Philippine maid's body in Sharjah morgue for months
By Nina Muslim, Staff Reporter
Dubai: A 27-year old Filipina maid's corpse has been unclaimed for almost three months after her death, due to insufficient funds to send it home, and officials say the wait may not be over.
Noraida Ayunan, from Mindanao, allegedly committed suicide on February 6 by falling from a building in Sharjah, where her employers had been staying during a business trip to the UAE. Her body has since been in a morgue in Sharjah, awaiting repatriation.
Vanjo Andig, a community leader among Filipino-Muslims in the UAE, told Gulf News he and others had been trying to get Noraida's body sent to the Philippines for months.
"She was a Muslim and she is supposed to buried within 24 hours, but this has been [almost three] months," he said.
Her uncle, Brian Maricor, told Gulf News via a telephone interview from Manila that the family was upset about the long wait they have had to endure to lay Noraida to rest.
"Her mother said 'I want to see my daughter. I don't care if she's dead, I just want to see her one last time. She is crying every day, hoping the body will come the next day. They are very poor - they can only afford to eat rice once a day and they have eight other children, all still very small - and they can't afford to pay to ship her body back."
The parents could not be contacted immediately as they do not have a telephone. Maricor added the family did not understand the reasons for the delay.
Conegundo Fernandez, Assistance to Nationals officer at the Philippine Consulate-General, said the consulate only received the funds to repatriate the body from the sponsor on Sunday.
He also said the Dh6,000 the sponsor gave was unlikely to be enough to cover the costs of shipping the body all the way to Mindanao, which may delay the repatriation process even further.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
PGMA-signed ‘U.P. Charter 2008’ grants P500-M & greater autonomy to U.P. system
TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2008 | EDUCATION
The proposed University of the Philippines Charter of 2008 -- which President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had just signed into law today at the UP Cebu campus in Cebu City -- provides a P500-million ‘centennial gift’ to the UP System that will defray the cost of modernizing the country’s state university, especially its research facilities.
In signing UP’s updated charter, the President explained that the P500-million allocation – which will be released over five years – is over and above the P700 million that the Arroyo administration had already granted the UP System since 2006.
“… As a centennial gift, this law provides for the allocation of P500 million to the University of the Philippines, to be released over five years. This is in addition to the P200 million we gave the PGH (Philippine General Hospital) in 2006 and 2007, and in addition to the P500 million for the Science and Technology complex in Diliman,” revealed President Arroyo.
“By providing institutional autonomy, the UP Charter protects students' democratic access, strengthens the University's administration through the Board of Regents and upholds academic freedom. It recognizes the effectiveness of the UP System, which has set up constituent universities in strategic parts of the country, including our host campus today,” the President added.
In signing what is now Republic Act 9500 -- the new law that shall "Strengthen the University of the Philippines as the National University" – President Arroyo stressed, thus:
“Strengthening the UP Charter now is timely, not only because the University turns a hundred years old this year, but also because new challenges in the 21st century call for new ways of thinking and new approaches to modern situations.”
A UP alumna (PhD in Economics) and former faculty member (UP School of Economics), the Chief Executive stressed that “the new Charter ensures that the revenues of UP will be plowed back into its programs.”
“It safeguards the University's physical assets and exempts its earnings, including donations and grants, from taxes. It exempts UP personnel from the Salary Standardization Law,” added President Arroyo.
The Chief Executive recalled that four years ago in 2004, “we set up the science and technology complex because, in 2004, UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) found that the number of researchers, scientists and engineers in a developing country is 340 per million of the population.”
However, “in our country, we have only 48 (researchers) per million Filipinos,” noted the President who announced that her administration has started “investing P3 billion from budget and off-budget sources in Engineering Research and Development Technology, including the UP Science and Technology Complex, between 2007 and 2010.”
The P3-billion R&D investment, explained the President, hopes “to achieve the UNESCO benchmark in the shortest possible time, and to boost our effort at global competitiveness.”
“This is to promote engineering R&D activities in the country at a significant scale in order to modernize every aspect of the economic underpinnings of the Philippines, including agriculture, to propel economic growth. Modernization will need a critical mass of R&D-capable manpower that will attract technology-based investors to the country.”
President Arroyo – who authored 55 laws on economic and social reform when she was senator -- added that “since last school year, seven universities led by the UP College of Engineering (of UP Diliman) have been offering scholarships for masters and doctoral degree programs in all fields of engineering.”
Established in 1908, “UP has made a reputation for itself as a research and graduate university that produces scientific and creative outputs of the highest quality which receive both national and in international recognition (and) to date, UP has produced more than 25 National Scientists in fields as diverse as history, engineering, physics, agriculture, biophysical chemistry, psychology, medicine, plant physiology, genetics, and cytogenetics,” according to the UP website. ShareThis Read more...