Quantcast
Latest Stories

Binay to ask US Vice President Biden for help on Filipino teachers’ plight in Maryland

By

Vice President Jejomar Binay. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

LOS ANGELES—Vice President Jejomar Binay said here Saturday (Sunday in Manila) that  he would bring to the attention of US Vice President Joe Biden the plight of Filipino teachers in Baltimore, Maryland, who stand to lose their jobs under a new teacher recruitment system based on an annual review of the job market.

“I will write a letter to the (US) vice president about (the teachers) issue,” said Binay, who met with some of the teachers in Washington, D.C. last Thursday. The presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers’ concerns also told the media that he would strengthen the mechanisms promoting the welfare of OFWs.

Since 2005, more than 600 Filipino teachers have left their families and jobs in the Philippines for the United States, paying thousands of dollars to fill critical vacancies in special education, math and science classes. They were brought over on H1-B visas, which may be renewed once, but not for more than six years total.

So far, only 46 of 154 Filipino teachers whose work visas are expiring this year are assured of visa renewal. The others could lose their visas over the next five years under a system that uses an annual review of the job market to determine whether or not to retain foreign  teachers. Majority of these teachers are Filipinos who were recruited  between 2005 and 2009.

But militant groups were not impressed by Binay’s promise and accused him of being “disrespectful” of Filipino workers here after he “crossed their picket line” at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport. The Vice President was at the hotel Saturday night to attend a Philippine Independence Day celebration.

Disrespectful of workers

“It’s incredibly disrespectful of the workers who want to unionize and have better working conditions,” said Alex Montances, Southern California regional coordinator for the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (Nafcon), whose members joined a protest outside the hotel.  Binay has “trample(d) on the freedom of Filipino workers here,” he said.

A hotel workers union, whose members include Filipinos, has called for a boycott of the Hilton LA Airport following labor disputes at hotels across the country.  The hotel is one of 13 airport-area hotels that are not unionized.

“Vice President Binay has practically crossed the picket line,” said Benjamin Leonen, a Filipino union organizer affiliated with the local that has been organizing workers at the hotel. The union has charged hotel managers with disciplining and harassing pro-union employees, a charge denied by the hotel management.

“This is a boycotted hotel and many of the workers are Filipino,” said Theresa Jaranilla, regional coordinator for Bayan USA. “We want to highlight the fact that these local worker issues are very much connected to the Philippine government’s labor export policy, which exploits workers.”


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: education , Foreign affairs , Global Nation , Jejomar Binay , Joe Biden , Maryland , US



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Drug firm Novartis to help Leyte firefighter
  • Fears grow for hundreds missing in South Korea ferry capsize
  • Robot sub makes first complete search for plane
  • uFly fires flight simulator who appeared on CNN
  • DPWH allots P1.2 trillion for PH roads
  • Sports

  • Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  • Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  • PSC sets Blu Girls US training
  • Power Pinoys settle for 7th place
  • Successful coaches to get raise
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • ‘Community’ star happy with return of show’s creator
  • Jealousy is kid stuff
  • Business

  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • PH seen to sustain rise in FDIs
  • Gov’t subsidies to state firms fell in first 2 months
  • Technology

  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Milpitas, California kids wrap up a successful run of ‘The Wiz’
  • Marketplace