12 November 2013

On October 15, 2013, a 7.2 magnitude killer earthquake devastated the Visayas region costing thousand of lives and properties. This was after a two-week long stand-off between Philippine troops and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Zamboanga City in Mindanao that killed hundreds of people and paralyzed the city’s economy and brought fears, panic and dislocation of peoples.

Impact of these two incidents are still fresh in the minds of everybody in the country wherein affected populations are still on the verge of rebuilding their lives when super typhoon Yolanda, respectively known as Haiyan internationally, hit the central part of the country (Eastern to Central Visayas and Northern Mindanao) on 7 November 2013 that left thousands of dead people and billions of destroyed properties (industries to farm) while search and retrieval are still on going. Cadavers of humans and animals and destroyed properties and infrastructures are scattered everywhere in the affected areas mainly in the Visayas region with four million estimated affected population. Victims and survivors left with no option but to survive in whatever ways and means resulting to ransacking of stores and establishments for food, water, clothing and other means of survival. Generally the picture is a total chaos, devastation and desperation and the condition put the survivors in a very miserable situation.

For several times, the government structures and mechanisms that are supposed to be responsible in responding to the needs of the victims and survivors failed to do their duties. Institutions such as charity foundations, non-government organizations and volunteer organizations and among others remained to be the first to respond. Way back on the case of typhoons Ondoy, Pablo and Sendong, the government agencies and institutions were very slow using system installation, accounting of victims, etc. as excuses of this failure. In the case of typhoon Yolanda, after five days, more and more victims are starving to death despite the announcement of the stocks of supplies and donations from local and international donors.

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In commemoration with National Migrant Workers’ Month, Kaagapay once again launched its annual PaaralangPangkaunlaran: Mindanao Grassroots Special Studies on Migration, Development and Human Rights. This year’s focus is among children of OFWs with the theme, ‘Enhancing Values of Children of OFWs’ which aims in providing spaces for children of OFWs to share their experiences as a way of determining basic problems of the family and the ways to address them.

On June 15, 2013, twenty-two (22) children of OFWs ages 5-9 years old were gathered. Through draw and tell, they were able to express their feelings about their parent being away and how they are taken care of in their absence.

The following are the major points of their expressions as shown in their own drawings:

1) Loneliness and sadness felt of both children and their mother because of separation.

2) Left under the care of father or grandparents.

3) Knowledge on income/money for school or acquiring property (house) as the major reason why their parent(s) left.

Some of the children are observed to have lack of confidence. When asked about their preference whether they wanted their mother/father to leave, majority of them preferred the presence of their two parents because of insufficient care and wrong treatment from the guardian.


This intervention for children of OFWs shall be organized everySaturday for the whole month of June with the financial support from Catholic Committee against Hunger and for Development (CCFD).



Ipagtanggol! Pagtibayin!

Karapatang Pantao saan mang dako ng mundo!

Ika-10 ng Disyembre ay ang marka ng pagdaos ng Araw ng Karapatang Pantao sa buong mundo; araw sa pagkilala na magkapantay ang bawat tao sa buong mundo sa kabila ng pagkakaiba ng bawat isa; araw sa pagkilala na likas sa bawat tao ang iba’t-ibang mukha ng karapatan sa bawat aspeto ng buhay at walang kahit na sino man at kahit ano pa man ang maaaring kumuha at umangkin nito; araw sa pagkilala na ang mga karapatan ng bawat tao ay hindi kailan man dapat ipagkait sa kanya maging siya man ay nasa bansa ng kanyang sinilangan o sa bansang kanyang pinagtrabahuan.

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Ngayong ika-22 taong paggunita sa Pandaigdigang Araw ng mga Migrante (International Migrants’ Day), ang Kaagapay OFW Resource and Service Center, Inc. ay nakikiisa sa lahat ng mga migranteng manggagawa at kanilang pamilya, mga grupo at organisasyon sa buong mundo na patuloy na nakikibaka at sumusulong sa karapatan at kapakanan ng mga migranteng manggagawa sa buong dako ng mundo.

Ang pagpatibay ng United Nations sa Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families noong ika-18 ng Disyembre taong 1990, ay isang paraan ng pagkilala sa karapatan ng mga migranteng manggagawa kahit sa anong bansa at estado ng kanyang pangingibang bansa.

Sa konteksto ng bansang Pilipinas, ang araw na ito ay kumikilala sa sakripisyo at pagdurusa ng mga OFWs at maging ng kahalagahan nila sa ating lipunan. Simula pa man ng panahon na ang pamahalaan ng bansa ay tumataguyod sa patakaran ng pagtrabaho sa ibang bansa ay iba’t-ibang mukha ang pag-abuso at pagyurak sa karapatan ng mga Pilipinong migranteng manggagawa sa iba’t-ibang lebel ng pangingibang bansa; mula sa mga kamay ng mga oportunistang recruiters hanggang sa mga kuko ng mga malulupit at mapanirang amo.

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A second round of the Mindanao Pre-World Social Forum on Migration was organized on 16 November 2012 at Berd’s Hall, Palao, Iligan City which was attended by fifty-eight (58) individuals from different organizations and community-based groups of Iligan City, Pagadian City, and provinces of Lanao del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur. Like the first process which was done in Cotabato City last 7 November 2012, the pre-event was called to gather the issues, concerns and demands of groups and organizations in Mindanao on both internal and external migration and be put forward to the World Social Forum on Migration in Manila this coming 26-30 November 2012. The pre-event was also an opportunity for the groups to discuss and share about current local situations that are relevant to the issue of migration. One of which was the issue of the peace situation in Mindanao. Vhong Fenis of the Mindanao Peoples’ Peace Movement (MPPM) provided the input on the different peace processes in Mindanao in the context of the currently signed Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The peace talks have on and off escalation of armed conflict that resulted to massive evacuation of peoples and dislocation of economic activities. The recently signed agreement gathered positive and negative reactions since it is basically a framework. Some critiques conveyed that the constitution shall be amended first since Bangsamoro and asymmetrical relationship are not found in the constitution, that it is a framework with missing agreement and that the struggle of right to self-determination shall be based in transparency, democracy and participatory principles. On the other hand, GPH-MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) proposed a tri-partite review of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement but called it to an end because of the FAB signing. They called the agreement as disrespect to the 1996 Agreement which was a product of the Bangsamoro struggle. Aside from this, there are also other situations which other revolutionary groups are involved in. In Bukidnon, CARAGA, and Davao areas, Indigenous Peoples’ (IPs) leaders have been victims of summary executions reportedly done by the New People’s Army of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). IPs are caught in between in the armed conflict of NPA and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in which their communities have become battlegrounds of the two warring forces. There are also reported local armed confrontations between the Revolutionary Peoples’ Army (RPA) of the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa – Mindanao (RPMM) and of the NPA , logging security forces, and private armed goons. There are no displacement of communities happened though. The peace process of the government with RPMM is focus more on development projects in depressed communities. Atrocities and confrontations between the members of the Abu Sayyaf and AFP are also notable in the region as well as robberies, kidnappings, carnappings, and killings are prevalent in the region. Human rights of peoples are also threatened as harassments and killings in communities and of tribal leaders are prevailing. As such, basic social services like health, education, employment and even development are greatly at risk.

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