Archive for August, 2011

Manobos making Agusan Sur a Jatropha capital

Manobos making Agusan Sur  a Jatropha capital

By Anthony S. Allada

Jatropha or tuba-tuba making a hit in Agusan Sur

MANOBO tribesmen is set to make the province of Agusan del Sur as the capital of Jatropha (tuba-tuba), a shrub touted as the great hope for biofuels.

The planting of Jatropha is initiated by the heirs of legendary leader Datu Hawodon Tagleong Coguit, who made history in leading his people united and intact for over a century. Datu Tagleong died in 2006 at the age of 113.

Bae Merlyn Coguit, his daughter, said that her fellow Manobo farmers, have already planted around 120,000 seedlings in their tilled farm lands in La Paz and Talacogon municipalities and they have harvested for years already.

After plating its seedling, a Jatropha could flower in four months time and be harvested  after six months.

“The idea is we don’t sell our harvest. Instead, we are making an expansion. We will plant hectares and hectares of Jatropha,” according to Merlyn’s husband, Datu Bunanat Francisco O. Hernandez, who is the Manobo Tribe Administrator.

Hernandez said though Jatropha is their second major crop next to palm oil, they are viewing the commodity as a big help to produce biofuel, which is an environment-compliant.

Aside from Jatropha, Manobo farmers are planting high-valued timbers which they hope to make them more competitive in the world market since their market value is very high. Each timber tree could cost 5,000 dollars, Hernandez said.

Hernandez said they are also ready to introduce the so-called sweet sorgum that is said to cost about $1 per kilo.

“Because of advanced research and technology, we come across with these developments. And this will liberate our Manobo brothers and sisters from poverty,” he said. (ASA)

`A banana a day keeps the doctor away’

`A banana a day keeps the doctor away’

Never, put your banana in the refrigerator!!!

This is interesting.  After reading this, you’ll never look at a banana in the same way again.

Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.

Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes.

But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier..

PMS: Forget the pills – eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school (England) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a “cooling” fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking & Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water balance.. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills.. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, “A banana a day keeps the doctor away!”

Rep. Guillermo Romarate:The David beating Goliaths in Surigao del Norte

Rep. Guillermo Romarate:

The David beating Goliaths in Surigao del Norte

This man can be likened to Biblical character diminutive David who toppled giant Goliath to the ground. Unlike what is written in the Bible, he defeated two Goliaths. But this was through local elections in the province of Surigao del Norte.

Second District Rep. Guillermo “Jun” Romarate won over former Surigao City mayor Alfonso Casurra in the May 2010 national and local elections and in the 2007 midterm elections he was victorious against former Surigao del Norte Governor Robert Lyndon Barbers.

In the 2007 elections, many are skeptical about the chances of Romarate when he was up against incumbent Surigao del Norte Gov. Barbers. Barbers has a name, Romarate has not. Some dismissed him as an alien (he was alleged to be from Ozamiz). Some are nastier. Accusing him of protector of smugglers and illegal activities.

Election time came and to the surprise of everyone, Romarate beat Barbers by a mile.

Now in 2010, many are saying Romarate’s feat is a fluke (“tsamba lang.”) They were able to say this because they are parading incumbent Surigao City Mayor Casurra. If it is in boxing, Casurra is undefeated, and undisputed king of Surigao, having won as councilor, vice mayor and mayor three times.

For the Romarate haters, this could be it. Surigaonons will definitely vote for their own.

Like in 2007, the issue of Romarate not being a pure Surigaonon is resurrected. This is very evident in the campaign poster of Casurra which banners “My Congressman, kay Surigaonon man” (My Congressman because he is a Surigaonon).

Also, the issue of Romarate’s link to the criminal underworld is again highlighted.

This is it. Romarate is finished.

Casurra was enjoying an early lead in Surigao City and the Romarate haters are rejoicing. However, just like in 2007, the votes in Tubod town, Romarate’s came in. It was a whooping 6,000 plus vote lead, just like in 2007.

It was certainly a knockout punch sending Casurra down the canvass, hard.

Then came, the votes from Bacuag town, the bailiwick of an ally, Mayor Orquina-Cebedo. It gave Romarate a 3,000 votes plus. Casurra was not able to recover.

And so, after the smoke cleared, Romarate was again declared the “undisputed, the undefeated two time champion of the world” in a Michael Buffer style.

Robert Lyndon Barbers, Alfonso Casurra. They are political heavyweights. And they tasted their first defeats from Guillerno Romarate.

The braveness of Romarate in facing the political heavyweights in Surigao del Norte is simply amazing.

His answer to the people’s unselfish support to his candidacy is to initiate a lot of projects for his congressional district – from giving thousands of Philhealth cards to construction of school buildings, road rehabilitation, among others.

Romarate top health benefactor in Caraga

Romarate recently made history as the first high-ranking government official to breach the 30,000 mark as sponsor of Philhealth cards being distributed to indigent families either in a congressional-wide or province-wide scale categories in Caraga Region. The feat earned for him the distinction as the top health benefactor from among the five provinces in the region, it was learned.

Official records from the Philhealth Caraga Regional Office revealed that Cong. Romarate were able to subscribe and distribute 34,000 Philhealth cards to indigent families in the second congressional district of Surigao del Norte which covered the towns of Alegria, Tubod, Mainit, Placer, Bacuag, Gigaquit, Claver, Taganaan, Sison, San Francisco, Malimono and the City of Surigao. He earmarked more than ten million pesos from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for the largest health benefit coverage in the region’s medical history.

Rodrigo Ariar, Philhealth provincial head of Surigao Del Norte, explained that a Philhealth card given to a single family would usually benefit five members of the household. “So, if we multiply 34,000 by 5, we simply have 170,000 people as direct beneficiaries of the health care program of Cong. Jun Romarate”, Ariar concluded.

Romarate explained that his massive distribution of Philhealth cards to thousands of poor beneficiaries reflected his rare concern for the health aspect of his constituents believing that progress would only start rolling with a healthy people behind it. For him, the true wealth of a nation is its healthy people – apparently putting emphasis, in a large-scale context, to the popular saying “health is wealth”. He stressed that his distribution of the health cards was non-political or had no emphasis on the political affiliations of the recipients.

Kitaotao: The Manobo homeland

 

Kitaotao: The Manobo homeland


D
uring the Spanish regime, a Manobo Tribe in Bukidnon, headed by Datu Tayaotao, was known among its neighboring settlements for his bravery and leadership.

When the Spaniards invaded Cotabato, in one of their drives to expand their colonial control over the Philippines, Datu Tayaotao was called upon for help by one Datu Muslim.

The combined forces of the Muslims and Manobo successfully repulsed the Spanish operation.A feast was declared by the Muslim chief to honor and thank Datu Tayaotao and his men.

During the feast, which is celebrated every 24th of September, the Muslim chief offered his only daughter to Datu Tayaotao to be his wife, as a reward and to strengthen the bond of the two tribes.

The wedding took place at Datu Tayaotao’s enclave, followed by a three day feast.

The Muslim Datu, overwhelmed by the gaiety and lavishness of the celebration, proclaimed and called Datu Tayaotao as Datu Kitaotao, the chief of the land of wealth. After his death, the locality was named after Datu Kitaotao.

Places of Interest

Quarry Cave

Harboring a unique ecosystem is the Quarry Cave located at the East Poblacion of Kitaotao, some 2 kms from the center of the Poblacion. The cave network is one characterized by abiotic components of water and the speleothems, such as stalactites, formed continually inside the cave. The cave is a rare kind. It is composed of several interconnected passages and has several ingress and egress which ranges from .60 meter to 19.10 meter in width, and from 1 meter to 6 meters in height.

Seagull Valley Mountain Resort

The untamed beauty of nature is readily experienced at Seagull Valley Mountain Resort where the resort facilities of swimming pools, benches, and day and overnight cottages are decorated with a sprawling garden of beautiful flowers. One is enveloped by its cool breeze, fresh air, and early morning or late afternoon fog while breathing in the spectacular sights seen from the viewing area; or from taking the mountain trail; or from trekking to the spot, some distance from the resort where the pristine waterfalls is nestled. Seagull Valley Mountain Resort is located at Barangay Lorega, Kitaotao; also about an hour and a half’s ride away from Davao City.

Kipilas  Falls

Covered with growth forest is Kipilas Falls located some distance from the Sitio Paraiso proper of Barangay Lorega, Kitaotao; along the Davao-Bukidnon National Highway. It measures 150 feet in height is 150 feet and 2.5 meters in width, and has a discharge of approximately 3.0 cubic meters per second.

 

MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS

MAYOR:              RAFISURA, Rodito B.

VICE MAYOR:   GAWILAN, Lorenzo, Jr. A.

COUNCILORS: GUMAHIN, Rey R.

ABUCAYAN, Edwin P.

UBANAN, Joel G.

NALA, Villarosa P.

DACILLO, Rey Q.

SALINIO, Fidel T.

GAWILAN, Monte A.

TUMINDOG, Moreno G.

 

North Cotabato on the go

 

North Cotabato on the go

 There is no doubt that North Cotabato is now considered as one of the most progressive provinces in the country today.

                 The five major areas of governance – social and cultural development; economic development; environment and agricultural development; infrastructure; and development administration — of the administration of Governor Emmylou “Lala” J. Taliño-Mendoza are gaining headway.

                More so, the governor’s “Serbisyong Totoo” program of governance anchored on transparency, accountability and citizen’s participation with strong political will is now reaching the remotest barangays in the province, touching the hearts of the poorest of the poor.

                The young but very active Taliño-Mendoza has dreamed big for her fellow North Cotabateños and this has slowly been realized and she vowed to go beyond what her constituents are expecting from her.

                Starting her political career as chairman of the Sangguniang Kabataan at the age of 20, she is now the most powerful woman in the province, being the provincial governor, at the age of 39. And she has a long way to go.

                She wanted to spend her life in the service of her native land. With only more than a year as the steward of the province, the governor shows the way how to effect change, implement concrete projects, and treat the people as partners in promoting good governance.

JUAN MIGUEL ZUBIRI: A true gentleman

 

JUAN MIGUEL ZUBIRI:  A true gentleman

The recent resignation as senator of Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri earned him praises not only from his family, colleagues and lawmakers but more importantly from his countrymen as well.

Historic as it was, Zubiri’s exit as a member of the Philippine Senate after four fruitful years, will always be remembered, describing him as a “true gentleman worthy to be emulated.”

            The workaholic former senator, who was the youngest-ever to be a Majority Floorleader, has done a lot of things and wanted to do more — from crafting landmark laws to initiating various projects all over the country.

            Now living as a private citizen, Zubiri has this phrase to say, “I shall return.” And for sure he is referring to running again as a senator in the May 2013 midterm elections.

            Political experts have this theory that Zubiri will be a run-away winner, if not becoming a topnotcher,  not only because he is a prolific, hardworking senator but also his act of resigning as a senator created a kind of mass sympathy among the voting populace.

            The people would ignore accusations that Zubiri’s political party cheated in the 2004 elections but they can remember in Zubiri the grit of a true gentleman.

Zubiri, an administration, landed the 12th spot for the Senate, defeating Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, an opposition in 2007 election. The difference of the votes was less than 20,000.

Pimentel has since contested Zubiri’s win but failed to get the High Court’s restraining order on Zubiri’s proclamation.

Zubiri was proclaimed Senator on July 2007 with 11,001,730 votes, a little over Pimentel’s 10,983,358. An electoral protest is pending before the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

Praises from colleagues, lawmakers, wife

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile was all praise for Zubiri: “I’m sad that we’re going to lose you but I’m sure that what you did today in this chamber, … will be remembered. And your detractors will be chastised and you will come back here again …

“We cannot stop you … because it’s a matter of honor. And as head of this chamber, … I will study your resignation and make a decision in due time. I will consult the members of the chamber about it. We are not going to do this rashly.

“Today we are witnessing the happening of a historical event. This is the first time within the reach of my memory, in my 87 years on this planet, … that a member of this chamber chose honor ahead of himself. Bayan muna bago sarili (Country first before self). That is the meaning of what you did.”

San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito said he admired Zubiri’s valor and delicadeza for yielding to public opinion.

Ejercito said it was difficult for Zubiri to give up his Senate seat, having fought for it for so long.

“More important here is that Zubiri resigned because he knew he could no longer serve the people the same way, with the public giving him a trial by publicity [and pronouncing] him guilty of massive cheating in Maguindanao even if there had been no trial of the case,” Ejercito said.

Zubiri’s fellow senators saw “courage and honor” in his decision to quit.

“I admire him for this courageous and difficult decision,” said Sen. Francis Escudero. “It must be a tough time for him and his family, and I wish them well as they go through it.”

Senators Panfilo Lacson and Teofisto Guingona III agreed that Zubiri’s action was “the honorable thing to do.”

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada said he had discouraged Zubiri from quitting but was respecting the latter’s decision.

“You have to fight it out if you really did nothing,” Estrada recalled telling Zubiri.

Audrey Zubiri stood by her man.

“I am very proud of my husband for what he did,” she told reporters in English and Filipino. “He proved that he is a real man, a man who is not afraid to do what is right no matter how difficult.”

Profile

In 2008, Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri, at age 39, became the youngest to be elected as Senate Majority Leader since the First Congress in 1946. A veteran legislator, he served the 3rd District of Bukidnon from 1998 to 2007 and was always cited as one of the most outstanding solons in the House of Representatives. He has also maintained a perfect attendance in the Plenary Sessions for the last 12 years (4 Congresses) both as Congressman and as Senator, and including this 15th Congress.

In the 14th Congress and during his stint as Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Zubiri helped steer the Senate to a record performance of around 650 bills enacted into laws.

Zubiri is the principal author and sponsor of more than 20 major laws, both in the Senate and during his stint as Congressman. As a fervent advocate of clean energy, he worked for the passage of RA 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 and RA 9367 or the Biofuels Act of 2006, earning him the moniker Mr. Clean Energy.

He is also considered the “father” of the New Cooperative Code being the principal sponsor and author of RA 9520 or the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008.

Zubiri is known as a champion of environmental concerns, an advocacy he pursues in the Senate and among his top legislative agenda. In the current 15th Congress, he chairs the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. He also chairs the Committee on Cooperatives and 3 Joint Congressional Oversight Committees such as the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act; Joint Congressional Committee on Clean Air Act; and the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Cooperatives. He is also a member of 20 other Senate standing committees.

He is involved in concrete environmental programs such as being the founder of the Philippine Deer Foundation, a deer conservation project, and as President of the Palawan-based Katala Foundation which protects endangered wildlife species and their habitats. A trained first aider and certified rescue diver, he is a Governor of the Philippine Red Cross and active member of the Red Cross Youth Committee and Concerned Divers of the Philippines.

Zubiri has published two books: the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008, and Bukidnon: The Philippine Frontier. He is a graduate of Master’s in Environment and Natural Resources Management at the University of the Philippines Open University and Bachelor of Science in Agri-Business Management at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños. He has also been conferred four Honorary or Honoris Causa Doctoral degrees by various private and state universities.

He takes pride for being the husband to lovely Audrey; a loving father to Ma. Adriana and Juanmi; and a good son to Vice-Governor Jose Ma. Zubiri, Jr. of Bukidnon, and Victoria Fernandez-Zubiri of Libon, Albay.

Open Letter to the Filipino Public and Government Officials

Open Letter to the Filipino Public and Government Officials

 

We are publishing this letter to educate the Filipino people and government officials on why it is imperative that the 5000+ OFWs working in Afghanistan should continue to work past the imposed 31 December 2011.

The employment ban in Afghanistan was imposed as a result of the kidnapping by the Taliban of Angelito Nayan in October 2004. Nayan was a Filipino diplomat at the time, working with the United Nations to monitor elections in Afghanistan. His kidnapping, similar to that of Filipino truck driver Angelo dela Cruz in Iraq a few months earlier, grabbed the attention of Filipinos. He was subsequently released.

The POEA Governing Board Resolution No. 08 Series of 2007 which was issued on December 17, 2007 imposed total ban on the processing and deployment of Filipino workers not only for Afghanistan but also for Nigeria, Iraq and Lebanon. The issuance of the ban was consistent with the provision of Section 5 of Republic Act No. 8042, or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act, which “authorizes the government… when the public welfare so requires, to at any point impose a ban on the deployment of migrant workers.”

In September 2010, the U.S. Army issued a memorandum stating that all contractors in Afghanistan employing individuals from countries whose domestic laws prohibit their citizens from working in Afghanistan will not be hired. The policy stated that contingency contractor personnel must comply with applicable host nation (HN) and third country national (TCN) laws. Furthermore, the policy states that contractors in violation of TCN laws should immediately make plans to repatriate these individuals.

Immediately after the U.S. Army memo was issued, the Filipinos in Afghanistan (FIA), an informal group of OFWs sent two petition letters to President Aquino. In late January to early February, the DFA assessment team consisting of General Roy Cimatu, Ambassador Ricardo Endaya and Supervising Officer Melvin Almonguera was sent to Afghanistan in to see the security and living conditions of OFWs. The team spent a week visiting Filipinos in Bagram Air Field, Kandahar Air Field, and Kabul Green Zone. They were also able to meet with the employers and were told time and again about the great value the Filipino workers bring to the companies.

On February 11, 2011, the Philippine Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan which has jurisdiction over Afghanistan issued its own memo informing the contractors/subcontractors, non-governmental entities, and private agencies that the Government of the Republic of the Philippines has decided to exempt Filipino nationals employed inside US/NATO military bases and who are working on US-sponsored projects in Afghanistan from the current travel/deployment ban to allow said Filipino nationals to finish their contracts until 31 December 2011.

Comes to the fore the question on why OFWs in Iraq, proven to be more dangerous, are allowed to work until their contracts expire or when the American military leaves which basically translates to being indefinite?. The Filipinos in Afghanistan were very thankful for being given extension and to be able to continue working in Afghanistan until the end of 2011. But why did the government set a deadline of 31 December 2011 instead of following the same formula for Iraq?

Philippine government officials cite Afghanistans’s insecurity as the reason for the government’s inaction in lifting the ban when in fact, most of the more than 5000 OFWs work inside U.S and NATO bases in Afghanistan where security and safety protocols and measures is the number one priority.

To date there has only been one kidnapping of a Filipino recorded in Afghanistan. Angelito Nayan was kidnapped in 2004 – not because he is a Filipino. He was in the company of other U.N. workers when the unfortunate event happened. In the Philippines, there is constant threat of kidnappings not only of foreigners but also of Filipinos. Most recently, a naturalized American woman and her son, and nephew were abducted at a resort near Zamboanga City.

According to the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs, while some Filipino seamen have been released by the Somali pirates, to date there had been hundreds captured together with other seamen from other countries. So far, there is no ban imposed on Filipino seamen.

The only war-related death recorded in Afghanistan was when a Filipina together with four other UN workers in Kabul were killed when their guesthouse was attacked in 2009. A helicopter crashed due to mechanical failure killed 10 Filipinos last year. Two Filipino pilots died when their cargo plane crashed the same year. Again, they did not die due to being Filipinos.

According to NationMaster.com, there were over 10,000 manslaughters and murders by firearms in the Philippines in 2010. Terrorist attacks could occur at anytime, anywhere in the Philippines, including Manila. There are bus bombings, journalist killings, clashes between military and insurgent groups, political massacres, street crimes and robberies that often results in fatalities. Many Filipinos are injured or die from motor accidents from just crossing the streets to head on collisions due to unsafe roads and inexperienced/under trained drivers. Workers are hurt in the jobsite due to lack of safety gears and equipment. There are thousands of health-related deaths yearly.

If government officials cite Afghanistan’s insecure environment being the reason for the ban, shouldn’t we, all Filipinos, be banned from our own country due to the fact that there are much much more Filipinos hurt and killed in the Philippines than in Afghanistan?

Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, Congressmen, Senators, DFA, DOLE, we are appealing to you now to fully understand the situation in Afghanistan. Working in Afghanistan was our choice. We went to this country despite the deployment ban because the jobs in Afghanistan offer so many opportunities for us to improve our standards of living, enable us to fulfill our dreams, put a roof over our heads, send our children to good schools, and save the money that we earn in Philippine banks.

Mr. President, this is our last appeal to you. These last few months, thousands of our countrymen have been given termination notices stating they only have 3-5 months of work. Unless the Philippine government acts decisively with haste, we will see the exodus of more than 5000 Filipinos going home by December 2011 – jobless, disheartened, discouraged and disappointed that your government failed to support them in this time of need.

Mahirap po tanggapin na kami ay babalik sa Pilipinas na walang hanapbuhay na maaaring ikakagutom ng aming pamilya. Ito ay dahil sa isang travel ban na hindi binibigyang pansin ang karapatan ng bawat Pilipino na lumakbay sa ibang bayan upang makahanap ng hanapbuhay na hindi kayang ibigay sa sarili niyang bayan.
Tulad po ninyo, ibig rin naming dalawin ang aming mga pamilya at mahal sa buhay paminsan minsan na walang takot na hindi makabalik sa trabahong bumubuhay sa amin. Sana po matigil na ang mga pang aabusong nangyayari sa airport dulot ng isang papel na kumikitil sa aming katungkulan na buhayin ang aming pamilya sa marangal at wastong paraan.

Ibig po naming mabuhay na marangal at hindi tinatrato na katulad ng isang kriminal sa airport sa dahilang kami ay nagsisikap, nag titiyagang mangingibang bayan upang makatulong sa aming pamilya at sa bayan.
Patuloy po kaming magbibigay dangal sa ating bansa sa pamamagitan ng marangal na trabaho saan man kami naroroon.

Naniniwala po kami na kayo ay naririto upang matugunan ang aming mga hinaing. Naniniwala po kami na kasama kayo sa laban naming ito. Naniniwala po kaming sa mga sumunod na mga araw ay dadating na rin ang liwanag na pinakahihintay naming lahat na naririto at nag hahanapbuhay sa Afghanistan.

Hindi po namin kailangan ang pagparangal. Simple lang po ang kahilingan namin. Sana po kilalanin naman ang mga contributions ng mga overseas Filipino workers by treating our personal choices and professional decisions with respect.

Thank you.

Respectfully yours,

Filipinos in Afghanistan (FIA)

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