Sustaining its campaign to promote and protect the welfare of Overseas Filipinos, the Philippine Consulate General held the second episode of its Webinar Series dubbed, “Alamin Ang Inyong Karapatan: A Virtual Panel Discussion on Migrants’ and Workers’ Rights.” The webinar was held on 19 August 2021 via Zoom, with a simultaneous livestream through the Consulate General’s official Facebook page.
In his welcome remarks, Consul General Edgar B. Badajos said, “I have heard of some stories about newly-arrived Filipino immigrants finding themselves in difficult situations concerning their immigration status; some have run-ins with the law and do not know how and where to get legal assistance…in recognition of these problems, we decided to organize this webinar in the hopes of giving our viewers some insight on how to better integrate themselves into American society.”
Following the Consul General’s message, Atty. Marlon B. Baldomero, Co-Chair for Community Service of the Philippine American Bar Association (PABA), delivered his talk entitled, “Immigration Enforcement and Rights.”
Atty. Baldomero noted that every individual within the territory of the United States has certain inalienable rights regardless of their migration status. These include the right to remain silent, the right to privacy, the right to an attorney and the right to due process.
A discussion on the rights of U.S. workers and laborers was delivered by Ms. Aquilina Soriano-Versoza, Executive Director of the Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) of Southern California.
According to Ms. Versoza, every U.S. worker has the following basic rights: (1) the right to rest and have meal breaks; (2) the right to have a safe and healthy working environment; (3) the right to a standard minimum wage and overtime pay; (4) the right to benefits if injured or unemployed; and (5) the right to take action, including filing a complaint or claiming an entitlement, without being punished.
The webinar was moderated by Deputy Consul General Ambrosio Brian F. Enciso III and co-hosted by Post’s Information Officer, Ms. Mary Grace “Joss” D. Leaño. It was viewed by over 80 virtual participants, who also actively participated in the Q & A that followed the presentations of the guest panelists.
The FB livestream may be viewed at: https://bit.ly/2UL2AjP
Founded over 40 years ago, PABA helps Filipino-Americans address legal issues confronting them while assisting in the professional concerns of Filipino-American lawyers in Southern California. PWC, on the other hand, is a 24-year-old non-profit organization that provides programs that helps overseas Filipino workers and their families in need of financial, legal or immigration assistance, as appropriate.