"Thousands of Filipino teachers now have the chance to work in China."
Overseas Filipino workers have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. Tens of thousands who have since returned to the country after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic face uncertain times. They are still awaiting word from their foreign employers if they could still reclaim their jobs. The applications of those aspiring to land jobs overseas have been put on hold.
Fortunately, as one door closes, another one opens. As soon as China announced it had recovered from the devastating contagion, it opened its doors for job opportunities to Filipinos, hiring tutors for Chinese students.
Last week, no less than Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian graced the 2020 China-Philippines Educational Exchanges Seminar and witnessed the China-Philippines Guinness World Records Attempt -- the largest online video album of people waving. The event was held by 51Talk, China’s leading online education enterprise.
In his keynote speech, Ambassador Huang praised 51Talk’s efforts to provide job opportunities for Filipinos and the brand-new platform for the educational cooperation and cultural exchanges between China and the Philippines.
Amid such backdrop, 51Talk has provided more than 20,000 jobs for Filipino English teachers and opened a window for tens of thousands of Chinese children to learn more about the world.
Ambassador Huang said he was also glad to learn that, within this year, 51talk is poised to provide jobs for another 30,000 Filipino English teachers. He highlighted the fact that online education and other booming digital industries in China have cultivated new modes of win-win cooperation between the two countries, which have not only accelerated the development of online education in China, but also provided a large number of job opportunities for Filipinos.
Also present at the ceremony were Philippine Ambassador to China, Jose Santiago Sta. Romana, CEO of 51talk Mr. Huang Jiajia, together with over 3,000 Filipino teachers and their Chinese students, and journalists from the two countries.
The 20,000 job opportunities created by China’s requirement for online education tutors might be minuscule compared to numbers of Filipinos still awaiting redeployment abroad, but at least it offers some sort of relief for those who lost jobs under this pandemic.
Residents of Barangay Marilag in Project 4 in Quezon City can now sleep soundly. This is because Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has ordered a stop to the ongoing construction by DMCI Homes of two 40-storey condominium buildings in the area because of the noise it creates during nighttime and even on Sundays.
Belmonte ordered Building Official Dale Perral to issue the stop construction order after receiving video footage substantiating complaints from Project 4 residents against the nightly disturbance from construction activities.
DMCI is owned by the Consunji Group and is the same condominium developer that was the object of public criticism over its construction of the P2.7 Torre de Manila. The project was assailed as a “photobomber” of the historic Rizal monument. The company is also smarting from public condemnation in connection with pollution issues for its coal power plant projects in Antique and Palawan.
The complainants in the Quezon City project, all residents of Barangay Marilag, took video and audio footages from the construction and forwarded them to Belmonte.
Paul Benjamin Rosario, former barangay kagawad of Marilag, said noise from the construction site starts at 7 am and “lasts even up to 10 pm almost every day.”
Rosario said complaints started to pour into the Sangguniang Barangay of Marilag under Punong Barangay Raul “Dean” Addatu since the project started over a year ago.
The complainant said the construction sound could be heard even nearly a kilometer away from where he lives.
Rosario said complainants decided to bring the problem to the attention of Mayor Belmonte via Viber messages. Video clips were sent to her almost every night in the past several days.
The local chief executive immediately directed Perral to investigate and warn DMCI against creating noise at night. She ordered the stoppage of construction when DMCI ignored her warning.
Perral said that when it applied for barangay and city clearances, DMCI pledged not to create disturbance of any kind in the community where the construction will be done. In June, DMCI made another commitment to heed the appeal of residents against the construction noise.