TOOTS OPLE

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“DO you want to see a cockatoo? Amazing, amazing!” A fun-loving and dorky Abigail Gino Basas, skinny, tall and full of life, kept pointing out objects and animals and people in a zoo, before a handheld camera. “Do you want to see a unicorn?” He romped around the zoo, pointed…

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THIS is a tribute to our dad. His name was Blas Fajardo Ople. He died on December 14, 2003, 10 days before Christmas. The plane that was to take him to Bahrain brought him to Taipei instead, after he suffered a heart attack mid-air. Our entire family was shaken by…

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I DON’T think it was a tough choice at all. President Rodrigo RoaDuterte obviously preferred the flamboyance and risk-taking side of Kabayan party-list Harry Roqueto the sedate, soothing, and more diplomatic persona of presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella. That Roque was the President’s choice is a good thing. Clearly, this man…

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ON Facebook, you will find a man named Meer Jon Meer who lives in Moscow, Russia. This man is responsible for the heartaches, indebtedness and utter humiliation of so many OFWs from Hong Kong, Cyprus, and other parts of the world. He ought to be thrown in jail as the…

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THE first time I heard her speak, I knew she was telling the truth. The domestic worker from Leyte told me about the sexual harassment she experienced while working in the household of a Philippine ambassador. He was a seasoned diplomat who was highly regarded in his field. While stationed…

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LAST Thursday, the Blas F. Ople Policy Center and the Association of Bank Remittance Officers, Inc. (ABROI) convened the CSO-Private Sector Consultations on the Global Compact on Migration at the DBP Building in Makati City. The two-day conference enabled various stakeholders of the overseas employment sector to discuss and analyze…

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I HAVE been hearing good things about Labor Undersecretary Bernard Olalia. He now serves as the officer-in-chief of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). According to recruitment industry leaders, Olalia was facilitative and attentive during his meetings with them. He is also known to be an honest civil servant. Given…

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ELIZABETH Braza, a public schoolteacher based in Laguna, was chatting with her husband, Roblan, an OFW in Libya. This was their daily habit: Roldan would power up his laptop at lunch break, knowing that his wife would be waiting at the other end. On March 6, 2015, the couple was…

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I LOVE watching “Shark Tank”. It’s an American reality TV show where real-life billionaires like Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, get to grill entrepreneurs seeking investments in their companies. In that show, any entrepreneur that appears before the “Sharks” without knowing their profit margins, customer acquisition…

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LOST in the land of funny memes and grisly stories are some positive developments on the overseas employment front. It has been a longtime dream of mine to see the establishment of an OFW hospital for our modern-day heroes. Well, a mini-version of this dream will soon be realized. Last…

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