CARING FOR THE COMMUNITY

AGE PENSION PORTABILITY

At a community consultation held during the early part of this year, INDIO submitted a paper
PUSHING  for Security Protection Benefit Bilateral Agreement  between the Philippines and Australia. The government has since responded to the concern that was forwarded at the time.  (Scroll down to see  excerpt from the emailed response).

At the time, the argument was based on the notion that pension portability of migrant seniors was a condition set in a bilateral agreement between original home country and Australia.  As such, the paper argued:

"A Bilateral Agreement Between the Philippines and Australia  will provide security benefit protection for Filipino-Australians working or living in either country.  Currently,  Filipino Ausralian pensioners  are missing out on matters of social welfare, security protection and their having the privilege of choice to retire in the Philippines. After expending their skills and productivity in Australia at the same time that they continuously contributed to the Philippine economy, many Filipino-Australian retirees yearn to retire in their old home grounds without being penalized. Most of them remain closely connected to their old hometown, friends and relations. But when they visit, they can only stay so long. Their Australian pensions are only available to them for 26 weeks of being out of the country before their pensions get cut off.

Filipino-Australian pensioners scrimp and save for travel between Australia and the Philippines. They would be relieved to stay longer in the Philippines should they be able to claim their pensions longer than 26 weeks while they are overseas. Currently, they are denied that. This is because, along with other social welfare and security protection benefits, policies on pension claims overseas have to be embodied in a bilateral agreement that the Philippines need to have with Australia.

Unfortunately, the Joint Declaration on Philippines-Australia Comprehensive Partnership that was signed last November, 2015, did not take into account nor did it tackle this important issue about social welfare and security protection benefits for Filipino-Australians.

The Philippines remains a non-agreement country and Filipino-Australians feel disadvantaged."

The paper was put to  the attention of the Australian Federal Government through the Ministry of Social Services on  February 22, 2016.

A copy of the Position Paper was also sent to the  Philippine government through the office of Secretary Albert Del Rosario, Department of Foreign Affairs the issue of  a Philippine-Australia Social Protection Bilateral Agreement covering social welfare and security benefits for Filipino-Australians.

BACKGROUND


Philippine-Australian connections go as far back as the pearl-lugging period of Australia in the 1890s. The Second World War saw exchange of efforts and people between the two countries that helped bring about the outcome of where we are today. Post war Filipinos came in droves from early 70s and today, the Philippines is one of the top sources of migration into Australia. Filipinos and Filipino-Australians make up a good portion of the Australian workforce. Yet there has not been any bilateral agreement forged for social welfare and security protection for Filipinos or Filipino-Australians. Currently Australia has bilateral agreements with 30 countries. The latest Security-Benefit-Bilateral-Agreement that Australia signed on was with Estonia and it was signed last September 14, 2015. Japan, South Korea and India have  found their way in the list.   The Philippines  has yet to initiate and establish a bilateral agreement with Australia on the social security of Filipinos and Filipino-Australians.

picture above:  Phil. Commonwealth President Manuel Luis Quezon with Douglas MacArthur

As it happened, the issue of PENSION PORTABILITY did not require a bilateral agreement.  "...the Australian Age Pension, once granted, is already payable indefinitely outside Australia.... All pensions paid overseas under social security agreements are also paid on the bais of AWLR, and are therefore an agreement would not provide a better rate of pension."

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 II. CONTINUING   ADVOCACY FOR OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS

INDIO advocates for social justice, human rights and environment protection.  Through its director, INDIO has advocated for Overseas Filipino Workers  (OFWS) to organizations and relevant offices of the  Philippine government  for  responses to  various needs.  It has provided guidance and information to OFWs who sought assistance and support.  INDIO continues its initiative to keep abreast with  current issues that are of relevance to the welfare of ethnic and indigenous communities, social justice and and human rights.

MORE ON CARING FOR COMMUNITY ...

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FUND RAISING - "ART FOR A CAUSE"

INDIO has embarked  on a number of community-service  programs and other Ethnic-focused projects.  In order to sustain   the drives,  we  received donated art work that are  being auctioned off or are being sold under the  “ART FOR A CAUSE”  under this site.   All  sales proceeds go  into implementation of  the lined-up projects of INDIO.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?   You can help by purchasing an art work or  making a donation.

SIGNED PRINTS of Art work images for the “ART FOR A CAUSE”  program are in the Gallery Pages of this site.  To purchase, please contact us at indigenousindio@gmail.com  and provide us of your choice of artwork. Proceeds will be put towards INDIO's charity programs.  Purchase of Original is negotiable.  Please indicate preference via email.

MAKE A DONATION -  please email us at:     indigenousindio@gmail.com