mike in manila - island life

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

FYI TV.Net : Pasig River dreams....

Environment Feature

Dream River

News image

It is nice to watch children build their dreams, albeit on sand castles, but to see those dreams fall apart along the banks of a dying river negates the essence of both childlike faith… and dreams. —Ces Vitan

Philippines: feud over land leaves 25 dead

The Talakag, Bukidnon land feud which has pitched battles between local farmers and tribal groups has developed into a week long series of pitched battles similar to the old Texas - Oklahoma range wars for the wild west.

The area is a remote part of hinterland Mindanao - where fertile upland soils allows almost anything to grow. near this area adding to the problems are major clashes between the military and rebels groups. Giving police a tough time to quash the feud - its also an area where heavily armed groups reside - this is really rough and tumble country and yet home to perhaps one of the best developed rural farming areas on Mindanao Island.

[] … Land dispute in Mindanao leaves 25 dead
ABS CBN News, Philippines - . Clan wars and vendetta killings, which are common in the southern Philippines, sometimes last for years and even decades, until a pact is reached or blood … []

Philippines: Military reports says “Pirates killed chinese fishermen” in disputed S. China Sea isles.

It's official - but long been suspected a couple of months after the report of the deaths of four Chinese fishermen off the coast of Palawan - near the Municipality of Kalayaan. Were the victims of pirates.

[] … Pirates killed 4 Chinese fishers — WesCom chief
Journal Online, Philippines - to Danga, the final results of a military investigation showed that the ship that attacked the Chinese fishermen was “definitely” not from the Philippines. … []

Now- the pirate problem must be put into context of just how far flung this area is - this is one of those places in the world that would make a perfect set for a part two to Kevin Kostner's Waterworld film of the few years ago.

I mean this place is remote- if Obi Wan Kenobi had hdden luke here - there never would have been a trillogy ok? its that remote. But not to fishermen who come from thousands of kilometers away to fish in its waters.

It is hard for Navies to maintain presence and patrols in the area because the few islands here are like small armed camps. There are three maybe four small runways on small reefs - One malaysian, one Vietnamese, another chinese and lastly Pag-Asa the Philippine Island that actually has a runway that dates way back… but has been rebuilt several times - since.

All the small bases are far off and watermakers are the source of life for all the Islands execpt for Kalayaan. Which does have fresh water a few homes and small military base.

Now the thousands of fishermen from each of the nations conflicting claims over the islands just within the Philippines EEZ - some form of cooperation is needed. And some form of joint patrols and coordination too… but til borders and claims and other issues are settled the fishermen are going to be targets for those who have the boats and guns in the area that can get to the vessels which on the average value several hundred thousand dollars in the cargo of fish they carry alone - making them targets for the wolves who prey the seas.

So it was pirates- as this blog said all along. Now perhaps if the countries could work on some means to work together perhaps this tragic incident could be avoided and new ways to thwart the wolves of the sea - be put into place.

Philippines: American Arrested for recruiting ‘guards’ for Iraq

The Philippines has banned the deployment of Filipino workers to Iraq- even though thousands still are in the country- new recruitment in the Philippines is banned by law.

A American citizen of Philippine origin was arrested by government agents for illegally recruiting over 100 AWOL (absent without leave) members of the Philippine Armed forces - and retired military personnel for the 'shotgun' escort duty.

( NOTE:engaging in the recruitment of labor for overseas employment on a large scale is a crime here without proper registration.)

Statement on the POEA website at: http://www.poea.gov.ph/

POEA not sending civilian fighters to

Iraq, Afghanistan
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) does not process documents of Filipinos hired as “civilian fighting force” for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The July 2004 ban on deployment of Filipino workers to Iraq has not been lifted and the reported deployment of security forces to Iraq and Afghanistan did not pass the documentation system of the government.
The government allowed the recruitment of Filipino workers for Iraq in the latter part of 2003 but only for deployment to campsites which were found safe from attacks from Iraqi rebels and terrorists. Most of the deployed workers were assigned to do construction, maintenance, housekeeping, and catering jobs inside American camps.
The deployment of Filipinos to Afghanistan was also allowed but was limited to professionals working in projects controlled by the United Nations (UN). POEA processed the contracts of these workers only after endorsement and clearance from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

It pretty much an open and shut case- most likely seen to end in either a large fine or a sentence or both- that's up to the courts.

Full story below:

www.Inq7.net 05:41pm NBI nabs Fil-Am sending retired, AWOL soldiers to Iraq

There are thousands of legal Philippine citizen employees of various global security firms who follow proper laws and regulations - which are in place to protect these workers.Who after-all do put their lives on the line for the various projects built in harms way all over the world.
This is not a anti-iraq or anti-war on terror action - as I'm sure some right wing bloggers might see it - but a simple case of not properly setting up and getting the legal permits.

But- while the Philippine government has travel restrictions to Iraq for Filipinos in the wake of kidnappings there. thousands do work there and carry out the jobs they do with the full knowledge of them being on their own in that country.

There are no restrictions for Afghanistan or other parts of the middle east though.

Looking for information on overseas employment?

For the complete list of recruitment and manning agencies that send Filipino workers abroad:

For tips on how to avoid illegal recruitment:

For the revised rules and regulations on overseas employment of land-based workers:

For the labor code of the Philippines discussing the provisions on overseas employment:

For the migrant workers and overseas Filipino act of 1995:

Historic preservation:Petition for Baguio

Asia Travel blogger - Asia Travel and other Ramblings

Who describes themselves as - ” Living in the Philippines offers a chance to explore these islands and get to know the people. It is not always paradise and I try to show all sides. ” Petition for Baguio

Posted a petition for Baguio online its been going around the web - seeking to control the over-development a major issue not only for the City of pines but in many places where history has been repeatedly torn down to make way for the new over the old.

[]… “… the City of Baguio deserves to be declared a “Special Heritage Zone,” so that the degradation brought about by overdevelopment can be minimized and gradually controlled. We believe that Baguio City’s heritage as a center of culture and environmental awareness is a valuable asset not just to the Philippines, but also to the world. … []

So far over 170 copies have come down many major names on the list go to the site and follow the instructions if you are interested - it is always a worthy cause to save a bit of heritage many places throw aside in favor of the new and splashy.