Thursday, March 31, 2011

Philippine Embassy Singapore: Observe proper behavior and follow the laws and regulations of the host country

In view of recent incidents (author comment: look for related website forums) involving Filipinos in Singapore, the Philippine Embassy has issued the following guidelines to remind all Singapore-based Filipinos to observe proper behavior and follow the laws and regulations of the host country.

  1. Obey the laws of the host country.  As foreigners who work, live or study in Singapore, Filipinos are obliged to respect the laws and regulations of the host country, and should behave properly as guests and visitors.
  2. Filipinos should respect the differences between Filipino and Singaporean culture and be sensitive to these differences.
  3. Refrain from engaging in partisan politics, especially during the election season in Singapore.  Filipinos should avoid any involvement in partisan political debates and activities in Singapore as this is a violation of Singapore laws.
  4. Filipinos, including Permanent Residents, are not allowed to participate in political campaigns and do not have the right to vote in Singapore elections.  Under Singapore laws, errant foreigners may be charged under the Societies Act, the Public Entertainment and Meetings Act, the Immigration Act, and/or the Penal Code if they engage in partisan political activity in the city-state.
  5. Avoid participating in online debates, chats or blogs that are political in nature.  Refrain from explicit negative comments, particularly racial or religious slurs and insults.  Participating in these online debates will only inflame the situation and may result in untoward incidents, possible loss of employment and investigation by authorities.

Electricity charge to increase 6.1 percent starting April

SP Services said households will pay more for their electricity from April, with their electricity tariff increasing by 6.1 per cent to 25.58 cents per kilowatt-hour.

On average, families in four-room HDB flats will pay about S$4.85 more a month for their electricity based on the new tariff.

Solar panels at Marina Barrage.


Explaining the tariff increase, SP Services said the average fuel oil price increased sharply by 14 per cent to S$113.37 per barrel over the last three months.

At the same time, there was an annual review of the grid network cost or the cost of transporting electricity through the power grid, which resulted in network charges being lowered by 3 per cent for the year ahead.

It said the significant increase in fuel cost, however, more than offsets the reduced network charges.

The Energy Market Authority has approved the increase.

Updated Philippine Embassy Singapore Modified Office Hours from from 31 March to 24 April 2011

Another modified office schedule from Philippine Embassy in Singapore from from 31 March to 24 April 2011 only:

Queue at Window 2 in Philippine Embassy Singapore

The Philippine Embassy in Singapore announced that due to further improvements to be made to its public waiting area, its Monday-Friday work schedule will be extended from 31 March to 24 April 2011. The extension is also being implemented in light of the slowdown of scheduled repairs, caused by the onset of heavy rain in the preceding weeks.

The Embassy will be closed to public transactions on Saturdays and Sundays during the said period.  No consular or labor services will be available over the weekend.

The transacting public is advised, however, that the Embassy will be open for passport, notarial, civil registry, and labor services from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Visa applications will continue to be accepted from Monday to Thursday only.

As the improvements are being made to the Embassy’s public area, the modified office schedule is being implemented to minimize the risk and inconvenience to the transacting public.

Likewise, applicants are discouraged from bringing companions, especially young children and the elderly, to the Embassy.  In order to avoid overcrowding and congestion, particularly within the area under repair, the Embassy may limit the entry on non-applicants.

The public’s cooperation and kind understanding will be appreciated.

The Embassy will be closed on the following dates:

01 April 2011 Friday OPEN
02 April 2011 Saturday CLOSED
03 April 2011 Sunday CLOSED
09 April 2011 Saturday CLOSED
10 April 2011 Sunday CLOSED
16 April 2011 Saturday CLOSED
17 April 2011 Sunday CLOSED
21 April 2011 Maundy Thursday CLOSED
22 April 2011 Good Friday CLOSED
23 April 2011 Saturday CLOSED
24 April 2011 Sunday CLOSED
29 April 2011 Friday CLOSED
01 May 2011 Sunday OPEN


Clients with queries are advised to send an e-mail to or leave a voice mail clearly stating their name, contact number and nature of inquiry at +65.6737.3977.  Queries will be responded to within one to three working days.

Filipinos in distress requiring urgent and immediate assistance are advised to text or call the Embassy’s emergency hotline, +65.9072.2797.

Resumption of normal operating schedule (Sunday-Thursday) shall be on (Sunday) 01 May 2011.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Singapore Police: Appeal for information to a theft at a supermarket in Changi Airport Terminal 1

Have you seen this man?

Singapore Police are looking for the man shown in the photo to assist with investigations into a case of theft at a supermarket located at Changi Airport Terminal 1 on 19 Jan 2011 .

The man is believed to be a male Chinese in his late 30s and was last seen wearing a striped polo-shirt. He was also seen carrying a black haversack and a green paper bag.

Anyone with information on the man is requested to call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000. All information will be kept strictly confidential.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Campaign Support for inclusion of Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) in New 7 Wonders of Nature

Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Minda Calaguian-Cruz declared the Philippine Embassy’s full support for the inclusion of the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) in the New 7 Wonders of Nature, a global polling campaign that “highlights and celebrates the beauty of the planet.”


“The Philippine Embassy supports the campaign to have the Puerto Princesa Underground River recognized as one of the new seven wonders of nature and enjoin all Filipinos and nature lovers to vote for our overwhelming choice,” the Philippine envoy said.

The PPUR was declared as one of the 28 official entries in this global polling search, which includes the Amazon River (Brazil), Komodo (Indonesia), Grand Canyon (USA), Maldives, Halong Bay (Vietnam), Uluru (Australia), Jeju Island (Korea), to name a few.

Puerto Princesa’s Assistant City Administrator/Tourism Officer Rebecca Labit visited Singapore in February and sought the support of the Filipino community in Singapore during the monthly Filcom meeting at the Embassy to ensure the entry of the PPUR in the New 7 Wonders of Nature.   No less than President Benigno S. Aquino III has endorsed the PPUR campaign.

The nationwide campaign for this worldwide search began on 01 March 2011 and will end on 10 November 2011, the last day of voting.

The Philippine Embassy appeals to all Filipinos and their friends in Singapore to vote for PPUR by logging on to New 7 Wonders or via SMS by typing PPUR and sending it to 2861.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Philippine Regulatory Commission launches Online Verification of Filipino Professional (OVFP)

To help weed out fake doctors, dentists and the like, the Professional Regulation Commission on Thursday launched an online verification system that would allow interested persons to check if an individual is a licensed professional or not.

image Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said Online Verification of Filipino Professional (OVFP) system—which is accessible on the PRC website—would help solve the problem of fake professionals duping the unsuspecting public.

“With the system … the days of con men producing fake documents, including unscrupulous persons posing as professionals to defraud the public are over,” Baldoz said in a statement.

Baldoz and PRC commissioner Alfredo Po led the rites launching the OVFP at the Department of Labor and Employment main office in Intramuros, Manila.

“The OVFP is a system that allows online verification of the status of professionals. Employers or any person can check with the system, which can be accessed through the PRC website, the authenticity of the license of any professional, or if the latter is in good standing,” Baldoz said.

“The public can now also verify online if, for instance, the doctor or engineer they are dealing with is licensed,” she added.

Baldoz urged the public to report to law enforcers those individuals or groups that, upon verification with the OVFP, were proven to be unlicensed, “including those who were producing fake documents.”

The PRC also launched on Thursday its Online Renewal Application System (ORAS) that would allow Filipino professionals, including those abroad, to renew their professional identification cards (PICs) without having to go to the PRC itself.

PRC chairman Nicolas Lapena said Oras was intended primarily for professionals working overseas “who usually resort to filing their applications through authorized parties.”

“The system is designed to save our professionals time, money, and effort, adding that the transactions covered include the renewal, reprinting and duplication of the PIC,” Lapena said.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Singapore to reduce dependency on foreign labour


Singapore has to make changes to the way it grows its economy as the model of relying on cheap and plentiful foreign workers to boost output is not sustainable, said Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.

He was speaking at the Installation Ceremony of the 56th Council of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) on Tuesday.

Mr Goh said Singapore has raised the Foreign Worker Levy and provided incentives for businesses to raise productivity.

He also said the government will work closely with industry associations and business chambers to help their members become more competitive by improving their business models and raising productivity.

"Some people believe that the Foreign Worker Levy will be reversed if the economy slows down. But don’t bank on it. I would like to reiterate here that the government is determined to reduce the dependency on foreign labour and raise the productivity and incomes of Singaporeans," the senior minister said.

The chamber is also heeding the government’s call to raise productivity by helping its member companies to do so.

SCCCI president Teo Siong Seng outlined the chamber’s focus for the next two years, which includes venturing to overseas markets.

Mr Teo said the chamber will help the government to promote its various assistance schemes to its member companies. At the same time, he said it will help its member companies appeal for more simplified application procedures and a shortened approval process.

Mr Teo also said the chamber has received approval from the Ministry of Trade and Industry to set up a representative office in Shanghai through a new initiative for trade associations to venture abroad.

The chamber has already signed agreements with five trade association members.

The Shanghai Representative Office will help them to liaise with their counterparts, arrange for mutual visits and provide business matching services.

SCCCI is now discussing with other ethnic chambers on collaborations with the Shanghai Representative Office.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Foreign Nationals found hidden in a storage compartment trying to leave Singapore illegally

Officers from the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) have caught three Indian nationals for trying to leave Singapore illegally.

They were found hidden in a storage compartment, located behind the driver’s seat of a 40—foot Malaysia—registered prime mover.

The incident happened last Saturday at about 11.40 am.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the 29—year—old Malaysian driver was promised $500 for each immigration offender he successfully brings out of the country.

Arrangements were made to pick up the three immigration offenders along Woodlands Road.

The three, aged between 27 and 36, said they had come to Singapore to seek illegal employment.

If convicted, for overstaying or illegal entry, they could be jailed up to six months and given at least three strokes of the cane.

Penalties for illegal departure is a fine of up to $2,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Singapore Manpower Ministry (MOM) raised salary thresholds for foreign professionals and skilled workers

The recent move by the Manpower Ministry (MOM) to raise the salary thresholds for foreign professionals and skilled workers may do little to quell demand for these workers.

From 1 July, for professionals, the qualifying salary thresholds for the three categories of Employment Pass holders will be raised respectively —

  • Q1 = S$2,800
  • P2 = S$4,000 
  • P1 = S$8,000

For skilled workers, to qualify for an S—Pass, an applicant’s monthly salary will have to be S$2,000 or more, up from S$1,800.

MOM said the changes were made to keep pace with increases in locals’ wages and to encourage companies to be more selective when hiring foreign talent.

The higher salary thresholds were also introduced in response to concerns from Singaporeans that foreign talent is competing with them for jobs.

PrimeStaff Management Services has a number of S—Pass and Employment Pass workers on its payroll. It said the move to raise their salary thresholds will not have a big impact.

Ronald Lee, managing director of PrimeStaff Management Services, said: "When you hire, you don’t look at people just coming at the minimum level. You look at people who fit the requirements and these people who fit the requirements could already be earning $3,000, $4,000 or $5,000. So, if you really want to hire them, that is the kind of range you’ve got to be paying them."

Recruitment companies say clients still prefer to fill their positions with local workers. However, this may sometimes be a challenge. This is because local workers still demand much more, like in terms of salary expectations.

PrimeStaff Management Services’ Mr Lee said: "They would expect a very, very high package to entice them....Therefore, we have no choice but to look (at) outside (sources). There are also a lot of equally qualified foreigners who are keen to come at a lower salary, and these foreigners are generally more committed and they have a higher staying power."

The tight labour market is also making it tough to hire.

Phillip Overmyer, chief executive of Singapore International Chamber of Commerce, said: "(In) Singapore, if you look at the (labour) market, it is fully booked! Everybody is employed, more or less. So if the economy wants to grow, you have to hire other people."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Singapore Immigration (ICA) Officer charged with three counts of forging medical certificates

ICA I.C. registration hall

An officer from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) was charged on Tuesday with three counts of forgery.

Mohammad Rahimi Hussain, 24, is believed to have doctored three medical certificates in a flat at Block 750, Woodlands Avenue 4, in August and September last year.

Each of the three documents he allegedly forged originally stated that he had been given a day's leave.

It's believed that Mohammad Rahimi inflated the rest period the doctors had given him to up to four days.

He will be back in court on March 29.

If convicted of forgery, he could be jailed up to four years, fined or both on each charge.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

VocaBlends debut performance at Chamber @ The Arts House

VocaBlends will be performing their first debut performance at the Vocal Mania 2011. The venue will be at Chamber @ The Arts House 1, Old Parliament Lane Singapore.

VocalBlend photo

Check the map location.

Date | Time   :     Mar 20 | 7pm
Duration        :     1 hr
Venue           :     Chamber @ The Arts House 1, Old Parliament Lane Singapore
Ticket Price    :    $8.00
Seating type  :    Free Seating
Restrictions    :    No children under 6 years old
                   :    No audio & video recording

VocaBlends, founded last October 2010, is an all Filipino a capella group composed of Filipino professionals who are working and living here in Singapore. All members in the group have passions for music-making and singing and will be presenting their best suite for the concert – come prepared as they’ll infect you with joy and more in song.

Nearest MRT is Clark Quay or City Hall. Beside the Parliament House.

Tickets can be bought online or on site.

Repertoires include:

OPM Love songs ( Minsan Lang Kita IIbigin, Maghihintay sa Iyo)
Popular Pop Songs ( Im Yours, Just the Way You Are)
Classic Love Songs ( The First Time I Loved Forever, Now That I have You)
and others.......

Friday, March 18, 2011

Three woman behind bars for shoplifting in Mustafa Shopping Centre

Image via Wikipedia

Three women were jailed on Tuesday for shoplifting at Mustafa Centre in Little India.

Mustafa Centre is Singapore's only 24-hour shopping mall, which is located on Syed Alwi Road in Little India.

Two of them, 32-year-old Hawa Nachia A Muhammad Yassin and her sister-in-law, 35-year-old Najmudeen Saharjath, will each have to spend 12 weeks behind bars.

The housewives had worked together with an alleged accomplice, Najmudeen's husband Mohammed Riaz, to steal more than $$2,500 worth of clothes, stationery and toiletries from the 24-hour store on Jan 15.

According to court documents, the trio arrived at the store at around 8.45pm that day and stuffed the items into Mustafa Centre shopping bags which they found discarded on the premises.

But they were stopped in their tracks by the store's security as they were heading for the exits.

The two women, who were unrepresented, pleaded for leniency, saying they had to care for their children.

Both of them appeared distraught when District Judge Roy Neighbour handed them their sentence.

Muhammad Riaz, a 40-year-old cab driver, hasn't been dealt with. He will be back in court on Thursday next week.

In another case, a 35-year-old retail assistant, Siti Farah Sheik Zainal Abdin, was sentenced to a day's jail and fined $2,000 after stealing more than $300 worth of items from the store.

She was caught when an anti-theft alarm was triggered.

Cebu Pacific Launches Online Web CHECK-IN

This is a photo of a Cebu Pacific Airbus A319 ...

I got this mail from Cebu Pacific which is good news since it will lessen the time spent in preparing and queuing at the counter. Once you are check-in online, you can go straight to one of their web-checkin counter at the airport and have your baggage weigh.

But there’s a catch, it clearly states that “you must also purchase a Seat Selector to be able to check-in online.” That another means it’ll cost for the convenience it brings.

Cebu Pacific has great news for you!

You can do WEB CHECK-IN through the Cebu Pacific Manage Booking tab! You may check-in online for your flight 5J 805 Manila-Singapore under booking reference number XXXQTN 48 hours up to 4 hours before your estimated time of departure.

Once you have checked-in online, you just need to be at the designated counter at least 45 minutes before estimated time of departure. Otherwise, your documents and baggage will no longer be processed. We strictly close the boarding gate 15 minutes before estimated time of departure so allow ample time to clear through Immigration and security checks.

When you check-in online, you can also avail of other Cebu Pacific products that will make your travel cheaper and more convenient. Check out:

Get travel insurance for as low as Php250 premium

Prepaid Excess Baggage
Pre-pay for your excess baggage and get as much as 20% off on standard rates

Sports Equipment Fee
If you’re traveling with your sports gear, avail of additional 15kg for your sports equipment for only Php1,000

You must also purchase a Seat Selector to be able to check-in online. If you have not purchased a seat when you booked your flight, don’t worry, you can choose a seat during the check-in process.q

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Remaining suspect in conspiracy to cheat Standard Chartered Bank convicted to 18 months

SINGAPORE - A Filipino service engineer was sentenced yesterday to 18 months' jail for being part of a conspiracy to cheat Standard Chartered Bank of S$317,100.

Mark Robert Fajilan Landicho (picture), 28, had worked with a syndicate that illegally helped foreigners obtain unsecured credit facilities from the bank even though they were not eligible.

The group did so by forging its clients' pay slips, inflating the salaries so that their annual pay would appear to meet the bank's minimum income requirement.

According to court documents, Landicho had worked with two former employees from telemarketing company Touch & Tech to cheat the bank between July and October 2009.

One of them, 26-year-old Charon Legaspi Dimpas, a fellow Filipino, who used to be one of the firm's direct sales agents, was sentenced to 45 months' behind bars after admitting last November that she was part of the scam.

Landicho was first referred to Dimpas in June 2009 as he wanted to apply for credit facilities even though his salary did not meet the minimum requirement.

His application was approved after she doctored his pay slips.

Soon after, Landicho started to help the syndicate by advertising its illicit services on PinoySG. Landicho earned S$75 for each successful application

Friday, March 4, 2011

Singaporean Bride sues Pinoy fiancé for non-appearance for their wedding in the Philippines

Map of Pangasinan showing the location of Basista

A 41-year-old heartbroken Singaporean woman filed last Valentine’s Day charges of violation of the law on violence against women and children against her Filipino boyfriend for failing to fulfill his promise to marry her.

Ho Hwee Fang, single and resident of Saint Michael’s Road, The Richmond, Singapore, filed the complaint at the Basista police station and reported that she is suffering from emotional and mental anguish because of her boyfriend, identified as Michael Valdez.

Investigators said the charges against Valdez were later filed at the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in San Carlos City, Pangasinan.  Police investigation showed that last October, Valdez proposed to marry her and they agreed to settle down in Singapore and also in the Philippines.

Ho and Valdez agreed to get married first in the Philippines while she is preparing for their marriage in Singapore. The love struck would-be bride prepared everything for their supposed marriage last Feb. 8. She arrived in the Philippines and found that Valdez had run away and left word that he would not marry her anymore. Valdez is still missing.

As a result, the victim said she was stressed, very upset, and could not eat or sleep and didn’t know what to do. She was ashamed to face her family and friends after her boyfriend dumped her for no apparent reason.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

PE Singapore Announcement of Delays in ePassport Release

This came from Philippine Embassy in Singapore:

Due to unforeseen technical problems in the production of ePassports in Manila, there will be delays in the release of the passports scheduled for collection from 1 to 11 March 2011.

Please be informed that the Embassy is closely monitoring the production process and will call the applicants as soon as their passports become available.  Alternatively, applicants may call tel. no. 65.6737.3977 ext. 127 or 111.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate the public’s kind understanding.

Thank you for the kind cooperation.