Balita Pinoy OFW & Philippine News

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Juliette D'Souza to stand trial in London court

Juliette D'Souza 

A woman from Hampstead is to stand trial on theft & fraud charges on 28th April.

The woman, who is described as a spiritual healer is charged with fraudulently taking money from people to send to a Shaman (witch doctor) in the South American Amazon jungle ostensily for the purposes of healing.

Juliette D'Souza, 59, of Perrin's...


Lea Salonga's dad fired and indicted over graft charges

The father of world famous Filipina singer and actress Lea Salonga is facing jail over a corrupt contract at Subic Bay 

Lea Salonga may next see her father behind bars. Photo credit: Frank Tang 

Feliciano Salonga, along with 17 other former and serving executives, has been charged in relation to the corrupt handling of a contract at ports in Subic Bay where he was chairman.


Pinay loan shark's sentencing adjourned

10 Apr 2014

Filipino loan shark Arlyn Pirzada will have to wait again to be sentenced 

Arlyn Pirzada, the Fulham based 5/6 loan shark, has to wait to learn her sentence after the court case was adjourned 

A 49 year old Philippine woman from Fulham who pleaded guilty to illegal money lending and money laundering, following a hearing at Isleworth Crown Court has had her sntencing hearing adourned till April 29th.


Pork Barrel theft charges place Senators one step closer to prison

5 Apr 2014

Ombudsman puts Enrile, Estrada & Revilla in the firing line 

How long before the Senate publicity photos of the lamakers are replaced with police mugshots? 

The government will let the rule of law take its course regarding the Office of the Ombudsman‘s decision to hold three senators liable for plundering the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the Palace said in response to the news that the Ombudsman has filed indictments against 3 lawmakers in the 10-B Peso Pork Barrel Scandal.


Pinoy nurse charged with 3 murders

28 Mar 2014

UPDATE: Appears before Manchester Magistrates

Filipino nurse Victorino Chua re-arrested then charged over hospital killings

Makes first appearance in court - faces 3 counts of murder and 31 other poisoning charges

A screengrab of Victorino Chua at an earlier arrest 

Philippine born nurse Victorino Chua has been charged with 3 murders and 31 counts of poisoning or attempted poisoning into deaths and injuries at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, Greater Manchester in 2011.

Just before midnight Friday 28 March 2014, Manchester Police made the announcement after having interviewed Chua all day following his dawn arrest.


Bangsamoro peace deal finally signed

27 Mar 2014

Landmark deal seen as important as Northern Ireland's Good Friday Agreement

British Foreign Secretary and Ambassador praise the deal

President Benigno S. Aquino III and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles grace the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro the Kalayaan grounds of the Malacañan Palace on Thursday (March 27). (Photo by Ryan Lim/ Malacañang Photo Bureau) 

President Benigno S. Aquino III led Thursday the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) aimed at ending decades-long conflict that claimed the lives of hundreds of people in Muslim Mindanao.

The President and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak witnessed the signing of agreement at the Kalayaan grounds in Malacanang, Thursday.


Emirates flights to Clark stop

27 Mar 2014

No more flights by Emirates into Clark

A sight nobody will see after 3rd May as Emirates' Dubai-Clark flights end

In a shock announcement, the popular Middle East airline Emirates is ceasing flights between Dubai and Clark International Airport from the beginning of May.


Call center staff required Sucat, Alabang, Pasay, Taguig and Makati

26 Mar 2014


Excel Asia are recruiting call center agents in the Metro Manila area

Minimum Requirements

- At least 18 years old
- Completed at least 2 years in college
- Willing to work in Sucat, Alabang, Pasay, Taguig and Makati area
- Able to start ASAP



New warnings on Balikbayan Boxes

23 Mar 2014

DTI says "Avoid patronizing bogus freight forwarders" & issues global warning list of banned/suspended cargo firms  

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) urged consumers to stop dealing with bogus foreign sea freight forwarders and their corresponding Philippine agents/ sea freight forwarders.

These include Philbox Direct Ltd. in the United Kingdom and Springer International; Al Rodah Marine Cargo...Cargo in United Arab Emirates and D' Winner Logistics Phils., Inc.; Kabalen Fowarders in Saudi Arabia; and, Mr. Alexander D. Cunanan doing business as ADC Spedition Services.

 "We have received numerous complaints against them for not delivering cargoes to their rightful owners. We found out that two (2) of they are operating illegally as freight forwarders and have not been delivering the Balikbayan boxes to their consignees,"  DTI-Consumer Protection Group Undersecretary Atty. Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba explained.

[More & complete list of banned/suspended firms]


Irish Aid Minister visits Tacloban with an additional 3 million Euros in assistance

20 Mar 2014

Irish Minister Costello announces an additional €3 million disaster funding to the Philippines as he sees Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan's destruction 

Joe Costello brings Irish aid up to €7 million as he sees for himself typhoon relief efforts

The Irish Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello T.D., announced an additional €3 million in assistance to communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines during a visit today to Tacloban.

[More & additional photos]

War breaks out in British supermarket aisles

14 Mar 2014

It's a battle to the death, and supermarket shareholders are going to see profits & dividends down

This photograph of a Rolls Royce leaving with shopping bought at a south London discount supermarket , along with the figures from their own tills, is telling the big 4 of the British supermarkets that the sunshine days of 6%+ profits on food retailing are over, and it's all down to the discounters Aldi and Lidl 

Morrison's, the smallest of the big four British supermarket chains has opened the hostilities in a price war that is going to leave casualties. The other three have not waited long to join the fray, unwilling participants in what will be a very costly and bloody battlefield. 


London Cactus College marks National Apprenticeship Week with new job placements at Heathrow Airport

13 Mar 2014

London Cactus College joined UK employers in offering over 20,000 new apprenticeships, with paid work placements, as part of National Apprenticeship Week earlier this month,_oxford_336.jpg

Apprenticeships have come a long way since they were first started hundreds of years ago as shown in this print of a medieval baker with his apprentice. The Bodleian Library, Oxford.

The Edgware based college, together with some of Britain's largest companies, are pledging more job opportunities for apprentices. The Lloyds Banking Group committed to hire 5,000 apprentices, Greene King and Whitbread pledged 2,000 a piece and EE, Mitchells & Butlers and Starbucks each announced 1,000 new job vacancies.


Filipina's art exhibition in London

10 Mar 2014

London's Philippine Embassy to showcase Philippine artist's works

One of Maria Farrar's paintings

The Philippine Embassy in London are going to hold an exhibition of paintings by Pinay artist Maria Farrar.

The exhibition will be from Tuesday 1st April till 11th April.


New British Honorary Consul appointed in Cebu

New British Honorary Consul in Cebu appointed

Tamsin Booth is the British Honorary Consul in Cebu 

British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad has appointed formally Tamsin Booth as Honorary British Consul at Cebu.

Tamsin was born in Cebu and has lived there all her life.  She studied at the University of the Philippines and speaks Cebuano, the local dialect, fluently.  


Doom for illegal immigrants in Britain's NHS

Roll-out of passport scanners means instant checks on employees & applicants for employment in the National Health Service

Guys Hospital: A Home Office Immigration Visa Enforcement team raid at one of London's biggest hospitals has shown that new electronic methods are exposing illegal immigrants instantly. Photo credit: Nigel Chadwick

A raid on illegal immigrants working in the British National Health Service at London's Guys Hospital has revealed that checks by passport scanners on employees is growing in usage.


Dublin outreach in May closed to new passport applications

23 Feb 2014

Demand for passport renewals in Ireland outstrips inadequate supply

Dublin's Ha'penny Bridge over the River Liffey, officially it is called the Liffey Bridge. Photo credit: Thorsten Pohl 

The Philippine Embassy embassy in London has made an announcement that it has now reached its maximum capacity for passport applications for the Consular Outreach Mission in Dublin, Ireland in May.


National Youth Commission opens application for 10th NYP

Fresh from the successful implementation of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) 11 last week, the National Youth Commission is again set to embark on another milestone project-the 10th Parliament of Youth Leaders, also known as the National Youth Parliament (NYP). NYP 10 is slated to be held in Metro Manila this May, 2014.

Bad news for British Passport holders abroad

British citizens in Philippines will lose a lot of services from the embassy


A brand new embassy in Manila also means loss of historic consular services to British & British Commonwealth citizens

A circular from the British Foreign Office in London has dropped a minor bombshell for those used to a whole raft of consular services; a lot of legal and notarial services go out of the window probably as part of the government-wide cutbacks as a result of the financial crisis.


UK Student Visa Scandal

SCREENSHOT FROM BBC WEBSITE: Secret filming by the BBC has exposed an extensive level of corporate cheating to get around strict British rules on the granting of student visas

BBC "Panorama" program to expose massive fraud in English language testing

English langauge tests faked

"Show money" fraud in bank statements showing students have adequate funds to pay for their time at British colleges


Cebu tax boss ordered to pay P5.8 million penalty on illegally gained money

Ombudsman Wins Forfeiture Case vs. Cebu BIR Officer

Nieto A Racho, chief for the Special Investigation Division of the Revenue District Office in Talisay, Cebu has been ordered to pay nearly 6 million pesos not accounted for in his SALN 

A corrupt tax inspector from Cebu has been hit with a financial forfeiture order after investigative journalists discovered his declarations of worth did not tally with what he actually owned or earned in salary, and he could not account for the discrepancies.    

Investigations begun by the Radio Mindanao Network and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ  see below) 


William Hague's keynote speech in Manila

British Foreign Secretary Hague spells out trade is at the core of his visit 

William Hague banging the drum for Britain in Manila as well as praising the Philippines' economic growth, stated that trade links will grow as PHL is expected to leap forward in the next 20 years. Photo credit: Nell Belgado 

William Hague's short visit to the Philippines culminated in a major speech at the Asian Institute of Management in Manila at which trade links and economic growth were central to his and the UK's vision of a continued and future developing partnership between the two countries.

In a rather forthright manner, somewhat befitting his background as a blunt speaking Yorkshireman, and reminiscent of Bill Clinton's "It's the economy, stupid" epithet, the praise he levelled to the Phlippines was not of the usual diplomatic platitudes trotted out at occasions like these.


Ireland's Pinoys finally get a fixed office for consular matters

The Philippine Honorary Consulate in Dublin open's its new permanent office from 3rd Feburary 2014 

Hopefully Filipinos in Ireland and others wanting to do business with the Philippines will find things easier with the opening of a consul's office in Dublin  

After many months of frustration, the Philippine Honorary Consulate finally has a permanent address and official times and days of operation. 

The office will be open on Monday & Wednesday from 10:00am to 1.00pm. 


Peace deal will be good for Mindanao if it holds up

More aid for southern Philippine conflict zone 

A combatant of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF), the armed wing of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), at Camp Salahuddin in Davao Oriental province, on the Philippines island of Mindanao should be handing in his rifle after the conclusion of the peace deal © Guy Oliver/IRIN 

MANILA, (IRIN) - The Philippine government has completed peace talks with Muslim rebels after they agreed to turn over their weapons, ending four decades of deadly insurgency in Mindanao. This could fast-track rehabilitation of the war-torn southern region, and allow greater quantities of humanitarian aid to become available. 


Information sought on visa agent

26 Jan 2014

Juliette Darcy D'Souza

Have you paid money to this woman, either directly, or via other agents, for visas to enter and remain in the United Kingdom?


Philippine seaman's unions inspect ships in checks on working conditions

24 Jan 2014

South East Asian maritime unions conclude Action Week against Flag Of Convenience (FOC) ships 

Pinoy seafarers & dockers inspecting ships in Davao to ensure they comply with international regulations on wages and working conditions (larger image below) 

Dockers and Seafarers unions in Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and Myanmar inspected a total of 34 merchant vessels flying flags of convenience (FOC), as ITF Unions concluded the South East Asian Week of Action from 13-17 January. 


American-born Filipino dancer to take stage in Ireland

23 Jan 2014 

Fil-Am ballet dancer Joanne Daquigan, 14, to perform in Cork and Naas 

In March 2014, Houston, Texas dancer Joanne Daquigan, 14 will travel to Ireland to be part of the International Ballet of Houston tour performances in Cork (March 18th) and Naas (March 21st).


Philippine child abuse ring jailed over sex webcam image streaming

16 Jan 2014

Live online child abuse centered in the Philippines - 29 International arrests made

Child sex abusers in custody: From left to right: Michael Eller, Timothy Ford, Thomas Owen - all British pedophiles jailed as a result of Operation Endeavour which targeted perverts using webcam services exploiting children in the Philippines. Mugshots supplied by the National Crime Agency  

A four continent investigation into a pedophile ring using webcams to abuse Filipino children has been busted after a major operation.

An organised crime group, which facilitated the live streaming of child sexual abuse to order in the Philippines has been dismantled after a joint investigation by the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA), the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).


British Food Month in Manila opens

14 Jan 2014

British Ambassador invites everyone to celebrate British Food Month

British Chef Derek Quelch at the Dusit Thani Hotel putting the finishing touches to a meal, with the logo for the British Food Month in Manila and some of the meals from Marks & Spencer  

The UK is famous the world over for its rich culture and heritage. However, the diversity and excellence of modern British cuisine remains largely undiscovered in the Philippines.

To allow Filipinos the chance to experience the different aspects and wide variety of British cuisine without having to go abroad, the British Embassy and its partners welcome the new year with British Food Month, which starts this week (13 January) and ends on 9 February 2014.


Balita Pinoy revamps & expands free classified adverts

14 Jan 2014

A screenshot of Balita Pinoy's Business Section which is at the heart of the revamp of the free classified adverts system, expansion of the free real estate displays and the brand new trade offers & leads sections 

Balita Pinoy has revamped its free classified adverts section, as well as introducing exciting new features designed to give a boost to business as well as giving those selling properties a free platform to showcase their homes/real estate.


Marcos era law brought back to combat street crime

9 Jan 2014

36-year ordinance re-enforced to curb rising city violence 

One of Ferdinand Marcos' laws being implemented over fears of rising street crime 



With incidents of shooting that rocked the city and a series of streets riots involving minors, newly-elected Mayor Maricel Natividad called for the re-implementation of a 36-year-old ordinance.

This 1977 ordinance, Municipal Ordinance No. 1, mandated having a curfew for children.


Guagua's mayor sues former mayor over debts

Debt-ridden town's mayor to sue predecessor for graft


Dante Torres  the Guagua, Pampanga mayor 

Arroyo projects involved in controversy 


University of Santo Tomas Journalism program


Unfinished road upgrading and drainage systems left by the previous municipal administration were all patched-up by the new officials in office. However, the debts of the municipality as a result of these infrastructure projects are going to be settled in a trial court.


Pampanga Electric Coop in a financial mess

2 Jan 2014

Province's electric coop saddled with P2 B debt


University of Santo Tomas Journalism program


The Pampanga Electric Cooperative, Inc. II's (PELCO II) failure to register with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) has resulted to its financial instability, making a possible buyout a means to make it survive.

This failure, added to a mounting debt crisis, has meant tax exemptions are not applied leading to a financial disaster looming.


Philippines to break into financial top 30 list of nations 


Philippines' Makati skyline, economy to rise from 42nd to 28th position in the world economic league tables  

The leading economic consultancy Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) released its annual report The World Economic League Table yesterday morning. The report gives an end of year report on GDP in the 30 largest economies in the world. It also forecasts which countries will be in the ‘Top Thirty' for 5, 10 and 15 years ahead.

The key points of this year's report are:

  • Philippines rises from 42nd position in 2012 to 28th in 2028 
  • China's GDP in $ to overtake the US only in 2028 - much later than most previous predictions
  • India's GDP overtakes Japan also in 2028
  • UK does second best of advanced economies and overtakes Germany to become the largest Western European economy ‘around 2030'
  • Brazilian economy to remain behind the UK until 2023 - at the time of the football world cup in 2014 ‘at least Britain will beat Brazil at something....'

The Philippines economy is currently affected by the aftermath of the typhoon which has impacted on production, especially in agriculture. But it is expected to recover in 2014 and 2015. Meanwhile, the improved outlook for the US economy is important for the Philippines, which has much closer economic links with the US than other ASEAN economies. Cebr forecast that the Philippines will rise gradually from 42nd position in 2012 to 28th in 2028.  



AALDEF righting wrongs for Asian Americans 


Founded in 1974, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) is a national organization that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans.

By combining litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing, AALDEF works with Asian American communities across the country to secure human rights for all.

[These are some of the successes of 2013] 

Change to passport service for British nationals in the Philippines and Palau


British Passport - alterations to replacement passport procedures

From 9 December 2013, the application process will be centralised and British nationals in the Philippines and Palau should submit their passport application to Her Majesty's Passport Office in the UK.

This important change follows reviews by the National Audit Office and is designed to achieve economies of scale, greater security and consistency in decision making.



Dispatches: The War against journalists in the Philippines

Carlos Conde © 2013 Byba Sepitkova/Human Rights Watch 

The ongoing deadly attacks on journalists in the Philippines are no less than a war against themedia. In just the past two weeks, the body count in this war has surged: three dead journalists and one wounded in attacks perpetrated by unidentified gunmen.

Unidentified attackers shot dead radio journalist Rogelio Butalid in Tagum City on December 11. Police suspect Butalid's murder was linked to his on-air criticism on Tagum's Radyo Natin, but have not arrested any suspects.


British Government's 2014 South East Asia Prosperity Fund is now open for bids

Project bids for funding by the Prosperity Fund should be submitted by 26 Jan 2014 

The South East Asia Prosperity Fund is the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office's (FCO) technical cooperation programme that aims to create the conditions for global growth.

Working closely with project implementers and FCO's network of overseas missions, the Programme has supported over 90 policy projects (at a value of £3.4 million in the region) with projects in Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam & the Philippines...



Deserted in the Desert: Korean company flees Saudi Arabia abandoning OFW's

Pinoy workers abandoned by Korean employer and Filipino agency

Abandoned in the Saudi desert, Filipino workers who were sent there by Global Expertise Management of Ermita in Manila 

12 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW's) who were hired by a Filipino agency in Ermita to work for a Korean company in Saudi Arabia have been dumped with no money, no food and no assistance from their Ermita based agency when the Korean employers and staffers decamped, probably back to Seoul.


Panic on landing at Birmingham

Birmingham Airport, England. 2 planes abort landings at the last minute in 140mph cross-winds. Photograb from YouTube videos below  

Passengers hoping to land at Birmingham during the storms that have been buffeting Britain and Northern Europe experienced the full horrror of the situation hated by all pilots landing planes, a high cross-wind.


Gmail roll out feature to grab an email back

Gmail: Now there is a facility that may save those embarrassing errors in email sending a thing of the past 

Google have long had an innovative email system that comes up with new features; now Gmail have released an App that may save a lot of relationships as well as careers. It is an "unsend email" feature.

We've all done it, sent an email and instantly realized it has gone off to the wrong person. Now there is a simple solution.

[More & simple instructions]

British Cabinet Minister & Ambassador visit typhoon hit areas

British Minister Justine Greening and UK Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad on the tarmac at Cebu airport by an RAF cargo plane during a visit to see how the UK is helping those affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) Picture: Russell Watkins/DFID 

Britain will give the Philippines the long term support it needs to get back on its feet after the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, International Development Secretary Justine Greening has announced during a visit to some of the hardest-hit parts of the country.


Dispatches: Four Years On, No Justice for Maguindanao Massacre Victims 

The unearthing of the bodies of the massacre victims of the Ampatuan clan at the Maguindanao murder site four years ago - still the Philippine justice system is no nearer to giving justice for the victims and their families

By Carlos H. Conde

The threat was unambiguous. If Bong Andal testified against one of the Philippines' most powerful political families about their alleged involvement in the November 23, 2009 massacre on the southern island of Mindanao, his family would suffer. "They came again last month, showing our pictures to my relatives, letting them know that they're watching us," Andal told me by phone this week.

Article continues with many graphic photos:


Statement of Philippine Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo in London

Enrique A Manalo, Philippine Ambassador to the UK has made a statement thanking the British people and government for their response to the devastating typhoon 

STATEMENT OF H.E. ENRIQUE A. MANALO Philippine Ambassador to the UK

The officers and staff of the Embassy of the Philippines to the United Kingdom join me in expressing our deep gratitude to the Government and people of the United Kingdom and the Filipino and diplomatic/international community in the UK for their expressions of solidarity with the Filipino people in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan.

The immediate and generous response of Her Majesty's Government to the disaster, particularly its timely provision of assistance, personnel and assets to the affected people and areas, and its commitment to match, pound for pound, the first £5 million donated by the public to British charities, speaks eloquently of the long-standing friendship between our two countries. 

[Click for full statement]

UN launches $301 million appeal for typhoon-ravaged Philippines

A man carrying his children in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines, after Super Typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda) hit the province. Photo: UNICEF 

The United Nations today appealed for nearly a third of a billion dollars to provide humanitarian assistance to typhoon hit regions of the Philippines where aid workers are labouring around the clock to get in urgently needed survival supplies, such as food, clean water, shelter and basic medicines.

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos launched the $301 million flash appeal from Manila, the capital, where she is surveying the damage by Typhoon Haiyan which ripped through nine regions in south-east Asia over the weekend.


Typhoon Yolanda: British Gov't steps up aid effort - UK medics to assist Philippines relief effort

The British government is sending surgeons, doctors and A&E nurses to assist with recovery efforts of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines


The Department for International Development will deploy twelve emergency British medical staff, including surgeons, doctors and A&E nurses to assist with recovery efforts in the Philippines.

Announced earlier today by International Development Secretary Justine Greening, the initial medical and surgical team will be comprised of: 3 emergency physicians and other medical staff.


Toyota invent app for rice farmers

Toyota is using its wealth of knowledge about production control systems and process improvements to help rice farmers with a new IT tool to manage their workload 

Large-scale tests begin this month of the cloud-based system as part of a Japanese government-backed project to create advanced agricultural management models. These are needed to support the growing numbers of small-scale farmers and landowners.


Internal Home Office document reveals staff procedures for removing people from the UK

Staff document reveals instructions for deportations from Britain 

An internally circulated Home Office document has come into the possession of Balita Pinoy detailing staff instructions for the removal of people from Britain.

Although without any heading that it is Secret, Confidential or Restricted and is on the British government's own website, it is clearly not meant for public consumption.


British diplomat in Manila ignites the European Union debate

10 Apr 2014

Diplomat's winning entry will spark new interest on Britain's position in Europe and the coming referendum 

Manila based British diplomat Iain Mansfield receiving the 100,000 Euros prize in cash flanked by two impassive security men 

A senior trade official in the British embassy in Manila has submitted a paper to a London based free market think tank which will give a boost to the anti-European Union (EU) campaigners such as the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).

The paper is the winning entry in a competition organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA). 


Report exposes abuse of UK's domestic "slaves"

30 Mar 2014

UK: Migrant Domestic Workers Face Serious Abuse

UK Government Should Abolish ‘Tied Visa' to Protect Workers, Prevent Forced Labor 

The controversial British visa which ties domestic workers in Britain to one employer, effectively making them slaves: videos are included in the report 


Migrant domestic workers accompanying their employers to the United Kingdom are being subjected to serious abuses including forced labor, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The UK government is doing far too little to protect vulnerable workers, and recent changes to UK immigration rules make it harder for workers to flee abuse, the report found.


MILF disarmament a law and order challenge

28 Mar 2014

Prospects for peace in Mindanao

Children peek out of the window of a classroom converted into an IDP evacuation center in the southern province of Maguindanao, Mindanao © Jason Gutierrez/IRIN

MANILA, (IRIN) - Analysts warn that the peace accord signed on 27 March between the Philippine government and the country's largest Muslim rebel force, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), unlikely to bring an immediate end to violence and displacement on the southern island of Mindanao. 

A key drawback of the deal is the exclusion of important stakeholders. 



Ombudsman to seize P130-M from former Chief Justice Corona

27 Mar 2014

Ombudsman denies Corona's Motion for Reconsideration

Renato Corona, th Philippines' former top law officer, is set lose millions as Ombudsman to seize illegal money 

In a 15-page Joint Order signed Wednesday, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales denied the Motion for Reconsideration filed by former Chief Justice Renato Corona and his wife, Cristina Corona, in connection with their case for ill-gotten wealth.


British health scare as cats give people TB

27 Mar 2014

UK public health authorities drop a bombshell for cat owners 

Two people are being treated for tuberculosis caught from their domestic cat Photo credit: Marc d'Entremont on Flickr

Public Health England which acts partly as a health protection agency in the UK has stunned cat lovers with the revelation that 2 people have contracted the deadly tuberculosis infection from a dmestic cat.


Gawad Kalinga to Hold Global Young Leadership Seminar at London Embassy, 10 and 17 May

26 Mar 2014

Gawad Kalinga will hold a Global Young Leadership Seminar at the Philippine Embassy in London on 10 and 17 May 2014.

Leadership Development for Cross-cultural Success

Understanding Southeast Asia
  • Ready to pursue an international career?
  • Have a strong interest in Southeast Asia?
  • A STUDENT enrolled in studies or a young PROFESSIONAL working in the UK?
  • Looking for a collaborative and hands on learning experience -beyond the traditional theoretical focus, to boost your global success?
  • Are you ready for interactive and engaging workshops to develop your leadership skills, fit for the 21st century that will see increased cross-cultural interaction?
[More & Full Details]

Procter & Gamble bitten on the bottom by tigers

26 Mar 2014

Enviromental activists leave multi-national company Procter & Gamble red faced in tiger stunt

The tigers play: Greenpeace activists dressed as Sumatran tigers set up camp outside a Procter & Gamble (P&G) facility in Cabuyao, Laguna, South of Manila. The protesting tigers installed tree stumps and tents to show how  P&G has wiped out their habitats and rendered them homeless due to company's lack of a No-Deforestation policy when it comes to sourcing palm oil for their products. Greenpeace is demanding Procter & Gamble to guarantee that its products become forest-friendly. Photo credit: ©Jimmy Domingo/Greenpeace


Greenpeace activists dressed as Sumatran tigers set up camp outside a Procter & Gamble (P&G) facility in Cabuyao, Laguna today. The protesting tigers installed tree stumps and tents to show how P&G has wiped out their habitats and rendered them homeless due to company's lack of a No-Deforestation policy when it comes to sourcing palm oil for their products. 

[More with additional photos]

First prosecutions in Britain for Female Genital Mutilation to go ahead

21 Mar 2014

The British Director of Public Prosecutions has announced the first ever prosecutions under the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Act 

Whittington hospital's Doctor Dhanuson Dharmasena will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on 15th April 2014 facing charges of causing Female Genital Mutilation. Photo credit: Tagishsimon  

After many years of the law against female circumcision being on the statute...books in the United Kingdom, British law officials have finally bitten the bullet to bring about prosecutions to stop this barbaric (mainly) Muslim practice. 

Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is defined as all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.


Ireland's Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello in Manila to see Yolanda reconstruction

19 Mar 2014

Irish Trade Minister meets with Philippine Foreign Secretary

Joe Costello TD and Albert F. del Rosario

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario today thanked Ireland for its commitment to continue support for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda and invited Ireland to participate actively in the rehabilitation and recovery program in areas devastated by the typhoon.


Care agency bosses charged with immigration & conspiracy counts

19 Mar 2014

Two Filipino staff already convicted and have gone back to PHL 

UK Care Agency Staff Charged With Immigration Offences Following Home Office Raid And Tragic Death Of A Pensioner 

Two staff members of a Sutton care agency have been charged with immigration and conspiracy offences after a raid last year by Police and Home Office UK border officers.


Canadian's stepping up immigration recruitment

19 Mar 2014

Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments working together to meet Canada's labour needs through active immigrant recruitment

Ottawa - Federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) immigration ministers today reiterated their commitment to actively recruit economic immigrants that have the skills the Canadian economy needs most.


Don't Become a Victim of Immigration Fraud

14 Mar 2014 

Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander (pictured above) today encouraged potential newcomers to use authorized immigration representatives to avoid becoming victims of fraud.

March is Fraud Prevention Month and this year Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has partnered with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) and the Federation of Law Societies of Canada (FLSC) to promote awareness.


Charismatic trade union leader Bob Crow dies

11 Mar 2014

Union boss Bob Crow dies suddenly of heart attack

Bob Crow photographed here at an energy conference in 2012 has just died at the age of 52. Photo credit © 2012 Jarle Vines 

The ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) is mourning the shockingly early death of our comrade Bob Crow, general secretary of the ITF-affiliated RMT, and ITF executive.


ABTA and Police issue warning on rising holiday booking fraud

Holiday and flight booking fraud increased in 2013

Those special flight deals which are too good to be true might land you up the creek without a paddle 

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), The City of London Police's National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Get Safe Online have joined forces to warn the general public about the...


3 day freebie set as a climax to British festival in Manila

Featuring British Fashion, cars, sports, education, film, theater, music, business and more! 

British Ambassador Asif Ahmad invites everyone to the Great British Festival happening at the Bonifacio High Street on March 7 to 9. The festival will highlight the United Kingdom's world-class contributions in industry, entertainment, fashion, sports, education and the arts and will feature exhibitions and performances...


Visas to the UK from Dublin to cost more as service is outsourced

UK Visa changes for applications from the Republic of Ireland

The British Embassy in Dublin's visa service is now outsourced 

From 19th March 2014 the British Embasy in Dublin is handing over to their commercial partner Teleperformance Ltd which will take over the running of the Visa Application Centre in Dublin. The Visa Application Centre will move.


Pinay care worker in desperate battle to stay in UK with husband

More than 400 people have signed a petition backing Norfolk couple Arlene and Stephen Watty in their struggle against deportation

Stephen and Arlene Watty of Hemsby are facing an immigration battle after the Home Office claimed they do not earn enough for Arlene to stay in this country. The couple pictured on their wedding day in 2012. Photo courtesy Lauren Rogers/Archant 

The following is reprinted with the kind permission of the Norwich Evening News 

By Lauren Rogers 

Forty-five-year-old Arlene, who works full time at a care home in Hemsby, Norfolk just north of Great Yarmouth, moved to the UK from the Philippines in 2009.

She arrived on a student visa, studying health and social care, and a year later fell in love with a neighbour, Stephen, and the couple married in 2012. 


Helena Skeggs the travel agent

Skeggs seems to have branched out into the airline ticket industry - in California 

Complaints are coming in from California of people who paid Skeggs for tickets to the Philippines, but did not fly as High Court Sherriff's in London are hot on her trail

If reports coming in from the sunshine state of California are correct, Helena Skeggs has started a new line of business, that of selling tickets to Filipinos wishing to travel home.


Canadian firm tried to ship toxic cargo to Manila

Greenpeace calls for ratification of Basel Ban Amendment following discovery of Canadian toxic shipment

Some of the 50 shipping containers being opened and discovery of the toxic waste (link to news report & video below)

Canadian company Chronic Incorporated of Ontario will have to pick up a shipping bill of at least $USD200,000 to return toxic container vans back to Canada

Manila, Philippines

Environmental group Greenpeace today expressed alarm at the discovery of fifty container vans from Canada, supposedly carrying plastic scraps, but found to contain a mixture of different household waste that include adult diapers, and plastic containers with liquids.


UN slams Vatican over cover-ups on pedophile priests

UN says church covered up to preserve reputation at expense of abused children

Monsignor Cristobal Garcia who left the USA after admitting having had sex with two altar boys also investigated over illegal ivory trading; his family own a large chunk of Cebu based Visayan Electric Co is just one of many pedophile priests whose activities were covered up by the Vatican (link below to original story) 

By Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva 

The Vatican has been told by a United Nations Committee to immediately remove all clergy within the catholic church known or suspected of involvement in child sex abuse.


Ex-Chief Justice Corona to face charges over P130 million unexplained assets

Arroyo poodle charged by Ombudsman over hidden money

Former President Arroyo appointed Corona as top law officer to protect her from corruption charges

Disgraced former Chief Justice Renato Corona tried to conceal millions of pesos of unaccountable money. Supreme Court photograph 

The Office of the Ombudsman found probable cause to charge former Chief Justice (CJ) Renato Corona and his wife, Cristina Corona, with violation of Republic Act (RA) No. 1379, and CJ Corona with eight (8) counts of perjury and eight (8) counts of violation of Section 11 of RA No. 6713.


Typhoon Haiyan concert in London's West End

More Stars Join the Line-Up of "You'll Never Walk Alone - The West End Unites for the Philippines" 

More names have been announced for a special one-night-only concert You'll Never Walk Alone at the Queen's Theatre on Sunday 2 March 2014 at 7.30pm in aid of the Philippines Typhoon Appeal. Tickets are now on sale from £32.50, with all proceeds going directly to the Disasters Emergency Committee

Joining the line up are: Danielle Hope (Winner of BBC's Over The Rainbow), Pashaand Katya (BBC's Strictly Come Dancing), Cynthia Erivo (The Colour Purple, I Can't Sing!) Cassidy Janson (Lend Me a Tenor, Candide) and Francine Lewis (ITV's Britain's Got Talent). Avenue Q original London cast members Jon Robyns (Les Miserables, Spamalot), Simon Lipkin (Rock of Ages, I Can't Sing!), Julie Atherton (The Last Five Years, Sister Act) and Giles Terera (The Book of Mormon) will also be sharing the stage with the likes of Princeton and Kate Monster for a special reunion performance.  


William Hague to visit Manila

British Foreign Secretary Hague will go to the Philippines

William Hague is on a two country SE Asia visit of the Philippines & Indonesia 

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague will visit the Philippines this week, taking up a personal invitation to visit from Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.

Mr Hague is coming here as part of a two-country visit, which also includes a visit to Indonesia.  



UK Embassy Outreach: Liverpool cancelled, moved to Manchester

26 Jan 2014

The Philippine Embasy's outreach to Liverpool has been cancelled and moved to take place in Manchester 15th February 

A press release from the Philippine embassy in London has stated that the planned outreach in Liverpool has been cancelled and the location has been moved to Manchester.


The Filipino American Senior Association of Chino Hills, California inducts new officers

24 Jan 2014 

The induction - large photograph below with named officers 

The Filipino American Senior Association (FASA) of Chino Hills, founded in 1993, observed and celebrated its 20th Anniversary at Los Serranos Golf and Country Club last Sunday, 19 January 2014.


Filipino crewed ship arrested in the River Thames

23 Jan 2014

Greek shipowners haven't paid Philippine crew of unseaworthy vessel
© Marcelo Vieira

The Greek owned MV Isis, photographed above when docked at the Port of Rio Grande in Brazil in 2008 by Marcelo Viera, has been detained by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) at Tilbury docks on the River Thames and is due to be arrested by the International Transport Federation over unpaid wages to the Filipno crew - this is the second time Greek operators, Athens-based company Derna Carriers and owners Diamond Seaways Corp of the Marshall Islands registered vessel, have defaulted on paying its crew

The Tilbury branch of the Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) along with the International Transport Federation (ITF) has stepped in to support the Pinoy crew of a cargo ship currently detained at Tilbury on the River Thames near London after British coast guards inspected and arrested the Greek-owned ship over its poor condition.

The distressed Filipino crew of the mv Isis have not been paid their wages over the last few months after the ship's Greek owner fell into financial problems.

[More & photo of MV Isis detained at Tilbury]

Against the exclusion of Adult Dependent Relatives in the UK

22 Jan 2014

Meetings to be held around the UK for consultations on the restrictions

Legal Campaigning organisation the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) is working to change the restrictive rules on the Adult Dependent Relative category of the immigration rules. Since July 2012 rules introduced by Theresa May, Home Secretary, have made it virtually impossible for elderly parents or other family members of British citizens or settled people to join their families in the UK.


Philippines: Surge of Journalist Killings, Justice Failures

22 Jan 2014

Entrenched Rights Problems Demand Government Action 

The Maguindanao Massacre: Scene of the world's worst ever peacetime killings of journalists by the Ampatuan crime family; the case is still slowly going through the courts 5 years after 

Manila - The Philippine government failed to match its rhetoric in support of human rights in 2013 with meaningful action to end impunity for extrajudicial killings, torture, and enforced disappearances, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2014.

Barangays domestic violence cases under reported

21 Jan 2014

The ‘few' reported domestic violence cases in a brgy. with many of these

An illustration from JJ Grandville's Cent Proverbes (1845) captioned "Qui aime bien châtie bien" (Who loves well, punishes well). 



Even if there are reportedly 1,026 domestic violence cases in Barangay San Vicente alone, only 93 cases are recorded at this city's social welfare and development office.

This figure of domestic violence cases in San Viente is based on the crime statistics report of the barangay for the first quarter of 2013 (January-June).


Bulacan city council forcing businesses to install CCTV

14 Jan 2014

Crimes caught on CCTV a push for city ordinance's amendment

San Jose del Monte businesses could be forced to install CCTV cameras. Photo credit: Hustvedt



The crime incidents caught by closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras inspired the city government to extend its installation from financial institutions to all established businesses.


Philippine Embassy in London releases outreach dates for 2014 including Irish visits

10 Jan 2014

London Embassy outreach programs announced

The Philippine Embassy in London has announced its outreach program for 2014

The Philippine Embassy in London has just announced its outreach program for 2014.

Giving specific dates for most, the outreach for Cardiff is still only listed for sometime in July.

There are 3 for Ireland, one for Belfast in March, and two for Dublin, in May and October.

Other dates are given for the Isle of Man, Liverpool and Glasgow.


Zamboanga refugee camp with smiling children 


A girl reconnects with friends who were also displaced by the conflict. Child protection issues remain a major concern © Jason Gutierrez/IRIN/CERF

Three months after renegade Muslim militants opposed to efforts by the Philippine government to end a decades-long rebellion laid siege to the southern city of Zamboanga, traumatized children are learning to laugh again. 




TNT in La Union: Sacked, Struck-off and Wanted 

Paul Ryan Laminoza who is now a wanted man for illegal recruitment 

A Filipino nurse who was sacked from Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge and subsequently struck off the British nursing register is now on the run the Philippines with an arrest warrant out for him after he perpetuated a PhP1.7 million illegal recruitment scam on 29 nurses.

Paul Ryan Laminoza who was first registered as a nurse in the UK in 2002 ripped off the nurses, mostly from San Fernando, La Union of 60,000 pesos each for false nursing jobs in a Singapore hospital.


OFW Complaints Service 

Balita Pinoy  has set up a universal complaints service for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW's).

This is so OFW's can have a central point to air problems they may have with Embassies, Consulates and companies offering services for OFW's such as cargo, money remittance, employment & migration services as well as travel companies.  

The form (below) is simple to complete, just fill it in with the details and we will look into the matter.


Davao Del Norte Press & Radio-TV club statement on the killing of Bukidnon broadcaster Joash Dignos

Joash Dignos who was murdered by four killers in Bukidnon (YouTube screen grab)

The Davao del Norte Press & Radio-TV Club strongly condemns the brutal killing of radio broadcaster Joash Dignos, who had a blocktime radio program "Bombardeo" in DXGT Radyo Abante 92.1 FM in Maramag, Bukidnon.

The manner on how the radio commentator was killed by four still unidentified motorcycle-riding suspects and the many number of bullets pumped at his body speak that the assassins were out and determined to assuredly finish off the journalist.


Tacloban's Typhoon Radio Station

Life-saving radio begins broadcasting in typhoon-hit Tacloban

(IRIN) - As distraught families in central and eastern Philippines struggle to access supplies in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, an emergency radio station broadcasting critical life-saving information has gone live in badly-affected Tacloban city.

"[The station] aims to be the voice from the government and the relief community to the affected [people] and also to provide two-way communication [with] the community," Mike Adams, the international coordinator for First Response Radio (FRR), an international non-profit network of radio technicians who have had a team on standby in the Philippines since 2007 and are a partner of the Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities (CDAC) network, told IRIN.


Healthcare Training Academy Duo Sentenced

Owners of Healthcare Training Academy (HTA) were sentenced today at Worcester Crown Court 

A screenshot of the Healthcare Training Academy's website which defrauded many Filipino NVQ students as well as staffers  

The owners of the rip-off NVQ training college in Kidderminster in Worcestershire were today sentenced by a judge after the trial where they were found guilty of fraud offenses relating to duping Filipino students.

Michael Grice who is 67 and his wife Carol Grice, 57, had previously been convicted on three counts of fraudulent trading relating to the Healthcare Training Academy (HTA) and a linked company, Transnational Services GB, operating in the English town of Kidderminster in Worcestershire last month.


Special London Mass in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) 

The Philippine Embassy invites all Filipinos in the United Kingdom to join us in this solemn occasion, in unity with our fellow Filipinos back home.

Following are details (flyer below) of the special Mass organized by the Philippine Embassy and the Filipino Communities in London:


  • Date: 16 November 2013, Saturday
  • Time: 4:00 pm
  • Venue: Holy Redeemer Church 20 Brixton Road, London SW9 6BU


Mga Kababayan, let us gather at the Holy Redeemer Church on Saturday, 16 November, to express our sympathy.


Yolanda/Haiyan: Casualty lists declared so far

The Philippine governement have released an initial list of casualty figures they have at the moment (13 Nov 2013).

This list is of those who are dead, injured and missing.

Many of the dead are unidentified. Strangely, a few are listed as having died of frostbite, this must be a typographical error or probably means hypothermia.

These lists are obviously incomplete as the situation on the ground is still chaotic, and updated lists will be placed in Balita Pinoy as they become made available over the coming days.


Typhoon Yolanda: Important information regarding donations, assistance & missing persons

Tacloban City airport after the typhoon struck. Photo credit: IRIN 

Information released by Philippine Embassy in London 

Donations for Yolanda/Haiyan-affected Areas in the Philippines

Statement on Foreign Offers of Assistance to Relief and Rehabilitation Efforts in "Yolanda" - Hit Provinces

Missing Persons Finder 


Typhoon Yolanda: Britain sends in Navy & RAF

Britain will send a Royal Navy warship and RAF C-17 Globemaster aircraft to help people devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in a £10 million aid operation

Britain will deploy a Royal Navy warship and RAF military transport aircraft to help people devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, Prime Minister David Cameron announced tonight.

HMS Daring and her crew will provide humanitarian assistance, helicopter lift from one on-board Lynx and engineering and first-aid expertise. The Type 45 destroyer also carries equipment to make drinking water from seawater.


Laguna trial court has lifted warrant of arrest against Greenpeace campaigners

Quezon City, Philippines - The bench warrant issued against three Greenpeace campaigners for allegedly failing to attend a court hearing in connection with a decontamination action on a Bt talong field trial has been lifted following the November 6, 2013 appearance of the three Greenpeace staff accused of a malicious mischief case before the Laguna Municipal Trial Court.


Tyhoon Yolanda: British Gov't Disaster Aid Team Lands In Manila

UK offers support to Philippines following Typhoon Yolanda

Emergency number issued for British affected by the disaster

FCO Minister Hugo Swire

Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire says a relief assessment team has arrived in Philippines to co-ordinate aid 

FCO Minister of State Hugo Swire sends condolences to those affected by Typhoon Yolanda and offers support to the Government of the Philippines.

With the super typhoon death toll at 1,200 and expected to rise, along with the extensive damage caused, the British Foreign Office has sprung into action with the Department for International Development (DFID) having already had a team on its way to the Philippines, seemingly almost as initial reports were coming in of the scale of the typhoon's devastation.


Super Typhoon Yolanda: Now to count the cost

British Ambassador promises assistance 

(IRIN) - Aid agencies are bracing for the worst after Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines in the early hours of 8 November, triggering landslides, heavy flooding and affecting tens of millions of people.

"We are working closely in support of government and local authorities to assess the life-saving needs of the people affected by this typhoon," said Julie Hall, acting resident and humanitarian coordinator in the Philippines.


Cool House For Less Than $30,000

Canadian architectural design team come up with innovative home solution

Pinay jointly heads revolutionary team

The NOMAD micro house with design team leaders Ian and Joel Kent 

A Vancouver based architectural design team have pushed the limits with affordable housing in designing a 10' x 10' micro-house costing $US25,000.

NOMAD micro homes from British Columbia is headed by husband, Canadian Ian Kent, and wife, Filipina Joel Alvaro Kent, who lead a small team which is now in the process of promoting and raising additional funds.


Important Information For Money Remitters In The USA 

Para sa Agarang Paglabas:

Makipag-ugnay sa:

Opisina ng Komunikasyon Tel (202) 435-7170

In Tagalog & English 


CFPB Launches Education Campaign About New International Money Transfer Protections

Multilingual Multimedia Kampanya ay tumutuon sa Aninaw at Bagong mga proteksyon

WASHINGTON, DC- Ang Mamimili Pananalapi Proteksyon Kawanihan (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) (CFPB) ay naglulunsad sa buong bansa ng kampanya sa multimedia upang ipaalam sa mga mamimili na nagpapadala ng perang pangdaigdigan tungkol sa bagong mga proteksyon na epektibo ngayong araw. Ang mga proteksyon ay nakapaloob sa isang panuntunan na tinatapos na mas maaga sa taong ito.


Philippine Embassy In London Issues Toughest Warning Yet Over Rogue Immigration Advisors   

Philippine Embassy warns Filipinos against suspicious "Immigration Consultants"

Officials in the Philippine Embassy in London are getting alarmed at the number of complaints coming into them about Filipinos cheating their countrymen over the issuance of visas, specifically those who state they have insiders at the UKBA.

The Embassy has received a number of complaints against certain individuals who allegedly defraud people of huge amounts of money by promising to obtain visas through "contacts" inside the UK Border Agency (UKBA). 


OFW Complaint Form (Revised Dec 2013)
If you have a complaint about an embassy, consulate or company providing services to OFW's, let us at Balta Pinoy know here and we will look into it for you. Questions marked by * are required.
1. Name: *
2. Email: *
3. Repeat Email: *
4. Phone number: *
5. Embassy, Consulate or Company: *
6. Complaint: *
7. Country you are in: *
8. Names of person(s) you have dealt with *

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