You plan to move to the Philippines? Wollen Sie auf den Philippinen leben?

There are REALLY TONS of websites telling us how, why, maybe why not and when you'll be able to move to the Philippines. I only love to tell and explain some things "between the lines". Enjoy reading, be informed, have fun and be entertained too!

Ja, es gibt tonnenweise Webseiten, die Ihnen sagen wie, warum, vielleicht warum nicht und wann Sie am besten auf die Philippinen auswandern könnten. Ich möchte Ihnen in Zukunft "zwischen den Zeilen" einige zusätzlichen Dinge berichten und erzählen. Viel Spass beim Lesen und Gute Unterhaltung!

Deutsch lernen in Davao City! Learn the German Language in Davao City!

Sie müssen auf den Philippinen DEUTSCH lernen? You have to learn the German language in the Philippines? Sie wohnen in Davao oder irgendwo in Mindanao oder sonst wo auf den Philippinen? Do you reside in Davao City or somewhere else in Mindanao or the Philippines?

Hier können Sie am besten sehr gut Deutsch lernen. Mein Deutschkurs als Professor am Institute of Languages (Fremdspracheninstitut) an der University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao besteht bereits nunmehr fast zehn
Jahren und bietet die fundierte Ausbildung, die benötigt wird, um das A1/A2 - aber auch die B1 und B2- Examen beim Goethe Institut in Manila bestehen zu können. Das Goethe Institut Manila und USEP haben bereits vor 10 Jahren ein Memorandum of Understanding zur Förderung der deutschen Sprache und Kultur unterzeichnet. CHED - Commission on Higher Education befindet sich in unmittelbarer Nähe auf dem USEP-Campus. Alle Kurs-Teilnehmer erhalten ein Universitäts-Zertifikat mit Abschlußnote. Dies ist wichtig für eine Visaerteilung!
- My German Language Course at the University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao City (International Institute of Languages) as Professor (since ten
years now!) provides you with the requested education. You will be able to pass the A1/A2-exam (or even the B1/B2 exam at the Goethe Institute in Manila). Ten years ago, the Goethe Institute and USEP signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding German language and cultural sup. CHED - Commission on Higher Education is located at the USEP campus. Language Course Students will be receiving an university certificate with average grade at the end of the course. This certification is important for a visa application!
Rufen Sie JETZT an: DAVAO 082 - 227 1761. Please call DAVAO 082 - 227 1761. ODER/OR 0915 - 2199002.

GERMAN LANGUAGE COURSES A1 and A2: 120 hours with the following schedule: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 till 11:30 AM. Limited 15 seats only! New course well be starting July 16, 2018.

Deutsche Sprache-Kurse A1 und A2: 120 Stunden - Unterrichtsstunden: montags, dienstags und mittwochs und donnerstags von 9:30 bis 11:30Uhr. Begrenztes Platzangebot: nur 15 Teilnehmer! Der neue Kurs wird am 16. Juli 2018 beginnen.


EHEANNULLIERUNG AUF DEN PHILIPPINEN? Marriage annulment in the Philippines?


CONTACT US NOW! Kontaktieren Sie uns JETZT!

YONNEX Translation and Documentation Services, Davao City/Mindanao only . The only registered agency in Mindanao: Business Permit Plate No. 39803!


Voice mail: ++63 +82 - 227 1761

Cellphone: 0915 - 219 9002 (NEU!NEW!)

during office hours - waehrend der ueblichen Buerozeiten!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Roads and sidewalks cleared ....

...of obstructions in Barangay 206 in Tondo, Manila

By Jel Santos, Manila Bulletin
Obstructions in a barangay in Tondo, Manila were recently cleared by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
Members of MMDA conduct a clearing operation at different baranggays in Tondo, early Thursday. (Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)
Members of MMDA conduct a clearing operation at different baranggays in Tondo.
This came after the 8888, the government’s citizen complaint hotline, received tons of complaints regarding obstructions in Barangay 206, Zone 19, District II, Manila.
Personnel from the Sidewalk Clearing Operations Group and Task Force Special Operations spearheaded by MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim inspected Dinalupihan Street in Tondo under the jurisdiction of Barangay 206, Zone 19, District II in Manila.
Illegally parked vehicles, mostly privately owned, were towed, and sidewalks were cleared of obstructions like canopies and ambulant stores.
“We received lots of obstruction complaints in this area about road obstructions and we have to act on it to widen the road and provide pedestrians a safe place to walk,” Lim said.
According to him, he gave the outgoing and incoming barangay chairperson seven days to self-demolish structures including the Barangay Hall itself, which is encroaching the sidewalk area.
Ederlinda Mercado and Romeo Marcellano, outgoing and incoming barangay chairpersons, respectively, pledged cooperation to clear the sidewalks in their barangay.
They assured Lim that the illegal structure will be demolished in seven days.
The chairman said the MMDA will return to the area after a week to ensure that demolition and clearing was done, as committed by the barangay officials.
He also urged all newly elected barangay officials to exercise their authority as frontliners and cooperate with the government to avoid encountering bigger traffic problems in the future.

Do you pray?

My column in Mindanao Daily News, Mindanao Daily Mirror and Businessweek Mindanao

When tragedy strikes, it's easy to harden our hearts and cry out, "God, why did you let this happen?" Maybe then, we started praying. Before, when everything goes smooth, we would not even think a minute about praying... .

"To be a Christian without prayer, "said Martin Luther, "is no more possible than to be alive without breathing." Prayer is the only way of becoming what God wants us to be. This is the reason, why Jesus spent many hours in praying.

Unquestionable, our needs bring us to a place of prayer. Confronted with danger or tragedies, as I mentioned earlier, we look for God's help. Difficult times always cause the hearts of men to turn to God into prayer. 

Let me ask you: How long has it been since your're brought your burdens to God? Since you asked His forgiveness for your shortcomings? 

In his very interesting book "People in Prayer", Dr. John White reminds us that prayer is a divine-human interaction and it is always God who takes the initiative. White write: "God speaks and we respond. God is always speaking. To hear his voice is not usually a mystical experience. It consists merely of a willingness to pay heed to God who lays a claim to our lives."

Yes, God always speaks. It is up to us whether we will listen and respond to Him. Many think we are the ones who initiate prayer. But prayers begin and end with God. 

There was a time, I wasn't in the mood to pray any more. It seemed that God didn't listen my prayer any more. I didn't get what I prayed for. Of course, not... ! That's not the meaning of praying to God. All my wishes will be granted? Heaven forbid!

Sometimes, after we have prayed, God's answers may puzzle us. But as time times goes by and as events unfold we see God's purpose in his answers. We might get a larger vision, what HE likes. Not what WE like... .

Think about it for a moment" How does the idea that prayer begins and ends with God affect me now? Do I have the habit of listening to god? How do I respond to Him? How do I usually pray?

I confess that long time ago I have been trying to persuade God to change other people in my surroundings or circumstances. Nothing changed. Of course not, what a fatal attraction? I got confused because God never granted my requests. Meanwhile I got God's answers to my prayers. Maybe very simple: I was willing to let God change me... .This is how each one of us should start. Happy endings. Because I prayed according to His will... .

Nowadays, I live a wonderful life in my second and last home, the Philippines. I never regretted to move here for good. I said this already many, many times. I have everything I could ask for. I can do everything I wish to do. Thank you Lord.

Friday, May 18, 2018

An awesome artist from Davao City

Juliet Salinas lives in Maa, Davao City, Philippines. She is a mother of 3 children and a Makeup Artist,Creative Designer and Body Painter since 2009. 

As an artist, Juliet has a lot of experience in terms of make-up and artwork photo-shooting inside and out of the country. She dreams to prolong and extend more of her ability and focus to share it to others who are willing to join her journey.

Through this, she can help younger generations, like for example the new photographers, Aspiring Models and a hair dresser stylish can be a great makeup artist.

With the partner Ms.Tin Suarez, Managing Director, and Ms. Missy R.Villanueva, Executive Producer of Manila Production in Singapore, they decided to conduct a photo-shoot which theme of environmental art form.

Indicated here are the outcome of their photo- shoot.

#1 photo
A happy fairy Garden
PHOTOGRAPHER: Whitney Cambridge
Hair stylish: Ivan Gentopia
MUA/ CREATIVE Designer: Juliet Salinas juls
You can wish to have a happy day to the happy fairy.Clean and green environment and feel the the good life.
KOREADIAN acombination of Korean and Indian concept clearly shows that we can do and bind other nationality and make a stunning output.
Photographer:Emman Roy Hepi
MUA/creative designer:Juliet Salinas Juls
Hair STYLIST:Ivan Gentopia
Model: Khate Diane
Loc.:Crocodile Park
A lovely New York magician girl,
Model:Julia M.Verah
Hair stylish:Ivan Gentupia
A exotic Japanese warrior live with a brave heart. She can stand by herself to fight for her right. The model and the photos proved that they can defense the nature on their on ways.
Photographer:Emmanuel Roy Hipe
Model:Tin Suarez
HMUA:Juliet Salinas Juls
LOCATION:Villa Viva Belgica
The tiger looks.
A painted skin of a tiger model show you how great the nature is and that we should be protect our nature as more than the wild animals can do destroying our lovely nature can cause bad or death to our precious endanger creature.
Photographer:MAISI Book
Model: jheana Galgo
MUA/painter artist:Juliet salinas juls..
Location:Crocodile Park
Japanese exotic WARRIOR
A model shows the different kind of identity. She can be a good one or bad in her look but you can't tell,unless you will be able to put your feet on her shoe.
Photographer:Maisi Book
Model :Tin Suarez
HMUA:juliet Salinas juls
Location:villa viva belgica
She can fight for the right to protect the mother nature,who ever trying to destroy the environment. She will be your biggest enemy - so don't you dare ,inspired by juliet imaginary action.
Photographer :Emmanuel Roy Hipe
Model:Bench Rock
MUA/creative designer:juliet salinas juls 
HAIRSTYLE :Ivan Gentopia
KOREADIAN a lovely smile from the combination of korean and indian inspired looks
Photographer:Whitney Combridge
Model: Khate Diane
MUA/creative designer:Juliet Salinas juls
Hair stylish:Ivan Gentopia
Location:Crocodile Park
Model show that even with a simple smile make u feel better.Indeed love yourself.
A tiny yellow flower fairy
Photographer:Emman Roy Hipe
Model:princess Dingpin
MUA/designer:Juliet Salinas juls
Hair stylish :Ivan Gentapia
Location:CROCODILE Park
A tiny lil girl a lovely yellow flower fairy can give the brightest way of your day.She can bring your lovely lighted whole day.
A little tiny yellow fairy
Photographer:whitney Cambridge
Hair stylish:Ivan Gentopia
Mua/creative designer:Juliet Salinas juls
A tiny flower,tiny things,tiny beautiful yellow fairy can give a big joy and big comfort zone in our environment.Love and care is the key to our happiness thebnature of love can bring it.
A happy fairy Garden
PHOTOGRAPHER: Whitney Cambridge
Hair stylish: Ivan Gentopia
MUA/ CREATIVE Designer: Juliet Salinas juls
You can wish to have a happy day to the happy fairy. Clean and green environment and feel the the good life.
The magic of one smile
She can do magic with her smile,love yourself as well as your mother nature.
The magic of one smile
She can do magic with her smile,love yourself as well as your mother nature.

Philippines won't go to the dogs ....

Duterte says China’s Xi ‘won’t allow’ him to be ousted

‘Philippines won’t go to the dogs’: Duterte says China’s Xi ‘won’t allow’ him to be ousted
Chinese leader Xi Jinping once offered Rodrigo Duterte personal assurances his country “won’t go to the dogs,” the Philippines president said, noting that the former colony won’t become Washington’s “vassal” ever again.
“’We will be there if you need us,’” Duterte said on Tuesday, recalling a conversation with the Chinese president. “The assurances of Xi Jinping were very encouraging. Eh, they are there.”
“'We will not allow you to be taken out from your office, and we will not allow the Philippines to go to the dogs,'” he said, paraphrasing Xi.
In the Philippines, the president serves a single six-year term without possibility of re-election. Duterte, who was sworn in as the 16th president on June 30, 2016, previously warned that he could declare a revolutionary government if criticism of his rule escalates into a full-scale plot to oust him. Last month, he even joked that the CIA might want to assassinate him over Manila’s decision to get weapons from China and Russia.
The Philippines repeatedly asked Washington for modern weapons to combat Islamic State-linked (IS, formerly ISIS) militants. The US, however, refuses to sell weapons to its former colony, citing “concerns” about the country’s human rights record amid the ongoing war on drugs.
“You do not buy your arms from one source only, because if you do that you become a colony of your supplier... You are reduced to a vassal,” Duterte explained, referring to the US.
The sharp-tongued leader has made an independent foreign policy a signature of his presidency, and with China’s apparent backing, Duterte feels more confident tackling security issues facing his country.
“China said ‘We will be there.’ I’m not sure with the Americans because the Americans have lost their will to fight,” he said in a mixture of Filipino and English. “They only have weaponry, cruise missile, maybe they also have a supersonic thing, but the boots on the ground, the ones who will go there to fight, America is scared.”
“They are deathly afraid of death and they do not want to. They only know human rights… that’s why they are deteriorating,” the 73-year-old leader added, explaining that US soldiers cannot stand “hardships” and can’t operate outside of “air-conditioned rooms.”

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Take off Sale ....

Hello Klaus!
Manila to Maldives(via Singapore)
PHP 7,472 all-in
Manila to Athens
(via Singapore)
PHP 12,022 all-in
Manila to Berlin(via Singapore)
PHP 12,722 all-in
Savings, convenience, and more!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Work-life balance?

My column in BusinessWeek Mindanao and MINDANAO DAILY

How many hours do you work usually daily? We are all workers whether we work in a plush carpetted office as executives and managers, in a hot and noisy assembly-plant as factory-hands or as house-wives at home.

Why do we work? Why do we slug five or six days a week (or even more?) for eight or more hours at a stretch? The church has had quite a lot to say about work and especially, the rights of the workers. And when you get through the church jargon, you'll find statements on minimum wages for workers, needs for leisure and social benefits.

It is the Book of Genesis which tell us that work is God's gift to human beings. God gave us the will, power and intelligence to "fill the earth and subdue it" and not just talk about seeing the wild beasts, the fruits and grains... .

We are given the enormous task of shaping the earth, whether as machinist in a textile factory, or as clerk in court. The important message is: Work is for man (and woman) and not man (and woman) for work! Through work, man develops himself, his personality and his sense of self-worth. It is also through work that man produces goods and services contributing and participating in the development and society.

In the encyclical Laborem Exercens (on human work), Pope John Paul II made it clear that there should be just remuneration for the work of an adult who is responsible for a family and this means enough money for the breadwinner to feed, clothe and maintain his partner and children, with provisions "for security for his future".

I came across an Asian nation's legislators overwhelmingly approved a bill that reduces the maximum weekly work hours.

South Korea is reducing its maximum working week from 68 hours to 52 hours in a bid to boost the country’s productivity and the number of children being born. But the average working week varies depending where you live in the world. So, which countries are “burning the midnight oil”?

In March, South Korea's National Assembly passed a law that will give a substantial amount of its workforce a well-deserved break. It is the developed nation with the longest working hours, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The South Korean government also believes it could even increase the country's birth rate, which has decreased substantially in the last few decades.

This new law will come into force in July 2018, although initially it will only apply to large companies before reaching smaller businesses.

Despite opposition from the business community, the South Korean government believes the law is necessary to improve living standards, create more jobs and boost productivity Exceptions to the rule? The South Korean government also believes it could even increase the country's birth rate, which has decreased substantially in the last few decades.

South Korea has currently longer working hours than any other developed country: an average 2,069 hours per year, per worker, according to 2016 data compiled by the OECD. The analysis covered 38 countries and showed that only Mexicans (2,225 hours/year) and Costa Ricans (2,212 hours/year) worked longer hours.

South Koreans bucked a global trend: studies carried out by the International Labor Organization (ILO) show that lower and middle-income countries tend to work longer hours than their richer counterparts, thanks to a series of factors that range from the proportion of self-employed workers in the labour force to lower wages, job insecurity and cultural issues.

Death by overwork is so prevalent in Japan that they have a word for it: Karoshi. But South Korea is not the only rich country to defy the odds. Japan has a problem with "death by overwork".

In more specific terms, the word means employees dying either from stress-related ailments (heart attacks, strokes) or the ones who take their own lives because of the pressures of the job.

The average of 1,713 hours worked per year in Japan is not among the highest in the OECD list, but beyond the number, there is the grim reality that the country has no legislation at all stipulating a maximum weekly hours limit and neither overtime limit.

In the 2015-16 financial year, the government registered a record 1,456 karoshi cases. Workers’ rights groups claim that the actual figures could be many times higher due to under-reporting. Japan has a problem with "death by overwork", expressed not only by statistics but also the fact that the Japanese language has a word for this: karoshi.

According to ILO's most recent figures, Asia is a continent where more people work the longest hours: most of the countries (32%) have no universal national limit for maximum weekly working hours and another 29% have high thresholds (60 weekly hours or more). And only 4% of the countries abide by the ILO recommendations and set the international labour standards of a maximum of 48 hours or fewer for the working week.

In the Americas and the Caribbean, 34% of the nations have no universal weekly hours limit, the highest rate amongst regions. One of the countries without a limit is the United States.

But it is in the Middle East where the legal limits are more open for long hours: eight out of 10 countries permit weekly working hours in excess of 60 hours per week.

In Europe, on the other hand, all countries have maximum weekly hours, and only Belgium and Turkey have legal working hours of more than 48 hours. 

But it is Africa that shows the greatest number of countries in which more than one of third of the labour force works over 48 hours per week. The rate in Tanzania, for instance, is 60%.

Surveys have also identified cities in terms of average hours. In 2016, Swiss Bank UBS released an analysis of 71 cities that showed Hong Kong with an average of 50.1 weekly working hours, ahead of Mumbai (43.7), Mexico City (43.5), New Delhi (42.6) and Bangkok (42.1).

Mexicans, apart from the longest hours, are also subjected to one of the meanest holiday regimes in the world: their legal minimum paid annual leave is less than 10 days, like in Nigeria, Japan and China, for example, while regional neighbours Brazil offer a minimum of between 20 to 23 days.

It could be worse, though. In India, where there is no universal national limit for maximum working hours, workers do not have a guaranteed minimum amount of annual leave.  

Lastly, let's find out where your work-life-balance is. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Don't be corrupt!

By Catherine Talavera, Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — After accepting her surprise appointment as tourism secretary on Tuesday, Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said her first instruction from President Duterte was: “Just don’t be corrupt.”
“My only instruction from the President when he offered it and then I accepted – he said, ‘congratulations! All I want is no corruption. Don’t steal,’ he told me. And I said, ‘yes, of course,’ ” Puyat said yesterday in an interview.
With her at the helm of the Department of Tourism (DOT), Puyat said she would likely prioritize farm and culinary tourism.
“We’ve been working with (the DOT) with regard to farm tourism. That’s been their main project with the DA (Department of Agriculture). So might as well continue it,” she said. “I will continue the farm tourism and culinary tourism because when you go to a country, food is one of the things tourists go to.”

She was agriculture undersecretary for 12 years before Duterte casually appointed her late Tuesday at Malacañang during a meeting of the National Food Authority Council.
“He basically appointed me because he said I have been in the DA for so long, for 12 years already and there was no trace of corruption,” Puyat said.
She replaced Wanda Teo who resigned as DOT secretary Monday night at the height of controversy over the questionable advertising deal between the tourism department and the state-run People’s Television Network Inc. The agreement involved the placement of P60 million in ads for a television program of Teo’s brother Ben Tulfo.
“Medyo nagulat ako kasi pinag-uusapan namin agriculture tapos biglang naging tourism (I was a bit surprised because we were talking about agriculture then suddenly it was tourism),” she said.
Puyat admitted she has no plans for the DOT yet, but stressed she would continue to work on projects begun by Teo, including those promoting farm industry and local cuisine.
She said she wants to check first the plans of the DOT especially concerning rehabilitation efforts for Boracay and the country’s possible hosting of the Miss Universe 2018.

The new tourism chief also vowed to observe transparency in all transactions. She promised to shun nepotism like what her father – former senator and foreign affairs chief Alberto Romulo – did when he was in government.
She revealed that as DA official, she had worked with the DOT for the Madrid Fusion Manila, a major culinary event with Spain.
“We’re on our fourth year. We’ve worked with the DOT for three years already with regard to Madrid Fusion,” Puyat said.
“So it’s all about culinary tourism. We might as well continue that as far as my background is concerned,” she added.
She emphasized she’s always ready to explore more ways of improving the country’s tourism sector.
“Of course we should continue what programs are already working,” she said.
On the six-month closure of Boracay to give way to rehabilitation work, she said she’s leaving it to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to deal with the issue.
“We will see. We will leave it up to their judgment,” she said in a separate television interview.
In welcoming its new chief, the DOT said her expertise and experience would certainly bring more vigor to the department and help it attain its target under the National Tourism Development Plan for 2016-2022. The DOT hopes to boost tourist arrivals to 7.4 million this year.
“An advocate of farm and culinary tourism as evidenced in the DA’s strong partnership with the DOT’s Madrid Fusion Manila and farm tourism initiatives, the incoming secretary’s expertise and experience present an advantage in steering the industry and promoting the Philippines as a premier tourist destination,” the DOT said.

DA’s loss

While sighs of relief greeted her entry into the DOT, her departure from the DA was met with uneasiness.
“She is a big loss to the DA, especially in our marketing advocacies. But I am happy for her,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol told The STAR.
While Puyat’s appointment as DOT chief caught him by surprise, Piñol said he respects the decision of the President as he knows Puyat is fit and qualified for the position.
“I was shocked because this was not discussed in the last Cabinet meeting. But I already had an inkling that she may be chosen,” he said.
“Knowing her work habits and her honesty as a public official, I know she will excel as tourism secretary,” Piñol added.
“Looking at the brighter side, she and I could now work closely and coordinate our efforts and funding in promoting farm tourism and agri-tourism,” Piñol said.
Puyat’s credentials and reputation have also impressed senators who expect her to face smooth sailing before the Commission on Appointments (CA).
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said Puyat “has done well in all her government postings,” referring to her previous post as agriculture undersecretary.
“She has a clean record. She has good academic credentials and is very qualified to be the secretary of tourism. I look forward to working with her in developing our tourism industry. Good tourism policies will increase jobs and income for our people and will further sustain our growing economy,” Recto said.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III described her as “excellent,” adding that her father was also an exemplary public servant.
Sen. Nancy Binay, chair of the tourism committee, said she was looking forward to working with Puyat, whom she expects to promote “the tourism agenda and bring her expertise in farm tourism and ecotourism being sustainable approaches to rural development.”
Sen. Grace Poe said Puyat has the academic and professional credentials to lead the DOT and is known for promoting attractions and local culture of provinces she had been to as DA official.
“She is very personable and articulate and is suited to the job of selling the Philippine brand,” Sen. Sonny Angara said.
Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, a member of the CA, said he expects the bicameral body to quickly confirm her appointment.
“I can truly vouch for her character and integrity as a person and her almost decade long career in public service at the DA was one of outstanding performance and with no taint of corruption or controversy whatsoever,” Zubiri said.
For Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Puyat is undoubtedly qualified for her new job. “She’s qualified for the position. Good choice,” Alvarez said.
“We support the decision of the President to further promote the tourism industry in the Philippines,” Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu said.
“She’s the right person for the right job. She possesses the qualities of a good marketing person,” Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, chairman of the House committee on dangerous drugs, said.
Puyat “has a long and positive track record in government. We believe she is a worthy choice to replace outgoing secretary Wanda Teo,” Parañaque Rep. Gus Tambunting, chairman of the House committee on games and amusement, said.
“I think she is highly capable of handling the job,” said Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, chairman of the House committee on banks and financial intermediaries.
“The right person for the right job,” Isabela Rep. Rodito Albano, a member of the 12-man House CA contingent, said.
Meanwhile, Piñol said DA undersecretary for policy and planning Segfredo Serrano will take over rice importation matters from Puyat.
Piñol, who is currently in Batanes, says the DA will have a meeting tomorrow to discuss new roles at the department.
The appointment of Puyat has also spawned reports that Jose Gabriel La Viña will replace her as DA undersecretary.
Just two weeks ago, La Viña was appointed as tourism undersecretary. He was Social Security System commissioner for more than a year before his dismissal in February due to alleged abuse of public funds.
“I am still waiting for the official communication on the matter, if it is indeed true,” La Viña said in a text message to The STAR.
“I am and will continue to be a strong supporter of the President. For the record, I believe Usec. Berna is an excellent choice for DOT. She is beautiful, diligent and bright,” he added, referring to the new tourism chief by her nickname. – With Robertzon Ramirez, Louise Maureen Simeon, Paolo Romero, Delon Porcalla,  Christina Mendez

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Killing Workplace

My column in Mindanao Daily Mirror

I have experienced it many times. I have written about it many times. Nothing changed yet. Of course not! 

Fact is, nowadays, the modern workplace can inflict dangerous levels of stress on employees even more then decades ago. Jeffrey Pfeffer, author of "Dying for a Paycheck" , argues that these practices don’t help companies – and warns governments are ignoring an emerging public health crisis.

Jeffrey Pfeffer is not the only one. Hundreds more followed Pfeffer's foot steps. 

An Uber software engineer making a six-figure income killed himself in 2016, with his family blaming workplace stress. A 21-year-old Merrill Lynch intern collapsed and died in London after working 72 hours straight. When Arcelormittal closed a steel plant that it had taken over, a 56-year old employee died of a heart attack three weeks later. His family said it was the shock. And the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work has reported that over half of the 550 million working days lost annually from absenteeism “are stress related”. 

I apologize, but I am still waiting for Asian figures.

In 2015, an analysis of almost 300 studies found that harmful workplace practices were as bad for mortality, and as likely to lead to a physician-diagnosed illness, as second-hand smoke, a known – and regulated – carcinogen.

Harmful workplace practices include things like long working hours, work-family conflict, economic insecurity arising from job losses and not having regular or predictable work hours, an absence of job control and, in the US, not having health insurance.

Your supervisor is more important to your health than your family doctor. That's not my quotation but by Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry-Wehmiller.

The workplace is making people sick and even killing them – and people should care. With rising health-care costs all over the world, the workplace has become an important public health problem. “According to the Mayo clinic, your supervisor is more important to your health than your family doctor,” Bob Chapman, CEO of the manufacturing firm Barry-Wehmiller, told the entire world.

The World Economic Forum estimates that some three-quarters of health-care spending worldwide is for chronic disease and non-communicable diseases account for 63 percent of all deaths. Chronic disease comes from stress and the unhealthy behaviours such as smoking, drinking, taking drugs and overeating that stress induces. Numerous surveys show that the workplace is a leading cause of stress, and it is thus one important cause of the health care crisis.

The aptly-named American Institute of Stress claims that workplace stress costs the American economy some $300bn each year. A paper I co-authored in a leading peer-reviewed journal estimated that there were 120,000 extra deaths annually in the US from harmful management practices, and that extra health-care costs were $190bn each year. That would make the workplace the fifth leading cause of death, worse than kidney disease or Alzheimer’s. In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive reported that 12.5 million working days were lost from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016-2017. 

Work practices that are bad for people don’t even help the company. Very clear. But who cares?

None of this is necessary, because the work practices that are bad for people don’t help the company, either. Long working hours are negatively related to per-hour productivity at the both the national and industry level.  Although it may seem counterintuitive, layoffs or redundancies do not improve organisational performance and often drive the best employees to leave, and because of direct costs such as severance and indirect costs such as losing people with strong relationships with customers, frequently do not even save money.  For decades research has shown that giving people more control over how and when they do their jobs increases motivation and engagement.

Not surprisingly, stressed employees are more likely to quit – and turnover is expensive.  And systematic research demonstrates what ought to be obvious – sick, stressed employees aren’t as proficient or productive in their work as those that are healthier. Look into a mirror! Maybe you feel the same while reading this.

Every indication is that work is getting worse. Job cuts, which used to occur only in tough economic times, are now routine. When 3G Capital combined food giants Heinz and Kraft, 20 percent of the workforce got the axe as the company consolidated manufacturing and removed overlapping functions.

The “gig economy” means that economic insecurity is higher as people don’t know what their income will be from one week to the next. Scheduling software that permits retailers and other businesses such as hotels and restaurants to have only the people that analytics predict will be needed means that workers often face fluctuating incomes and don’t have much ability to arrange for coping with family responsibilities.

Few leaders seem to understand that when people come to work for them, those individuals have placed their physical and psychological well-being in the leaders’ hands

Most fundamentally, in the 1950s and 1960s CEOs saw their job as balancing their obligations to shareholders, customers, employees and the community – so-called “stakeholder capitalism”. Now shareholder interests dominate. Few leaders seem to understand that when people come to work for them, those individuals have placed their physical and psychological well-being in the leaders’ hands.

But some leaders are taking this idea of stewardship seriously. Companies such as Patagonia, Collective Health, SAS Institute, Google, John Lewis Partnership – which is employee-owned – and Zillow provide a template of what might be different. As I said SOME leaders. Really only a very few. Not enough. I guess most leaders really don't care about their staffs.

People get paid time off and are expected to use it. Managers don’t send e-mails or texts at all hours – people work, go home and have time to relax and refresh. The organisations offer accommodations so that people can have both a job and a family life. People are treated like adults and have control over what they do and how they do it to meet their job responsibilities, not micromanaged.

Most importantly, the companies are led by individuals who take their obligations to their people seriously. SAS Institute has a chief health officer whose job is not just to control costs but also to ensure employees are as healthy as possible.  Bob Chapman recognises that everyone who comes to work at Barry-Wehmiller is “someone’s precious child” or family member.

People need to choose their employer not just for salary and promotion opportunities but on the basis of whether the job will be good for their psychological and physical health. Business leaders should measure the health of their workforce, not just profits. 

And governments concerned about the health-care cost crisis need to focus on the workplace, because workplace stress is clearly making people sick. None of this necessary – no one should be dying for a paycheck.

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