Monday, August 30, 2010

Singapore needs more foreign workers in order to grow

Got this from Strait Times – with the current rate of population growth in Singapore, it is very clear that it will need to draw talent from all over the world to supplement the local pool.

SINGAPORE needs foreigners to grow the economy and create jobs for Singaporeans, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Local companies Keppel and SembCorp, for instance, hire 20,000 people here, including 5,000 Singaporeans. But without the foreign workers, these Singaporean jobs would not exist, and vice versa, he added.

This is because too few Singaporeans want to become welders or marine workers, and Singapore is not producing enough engineers and technicians.

Foreign workers, on the other hand, bring a wide range of skills and experiences, and knowledge about different markets around the world.

With a booming economy, Mr Lee said more foreign workers will still be needed to create more jobs in Singapore. But the numbers will be smaller - about 80,000 more this year and not 100,000 as previously announced.

'With local and foreign workers working together, Keppel and SembCorp have become world beaters,' said Mr Lee.

He reiterated the need for foreigners to top up the population shortfall, given how the Government efforts to produce more Singaporean babies have not yielded results.

However, he drew a distinction between foreign workers and immigrants, or PRs and new citizens.

Foreign workers are transients who work in factories, banks and shipyards, and leave when the job is done, he said.

And although the Government is pushing for higher productivity in order to reduce the reliance on foreign workers, they are still needed for large scale projects such as more HDB flats and new MRT lines.

He asked Singaporeans to bear with the larger numbers for the time being.

As for immigrants, he stressed that their numbers are far smaller, and that the Government is very careful with whom they accept: New citizens and PRs must not only contribute economically, but also integrate into our society and strike roots here.

He recognised that while the inflow of foreigners has helped Singapore become a more cosmopolitan city with a more vibrant economy, and build a new Marina Bay, it also had its side effects: overcrowding, social frictions and the sense that society is changing too quickly.

Mr Lee promised to consolidate and slow down pace, as Singapore cannot continue to take in as many as it has been been doing in the past few years.

source: Strait Times

In Singapore, the term immigrant workers is separated into foreign workers and foreign talents.

  • Foreign workers refers to semi-skilled or unskilled workers who mainly work in the manufacturing, construction, and domestic services sectors.
  • Foreign talents refers to foreigners with professional qualifications or acceptable degrees working at the higher end of Singapore’s economy.

The Singaporean government  has carefully constructed a system under which different types of employment passes are issued to immigrant workers according to their qualifications and monthly salaries. The “P, Q, R” employment-pass system was put into practice since September 1998; a new “S” type employment pass was later introduced in July 2004.

The government has also set different policies on recruiting foreign talents and foreign workers. The different policies towards 'Foreign workers' and 'Foreign talents' in Singapore have led some people to feel that their contributions toward Singapore’s development are valued differently.

Tayong Dalawa to be shown in Singapore’s Channel 5

The Two of Us

Tayong Dalawa (lit. "The Two Of Us"), a Philippine primetime drama series broadcast on ABS-CBN in 2009 will premiere on 31st August 2010 on Channel 5 in Singapore which featured an ensemble cast.

The story revolved around fraternal twin brothers (Jake Cuenca and Gerald Anderson) who share the same name, the same aspirations, and the same lady-of-interest (Kim Chiu). The title of the series was taken from one of Rey Valera’s classic songs, in a manner similar to most Filipino soap operas.

Here’s the promotional item being circulated:

  • Premieres on August 31, 2010 in Singapore
  • Every Tuesdays to Thursdays at 7:00PM

Two Men...

Sharing One Name...

Loving One Woman...

28DEA81E60DD32D4BAE683CF384C75[1]Dave and JR come from two different worlds. Dave is a rich kid who has everything but longs for his father's affection. JR comes from a poor family, doing whatever he can to help his mother and stepbrother survive. The two seem to have nothing in common but their name.

Dave is David M. Garcia, Jr. and JR is David D. Garcia, Jr.

Their paths first cross when one David Garcia is mistaken for the other. The mix-up is easily resolved and the two become friends. Their friendship deepens as they both enter the Military Academy.

But when secrets from the past reveal that the two are actually half-brothers!

Can their friendship survive?

Will this rivalry tear their lives and families apart?

Will they break the heart of the woman they both love?

Two of Us

Duty and Tax Free Privileges When Returning to the Philippines

Duty and Tax Free Privileges in accordance with the provisions of Section 105 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP), as amended by Executive Order No. 206

Who are entitled to Duty and Tax Free Privileges?

  • Returning Residents
  • Overseas Filipino Worker is a Filipino national who works in a foreign country under an employment contract. Only OFWs who have an uninterrupted stay abroad for more than six (6) months are entitled to duty and tax free privileges.
  • Former Filipinos

What is the extent of duty and tax free privilege of returning Filipinos/Balikbayans?

The extent varies as follows:

  • Returning Resident. Personal effects and household goods used by him abroad for at least six (6) months and the dutiable value of which is not more than Ten Thousand Pesos (Php10,000.00) are exempt from duties and taxes. Any amount in excess of Php10,000.00 is subject to 50% duty to the first Php10,000.00 exemption across the board as provided for under Section 105 (F) of the TCCP.
  • Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). In addition to the privileges granted to Returning Residents as described above, an OFW may be allowed to bring in, duty and tax free Ten Thousand (Php10,000.00) of USED home appliances, provided:
    • The quantity is limited to one of each kind
    • The privilege has not been enjoyed previously during the calendar year which fact must be declared under oath by the owner
    • The owner’s passport is presented at the port/airport of entry
    • Tany amount in excess of Php10,000.00 will be subject to duty and tax

You may also visit the website of the Philippine Bureau of Customs on the matter.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Filipino Association of Singapore 73rd Foundation Anniversary Celebrations

Below is an invitation to the 73rd founding anniversary celebration of the Filipino Association of Singapore (FAS) on Sunday, August 29, 8AM - 9PM, at Hong Lim Park.

You are cordially invited to the FAS 73rd Founding Anniversary Celebration cum Philippines Fiesta 2010

Theme: "Reaching-out to Filipinos and Singapore Community, Restore the Filipino Links, Sharing our hearts and minds
"A Musical & Dance Journey from 1937 to 2010"

Location: Telok Ayer Hong Lim Green Community Centre & Hong Lim Park (Speaker's Corner), 20 Upper Pickering Street 058284

When: 29th August 2010, Sunday
Time: 8:00am to 9:00pm


Rico Hizon, Pamela Wildheart, Susan Andes (Susan K), Maria Fernandez and Warner Banaag

With Special appearances by:

Jovit Baldivino, Giselle Sanchez, Edu Manzano,Vehnee Saturno, Mau Marcelo, Josh Santana, Ladine Roxas, OJ Mariano, Catherine Loria, Benj and Helmi Gimmick.

Also featuring Top Local Filipino acts by:

Pinoy Idol Champions 2006-2010 - Mary Grace Arceno, Asher Cacho, Jocelyn Alberto, Robert Sunga, Edz Solis & Rodel Miguel

With band performances by:

Maharlika Band & Ade Band, and dance performances by Groove Unlimited, FDC, Emerged, PinoySG Dancers and Filipino cultural dance troupe.

Featured Activities:

  • Featuring Grand Finals of Pinoy Got Talent in Singapore
  • 1st Filipino Fiesta Band in Singapore with Filipino Majorettes
  • Philippine Fiesta Traditional Games and Filipino Artists Celso Pepito.
  • Join the Alay Lakad (Morning Walk) and Witness the First Parada ng Lechon, Parada ng Pinoy Bread, etc.
  • Participate in NKF Kidney Disease Awareness Program & Street Collection for Calamity Victims
  • Be Aware of the Community Integration Programs

HIGHLIGHTS of the FREE activities...

  • FREE LANDBANK CASH CARD (Pre-regisration required)
  • FREE LANDBANK CASH CARD (Pre-registration required)
  • FREE INFORMATICS 25% TUITION DISCOUNT (any brances in the Philippines)

How to get there:
Buses 2, 12, 33, 51, 54, 63, 80, 61, 197, 147, 961, 190, 620, 147A, 186, 970, 608.
By train, stop at Clarke Quay MRT station, Exit A

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Philippine Embassy in Singapore Extended the time for Passport Collection

According to an announcement from the Philippine Embassy:

Effective immediately,  period for passport collection is now extended from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Thursday.  On Sundays, collection is limited to emergency cases only from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. due to space constraints as some 700 to 1000 applicants for various consular and labor services visit the Embassy.

Please note that new passports will be released only if current passport is presented for cancellation. Failure to collect passport within six  (6) months after issuance may lead to cancellation of passport.

Previously, they were only releasing passport due for collection from 1:30PM to 5:00PM.

I wonder if collection of overdue passport and passport coursed through agencies are still being entertained from 4:00PM to 5:00 PM on Monday to Thursday?

Airphil Express Flies to Singapore, Another Option To Fly Home

Airphil Express is testing the Regional Market as it announces its first Regional flight to Singapore on October 27, 2010. It is getting its feet wet, trying to follow the success of Cebu Pacific.

The announcement was timed to take advantage of the coming Christmas season where thousands of Filipinos are expected to go back home to enjoy the holiday.

You can now book a ticket online but they only have one (1) schedule flight per day for now…

Manila - Singapore
Arrival     : MNL 04:40 PM / SIN 08:05 PM
Departure: SIN 08:55 PM / MNL 12:20 AM

airphil express

Airphil Express, the Philippines' rapidly growing low-cost carrier is thrilled to announce direct flights from Manila to Asia's island state – Singapore!  Mark your calendars for their first regional destination on October 27, 2010! 

Having added the Philippines' largest hubs to its domestic network, Airphil Express now connects its passengers with one of the largest hubs of finance, culture and trade in the region.  "This is a route that will bring you to the microcosm of Asia, a place that more and more people travel to for work and play," said Airphil Express Corporate Communications Manager, Bettina de Vera.   

"Singapore is no better choice for our first regional route and outlays for us, much as the city-state itself does, a gateway into Asia. Adding Singapore to our network certainly represents a major milestone in our growth," she added.

The newly re-launched low cost carrier has rapidly expanded its service domestically with the addition of new Airbus A320 aircraft. When adding services to Singapore, Airphil Express will also celebrate the addition of yet another brand new A320 aircraft setting its sights on further expansion into the regional market.

de Vera added: "We are expanding our network regionally to offer our passengers more options at our affordable prices. That, with our customer-centric focus, will be the theme for our expansion into Asia."

Airphil Express will start selling flights for its Singapore service on August 3rd for as low as Php1,888.

Airphil Express is still the only low cost airline to provide 15kgs FREE baggage allowance.



I can still remember when Cebu Pacific first entered the Singapore Route on August 31, 2006 (after being suspended in Nov2002-Jan2003 due to SARS). It was such a big gamble and it paid off. They also started with one flight per day and it grew to the current average of 3 flights per day.

With this announcement, there are now 4 budget airlines (Cebu Pacific Air, JetStar, Tiger Airways and AirPhil Express) flying the Singapore-Manila route. Let’s see how it is going to stack up with the competition…..

Monday, August 23, 2010

David Foster and Friends (with Charice) will open Singapore Sun Festival 2010


15 time Grammy award winner, David Foster will open the Singapore Sun Festival in style. Natalie Cole, Charice, Peter Cetera, Ruben Studdard and The Canadian Tenors will join David as he hosts the opening two nights of the Singapore Sun Festival 2010. Singapore Sun Festival will run from October 29 to November 7, 2010.

Responsible for creating some of the biggest sensations in music and one of the most successful producers and song writers in history, David has produced hits such as Celine Dion’s first No.1 hit, The Power of Love, Natalie Cole’s Unforgettable…, Unbreak My Heart (Toni Braxton), I Will Always Love You (Whitney Houston), I Swear (All-4-One), and Because You Loved Me (Celine Dion).

As the show's host, David is larger-than life, with his effervescent personality and brilliant piano accompaniment. Don't miss this stunning musical event.

A stellar array of artists join David Foster to create a once in a lifetime event in Singapore:

Winner of nine Grammy Awards, the American singer, songwriter, performer and daughter of the crooner Nat King Cole.

Described by Oprah Winfrey as "The Most Talented Girl in the World" and David's most recent extraordinary young artist, Charice leaves audiences stunned at her richly developed voice which is often compared to Whitney Houston and Celine Dion.

Rising to fame as an original member of Chicago, Peter Cetera has since had a successful solo career which has included five top forty singles of which two have reached number one.

Ruben Studdard rose to fame as winner of the second season of American Idol and shortly after received a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Since his rise to fame he has released four albums which reflect his American Pop, R&B and Gospel singer style.

The Canadian Tenors are the incredibly powerful voices of four gifted young men with diverse vocal styles and an exciting blend of classical and contemporary pop repertoire. The Tenors have criss-crossed the globe thrilling millions of music lovers with their magical voices, wonderful sense of humour and memorable music.

DATE: Friday 29 October and Saturday 30 October

Time: 7.30pm --

VENUE: Esplanade Concert Hall
1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore

Prices: S$258 / $218 / $168 / $118 / $78

Please note, ticket prices do not include S$3 SISTIC charge.

Booking hotline: (+65) 6348 5555

Enhanced by Zemanta

Pacquiao keen to stage the fight with Mayweather in Singapore

SINGAPORE - He is the world's hottest boxing property and barely five hours after touching down at Changi Airport on Friday, Manny Pacquiao (picture) said he is keen to stage his biggest fight in Singapore. His preferred opponent: The much vaunted Floyd Mayweather Jr of the United States.

Courtesy of Al Bello (Getty Images)But Mayweather himself has to say yes. Nothing was said about the doping and blood test issue, which had hampered previous discussions between the two fighters' camps.

Experts predict a clash between two of the world's best boxers could create one of the biggest purses in the sport's history, with each earning at least US$60 million ($81.5 million).

In an exclusive interview with Media-Corp at Vanda Boxing Club in Havelock Road, the 31-year-old Filipino superstar said he will speak to his boxing promoter, Bob Arum, to help make the event happen.

"I will talk to Bob Arum to stage one of my fights in Singapore, maybe next year," said Pacquiao.

His clash with the unbeaten Mayweather would be the one of the most anticipated world championship bouts.

Pacquiao, also known as "Pacman", is the reigning World Boxing Organization welterweight champion and the only boxer ever to win nine titles in seven weight divisions.

Mayweather, the former World Boxing Council welterweight champion, owned nine championship belts in five divisions.

A face-off between the two was on the cards in March this year but was called off following unresolved arguments over blood testing for drugs.

Pacquiao, who will next fight Mexico's Antonio Margarito on Nov 13, said: "I want to fight Mayweather because people are excited about it. I will ask Bob Arum if this is the match that can be staged here."

Last year, Pacquiao fought at the 16,800-capacity MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. His last bout was against Ghana's Joshua Clottey in March at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas in front of 40,000 fans.

Boxing aficionados feel the Marina Bay floating platform could be an ideal venue - with a seating capacity of 27,000 and a stunning backdrop made famous worldwide after two successful Formula 1 races and the opening ceremony of the Youth Olympic Games last Saturday.

Marina Bay Floating PlatformThe Singapore Tourism Board (STB), which arranged Pacquiao's visit here, told MediaCorp they are keen to help make a fight of this magnitude happen.

"This is something we will support and do whatever we can to help make it a success," said Mr. Justin Chew, STB's executive director for hospitality, F1 and sports.


Listed by Forbes magazine as the world’s sixth highest-paid athlete with a total annual income of S$54 million, Pacquiao is due to return to the ring in November to take on Mexican Antonio Margarito for the World Boxing Council super-weight title.

Pacman shares his thoughts on the much awaited fight.


source: TODAY Online | Yahoo! Singapore

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Singapore Bound: Tax Exemptions and Reduced Travel Tax Info

The travel tax is a levy imposed by the Philippine government on the following individuals:

  • Philippine Citizens
  • Permanent resident aliens
  • on-resident aliens who have stayed in the Philippines for more than one(1) year
who are leaving the country irrespective of the place where the air ticket is issued and the form or place of payment, as provided for by Presidential Decree (PD) 1183 


Travel Tax Exemptions

1. Singapore Permanent Resident Card Holder For Migrant Filipinos

  • NOTE:  Certification from Embassy NOT required
  • Requirements by PTA:

    Original & photocopy of the Singapore Blue IC and/or the Re-entry permit stamped on the passport which is valid for multiple journeys within three years from date the travel document is valid.  Holder is authorized to re-enter Singapore for permanent resident so long as the permit is valid;

    Original & photocopy of the passport (first page & latest arrival/departure stamps in RP.

2. Overseas Filipino Workers Who Are Direct Hires And Did Not Pass Through POEA In Manila But Later Become OWWA Member In Singapore

  • NOTE:  For Employment Pass card holders
  • Travel tax exemption could be availed of provided one of the following requirements by PTA is submitted:

    - Possession of an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) and/or E-card
    - Possession of valid employment contract duly authenticated by the Embassy
    - Possession of Certificate of Employment issued by the Embassy 

  • A certificate of employment from the local company should be presented together with the copies of the valid employment pass card and first page of passport.

3. Dependents Of OFWS

  • NOTE:  Certification from Embassy NOT required
  • Travel tax exemption could be availed of under BALIKBAYAN LAW provided the following PTA requirements were met:

    - At least 1 YEAR away from the Philippines as evidenced by the latest departure from and latest arrival in the Philippines.
    - Copy of plane ticket used in traveling to the Philippines.

Reduced Travel Tax For:

  • Legitimate spouse
  • Legitimate children below 21 years of age

    Reduced travel tax could be availed of provided the following PTA requirements were met:
    - Original & photocopy of marriage contract
    - Original & photocopies of birth certificates
    - Copy of the worker’s valid Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)/Exit Pass and/or E-card



  First class (ticket) Economy class (ticket)
Full rate P 2,700 P 1,620
Standard Reduced P 1,350 P    810
Reduced rate for dependents of OFWs P    400 P   300

*Processing fee for every certificate issued by the PTA is P200.00


Sources: Philippine Embassy Singapore And Philippine Tourism

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Watch GMA Free Live Streaming

This is for Filipinos (Pinoy) living overseas who do not have access to PinoyTV or TFC, you can watch the two leading Philippine TV network broadcast free streaming via The broadcast is a little delayed by a few minutes and quality is so-so since it is compressed but what the heck, this is what you get for free.

The GMA Live Streaming should play automatically:

Get Microsoft Silverlight

RP Students Win 92 Medals (not in YOG) but in Singapore’s Math Competition

Singapore Mathematical Olympiad (SMO) MANILA, Philippines — It’s a “mission accomplished” for the Philippine team to the just-concluded 2010 Singapore International Mathematics Competition (SIMC).

With a 92-medal haul, including 12 golds, the young Filipino numbers aces placed second overall in the 10-nation contest, topped by China which won a total of 282 medals.

The Philippines also tallied 26 silver and 54 bronze medals in the competition, according to Dr. Simon Chua, president of the Mathematics Trainers’ Guild-Phils. (MTG) and head of the country’s delegation.

The RP team members, all wards of MTG, a non-government group which promotes excellence in math training and education, also took home 44 merit, or runner-up certificates.

China bagged 39 golds in the SIMC. South Korea was third with eight, followed by Hong Kong (7), Taiwan (6), Indonesia (5), Malaysia (4), Thailand (3), host Singapore (2), and India, which failed to get any medal, said Chua in an e-mail to the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Tuesday.

The Philippines gold medals came courtesy of:

  • Adrian Reginald Sy and Matthew Angelo Isidro, both from St. Jude Catholic School;
  • Shaquille Wyan Que from Grace Christian College;
  • Farrel Eldrian wu from MGc New Life Christian School;
  • Errol John Suarez from Bicol University Integrated Laboratory School;
  • Raphael Villaluz from San Beda College-Alabang; Frederick Matthew Corpuz from Colegio San Agustin-Makati;
  • Gabrielle Anna Gabaton from Pasig Catholic School;
  • Jervis Ong Chua from Philippine Cultural College;
  • Kate Andrea Bonamy and Shaun Wesley Que, both from Grace Christian College;
  • and Karl Joshua Reyes, from the Regional Science High School-Olongapo.

The silver medals were won by:

  • Christopher Banzon from Nemesio Yabut Elementary School;
  • Andrea Jaba and Cary Albert Chan, both from St. Jude Catholic School;
  • Lord Danly Mafe, Bon Leif Amalla and Emmanuel Paulo Santos, all from Colegio San Agustin-Biñan;
  • Adam Christopher Chan, Stephen Laohoo and Jeremy Vance Yap, all from Grace Christian College;
  • Jaymi Mae Ching and Kelsey Lim, both from Jubilee Christian Academy;
  • Jan Joshua Cruz from Pasig Catholic College;
  • Elijamin Wolfgang Claveria from Elizabeth Seton School;
  • Albert Neil Dulay from Integrated Montessori Center;
  • Luis Salvador Dy and Mark Christopher Uy, both from Xavier School;
  • Xavier Jefferson Ray go from Zamboanga Chong Hua High School;
  • Hans Markson Tan and Sterling Alvin Tiu, both from St. Stephen’s High School;
  • Alyssa Guevara from De La Salle Santiago Zobel School;
  • Juan Mario Luis Esplana from Elizabeth Seton School-South;
  • Vincent Jaime Benitez from Philippine Science High School-Western Visayas;
  • Dave Laurence Juntilla from PSHS-Southern Mindanao;
  • Himig Marcos from Philippine Cultural College;
  • and Timothy James Tan from Trinity Christian School.

The bronze medalists included, among others, are:

  • Wilford Jason Julio, Martin Lewis Koa and Kyle Justin Meguizo, all from St. Jude Catholic School;
  • Caisa Subia and Casey Oliver Turingan, both from San Beda College-Alabang;
  • Nathaniel Ryan Ang, Matthew Johann Uy, Brendan Coseto, Adrian Nathaniel Chua, Kyle Garret Lee Uy and Andrew Vince Lee, all from Xavier School;
  • Dielle Tio from St. Stephen’s High School;
  • Jan Kendrick Ong from Chiang Kai Shek College;
  • Hans Bryan Ong, Lu Christian Ong and John Cedric Laohoo, all from Grace Christian College;
  • Mark Vincent Tan from Ateneo de Manila High School;
  • Anchelle Grace Ho and Emmanuel Gerard Chiu, both from Silliman University;
  • Charles Emerson Ngo from Leyte Progressive High School;
  • Hannah Elyse Tee from Immaculate Conception Academy;
  • Andrew Cua from Philippine Cultural College;
  • and Anne Michelle Siao from Zamboanga Chong Hua High School.

A total of 92 elementary and 44 high school students represented the country in the SIMC.

Chua and other MTG officials commended the Filipino math wizards for “another job well done.”

“They’re among the world’s best. No doubt about it,” said Chua.

The annual contest’s results were announced on Monday night at the Chevrons Auditorium in the Lion City. The SIMC was held the day before at the DBS International School.

This year, MTG wards have so far won 91 medals, including four golds, in four international math competitions – the 13th Hong Kong Primary Math World Contest, 2010 Korea International Math Competition, 51st Math Olympiad in Kazakhstan, and the 2010 Canadian Math Competition.

Singapore welcome Pacquiao with a red carpet

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – The red carpet will be laid out for Sarangani Province Rep. Manny Pacquiao when he arrives in Singapore on Friday.


The Singapore Government has invited the 7-division world champion for a goodwill visit scheduled from Friday to Sunday.

It will be Pacquiao’s first trip to the Southeast Asian city-state.

“It’s so exciting,” Lynelle Seow of the Singapore Tourism Board said in a telephone interview with “He's such a boxing hero not only for Filipinos but for all Asians.”

“We’re very excited. We’re so proud of him as well,” added Seow, the Area Director for the Philippines and Brunei.

Lynelle Seow, Area Director for the Philippines and Brunei of the Singapore Tourism Board

Pacquiao is slated to meet with Singaporean youth pugilists as well as members of the Singapore Boxing Federation.

Seow said she expects the pound-for-pound king to inspire the young boxers from Singapore.

Meantime, she added that Pacquiao’s visit is not just about boxing but also about welcoming him to Singapore.

The world-renowned Filipino boxer will be toured around Singapore’s latest attractions such as Universal Studios Singapore, Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer. He will also join a Hippo Bus Tour.

He will also meet with Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Minda Cruz during his all-expenses paid trip.

Source: abs-cbnnews

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hiring Filipino maids harder as Philippines enforces Republic Act No. 8042

070204_pinoyabroad[1]A RECENT tightening of Philippine laws has made it tougher for employers in Singapore to hire Filipinas as domestic workers.

Immigration screening has been stepped up, and those bound for jobs here without the proper papers have been stopped from leaving the country.

The amendments to the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 (REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8042) is aimed at improving the ‘protection and welfare’ of Filipino migrant workers, said the Philippine embassy here.

Changes to the law were passed last year, but the rules implementing the law were issued only on July 28, said a Philippine government website.

Manpower agencies in the Philippines said Singapore is not being specifically targeted, but the Philippine authorities want to put a lid on Filipinos leaving for jobs abroad without going through Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) procedures.

The POEA issues a Filipino seeking work overseas an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), explained Mr Rodolfo Sabulao, the labour attaché at the Philippine embassy here.

To get that certificate, the job seeker must have supporting documents, including a standard employment contract verified by the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) and authenticated by the Philippine embassy or consulate.

POEA also requires these job seekers to be trained, so as to prepare them for their overseas work stints.

Nine Singapore agents who spoke to The Straits Times said they have stopped bringing in Filipinas as domestic workers as it has become too troublesome.

The Straits Times understands that some agents have been getting around the regulations by working with Philippine travel agents to get the women out of their country as tourists first.

That done, the Singapore agents provide the women with an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter or Letter of Notification from the Manpower Ministry, so that they can enter Singapore legally.

The domestic workers then sign local contracts provided by the Association of Employment Agencies (Singapore), which is recognised by the Manpower Ministry.

Mr Sabulao said: ‘As far as the Philippine government is concerned, leaving the Philippines as a tourist, when the intention is to work overseas, is illegal, even if they have an IPA.’

Illegal or not, Filipinos are doing it. Seven in 10 Filipino maids here do not have POEA papers. This is an estimate by Ms Thelma Uanang, who runs Philquest, a POEA-registered Manila-based recruitment agency which sends about 65 maids a month here the legitimate way.

About 196,000 foreigners were here as maids as of last December, with Filipinas remaining popular because they speak English. This is why some agents still bring them in, even if the new rules may mean waiting longer for the maid to arrive – up to three weeks, as opposed to a week back when the rules were more lax.

Employers might also have to pay more: The contract verified by POLO secures for maids a salary of $540 and four days off a month, said Mr Sabulao.

But agents say employers here seldom agree to pay a new Filipino domestic worker more than $350 to $370. Some are also reluctant to give maids days off.

Mr Edmund Pooh of the Universal Employment Agency here said: ‘The Philippine government has good intentions, but on the other hand, they’re making it difficult for their people to get a job, as most employers won’t agree to such terms.’

But the Philippine government is sticking to its guns.

Said Mr Sabulao: ‘If workers are deployed and leave as tourists and don’t have proper documentation, nobody is held accountable. If they are injured, who will be liable?’


Robinsons Expo Sale: More than 400 brands at up to 80% off

The Robinsons Tagline is “The brands you love at prices you adore

Anyway, there’s no reason to visit this great sale if you’re looking for some discounts…..


What: Robinsons Expo Sale 2010

Where: Singapore Expo Hall 4

When: Now till August 22, 2010

Time: 10:30AM – 10:00PM

Monday, August 16, 2010

Beware: Singapore Rental scam racket busted


POLICE have crippled a rental scam syndicate and arrested three men and a woman believed to be connected to more than 20 cases of cheating over the rental of flats.

This follow reports to police by people who were unable to move into residential flats after paying deposits, rental fees and agent commissions between June last year and July this year.

The amounts, ranging from $900 to $1,500, were paid to the supposed home owners and property agent who advertised for the rental of two flats located at Block 115 Jalan Bukit Merah and Block 7 North Bridge Road. The home owners and the property agent could not be reached after the payments were made.

Following investigations by Central Police Division, the owner of the Jalan Bukit Merah unit was arrested in connection to the case. He was found to be working with a bogus property agent to commit cheating in a bid to obtain quick cash. Police were able to establish that money from both units was paid into a common bank account.

In a police operation lasting 20-hours on Friday, police officers arrested a 48-year-old woman at about 12am. She had a bundle of blank tenancy agreements. About 14 hours later, officers nabbed a 56-year-old man who had posed as the owner of the North Bridge Road unit.

On Friday at about 8.15pm, police officers arrested the last remaining suspect, a 45-year-old bogus property agent known to his victims as 'Raymond'. He was later found to be wanted by the police for other separate offences of robbery and serious hurt.

source: StraitsTimes

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Youth Olympic Games 2010 Music Video

The singers came from five continents to sing the theme song "Everyone" for the first-ever Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games.

They are composed of:
  • Ms Jody Williams representing Africa
  • Mr Sean Kingston representing America
  • Ms Tabitha Nauser representing Asia
  • Mr Steve Appleton representing Europe
  • Ms Jessica Mauboy representing Oceania.

<a href=";playlist=videoByUuids:uuids:b3e0859d-849d-4cdb-8d07-6ae27d8d7c08&amp;showPlaylist=true&amp;from=IV2_player&amp;fg=gtlv2" target="_new" title="YOG music video - Everyone">Video: YOG music video - Everyone</a>

Friday, August 13, 2010

Filipino Groups Performing at Singapore HeritageFest 2010

Singapore HeritageFest is happening from 11-22 August 2010 at various festival venues!.

imageWonderfully vibrant and ever multi-cultural, Singapore HeritageFest 2010 sets you thinking about what really brings us together as Singaporeans and global citizens. Could it be our cuisine, dress, music and dance? Or is it our common Asian values? Or simply the way we integrate one another’s cultures without compromising on our distinctive own? Discover these threads that bring us together at the Singapore HeritageFest 2010.

There are three Filipino groups who will be performing at the 2010 Singapore Heritagefest.  You may wish to  watch their performances at the following:

Venue: Compass Point
14 August, Saturday, 7.00 PM – Filipino Association of Singapore (FAS)

Venue: The Centrepoint
15 August, Sunday, 3.00PM – OFW Pinoy Star Dance Troupe

Venue: Suntec
16 August, Monday, 1.00 PM – OFW Pinoy Star Dance Troupe
20 August, Friday, 7.00PM    – Filipino Association of Singapore (FAS)
22 August, Sunday, 5.00PM  – Psalmideo Chorale

Venue: Jurong Point
22 August, Sunday, 7.30 PM – OFW Pinoy Star Dance Troupe

Check out the Festival’s exhibition of traditional costumes, which includes our Barong Tagalog and Terno (loaned to the organizers by Ms Digna Ryan of the Filipino Ladies Group (FLAG)), from 11 – 22 August also at Suntec City.

For more information, please visit Singapore Heritagefest.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Before you visit the Philippine Embassy in Singapore

Check the Address

The chancery address is located at 20 Nassim Road, Singapore 258395. Within the same compound are the consular, labor and defense sections



Check The Schedule

Embassy Services Schedule
Passport Application Mondays to Thursdays, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm only
Collection of overdue passports and
passports coursed through agencies
Mondays to Thursdays, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm only
Regular passport collection Sundays to Thursdays, 1:30 – 5:00 pm only
Visa application Mondays to Thursdays, 9:30 am – 12:00 noon only


Proper Attire 

Visitors are requested to come appropriately attired. The embassy will not allow entry to skimpily attired and barefoot people or those wearing the following who are deemed to be inappropriately attired:

  1. Shorts / mini-skirts with cuts of more than three (3) inches above the knee;
  2. Slippers;
  3. Exposed underwears (briefs, panties, bras, boxer shorts, kamiseta)
  4. Shirts/blouses with plunging necklines;
  5. Shirts/blouses that intentionally show the belly button/navel;
  6. Pants/shorts with very low waistlines that reveal portions of private parts such as the buttocks;
  7. Transparent shirts and pants that show undergarments.

Ex-MOM (Ministry of Manpower) investigator jailed for bribery charge


A FORMER senior investigation officer of the Ministry of Manpower was jailed for six months and ordered to pay a penalty of $1,000 on Tuesday for corruption.

Gordon Tan Hock Lye, 34, then attached to MOM's Foreign Manpower Management Division, had pleaded guilty to getting a $1,000 bribe from Chinese national Wu Hui Xia, 42, to close the matter of her arrest by the police on Dec 31, 2005 and not prosecute her.

The incident took place at Hua Ji coffee shop along Joo Chiat Road on Jan 23, 2006. The court heard that Ms Wu, who came to Singapore in May 2005, was arrested twice by the authorities for working illegally as a masseuse.

When Tan, who came to know her in end-August (05), found out about her arrest in early 2006, he warned her that she would be charged. He also offered to help her close the case for $3,000.

A few days later, they met at Hua Ji coffeeshop where Tan again said he would help her close the matter of her arrest on Dec 31, 2005, and warned her of the consequences if she did not agree. He demanded $3,000 from her and gave her a deadline to cough out the money.

On Jan 22, 2006 - a day before the deadline - Ms Wu reported him to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau. Tan was arrested at the coffee shop the next day after the money was handed over to him. He could have been fined up to $100,000 and/or jailed for up to five years.

Nine Lucky Pinoy Athletes Representing Philippines in the First Ever Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Singapore

The Philippine Embassy is pleased to announce that nine Filipino athletes will be competing in the forthcoming Singapore Youth Olympic Games (SYOG) from 14 to 26 August 2010.


The country will be represented by:

  1. Jasmine Alkhaldi - Swimming: 50m,100m, 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly
  2. Jessie Khing Lacuna - Swimming: 100m, 200m, 400m freestyle and 200m butterfly)
  3. Michael Pate – Basketball
  4. Cris Tolomia – Basketball
  5. Bobby Ray Parks Jr. – Basketball
  6. Jeron Alvin Teng – Basketball
  7. Kirk Barboso - Taekwondo (Men under 48kg)
  8. Jeson Patrombon – Tennis
  9. Patricia Llena – Weighlifting (63kg)

Mr. Lovelino Arboleda, a Filipino from the Filipino Dragons Singapore, has been chosen as one of the 2,400 torchbearers who will carry the inaugural Youth Olympic Flame around the island of Singapore from August 7 to 14.

Below are their respective events schedules:


Venue: Singapore Sports School (01 Champions Way)

Sunday, Aug 15
9.31 AM                         400m freestyle (Men) - Preliminaries
6.32 PM                         400m freestyle (Men) - Semifinals, Finals
6.43 PM                         400m freestyle (Men) - Victory Ceremony

Monday, Aug 16
9.47 AM                         100m freestyle (Women) - Preliminaries 
10.22 AM                         200m freestyle (Men) - Preliminaries
6.41 PM                         200m freestyle (Men) - Semifinals and Finals
7.14 PM                         100m freestyle (Women) - Semifinals
7.19 PM                         200m freestyle (Men) - Victory Ceremony

Tuesday, Aug 17         
7.28 PM                         100m freestyle (Women) - Finals
7.37 PM                         100m freestyle (Women) - Victory Ceremony

Wednesday, Aug 18
10.02 AM                         200m Freestyle (Women) - Preliminaries  
7.31 PM                         200m Freestyle (Women) Semifinals and Finals\
7.58 PM                         200m Freestyle (Women) Victory Ceremony\

Thursday, Aug 19

9.31 AM                         50m Freestyle (Women) - Preliminaries
9.39 AM                         100m freestyle (Men) - Preliminaries
9.48 AM                         100m butterfly (Women) - Preliminaries
6.32 PM                         100m butterfly (Women) - Semifinals
6.39 PM                         100m freestyle (Men) - Semifinals
6.47 PM                          50m Freestyle (Women) - Semifinals

Friday, Aug 20 
10.02 AM                         200m butterfly (Men) - Preliminaries
6.32 PM                          50m Freestyle (Women) - Finals
6.40 PM                         100m butterfly (Women) - Finals
6.42 PM                          50m Freestyle (Women)  - Victory Ceremony
6.54 PM                         100m freestyle (Men) - Finals
7.08 PM                         100m butterfly (Women) - Victory Ceremony
7.20 PM                         200m butterfly (Men) - Semifinals, Finals
7.23 PM                         100m freestyle (Men) - Victory Ceremony
7.47 PM                         200m butterfly (Men) - Victory Ceremony

For a detailed schedule of the competition, please follow this link.     


Venue: *scape (2 Orchard Link)
Boys’ Preliminaries Group D Matches

Monday, Aug 16            10.30AM         Match 23: PHI vs US-ISV (US-Virgin Islands)
Tuesday, Aug 17           12.30NN         Match 47: PHI vs ESP (Spain)
Wednesday, Aug 18       12.30NN         Match 63: PHI vs CRO (Croatia)
Thursday, Aug 19          10.30AM         Match 71: PHI vs RSA (South Africa)
Saturday, Aug 21          9AM-12NN / 2PM-4PM             Quarterfinals
Sunday, Aug 22            9AM-12NN/ 2PM-4PM              Semi-finals
Monday, Aug 23       9AM-12NN / 2PM-5.30PM              Finals and Victory Ceremony

For a detailed schedule of the competition, please follow this link.        

TAEKWONDO (Men under 48kg)

Venue: International Convention Center – Suntec Hall 401 (01 Raffles Blvd, Suntec City)

Sunday, Aug 15          2.30PM             Preliminaries
                               4.00PM             Quarterfinals
                               7.00PM             Semi-finals
                               7.45PM             Finals
                               8.30PM             Victory Ceremony                        

For a detailed schedule of the competition, please follow this link.       


Venue: Kallang Tennis Centre (31 Stadium Crescent)

Sunday, Aug 15         10.30AM             Boys’ Singles First Round
Monday, Aug 16        10.00AM             Boys’ Singles First Round                 
Tuesday, Aug 17       10.00AM             Boys’ Singles Second Round
Wednesday, Aug 18   11.00AM             Boys’ Singles Quarterfinals
Thursday, Aug 19       2.30PM             Boys’ Singles Semifinals
Friday, Aug 20           2.30PM             Boys’ Singles Bronze Medal Match
Saturday, Aug 21       3.00PM     Boys’ Singles Gold Medal Match & Victory Ceremony

For a detailed schedule of the competition, please follow this link.       


Venue:  Toa Payoh Sports Hall (299 Lorong 06 Toa Payoh)

Tuesday, Aug 17,             6:00PM          (Victory ceremony follows at 7.50 PM)


For a detailed schedule of the competition, please follow this link.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Singapore Bound: Avoiding Illegal Recruitment

In order to combat the growing number of illegal recruiters and victims who are illegally recruited in the hopes of finding a good job in Singapore, the Philippine Embassy has step-up its information dissemination.

How to avoid Illegal Recruitment or Recruiters:

Illegal recruitment shall mean any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring, or procuring workers and includes referring, contract services, promising or advertising for employment abroad, whether for profit or not, when undertaken by a non-license or non-holder of authority (RA8042).

Some form of illegal recruitment include:

  • Leaving the country as a tourist but with the intention of working abroad
  • Escort Services – tourist/workers “escorted” at the country’s airports and seaports
  • By Correspondence – applicants are encouraged by the recruiter to comply with employment requirements and placements through mail
  • Blind Ads – fraudulent and misleading advertisements promising facility of employment
  • Au Pair – an inter-cultural program wherein a host family sponsors a person to study language and culture for a monthly allowance in exchange for a home to stay in
  • Backdoor Exit – going out of the country through some airports and seaports in the southern part of the Philippines
  • Camouflaged participation in foreign seminars and sports events
  • Workers leave as participants in seminars or sports events but eventually finding jobs in the host country.
  • Traineeship Scheme – Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) students leaving in the guise of a traineeship program for hotels abroad but eventually landing jobs in the training establishment.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has come up with some tips on how to prevent illegal recruitment:

  • Do not apply at recruitment agencies not licensed by POEA.
  • Do not deal with licensed agencies without job orders.
  • Do not deal with any person who is not an authorized representative of a licensed agency.
  • Do not transact business outside the registered address of the agency. If recruitment is conducted in the province, check if the agency has a provincial recruitment authority.
  • Do not pay more than the allowed placement fee. It should be equivalent to one-month salary, exclusive of documentation and processing costs.
  • Do not pay any placement fee unless you have a valid employment contract and an official receipt.
  • Do not be enticed by ads or brochures requiring you to reply to a Post Office (P.O.) Box, and to enclose payment for processing of papers.
  • Do not deal with training centers and travel agencies, which promise overseas employment.
  • Do not accept a tourist visa.
  • Do not deal with fixers.

Source: Philippine Embassy Singapore

Borders Crazy (Book) Sale at Expo Hall

If you like the good old paper book, this is your chance to snag a discounted price: 



Cost: Public - Free Admission

Borders Crazy Sale: 07 August 2010 - 09 August 2010
Event type : Retailer & Sales
location : Hall 5B

Singapore Expo
1 Expo Drive, #01-01
Singapore 486150


Admission : Public - Free Admission
Event Schedules : Time: 10am to 9pm

Show Profile :

Borders Crazy Sale at Expo Hall 5B - Aug 7 to 9, 2010.

Come and Grab Smorgasbord of Great Value Products, Great Giveaways and Fun!

Organizer : Borders Pte Ltd

Contact Details :
Tel : +65 6854 7171
Fax : +65 6235 4981

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Beware of Travel Agencies sending Filipino domestic helpers illegally to Singapore

This is from POEA Advisory:


The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration advises Filipino women intending to work as domestic helpers in Singapore to use the legal process of overseas employment and not rely on the services of travel agency operators who are moonlighting as employment agents.

Administrator Jennifer Jardin-Manalili, citing a report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Singapore, said 99 per cent of Filipino domestic helpers who ran away from their employers were deployed by travel agents and do not have valid overseas employment documents issued by the POEA.

In a report to the POEA, Rodolfo M. Sabulao, the Philippine labor attaché to Singapore said a syndicate composed of travel agencies in the Philippines is behind this illegal recruitment scheme in connivance with placement agencies in Singapore which were not accredited by the Philippine embassy and therefore have no counterpart  recruitment agency in the Philippines.

Also according to the report, at least five Filipino domestic helpers who were able to leave the Philippines as tourists run away from their employers every day because of financial difficulties and seek refuge at the Philippine embassy. Some of them had only worked for 3 days to 5 months before leaving their employers.

The workers were asked to sign a one-page contract indicating their salaries ranging from $250.00 to $350.00 per month with no day off. The workers, however, get only $20.00 per month as subsistence allowance because the Singapore agency has to deduct from their salary the placement fee equivalent to seven months salary.

Manalili clarified that household workers receive a monthly salary of $400. She also said that she has already requested from Labatt Sabulao the names of the travel agencies involved in the illegal recruitment scheme for proper investigation.

Filipinos in distress who need urgent assistance may call the embassy duty officer at telephone no. +65-9072-2797.

G2000 Bazaar Factory Sale



What: G2000 Bazaar Factory Sale

When:  Opens Daily from August 3 – 29, 2010

Time: 12:00PM to 7:00PM

Location: Wing Tai Industrial Centre

105 Tampines Road, Singapore 535127

Monday, August 2, 2010

Embassy Announcement: Lifting of Quota for Passport Applications

According to the Philippine Embassy in Singapore, they will be lifting the quota or cut-off on passport application effective 19 July 2010 except on Sundays wherein 120-135 applications will only be accepted or on special occasion.

The Embassy is also modifying the time period for passport applications. Filipinos may now apply for a passport from Mondays to Thursdays from 9:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M.

This is a good news specially for busy individuals as they can go to the embassy anytime and apply/renew their passport without being turn down due to the quota has been exhausted for the day.