-- June 2014 ~ Travel and Immigration 101
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

PH Mountain Known for Dwarf Trees Now on Unesco World Heritage List

The Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in Davao Oriental has been included on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s World Heritage List.
The decision to inscribe the range on the World Heritage list was reached during the 38th Session of the Unesco World Heritage Committee in Qatar on Monday afternoon (5 p.m. Manila time).

Mt. Hamiguitan, which straddles by the municipalities of San Isidro and Gov. Generoso, is a nesting and feeding area of Philippine eagles, the country’s national bird and the world’s second-largest eagle.

But the range is more known for its unique pygmy forest,  225 hectares  100-year-old bonsai trees.

The 6,834-hectare sanctuary is also home to Golden Crown flying foxes,  Philippine tarsiers,  Philippine warty pigs, Philippine brown deer and the Philippine Mossy-pygmy fruit bat.

A total of 53 bird species, such as the dark-eared brown dove and the Tarictic horbill, are found in the sanctuary.

It was declared a protected area in 2004.

“Mount Hamiguitan is highly significant in the Philippines’ 7th ranking among the 17 biologically rich countries of the world. The site represents the fast disappearing habitats of globally important species of plants and animals,” a paper submitted by the Davao Oriental government to  Unesco said.

“The diversity of habitats and plant and animal species in this property is attributed to the geologic setting, that is, Mount Hamiguitan is an ultramafic terrain giving rise to an ultramafic forest and associated diverse habitats and flora and fauna. At the national level, this sanctuary is a conservation interest. At a global scale, it is known to be a habitat of globally important species of plants and animals,” the paper added.

Gov. Corazon Malanyaon, in an earlier interview, said the province would “expect the influx of experts, scientists and researchers” after the inscription.

“That would be great for the province, Mindanao and the whole country,” she said. “It is the first Unesco Heritage site for Mindanao.”

Mt. Hamiguitan Range is the sixth UN-protected area in the country. The others are the Cordillera Rice Terraces, the Puerto Princesa Underground River, the Tubbataha Reef, Vigan and the baroque churches.

Malanyaon, in a statement e-mailed to the Inquirer, expressed her “deepest gratitude to the World Heritage Committee for the inscription.”

“The conservation of this property is the Filipino people’s gift to the rest of humanity,” Malanyaon said. “The inscription is a celebration of the global partnership in our shared vision and desire to conserve these natural gifts for future generations. It is also a step forward toward the continuation of monitoring and preserving the fragile ecosystems in the mountain amidst changing climate and typhoon patterns.

“The DOT (Department of Tourism) celebrates Philippine biodiversity through this feat. This is the first for Mindanao and the first mountain range in the Philippines [to make it to the World Heritage List]. This will create more champions for conservation,” Tourism Assistant Secretary  Art Boncato, who was also in Qatar, told the Inquirer in a Facebook chat.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Difference of Learning a Second Language

The way people learn a second language is much different from a child’s experience in learning a first language. Very few adults get to be as fluent in speaking a second language as the native speakers of that language. The reason for this is that anyone acquires his or her first language naturally. The individual gets exposed to that language, grows up with that language and solidifies the use of that language as a part of daily life.
Second language learning occurs because a certain situation or a certain goal calls for it. But, with an already solid foundation and familiarity with a first language—which anyone is already comfortable with—acquiring another language would be more challenging. Once a person is already conditioned to express and communicate with one mode of language, learning how to do the same in a new foreign mode means relearning expression and communication from top to bottom, albeit the similarities of the languages get revealed throughout the learning process.

A good analogy to pain this picture would be having a person conditioned to eating rice as part of his daily diet. Having to transition to a Western diet, which can be bread as the new staple for example, may cause much discomfort to a person. It will take time for anyone to adjust to this new diet and it will take much more effort to appreciate this type of nourishment in place of the previous one. In addition, the person would always seek and long to have rice instead of bread during the diet transition.

The inevitable end result, however, would be that the person can choose to have rice or bread as his diet in the long run. He can be comfortable in eating both, depending on what he wants or what is available. Nonetheless, he has learned to live with both—and he will even further appreciate the goodness of rice and the goodness of bread.

It is not always the best case to suddenly shift to eating bread over rice. Learning to love bread would take baby steps, until the appreciation of nourishment goes full bloom. The same applies to learning a second language: one can only learn to appreciate the value and the beauty of a foreign language when one is ready, determined or deeply interested in acquiring it.

The difference of learning a first language from a second language is that learning the latter is something that you will have to set your mind into. After that, everything else will fall into place.

If you think that the Japanese language is something you are looking to acquire, develop and master, you are already on the right track. By perceiving the learning of a foreign language as something that is going to be valuable to your personal growth and as something that is going to be substantial to your professional growth, do not hesitate to inquire at Jellyfish Education Consultancy. They’re dedicated to providing the most fruitful learning experience to the students of the Japanese language.

Monday, June 16, 2014

DFA Announces Travel Exemptions for Returning OFWs to Libya

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), in consultation with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) approved travel exemptions for some overseas Filipino workers  (OFWs) who have existing  and valid contracts with their employers in Libya. Overseas Filipino workers falling under the following categories are allowed to return to Libya:
  • Household service staff employed by diplomats in foreign embassies
  • Those employed by the United Nations and other international organizations in Libya
  • OFWs working off-shore in oil rig platforms, provided that they will not pass through mainland Libya nor spend their vacation there
  • Those working for multinational companies, government hospitals and schools as well as for the Libyan National Oil Company
  • Filipinos who are married to Libyan nationals.

These OFWs will also need to secure a letter from their employers guaranteeing their safety, security and repatriation in case the situation in Libya deteriorates and imminent danger to their lives and well-being is present.

DOLE and POEA will announce the implementation date and issue the guidelines to be followed to avail of the exemptions.

The DFA wishes to highlight its unwavering commitment to ensure the welfare and safety of our nationals overseas while at the same time remaining sensitive to their clamor and needs.

Despite these travel exemptions, Crisis Alert Level 3 remains in effect. The DFA reiterates its advice to Filipino nationals in Libya to avail themselves of the voluntary repatriation program of the Philippine Government

Friday, June 6, 2014

POEA Warns OFWs Over Offers for Certain Jobs in Canada

Overseas Filipino workers were warned Wednesday against offers for certain jobs in Canada, particularly in the food services sector.
Philippine Overseas Employment Administration head Hans J. Cacdac said a moratorium is in effect on the food services sector's access to the Temporary Foreign Worker program.

“To avoid illegal recruitment, job applicants should reject offers of employment in pizza, hotdog, or other fast food franchise counters in Canada,” Cacdac said on the POEA's Facebook page.

He added the moratorium covers occupations in establishments engaged in preparing meals, snacks and beverages for immediate consumption. These include:

  • food counter attendants
  • kitchen helpers
  • restaurant and food service managers
  • food service supervisors
  • food and beverage servers
  • cashiers
  • chefs
  • cooks
  • bakers
  • sales
  • marketing and advertising managers
  • executive housekeepers
  • cleaning supervisors
  • butchers
  • meat cutters and fishmongers
  • sales representatives
  • retail salespersons and sales clerks
  • hosts/hostesses
  • bartenders
  • janitors
  • caretakers

Cacdac said the moratorium will stay until the completion of the ongoing Canadian government review of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

He added the moratorium stemmed from allegations that the program was being abused to displace Canadian workers.

With the moratorium, the government will not process any new or pending application for Labor Market Opinion (LMO) and no work permit for temporary foreign workers will be approved.

However, the POEA said the suspension does not include food service activities that occur within establishments such as hotels, civic and social associations, amusement and recreation parks, and theaters.

On the other hand, leased food-service locations in facilities such as hotels, shopping malls, airports and department stores are included

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