Migrant workers day

Today is International Migrant Workers Day. We salute the vital contribution of our Overseas Filipino Workers particularly the all important remittances that keep our economy afloat.

Yet more must be done to protect and promote migrant workers rights. Governments, employers and civil society groups must join hands to advance the many recommendations adopted during the 2nd Global Forum on Migration and Development held in Manila last October.

This Sunday and Monday, I will be in Cebu to meet OFW leaders to promote savings mobilization for alternative investments.

Here are the new officers of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. for next year:

Chair – Atty. Domingo T. Duerme

President – Simeon P. Marfori II

Executive VP – Nelia C. Tumarao

VP for Trade & Commerce – Alberto M. Soriano

VP for Agribusiness – Evelyn G. Lavina

VP for Professional & Service Ventures – Corazon Mae M. Baylon

VP for Industry – Napoleon M. Liloc

Corporate Secretary – Dr. Ma. Lourdes G. Monteverde

Corporate Treasurer – Patrick John D. Castro

Trustees – Atty. Bienvenido D. Cariaga, Atty. Enrique M. Diola, John Y. Gaisano, Jr., Sofronio M. Jucutan, Vicente T. Lao and Myrna P. Valdez

Thanks for more Christmas cheers from James Lee, Councilor Pilar Braga, Simeon Gonzales of Lakpue Group of Companies, Knights of Columbus brother Manny Malin, and Bishop George Rimando.

Model OFW Family

Ron Lionel Bartolome, Regional Director of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) wrote to me to announce the 2008 Search for Model OFW Family of the Year Awards.

Now on its fourth year, the search aims to draw inspiration from the experiences of model families in keeping family cohesion, attaining financial stability and successfully utilizing migrant savings for the benefit of families and communities.

Deadline for nominees is on August 8. Email him for more details at owwa@rwo11.bayandsl.com

6:46 a.m.

Outstanding Pinoys

Kudos to two of my friends, truly outstanding Pinoys:

Walden Bello who is this year’s Outstanding Public Scholar named by the International Studies Association for his achievements in combining his academic work and activism.

Walden teaches at UP and writes on his many advocacies as a global activist for social justice, peace, human rights and the environment. Described by a Belgian newspaper as the “most respected anti-globalization thinker in Asia,” he was earlier a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, known as the alternative Nobel Prize.

Walden and I sit at the National Council of the Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party.

And May-an Villalba who is a finalist in the Ernst & Young search for the Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines.

A dedicated worker for the cause of the OFWs, May-an is the executive director of the Unlad Kabayan Migrant Services Foundation where I sit as a board member.

She pioneered in promoting savings mobilization for investments among our overseas workers and an outstanding social entrepreneur.

(5:50 a.m.)