Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Bishops back ban on Filipino maids
Saudi's decision is a blessing in disguise and will prevent abuse problems, they sayA government official talks to repatriated overseas domestic workers who escaped from their employers
- Lourdes Abelardo and ucanews.com staff, Manila
- July 4, 2011
Father Edwin Corros, executive secretary of the CBCPâ€™s Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, said the ban â€“ although not desired by the Aquino administration â€“ would prevent the recurring problem of abuse against Filipino maids by foreign employers.
â€śItâ€™s better that we stop deploying household service workers (HSWs) to Saudi Arabia to avoid exploitation like what we often read in the papers,â€ť he said.
Saudi Arabia said last week it would block their hiring from the Philippines and Indonesia, citing strict requirements and unfair regulatory provisions, according to Arab News.
New contracts made by the Philippines require foreign employers of Filipino domestic helpers to pay a minimum wage of US$400 a month as well as urging employers to provide family information and the layout of the residence where the domestic helper will be working.
The move will affect some 180,000 domestic workers, such as maids and drivers, or about 15 percent of the 1.2 million Filipinos now in Saudi Arabia.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, however, downplayed the Saudi decision, saying the government can turn to Australia and Canada, which are experiencing a â€ślabor shortage.â€ť
The Philippine labor attachĂ©s in those countries, she said, are currently in talks with officials there to â€śmatch the labor demand with labor supply."
Some sectors in the Philippine have been asking for a ban on domestic workers to the Middle East, saying the problems caused by their deployment far outweigh the benefits gained by the government and the migrant workers.