.

This “re-integration” scheme was seen as a means to prepare migrant workers for their eventual return to their countries and at the same time to help create small enterprises at home. With the projected establishment of enterprises at home the migrant workers help create new jobs for their families and communities and even for themselves in case overseas employment is terminated suddenly.

The program was set up in the Philippines in

  • 1996 and has become a model for other labor

sending countries in Asia to bring home their migrants with dignity, and as early as possible, so as to reduce the hazards they may be exposed to overseas.

Its achievements. After six years of work implementing Migrant Savings for Alternative Investments (MS-AI) strategy, Unlad has helped to build and to support more than 300 micro and small enterprises owned and managed by migrant workers and members of their families. The capitalization of these enterprises has mainly come from migrants who have save individually and as a group.

The major enterprises that have been

established include:

General Merchandize in Passi, Iloilo with start-

up capital of P500,000. It is now managed by

returned migrant members of the Passinhon

migrant women in Hong Kong. It employs five

persons and was able to make a net profit after

only one year of operation.

Stationery supply and bookstore - in Sanchez

Mira, Cagayan is owned and managed by the

Bagong Bayani ng Hong Kong (BBHK) with initial

capitalization was P250,000

Free Range Poultry Project (FRPP) group of

enterprises. It is composed of 14 enterprises

related to production, growing of organic poultry

products dispersed in several towns in Bohol. It

has a Sasso breeding farm that produces day old

chicks (DOCs). It has broiler farms who grow

sasso broilers with minimum 50 birds and

maximum of 1,000 birds each farm. Most broiler

farms are managed and owned by families of

seafarers. There are also small farmers who grow

on a backyard scale. It has one dressing unit and

a small eatery that specialize in sasso poultry

cooking. FRPP had provided at the last count, 32

jobs.

Ubi production and processing project

supports small ubi farmers through credit

assistance and technical services. It has ubi

processing house that produces ubi powder and

ubi based confectioneries (jam, nutricool, bars,

polvoron, spread, etc.) UGMAD and individual

migrants have invested in the confectionery

making. The new products won awards at the ubi

festival in the province.

Agrivet supply, farm machinery services,

palay and rice trading in Bansud, Mindoro and

other individual rice production support.

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Filipinos

Qualities… Liabilities

We Filipinos have been called a lot of different names. Through the years, we have imbibed certain

qualities and attitudes, which we have become known for. As is the case with other nationalities, a lot

of these are positive but when taken to the extreme could be also negative. Let us examine some of

these so called qualities more closely.

“BAHALA NA” ATTITUDE

One of the favorite expressions of the Filipinos is

Bahala Na. Bahala comes from the Tagalog word

Bathala which means God. This statement, more

than signifying the depth of our faith, reflects a

fatalistic attitude. We leave everything to fate

either because we feel helpless or do not want to

act at all.

It is a scapegoat for not wanting to do

anything because we fear the consequences or

because it takes too much energy.

“MANANA” HABITS

Mañana, a Spanish word for “tomorrow” has

become, in our own, language mamaya na, which

means “later”. We Filipinos love to do things, we

love to start new activities BUT we usually leave

tasks unfinished or undone. This tendency to

procrastinate needs to change. There are all

sorts of wonderful ideas which, when transformed

into concrete programs and projects would

benefit so many of our kababayans.

CLOSE FAMILY TIES

It is our belief that the strength of the family comes from its unity. Each member is a source of support and help to the other. However, this bond can sometimes become a hindrance to the progress of the children. They may always rely on their parents for help and they may be hesitant to leave the safety of their home, thus, making them incapable of taking their own responsibilities. Even now, we could still witness a lot of households having the married, grown-up children still living with their parents.

BAYANIHAN SYSTEM

Our helpfulness towards our neighbors and friends is, indeed, something we can be proud of. We are always ready to lend a helping hand. Through Bayanihan, the help of the whole community, we are able to build houses and schools, harvest a whole rice field, rescue people from a catastrophe, etc!

HOSPITABILITY

Filipino hospitality has gained worldwide

reputation. Although this is a trait we can be

proud of, more often than not, our hospitality

becomes exaggerated. We go to extremes in

order to please our guests even if it is beyond

our emotional and financial capabilities. A very

good example of this is during Fiesta time, when

we have to borrow from others just to have a big

celebration. We go through so many sacrifices

just to satisfy our visitors. In fact, we are so open

and hospitable to the point that other people

sometimes take advantage of us.

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In conclusion, whatever names we may be called, whatever the reputation that precedes us, I think that as long as we try our best to live out human values, keep in us all our good qualities while minimizing the not so good then we will simply be just fine.

-mpl

KAKKAMPI Newsletter Editorial Board Clarissa Balan, Marylou Panpilo-Leyvraz, Gemma Layco, Belen Conti, Dennis de Guzman Layout & Design: Dennis de Guzman Articles, opinions, letters to the editor should be sent to kakkampi@hotmail.com

ANAY

Ang Pilipinas na aming minumutya Ngayon ay nagdurusa’t kaawa-awa Iyong mga anak ay hindi nagkaisa Bawa’t-isa ay sakim sa pang-unawa Alitan ay di dinaan sa salita Tanke’t baril ang ginamit na sandata Iniwaglit sa isipan si Bathala

Maraming Pilipino ngayo’y sugatan Magulang at anak nila ay luhaan Ito ang naging sawing kinahinatnan Dahil poot at galit ang pinakinggan Nasaan na si Dakilang Kapatiran? Bakit kaya pilit na naglalamangan Gayong lahat sila’y Pilipino naman ?

O mahal kong Bayang aking sinisinta Ang mga pasakit mo’y aking damang-dama Wala sa tabi mo, ‘yan ay totoo nga Ngunit kaluluwa ko’y iyong kasama Kasabay mo sa pagdasal kay Bathala Itong lugar natin sana’y pumayapa Muling maghari ang pag-ibig sa kapwa.

Kapangyarihan ba’y mahalagang tunay Kung kapalit naman nito’y milyong buhay Na dinaan sa patraydor na pagpatay? Kapatid, ikaw sana’y magnilay-nilay Minsan ko lamang sa ‘yo’y isasalaysay Ang paniniwala ko’t, ito ang tunay Kapangyariha’y balot sa gintong ANAY.

-mpl

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KALAMANSI AT SUGAT

KALAMANSI AT SUGAT

ni Pepe Dimasalang

Isang maalab na pagbati sa KAKKAMPI sa

kaunaunahang paglabas ng kanilang munting

pahayagan. Maliban dito, ang bagong samahan

ay may mga iba’t iba pang mga proyekto tulad ng

Migrant Resource Handbook, ang migrant

savings and investment project sa

pakikipagugnayan sa UNLAD KABAYAN, at ang

kanilang Computer Learning Centre. Sa wakas,

matututo na rin ako ng Windows 2000 at Office

mga “pang-aabuso” tulad ng “the envoy and his wife allegedly underpay their two household help. “This is a case of deceitful employment, exploita-

tion of the poor and violation of (Austrian) labor laws.” Welcome to Geneva, Ginang Cleofe Natividad. Ang mga tulad ninyo ang kailangan namin dito.

---------------------------------

XP.

May mga nagsasabi na ang katahimikan sa

  • --------------------------------- ating kumunidad ay nanganganib dahil sa mga kababayan nating nagrereklamo o naghahabla ng kanilang mga amo na nangaabuso at nagsasamantala. Baliktad na talaga ang mga katwiran ng mga ito. Ang tunay na panganib sa katahimikan ng kumunidad ay ang pagkawala ng katarungan lalo na kung mismong Pilipino rin ang nangaabuso at nagsasamantala sa sarili nilang kababayan.

Ang kolum pong ito ay ipinamagatang

Kalamansi at Sugat. Ito’y para kina Gila,- na

sinasabunutan ng amo niyang diplomat, para kay

Nila,- na hindi pinalalabas ng bahay (buti pa yung

aso nila inilalabas gabi-gabi para umihi !!) at kay

Lina, na sa kanyang pagtakas sa amo ay

nahulog mula sa ika-limang palapag at sa

marami pang ibang tulad nilang itinaguriang mga

“bagong bayani” .

Chez Boubou Boulangerie Patisserie
Chez Boubou
Boulangerie
Patisserie

28 Rue Jean-Violette

1205 Geneva

Tel.: +41 22 320 60 28

  • --------------------------------- Advertisement

Mayroon nga palang pagbabago sa direktibang

inilabas noong 1 Marso 1998 hinggil sa “hiring of

private servants by members of the Permanent

Missions in Geneva”.

Ayon sa Artukulo 6.62

(Jurisprudence), “ The standard terms and

conditions of contract for workers in domestic

service of the canton of Geneva stipulate a

salary of CHF 2,400 in cash per month as of 1

July 2001. Sana nama’y sinusunod ito ng lahat

ng mga Permanent Missions, at siyempre dapat

pangunahan ito ng Philippine Mission upang

maging magandang halimbawa.

---------------------------------

Binabati namin ang bagong dating na dating

Consul-General ng Vienna. Siya ngayon ay na-

assign na dito.

Ayon sa On Target, kolum ni

Ramon Tulfo sa Inquirer, binatikos niya si

Ambassador Arthur Garcia ng Vienna dahil sa

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