(UPDATED) ALLEGATIONS of misuse of overseas workers’ funds held in trust by the government have again surfaced amid the bickering between government officials over the reported lack of money for the evacuation of Filipinos from war-torn Lebanon.

The issue has prompted a Senate inquiry that started yesterday but which was marked by the absence of key executive officials invited to shed light on the status of the funds of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), citing ongoing “critical operations” to get Filipino workers out of Lebanon.

Almost three weeks after the Middle East crisis erupted between Israel and the Hezbollah armed group, the repatriation of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Lebanon has stirred a controversy after Philippine Ambassador to Lebanon Al Francis Bichara said last week that money is running out for the beleaguered OFWs with no fresh funds coming in from Manila.

Testifying at yesterday’s Senate hearing via overseas phone call, Bichara, who had earlier apologized for the “confusion” his statement generated, said he is standing by his claims, insisting that embassy records show no funds have been transferred from the Department of Foreign Affairs for the evacuation of OFWs.

But the OWWA, which manages the funds coming from $25-contribution per contract of overseas workers, claimed it has already released an initial $2 million after violence escalated in Lebanon on July 14.

An OWWA official disclosed to the PCIJ that another $2 million has also been approved for release by its board of trustees last July 28 even as $2 million more is being set aside as standby fund upon the order of Labor Secretary Arturo Brion on the same day. The money is being sent to the OWWA welfare officer in Lebanon, a certain Mario Antonio, while payments for the chartered planes are said to be transacted in Manila or through Ambassador Roy Cimatu. The official however expressed surprise that Bichara, as head of mission, is being kept in the dark about the funds.

Earlier, Malacañang had also approved the release of P150 million from the National Treasury and $250,000 by the Philippine Embassy in Beirut for the evacuation of affected Filipinos.

These amounts were supposed to have covered the cost of evacuation in just a week, which OWWA Deputy Administrator Angelo Jimenez said, has already summed up to $1.5 million (P80 million), a big chunk of which were incurred for airfare expenses. Airlines are reportedly charging a minimum of P2 million per chartered flight, or an equivalent of $1,200 per evacuee.

Since “Oplan Sagip OFWs sa Lebanon” started on July 23, some 1,274 Filipinos have been repatriated back to the country — which foreign affairs undersecretary Esteban Conejos Jr. said is proof that there are sufficient funds.

Marianito Roque, OWWA administrator, also dismissed the allegations of fund misuse, saying the OWWA fund, which he said stood at P8.1 billion as of December 2004, remains intact.

Documents dated July 25, 2006 obtained by the PCIJ, however, show that the total funds, including dollar deposits and holdings, and investments in two government banks — the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines — now amount to P7.73 billion. The combined LandBank and DBP deposits under an investment management agreement total P6.58 billion.

TABLE 1: OWWA TOTAL PORTFOLIO

OWWA MAIN

NATURE OF FUND
AMOUNT
Capital Fund (as of May 31, 2006)
36,067,487.37
OWWA-MWLGF (LBP) May 31, 2006
43,961,409.68
OWWA-MWLGF (DBP) May 31, 2006
60,288,053.83
OWWA-SWF (as of May 31, 2006)
73,234,639.10
OWWA-IBPF (as of May 31, 2006)
14,913,103.69
OWWA-NLSF Trust Fund (as of May 31, 2006)
61,133,577.42
Tbills-CMWSP, Tbonds, LBP Bonds & Debenture Bonds
(as of May 31, 2006)
371,491,073.99
TOTAL
661,089,345.08

US DOLLAR DEPOSITS

Savings Deposit
$682,501.70

OWWA-MEDICARE

Capital Fund (as of May 31,2006)
1,395,235.05
Tbonds, LBP Bonds and Debenture Bonds
(as of May 31, 2006)
365,599,693.09
TOTAL
366,994,928.14

US DOLLAR HOLDINGS

Savings Deposit
$652,266.07
Time Deposit
471,314.18
ROP Bonds
640,000.00
TOTAL
$1,763,580.25

INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT

LBP (as of May 31, 2006) inclusive of interest earnings
3,259,553,389.00
DBP (as of May 31, 2006) inclusive of interest earnings
3,321,451,097.90
TOTAL
6,581,004,486.90
TOTAL PhP
7,609,088,760.12
TOTAL $
2,446,081.95
TOTAL PORTFOLIO
7,733,838,939.57

Conversion Rate: US$1.00 = PhP51.00

Fund for emergency repatriation

If OWWA funds are inviting much scrutiny regarding the availability of money for the evacuation of OFWs, it is because under Republic Act No. 8042, or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, the agency is mandated to administer, among others, an Emergency Repatriation Fund (ERF) to evacuate overseas workers in case of emergencies such as war, epidemic, disaster or calamities (natural or man-made).

A seed amount of P100 million was set aside for this purpose from the funds managed by OWWA, afterwhich Congress is supposed to allocate no less than P100 million for the ERF in the annual national budget.

But Congress has failed to allocate a single centavo to the fund over the years.

“Since there is no other source, presumably, the ERF gets a share from the $25 charged as fees by OWWA for every contract of OFWs,” says laywer Berteni Causing, who finds the law vague as to where the fund will be sourced.

“With about 3,000 workers leaving abroad every day, even at $1, you could just imagine how much money they are getting in a year,” he says.

OWWA places its average collection from OFWs between P800 million and P1 billion a year — though overseas workers are contesting why they get to be charged the $25 contribution when the law stipulates that “in no way shall the fees be charged or collected from the worker.”

Since the ERF is not being included in the General Appropriations Act, Ellene Sana, executive director of the Center for Migrants Advocacy (CMA), says it should still be incumbent on the government to produce the money and not just rely on OWWA.

An additional consideration, Sana points out, is the fact that most of the Lebanon evacuees are undocumented OFWs. “This somehow creates tension between documented and undocumented workers since the former are the ones who are required to contribute $25 to the OWWA Fund,” she explains.

In many cases, too, an OWWA official says, the agency has not been reimbursed for the money it advanced to evacuate OFWs, both documented and undocumented, including the last one in 2003 during the invasion of Iraq.

However, the ERF is not the only fund under the care of OWWA whose sourcing suffers from the lack of specific provisions in the law. RA 8042 also provides for the Migrant Workers’ Loan Guarantee Fund (MWLGF), Legal Assistance Fund (LAF), and Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Fund (CMWSF).

While the law states that money will be set aside by the national government in the budget every year for the loan gurantee fund, it also says that P100 million shall be made available as a revolving fund from OWWA. “This only means that it shall be provided from OWWA’s earnings from its operations like the charging of $25 per contract,” Causing says.

The revolving fund shall only serve as a guarantee for every loan that may be extended to any OFW or OFW family members by participating government financial institutions like the Land Bank and DBP and shall only be used if an OFW borrower is not able to pay his/her loan.

The legal assistance fund, on the other hand, will be sourced from the President’s contingency fund (P50 million), the Presidential Social Fund (P30 million), and the Welfare Fund for Overseas Workers (P20 million). The Welfare Fund is the precursor of the OWWA funds established under the Marcos-issued Letter of Instruction No. 537 and amended by Presidential Decree Nos. 1694 and 1809.

For the ongoing crisis in Lebanon, DFA’s Conejos has already requested the OWWA for an immediate supplemental legal assistance fund.

The scholarship fund, meanwhile, should receive P50 million from the equal shares of congressmen and senators, and P150 million from the proceeds of lotto operations.

Dubious investments and fund transfers

But the biggest reason for the apprehension about the OWWA funds’ status, particularly among OFWs, considering the huge amounts of money involved, is that the said funds had been the subject of a number of questionable transactions in the past.

Migrant workers’ organizations point to anomalous investments in Landoil Resources Corp. and Greater Manila Corp. in 1983 amounting to the P200 million, and the P664 million in the Smokey Mountain Project Participation Certificates (SMPPC) issued by R-II Builders owned by Reghis Romero during the time of Pres. Fidel Ramos.

To this day, investments in Landoil, majority of which was owned by House Speaker Jose de Venecia, have not been repaid. The Smokey Mountain project investment, on the other hand, was in violation of a Department of Finance circular requiring government-owned and -controlled corporations to invest their funds only in qualified government securities.

While the issue with the Smokey Mountain project has been settled with the Home Guarantee Corporation (HGC) agreeing to pay OWWA P500 million in cash in two tranches in January 2003, the rest of the balance of the P1.07 billion settlement in the form of debenture bonds remains not fully paid.

In its audit report (download here) of OWWA last year, the Commission on Audit recommended that OWWA negotiate with HGC for the immediate cash settlement of the outstanding balance of its claim amounting to P479.33 million instead of waiting for HGC to settle the account by issuing debenture bonds.

OFW groups have also denounced the alleged gross misuse and plunder of OWWA funds in relation to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s candidacy in the 2004 elections involving the transfer of the P530-million Medicare Fund for OFWs to the Philippine Health Corp. (PhilHealth) and $87,757 (then P23.587 million) rechanneled to the International Labor Affairs Service of the Department of Labor and Employment.

The PCIJ reported last year that among the fund releases that were allegedly diverted to the Arroyo campaign in 2004 was the OWWA Medicare fund, the transfer of which was made possible by a resolution signed by then Labor Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas, in her capacity as chairperson of OWWA, along with then OWWA Administrator Virgilio Angelo.

Francisco Duque III, then PhilHealth president had proposed his agency’s takeover of OWWA’s medicare functions as early as November 2002. Now health secretary, Duque is known to be a close Arroyo ally and is a long-time friend of the First Family and their neighbor at La Vista in Quezon City.

In his memorandum to Arroyo, Duque said “the proposed transfer will have a significant bearing on the 2004 elections.” Three months later in February 2003, Arroyo signed the proposed executive order.

The money enabled Arroyo to give away Philhealth cards valid for a year to people in the places she visited during the campaign. OWWA, by that time, had already been turning down health claims of hundreds of overseas workers and eventually stopped all medical reimbursements in a meeting on January 16, 2004.

Migrante also called for the investigation of other “anomalous” transactions such as the alleged P30-million transfer by the Manila Economic Cultural Office (MECO) to the Office of the President in August 2003 and the US$293,500 released to Ambassador Cimatu supposedly for massive evacuation operations in the Middle East during the U.S.-Iraq war in April 2003 that did not actually take place.

Recently, overseas workers are also protesting a Malacañang proposal to convert the Philippine Postal Savings Bank to an OFW Bank that is also eyeing P1 billion in OWWA funds as initial capital for the venture.

No legal basis for investing OWWA funds

Taking up the cudgels for OFWs, Causing says he sees no basis in law for using OWWA funds for purposes other than they were created. “It is a basic principle that no single centavo can be spent without a law saying where, how and for what it is to be spent. I dare say that investing OWWA money in any form is illegal,” he argues.

Causing likewise points out that the authorities relied on by OWWA (issuances like board resolutions) are not laws and can never be higher than the laws. At the same time, he says OWWA has no fiscal autonomy. “It cannot therefore determine as to how and where it can source its funds. It cannot therefore determine as to how its money will be spent.”

Yet as the COA report also reveals, violations are being done in this regard. In its audit, the COA found that OWWA released a total of P33.65 million to the Provident Fund of its employees from October 2004 to August 2005, despite the board’s suspension of the benefits for lack of legal basis. A Malacañang directive had also called for the immediate suspension of employer contributions to the Provident Fund last December 30, 2003.

The state audting firm maintained that as per the December 9, 2003 memorandum of the Senior Deputy Executive Secretary to Arroyo, the government would be limited only to a one-time contribution and not as a regular yearly expense.

COA also reported cash advances amounting to P144 million — nearly the same amount the Office of the President released for the evacuation of OFWs in Lebanon — that have remained unliquidated as of December 31 last year.

18 Responses to The truth about the OWWA funds

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Juan Makabayan

August 1st, 2006 at 11:55 am

ON TARGET
OWWA money ended up in the 2004 polls; here’s how
http://newsinfo.inq7.net/inquirerheadlines/metro/view_article.php?article_id=12805

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Toro

August 1st, 2006 at 12:17 pm

This money issue has been going on back and forth since day one of the Lebanon crisis. DFA says they have the money, tons of it, and it’s on the way. The Lebanon Embassy says they have not received enough. If there are tons of money and none can be produced what else does that mean other than the money must have been diverted elsewhere. This simple issue is trying everybody’s patience. If Malacanang is having so much trouble financing the trip home of the stranded OFWs in Lebanon, how does it expect to finance the mega projects described in the SONA?

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jester-in-exile

August 1st, 2006 at 2:02 pm

Things of note from this report.

OWWA was established to protect and promote OFWs’ welfare, that much is obvious. It’s even supposed to be part of the budget:

If OWWA funds are inviting much scrutiny regarding the availability of money for the evacuation of OFWs, it is because under Republic Act No. 8042, or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, the agency is mandated to administer, among others, an Emergency Repatriation Fund (ERF) to evacuate overseas workers in case of emergencies such as war, epidemic, disaster or calamities (natural or man-made).

A seed amount of P100 million was set aside for this purpose from the funds managed by OWWA, afterwhich Congress is supposed to allocate no less than P100 million for the ERF in the annual national budget.

Of course, the esteemed members of the House of Reprehensibles didn’t think it was necessary to spend money to protect and promote OFW welfare:

But Congress has failed to allocate a single centavo to the fund over the years.

Instead:

“Since there is no other source, presumably, the ERF gets a share from the $25 charged as fees by OWWA for every contract of OFWs,” says laywer Berteni Causing, who finds the law vague as to where the fund will be sourced.

“With about 3,000 workers leaving abroad every day, even at $1, you could just imagine how much money they are getting in a year,” he says.

OWWA places its average collection from OFWs between P800 million and P1 billion a year — though overseas workers are contesting why they get to be charged the $25 contribution when the law stipulates that “in no way shall the fees be charged or collected from the worker.”

What happens is that OFWs shell out from their hard-earned wages money to make sure that their welfare will be protected. to put it in another way, OFWs are paying OWWA “protection money.”

Now it wouldn’t be so bad, perhaps, if the money the government extorts from OFWs would be for the benefit of OFWs. Instead:

But the biggest reason for the apprehension about the OWWA funds’ status, particularly among OFWs, considering the obvious huge amounts of money involved, is that the said funds had been the subject of a number of questionable transactions in the past.

Especially favorable was OWWA to this questionable occupant of Malacañang, Her Royal Asininess Gorya Magarapal-Arrovo, Queen of the Enshanted Kingdom, Defender of Garshi, Freshident, Cheat Ekshecutive, and Grand Kleptocrat of the world’s biggest trapocracy:

OFW groups have also denounced the alleged gross misuse and plunder of OWWA funds in relation to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s candidacy in the 2004 elections involving the transfer of the P530-million Medicare Fund for OFWs to the Philippine Health Corp. (PhilHealth) and $87,757 (then P23.587 million) rechanneled to the International Labor Affairs Service of the Department of Labor and Employment….

In his memorandum to Arroyo, (Francisco Duque III, then PhilHealth president) said “the proposed transfer will have a significant bearing on the 2004 elections.” Three months later in February 2003, Arroyo signed the proposed executive order.

The money enabled Arroyo to give away Philhealth cards valid for a year to people in the places she visited during the campaign. OWWA, by that time, had already been turning down health claims of hundreds of overseas workers and eventually stopped all medical reimbursements in a meeting on January 16, 2004.

Not only did OWWA steal for HRA GMA, but OFWs were screwed even more; the administration wouldn’t give damn if any one of them fell ill — let alone dead.

To the OFWs who bear the burden of the country’s economy on their backs, keeping us afloat with wages earned with their blood and sweat, a suggestion:

For as long as OWWA and the government keep on shafting you, GIVE THE GOVERNMENT THE FINGER. REFUSE TO PAY PROTECTION MONEY TO OWWA.

(God shave the Queen.)

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jr_lad

August 1st, 2006 at 3:16 pm

NA NAMAN!

so, bichara is telling the truth afterall when he said there’s no money. and for that, he is being castigated by malacanang. another sacrificial lamb.

it seems everything is connected to the 2004 election. the fertilizer funds, the OWWA funds, MERON PA BA?

the public: WHERE’S THE MONEY?

GMA & cohorts: SHOW ME THE MONEY!
Jerry Maguire, 1996

Jerry Maguire: “What can I do for YOU, Rod? ”
Rod Tidwell: “It’s a very personal, very important thing. Hell, it’s a FAMILY MOTTO.
Now are you ready? Just checking to make sure you’re ready (Rod turns his boom box real low) here it is — show me the money. (He now blasts the boom box at full level) OHHH!!!! SHOW! ME! THE! MONEY! Doesn’t it make you feel good just to say that, Jerry? Say it with me one time brother! ”
Maguire: “Show you the money. ”
Tidwell: “Oh, come on, you can do better than that! I want you to say it brother with meaning! Hey, I got Bob Sugar on the other line I better hear you say it! ”
Maguire: “Yeah, yeah – no, show you the money! ”
Tidwell: “AH! Not show YOU! Show ME the money! ”
Maguire: “Show me the money! ”
Tidwell: “Yeah, that’s it brother but you got to yell that shit! ”
Maguire: “Show me the money! ”
Tidwell: “Louder! ”
Maguire: “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”

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baycas

August 1st, 2006 at 5:09 pm

pondo para sa abono na-joc-joc eh,
pati ba naman owwa fund ganu’n, roque?

ka-owwa-owwa naman sila, ‘di baga?
walang perang pang-uwi ang nagnanasa!

Avatar

baycas

August 1st, 2006 at 10:45 pm

OFWs told: Just pack up and go!
Team Lebanon told: Pack ’em up in buses then to Syria, go!

DOLE, DFA & OWWA officials told: Face up jinggoy!
Senate told: Shut up! Exit plan to go on.

DFA & OWWA told: Pay up first, for them to go!
Bichara told: Better not f_ck up or you’ll go!

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Global News Blog » Philippines - Pilipinas, game ka na ba? Game na!

August 2nd, 2006 at 3:54 am

[…] The truth about the OWWA fundsPhilippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Philippines – 18 hours ago… OFW groups have also denounced the alleged gross misuse and plunder of OWWA funds in relation to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo s candidacy in the 2004 elections … […]

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tongue in, anew

August 2nd, 2006 at 5:30 am

Wow! What can one say? Garapal.

That explains De Venecia’s criticism of the Senate’s ongoing investigations. Saying on TV that such moves will only spark another crisis, I never realized until now that the crisis could be a personal one for Garfield.

What I used to know was Joe DeV’s bankrupt Landoil Resources was one major beneficiary of private behest loans guaranteed by Marcos’ gov’t. It’s interesting that even then, OCW’s (now, OFW’s) funds were already milking cows. And the beneficiaries of the butterfat are now in high places of gov’t!

This gov’t even adds fuel to speculations that OFW funds are being siphoned off by avoiding the Senate hearings. The flimsy excuse submitted by Ermita that the hearing has no legislative purpose somehow intends to avoid an in-depth examination of documents that would open another Pandora’s box of more money-pulations, aside from the P500M OWWA-PhilHealth transfer.

The concerns of Causing and Migrante alone are enough justification for congress to revisit the law. Wait till you hear from the OFW’s themselves. Bichara, too.

Let’s just pray that the proposed OFW-PhilPost Bank venture does not push through. Knowing how the Postal Bank was gypped by a third-party mail carrier that ran away with more than a million dollars right under the nose of EDSA2-general-who-withdrew-support-from-Estrada-later-appointed-Postmaster-General Gen. Diomedio Villanueva, the OFW fund may just be used to pay the $1.1M indebtedness to the Royal Mail of Great Britain. The Postal Bank is known in banking circles as a “generous” bank in providing loans to companies owned by its officers, political patrons, and close friends. Now, P1 Billion of OWWA funds is proposed to prop the bank. As a Gov’t-controlled corporation, the Postal Bank is just a board resolution away from being privatized and handed over to the most favored crony. You know what happens next.

The Smokey Mountain Project Participation Certificates sounds like a donation to me, and the funds thereof are now under the site with the rest of the garbage.

The constant movement of huge sums of money provides a very intricate trail of paperwork that it is the preferred standard procedure for both embezzlement and laundering, especially when gov’t funds crosses over to private hands, which takes COA’s audits to a deadend.

Kaya naman pala in full force na naman ang cover-up operations ng Malacañang. Huwag daw istorbohin ng Senado ang matinding trabaho ng DFA,DOLE at OWWA sa repatriation, hayun, busy pala sa PressCon. Grabe, ang kapal, talamak, dukimal!

Great job, however, Alecks.

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Van Helsing

August 2nd, 2006 at 9:13 am

“We now have the funds!” says GMA.

NASAAN?? GMA, why not use your said funds to where it is most needed now. Maybe you can think of building more “rides” to your “Disenchanted Kingdom” later when all these stranded OFWs were accounted for. Then you can say to them later, “Sakay na!”

Sabagay, madali talagang pag-initan ‘tong OWWA funds which runs in billions. Nagniningning ang mga mata ng mga BUWAYA sa kikitain nila from the use of these funds. Ang kakapal nyo, maawa kayo sa aming mga OFWs!!!

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Tom

August 3rd, 2006 at 5:14 am

Yung mga magnanakaw at dispalkador, hangga’t hindi nahuhuli at nakukulong, hindi tumitigil yang mga yan. Hangga’t nagpapagago ang bansang Pilipinas, ke sikreto, ke harap-harapan at garapalan, talagang sisimutin ang kaban ng bayan ng mga sakim na yan. Ang tanong ay: hanggang kailan pa kaya?

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Ambuot Saimo

August 3rd, 2006 at 5:29 am

Matapos limasin ang SSS OWWA naman ngayon! Kawawang Pinoy workers talaga!!!!!!!!!!

Alecks,

Another thing that deserves to be looked at is the Employees Compensation Commission’s ECC Fund. This amount which represents the monthly employees’ contributions and a corresponding employers’ counterpart amounts to billions presumably dwarfing the OWWA fund. It has accumulated over the years inasmuch as very few employees are getting this benefit because of manipulation of the SSS.

This fund is supposed for compensation of employees who suffered work-connected injuries, disablities or death. This benefit is separate and distinct from the regular SSS coverage such that when an employee suffers a work-connected injury he or she is entitled to two benefits- the SSS & ECC.

But the problem is that according to the law the ECC claimant has to file his claim with the SSS on SSS-supplied form. This is where the duping occurs. The employees at the SSS in-charge of giving the forms are specifically instructed to give only the SSS claim form unless the claimant insist on the ECC claim form as well. When you do not know the system they will give you only the SSS form and as a result, you will only get the SSS benefit even though you are entitled to the ECC benefit. This is tricky such that many lawyers don’t even know it and to make matter worst, there is a 3-year statute of limitations to file the claim.

When the claim is denied by the SSS, the claimant may appeal such denial to the ECC for review and if denied again to the Supreme Court on certiorari. In the ECC level, many of the denials are affirmed especially the pro-se cases because of their inability to produce proof or evidence. There is Labor Sector Representative in the 7-man Commission but is powerless against the other 6 commissioners one of which represents the Employers.

Because of this practice many employees were deprived of the benefits and so the fund has accumulated and is being loaned to blue-chips corporation for nominal or minimal interest only.

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tongue in, anew

August 3rd, 2006 at 7:14 am

Mon Tulfo, FG Mike Arroyo’s friend-turned-foe (reminiscent of Erap-Chavit?) has stepped-up his offensive. When the other day, he published in his column “OWWA Money Ended up in 2004 Polls; Here’s How” an excerpt of EO 182, issued Feb. 14, 2003, one year before the elections, stated:

Transfer of Medicare Funds of the Owwa—The Medicare Funds being administered by the Owwa shall be transferred to the PHIC (Philhealth) within sixty days from the effectivity of this Executive Order.”

He said that at the time, the OWWA Medicare fund amounted to P3.4B, according to his source. What everyone knows is only that P530M tranche which Migrante has exposed last year.

I heard the 2004 Philhealth president now Health Sec. Duque challenge radio listeners and later, on TV, to provide evidence that OWWA funds were transferred prior to the elections and he will resign.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada has announced a surprise witness for Monday’s hearing, I think it’s Tulfo or his OWWA informant. I bet that the subpoenaed gov’t officials will boycott the hearing anew. But that will leave the whistlebower the floor all to himself.

Getting more interesting, isn’t it?

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jr_lad

August 3rd, 2006 at 1:28 pm

right tongue, it’s really getting interesting. the tulfo brothers’just a season old tv show in rpn-9 was unceremoniously cancelled due to the war between mon & fg. the other brothers are crying foul bakit daw sila dinamay sa away at maganda naman daw ang rating nang show. the feud has something to do with the exposé of mon regarding the smuggling activities of vicky toh & her brother.

so, the ball is on mon’s court now. bangan ang susunod na kabanata!

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=462

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dimasalang

August 3rd, 2006 at 7:33 pm

Bagong Bayani daw sabi ng gobyerno! Kung sabagay. Ang mga bayani ay namamatay bago makilala.

Ang kapal ng mukha ng mga kongresista na hindi magtabi ng pera na 100 million para sa mga OFWs na ito at ilagay ang pera sa mga wala kanya-kanyang pork barrel funds! Tapos ibabato pa nila ang singil sa mga kawawang OFW na nakikipagsapalaran sa malayong lugar.

Dapat magsama-sama itong mga OFW upang ipaglaban ang kanilang mga karapatan. Hindi ko matanggap na sila’y inaabuso na sa bansang kanilang pinagtratrabahuhan at inaabuso pa rin sila ng sarili nilang gobyerno!

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Tom

August 4th, 2006 at 3:03 am

Ganyan talaga ang mga abusado. Dahil nakikitang inaabuso sa sariling bansa ang Pinoy, e di lalong madaling abusuhin kapag nangibang-bayan. Wala namang tutulong sa kanila kahit magsumbong sila sa embahada.

Ganyan din ang mga magnanakaw. Dahil nakikitang ang mga pinakamataas na pinuno ng bansa ay nagnanakaw pero hindi kinakasuhan o kasuhan man ay wala rin, e di sila na rin magnanakaw.

Kailan kaya magigising ang bansang Pilipino at sundin ang payo ni Johnny De Leon tuwing orasyon na “isipin ang mabuti, ang masama’y iwaksi” sa halip na kabulastugan ang ginagaya at pinapamarisan?

Hindi ako sang-ayon sa opinion ni benign-0 na bano ang Pinoy. Sa obserbasyon ko ay tulog o nagtutulug-tulugan.

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Diego K. Guerrero

August 4th, 2006 at 11:20 am

I think the Office of the Ombudsman is sleeping on their job or protecting the crooks. They are not doing their mandate as protector of the people. It should protect the people from abuse and misuse of governmental power for personal wealth. Are they blind? Based on the above article the illegal transfer of OWWA trust fund to the national treasury is a crystal clear an abuse of power. This is not government money it belongs to overseas Filipino workers (OFW’s). It does not need a complaint before it initiates an investigation. A mere hearsay or tip of an alleged anomaly is enough to start an investigation. The Ombudsman is a big joke because most big fish-untouchables are spared. They are only good in press releases.

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INSIDE PCIJ » Palace issues guidelines for officials appearing in Congress

August 4th, 2006 at 1:21 pm

[…] There have been allegations on the misuse of the OWWA funds, especially since some P530 million of the OWWA Medicare Fund was transferred to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. in 2003 on Palace’s orders. […]

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tongue in, anew

August 5th, 2006 at 3:09 am

Oo nga jr_lad. Mukhang all-out war na ito between the Tulfo brothers and Big Mike.

The issue of the show being canceled was initially won by the Tulfos when RPN-9 decided to air its premier episode despite Malacañang pressure due to an existing contract but as soon as the 1st season ended likewise, the contract, RPN-9 suddenly “reformats” its programming, with “Isumbong Mo – The Tulfo Brothers” as the sole victim. I didn’t see Erwin Tulfo in the same station’s news program anymore as its anchor, either, mukhang nasibak na rin. I don’t know if Ben Tulfo’s show in gov’t-owned IBC-13 suffered the same fate. Mon claimed further that his radio station DWIZ was also suffering from the constant pressure being exerted by GMA lapdogs that he had to quit his radio program, too.

The day after the brothers’ PressCon, Mike Arroyo’s lawyer announces the filing of libel charges against the brothers. The next day, the Court of Appeals suddenly affirms an RTC decision convicting Raffy Tulfo of several counts of libel with a maximum sentence of 14 years and damages in millions. Incidentally, filed by another Customs officer/crook who was subject of Raffy’s hard-hitting column in Abante Tonite.

Swift justice ba? Only when you trade barbs with the state-coddled mafiosi.

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