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OFWs’ sufferings foretold long ago


LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… `Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery’…” (Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, in Mark 10:11-12, the Holy Bible).

WORKERS CAN FILE CASES WITH NLRC: A reader’s question: “Good day Atty. Batas! Can I file a case against the company where I am a regular employee since July 2007. I got hospitalized last March 2012, and was diagnosed with Stage 5 Chronic Kidney Disease. I was issued a `fit to work’ certificate for morning or mid-day shifts, but I am no longer allowed to work during the graveyard shift. The company, however, is not allowing me to work anymore for the last six months…” (

First, “dorkyandcorky”, it is clear that you are entitled to well-defined disability benefits. If your company has an existing scheme for disabled employees, you should be able to receive them. However, if there is none, you can go to the Social Security System (SSS) and claim what is known as “employees’ compensation” under the Employees Compensation Law. You can also be given disability benefits by the SSS.

Second, it is clear that you can still work, as shown by your “fit to work” certificate. You must therefore officially write your company, through its personnel or human resource division, and demand that you be returned to work. If they refuse to give you any work, you can sue them before the National Labor Relations Commission.

OFWs BEING KILLED OR SUFFERING ABROAD FORETOLD IN THE BIBLE: I condole with the families of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who either died or sustained serious burn injuries as a result of an explosion at an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, which is about 25 miles southeast of Grand Isle, Louisiana, USA. What the government must do now is to make sure the victims and their families receive whatever benefits that maybe due them as a result of the incident.

This is indeed very sad, but then, the Bible warned all of us (through its Deuteronomy 28:15) that these mishaps, hardships and sufferings will hit our children, if we no longer listen to God (that is, read His Bible), and no longer obey Him. In Deuteronomy 28:32, it is written: “Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand…”

PARTY LIST LAW NOT A PRIORITY AT THE HOUSE: I agree with Commissioner Rene Sarmiento of the Commission on Elections that the poll body’s decisions involving party list groups in the last several weeks---disqualifying those which have been previously accredited and which even won seats at the House of Representatives in past elections, and denying accreditation to new ones---could be considered a blessing in disguise.

Indeed, our authorities can now act with dispatch and come up with a better party list law, one that would provide for better guidelines as to what groups should really be accredited as a party list, and who can be allowed to represent them as their nominees. But then, considering the track record and the predilections of previous Congresses and even our previous presidents, this is a matter that is not important to them.

TIANGGES: CHRISTMAS BANE OR BOON? Did you notice how tiangges and other flea markets usually associated with town fiestas have suddenly mushroomed in many places in Metro Manila and around the country? This indicates that, really, Christmas 2012 is just around the corner, and businessmen are now trying to cash in on people buying gifts, presents, and other items and goodies in preparation for the holidays.

But then, in the past, many of these tiangges and flea markets became the source of irritants and even lawsuits among town or city officials, with most of them trading charges that some officials or their cohorts received huge grease money to accommodate favored businessmen and traders. I hope some uniform regulations can be put in place to govern the licensing and operation of these flea markets so that it is the government which will profit, not the individual officials.

REACTIONS? Please call me at 0917 984 24 68, 0918 574 0193, 0922 833 43 96. Email:


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