News

Photos from DA-Philippines #ResistanceSummer Event at the July 4th Celebration

DA-Philippines Members filling out postcards addressed to their representatives, advocating for health care and climate change action.

Democrats Abroad and Republicans Abroad shared a joint table at the July 4th Celebration. 

Thank you to everyone who volunteered and participated in our #ResistanceSummer Event during the July 4th Celebration!

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How to contribute to GET OUT THE VOTE in 2016

Democrats Abroad Philippines Members - you can help make a difference this election by being part of the Phone Bank Team, the Voter Information Help Team, or as a Social Media Promoter!



1. Get Out the Vote - Phone Bank Team

Make some calls to fellow members of Democrats Abroad Philippines in our 3R Campaign (Request, Receive and Return ballots) now until mid-October. This year we're using an online system called CallHub to make the GOTV calls.

  • You'll need your own computer or laptop (CallHub doesn't work on tablets like iPads)

  • The computer makes the call for you, so you won't use your phone minutes or much data.

  • CallHub will offer prompts for what to say and ask to check if they've requested, received or returned an absentee ballot.

  • You can make as few or as many calls as you are able to between now and mid-October.

  • You make the calls when it suits you, from the comfort of your home or office.

Instructions to Sign Up for Phone Banking
a. Log on to Democrats Abroad at
https://democratsabroad.nationbuilder.com/login (Only US citizens can be DA members & volunteer)

b. Copy http://www.democratsabroad.org/voter_support_team into your browser once you are logged on.

c. Select 'phone banking' (see below about the GOTV Help Desk Team)

d. Select the number of calls you think you can make in any given week of the 3R campaign. 20 - 50 calls a week is actually about an hour's worth of time for democracy, because the calls are short and you'll get a fair number of voice malls and invalid phone numbers.

e. Sign the confidentiality agreement and submit!

f. CallHub works best on the Google Chrome browser. You can download it at https://www.google.com/chrome/

g. Activate your CallHub account by clicking the link in the email sent to you with your username. (It may take up to 10 minutes for the email to be sent).

i. Bookmark https://app.callhub.io/login/

j. Your first call will be test call with a Democrats Abroad Philippines assessor, who will then contact DA to get you set up with the Australia campaign.

k. You'll receive an email and you'll be good to go to start making calls!


2. Get Out the Vote - Voter Information Help Team

Can I vote at the Consulate? Can I vote from overseas as US citizen who never lived there? Where's my ballot? Be a part of the global team answering these questions and more sent to the VoteFromAbroad Help Desk. You'll get training to help direct voters to resources for all their answers.

Instructions to Sign Up for the Voter Info Help Team

a. Log on to Democrats Abroad at https://democratsabroad.nationbuilder.com/login (Only US citizens can be DA members & volunteer)

b. Copy http://www.democratsabroad.org/voter_support_team into your browser once you are logged on.

c. Select 'voter information'

d. Select the estimate of your time commitment.

e. More information will be sent to you by email shortly!



3. Social Media Promoter

Post or tweet about http://www.votefromabroad.org/a great resource to request absentee ballots and voter information. Take a selfie of you sending in your ballot request or absentee ballot. There's nothing like the positive pressure of social media!


FilAm retirees lobby PH Depts.of Trade & Industry and Health

March 11, 2016 photo of Fil-Am usmedicareph.org advocates meeting with PH Dept Trade & Industry DTi Board of Investment & Dept of Health on the PH Retirement Road map (due in June) by including US Medicare coverage. L to R: Dr Tiongson (DoH), Dr. Melissa Guererro (DoH), Theresa Cardoso (CA), DTi-BoI USec. Perry Rodolfo, John Boyd (Democrats Abroad), Asec. Anna ___ (DTi), Steve Hermosisima (DC) & Ricky Sobrevinas (NY). Dr. Guerrero & USec Rodolfo visited Washington DC to negotiate in the strategic bilateral economic PH-US dialogue. Our item was on their bilateral agenda.


Medicare PH Update - March 2016

PH urges US: Allow MEDICARE access for American retirees

The Philippines is negotiating with the US government to allow the portability of its medical and health insurance for Americans and Fil-Ams, who would like to retire in the country.

Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo, who recently led a Philippine delegation in Washington D.C. for the annual review of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and the Strategic Dialogue (BSD), told reporters the Philippine delegation had brought up the issue of the US government’s MEDICARE during their bilateral talks.

At present, the MEDICARE, which is the US national social insurance program, cannot be availed of by Americans who are in the Philippines. Americans can only use their private medical insurance when they are living overseas, but not the government MEDICARE, which is a federally-funded medical insurance. 

image: http://www.mb.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/maedicare-logo-300x92.jpg

maedicare logo

 

In 2010, Medicare provided health insurance to 48 million Americans. It was the primary payer for an estimated 15.3 million inpatient stays in 2011, representing 47.2 percent ($182.7 billion) of total aggregate inpatient hospital costs in the United States.[2] Medicare serves a large population of elderly and disabled individuals. On average, Medicare covers about half (48 percent) of the health care charges for those enrolled.

But its non-portability has hindered Americans and Fil-Ams to come back here and retire for good because they cannot avail of their medical benefits.

“They cannot use MEDICARE here and ifever they can there are lots of restrictions, but American retirees need it here for emergency cases,” he said.

“Imagine the Fil-Am communities alone, they are big and if they retire here with MEDICARE benefits they will spend their money here,” he said.

Fil-Ams comprise about 3.4 million people, or 1.1 percent of the US population. They are the country’s second-largest self-reported Asian ancestry group after Chinese Americans according to 2010 American Community Survey.

While Americans will incur savings because it is cheaper to spend their money here, they will also bring in their purchasing power that will benefit the retirement and other service providers.

“We can also tie this up with medical tourism,” he added.

The Philippine proposal though requires action from the US legislature since this would mean amendment to the US MEDICARE Law.

“This will take longer discussions because it requires changes in US  law,” Ceferino said.

“We are working on this together with the Fil-Am communities, Department of Health and Department of Tourism. We are still working on it because this is a long discussion but we make it a constant part of the BSD agenda,” he said.

The DTI is pushing for the portability of the MEDICARE under the auspices of the BSD, which tackles broader issues and long term policy solutions as it is being spearheaded by the State Department.

The DTI is trying to elevate important issues to the BSD that could not be addressed through TIFA. BSD covers broader issues s and its imprimatur is deemed crucial for long term strategic policy solutions on broader. BSD, which is spearheaded by the State Department sort of reinforces what are being addressed or cannot be addressed in the TIFA


Read more at http://www.mb.com.ph/ph-urges-us-allow-medicare-access-for-american-retirees/#9VxmfXUoKDvmpfC0.99


2016 Global Presidential Primary - Participate in the Philippines

Americans in the Philippines help select Democratic Presidential Candidate

  • U.S. Democrats living in Metro Manila can vote in person for their favorite candidate on March 5 at a Global Presidential Primary voting site

  • Americans living elsewhere in the Philippines can vote now by postal ballot, email or fax

  • The Philippines is one of more than 40 countries around the world hosting in-person voting centers

Democrats Abroad Philippines, the official arm of the Democratic Party outside the United States, has launched its campaign to help Americans citizens living abroad to nominate the U.S. Democratic Party’s Presidential nominee. (1)

Any Democrat living abroad (2) can take part in the Global Presidential Primary by joining Democrats Abroad via its webpage or the dedicated voter registration/ballot request tool, VoteFromAbroad.org. Membership is free.

There are two opportunities for Americans in the Philippines to vote in the Global Presidential Primary:

  • On March 5, Democrats living in Metro Manila can vote in person at a dedicated Global Presidential Primary voting site in Ortigas Center from 9-5.

  • From now until March 8, Democrats can vote remotely via postal ballot, email attachment or fax. Details at www.democratsabroad.org. (3)

After March 8, the votes of Democrats living in over 190 countries worldwide will be counted. Any candidate receiving 15% or more of the primary votes cast will be awarded delegates in proportion to their support in the Global Presidential Primary.

 

Democrats Abroad will have 21 delegate votes at the Democratic Convention, held in Philadelphia on July 25-28, 2016. (4) The presidential primary season is beginning in the US starting with Iowa on February 1.

 

Unlike the Republicans, Democrats Abroad’s Global Presidential Primary allows Americans in the Philippines to have a voice in who will be the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, whether remotely or at dedicated voting center in Ortigas.

 

John Boyd, Chair of Democrats Abroad Philippines, said: "There are more than 300,000 US citizens living in the Philippines, and about 5-6 million living abroad worldwide. That is considerably greater than the population of many states in the US. These people need a voice. Democrats Abroad can provide that voice through votes, delegates at the national convention, and resolutions.” Democrats Abroad Philippines will have its annual general meeting on Saturday, February 13 in Makati from 2 – 5 pm. All interested Democrats are invited to attend.

For more information, contact Democrats Abroad Philippines at da-ph@democratsabroad.org.

Notes

  1. Democrats Abroad is unique: unlike the Republicans, Democrats Abroad's leadership is elected by the organization's members, and only Democrats Abroad holds a dedicated primary, which allows the members living in more than 190 countries around the world the opportunity to record their presidential preference and directly affect the Democratic Party’s choice of its nominee.

 

  1. To be eligible, voters must be US citizens and 18 as of November 8. Democrats living overseas can vote for a Presidential candidate in either the Global Presidential Primary or their home state’s equivalent via absentee ballots. They cannot vote in both.

 

  1. Democrats Abroad holds a combination of regional and worldwide caucus meetings from April 12-May 13, 2016, to choose who will be the delegates to the Democratic National Convention. These meetings will culminate in Democrats Abroad's Global Convention in Berlin on May 14-15, 2016

 

  1. Democrats Abroad will have a total of 21 delegate votes at the Democratic National Convention. The thirteen elected delegates will be pledged to a candidate. Eight more will be Democrats Abroad's members on the Democratic National Committee. These eight delegates each have half a vote, therefore giving Democrats Abroad a total of 17 delegate votes at the convention. A detailed summary of the process of selecting delegates as well as our Diversity Program for those who wish to run to be a delegate can be found at our new website, democratsabroad.org.

 

 


Global Warming: A Runaway Train Headed Straight at the Philippines

http://www.philnews.com/2015/060-global-warming-a-runnaway-train-headed-straight-at-the-philippines.htm

A Philnews.com Editorial

 

Effects of global warming? Super Typhoon Yolanda's (Haiyan)

 


The time for finger pointing has passed. It no longer matters if other countries spew more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the Philippines does. We need to get our act together because we Filipinos have—to put it bluntly—destroyed this beautiful country of ours. From its denuded forests to its over-fished seas,  from its overbuilt cities to its polluted rivers and streams, from the smog-choked air above cities to the depleted water tables beneath them, the Philippines today is a far cry from the land Jose Rizal once called his "Pear of the Orient."

If we do nothing, we Filipinos of today will pass on to our children a Philippines in far worse shape than the one we inherited from our parents. And the sad part is that it will take several generations to undo all the damage we created.

Global warming, global problem

Aside from our own irresponsible stewardship of the land, industrial development and the burning of fossil fuels on a global scale has caused average temperatures to rise with dire consequences for the entire planet. The earth's climate has now been thrown into disarray. Sea levels are rising due to melting polar ice caps; super storms are occurring with greater frequency; planting and harvesting periods for many crops have been thrown out of whack (read related article below).

If humans continue to generate greenhouse gases at current levels, the earth would reach a tipping point were the damage to the environment becomes irreversible. Then the earth's fragile eco system could collapse bringing with it most living things ... including humans. At present, there is growing consensus that the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is bringing about undesired climatic changes to the entire planet.

Local action brings about global action

The UN Climate Change Conference going on in Paris might be the first worldwide response to global warming that nations and their leaders actually take seriously.  Going forward, each country must do its part to prevent this global disaster from happening. As noted above, the period of pointing fingers and blaming other countries for the problem is over. Each country must instead do its level best to prevent global warming. Each political subdivision within a country must accept this responsibility as well. In the Philippines, that would mean each region, province, city, municipality, and barangay must do its part in cutting back greenhouse gas emissions in their areas.

 

Pinoys will do their part

There is a lot we Filipinos can do when we finally get serious about doing our part in this global effort. But before meaningful change can happen, the public must be made fully aware of the danger global warming poses on future of the planet. The government must institute an awareness campaign aimed at all Filipinos—young and old alike. Natural disasters like Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), floods, tsunamis, and the like will serve to reinforce the dangers that global warming brings.

When that message finally sinks in, Filipinos will begin to demand clean renewable energy instead of the coal-burning power plants they have today. They will start banning from their communities the two-stroke motorcycle engines found in most tricycles today. They will begin to demand cleaner motor vehicle engines. They will stop denuding forests and instead start planting more trees. They will begin to change their wasteful, polluting ways and become a more eco-friendly society.

Filipinos have always been a resourceful, resilient people and know how to survive. All they need is for their leaders (both public and private) to point them in the right direction.

And when all the nations of the world finally come together and address this global problem, you can rest assured that Filipinos will be there standing shoulder to shoulder with the rest of humanity, doing their part to save the planet. 12/05/2015
 

Why are emissions of carbon dioxide (CO) the most important substance causing climate change? 

The short answer, according to Mr. Richard S. J. Tol, a professor in the UK and the Netherlands, is that “uptake of human emissions of ambient CO
 is not balanced by natural uptake” in the carbon cycle*

Before the Industrial Revolution, the carbon cycle was characterized by a counterbalancing flux of “CO . . . between the atmosphere, the ocean, and terrestrial vegetation.” The large stock of carbon in fossil fuels “[i]n natural circumstances . . . does not play a significant part in the carbon cycle. However, human exploitation has mobilized this carbon. Emissions of CO from fossil fuel combustion are small compared with natural emissions—but unlike natural emissions, there is no counterbalancing flux.”

 Professor Tol states that since CO
 is removed from the atmosphere “at the rate at which rocks grow,” “stabilization of the atmospheric concentration of CO implies that CO emissions have to go to zero” based on current learning.

“The 3 most important anthropogenic  (produced by human activities)  greenhouse gases, ambient CO
, methane (CH), and nitrous oxide (NO), have risen since the Industrial Revolution.” Methane results from livestock and waste. Agricultural soils give rise to nitrous oxide (NO).

Professor Tol states that “carbon dioxide is by far the most important substance in the change in the Earth’s energy balance.” “Put together, the other anthropogenic greenhouse gases have contributed about two-thirds as much as carbon dioxide to the total radiative forcing.” (Radiative Forcing (RF) expresses the change in energy in the atmosphere due to greenhouse gas emissions.)

Halocarbons, which result from aerosols, refrigerants, and plastics, are another significant anthropogenic greenhouse gas. CO
, methane, and nitrous oxide together with halocarbons sometimes are referred to as “long-lived" greenhouse gasses. “Water vapor is a greenhouse gas too, in fact the most important of them all, but its concentration is only marginally affected by human activity….”

“With greenhouse gases in the air, it is easier for energy to enter the planet than to leave it.” “Higher greenhouse gases imply warming—but how much is uncertain as there are many complex feedbacks.” 

Article 2 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change  states the primary objective of this Convention: “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” 

Professor Tol argues that “optimal emission reduction today depends on expected climate policy in the future.”

* Tol, Richard S.J. Climate Economics: Economic Analysis of Climate, Climate Change and Climate Policy. Cheltenham/Northampton: Edward Elgar, 2014

 


Welcome to Democrats Abroad Philippines

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Mabuhay! Welcome! Democrats Abroad Philippines is the official country committee for American Democrats living in the Philippines.  Here you will find information about our upcoming events and about our Executive Committee.  Be sure to check this space often for our news and updates and contact us with any questions.

Democrats Abroad Philippines
da-ph@democratsabroad.org