News from home: Fixing ‘ambulance chasing,’ Marcos Jr. to attend King Charles III’s coronation

Kaycee Valmonte - Philstar.com
News from home: Fixing �ambulance chasing,� Marcos Jr. to attend King Charles III�s coronation
In this file photo, 15 Master Mariners are taking their oaths at the Maritime Industry Authority Central Office in Manila on January 25, 2023.
Facebook / Maritime Industry Authority

MANILA, Philippines — From raising the issue of “ambulance chasing” in the Philippine seafaring industry to confirmation of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s attendance to Charles III’s coronation in May — these were among our headlines and news stories from the past week we think you should know if you’re a Filipino based abroad.

Overseas Filipinos

  • Now that the European Commission said they would still recognize seafarers’ certificates issued by the Philippines, stakeholders and employers said the Philippines should now focus on addressing “ambulance chasing,” the country’s skills programs, and the industry’s decarbonization efforts.  

    The Department of Migrant Workers said it will be working with agencies back home, as well as with international agencies to address the issues. 

  • Six Filipinos who were trafficked to work in Laos arrived back home on Friday last week, the Bureau of Immigration said Sunday. The Filipinos said they signed up for jobs in Thailand to work as chat support agents, but they ended up being forced into love scams where they duped clients to falling in love with them and investing in a fake company.

  • Justin Jones, of Filipino and Black descent, is one of the two Democrcatic lawmakers expelled by Tennessee’s Republican-dominated state legislature. He got booted out of the Tennessee House for leading protesters calling for gun control in the state capitol after another school shooting.

Work and the economy

  • After the Commission on Higher Education floated the possibility of offering shortened nursing programs to address the shortage of nurses back home, the Filipino Nurses United said the government, specifically the Department of Labor and Employment, can instead increase the entry salary of nurses to P50,000. 

    Public nurses are entitled to Salary Grade 15 or just over P35,000, while those working in the private sector only earn P570 daily. Salaries of nurses working in the provinces may be lower. 

  • The Department of Education said it will not ban teachers from joining the Alliance of Concerned Teachers. Vice President Sara Duterte, also education secretary, has previously red-tagged the organization, even though the group was merely asking for a livable wage and improvements in the livelihoods of teachers in the country.

Politics and the nation

  • Marcos Jr. will be attending Charles III’s coronation in May, which will be his 11th overseas trip since taking office in June last year. He is set to attend the ASEAN Summit in Indonesia right after. 
  • The Presidential Communications Office said the four additional sites under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the United States will be located across Cagayan, Isabela, and Palawan. The announcement comes ahead of this year’s Balikatan exercises with US and Australian troops, which will formally begin this week. 

    The Department of National Defense reiterated that the additional four sites will not compromise the Philippines’ sovereignty

  • The Department of Education said it will study the proposal to return to the old academic calendar, with a summer break that runs from April to May to avoid holding classes in the heat. The basic education academic calendar was earlier shifted due to concerns that students had to go to school during typhoon season. 

  • Results of the 2022 Bar exams will be released on Friday, April 14. Over 9,000 law graduates took the exams in November last year. 

  • Marcos Jr. formed task force DEGAMO to keep violence from spreading in Negros Island and elsewhere in the Philippines. Agencies involved in the task force include the Department of Interior and Local Governments, Department of Justice, and the DND, among others.

You can view last week’s rundown here or sign up for the newsletter here

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