Pinoy nurses in NZ says new rule is unfair

NZ Herald: Overseas nurse says new rule is unfair
By Lincoln Tan

Trained Filipino nurses are crying foul over the Nursing Council’s tightening of rules governing registering overseas-trained nurses.

They say the new requirements are prejudicial and unfair and are keeping them at unskilled jobs on the minimum wage when hospitals are facing an acute shortage of nurses.

In new requirements effective from Thursday, all overseas-qualified nurses – including those from Britain and other English-speaking countries – will face a tough English language assessment.

It will require they score 7.0 in each band of the IELTS (International English language testing system) test, higher than the current university entry requirement of 6.0.

But the biggest stumbling block for many Filipino nurses is a recent ruling by the council that nursing degree courses of less than four years will no longer be deemed eligible.

For most of the Philippines-trained nurses, nursing was their second course, and the length of time they took to complete it was reduced because they had exemption for certain subjects taken for a previous degree. View Complete Article Here.


Congratulations to the USA and President-elect Obama!

Congratulations to the United States who has just voted for change by electing President-elect Barack Obama!

Now we are just years before a woman becomes the leader of the free world!

President-Elect Barack Obama with family and relatives of Vice-Preseident Elect Joe Biden

Interesting NZ Herald articles and readers comments

The following are interesting “have your say” topics and it’s related news stories on the New Zealand Herald wesbite.  It offers insight to what some New Zealanders and some outsiders think on immigration matters.

Your Views Topic: Do you agree with New Zealand First’s views on immigration?
Related News: Integrate or stay away, migrants told

Your Views Topic: What do you think of Lockwood Smith’s immigration comments?
Related News: ‘Asians have small hands’ remarks ‘racist’, ‘daft’, say leaders

Your Views Topic: Are you coming home to NZ? Tell us why?
Related News: Brain-drain Kiwis find grass is greener at home

Your Views Topic: Are Peter Brown’s comments on Asian immigrants ‘racist’?
Related News: NZ First’s Brown slammed for ‘racist’ anti-Asian remarks

US Congress Rejects Bailout Plan, Dow Drops!

The House rejects, the Dow plunges

The House rejects, the Dow plunges

As of 07:10 PM GMT the Dow Jones Industrial Average has plunged 578.11 points.

However, CNN reports that politicians are trying to convince representatives who voted no to change their minds.

For the latest developments on this issue please visit CNN, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC and/or Bloomberg.

NZ Immigration Related News Round-up

NZ Herald: Integrate or stay away, migrants told
Sep 29, 2008
By Lincoln Tan

New Zealand First says it will not welcome immigrants if they come from societies with a “class system” or where women are treated as subservient to men.

Deputy leader Peter Brown, an immigrant from England, told a crowd of mainly refugees and immigrants at a political debate in Mt Albert yesterday that New Zealand was an “egalitarian society” and those who could not integrate were not welcome. More.

NZ Herald: Parties send debaters to win over immigrants
Sep 26, 2008
By Lincoln Tan

National will be pitching for votes in Labour heartland this weekend as the parties face off for another political debate to woo ethnic voters before the election. More.

NZ Herald: Migration loss to Aussie highest in nearly 20 years
Sep 19, 2008

The annual loss of people from this country to Australia hit a 19-1/2-year high in August, new figures from Statistics New Zealand show.

The net outflow to Australia on a permanent or long term (PLT) basis was 33,000 in the August year, compared to 25,900 in the August 2007 year. More.

NZ Herald: Asians fear being political football
Jul 07, 2008
By Lincoln Tan

Auckland’s Asian migrants are bracing themselves for a backlash against claims of an “Asian invasion” as this year’s election draws closer.

Their numbers are tipped to rise further in a report due out tomorrow – but many Asians say the label is meaningless anyway. More.

Watch Out for Mutual Fund and UITF Fees and Expenses!

(This post discusses fees and charges made by mutual funds and UITFs based in the Philippines.)

So you have decided to invest your hard earned money into a mutual fund and/or a unit investment trust fund (UITF). Make sure you have read and understood each products’ prospectus or fact sheet before you sign the investment application and invest your money.

Make sure you understand the fees and expenses charged to you by the fund company for your mutual fund and the bank for your UITF.

Here are some of the charges for mutual funds:

  • Sales charge ranging from one to five percent of the invested amount. Typically, on the day you buy the fund your invested amount will purchase shares at net asset value (NAV) plus the sales charge. These charges apply every time you purchase additional shares. Fund families usually extend a discount if your total fund holdings across all other funds have reached a certain amount.
  • Redemption fees are charged by fund families when you sell your shares too soon or less than a specific holding period.  Some funds charge the redemption fee for up to two years of your investment.  Fees typically range between half a percent to three percent of the NAV at the day of redemption.
  • Investment advisory, distributor and administration fees are fees charged to the NAV of the fund on a daily basis. As the name suggests the fee covers the advisory, distribution or marketing and daily administration cost of the fund. The lower the fee the more efficient the fund is. If all things are equal always choose the fund with the lowest expense or fees ratio/percentage.  Some funds charge as high as two and a half percent (2.5%) higher than most American mutual funds.  However, some fund companies justify their high fees by saying that a more actively managed fund would incur more expenses as far as trading fees and commissions are concerned. 

Here are some of the charges for UITFs:

  • Sales charges are uncommon but there are a few companies charging a fee for UITFs. The highest I have seen so far is two percent of NAV per unit (NAVPU).
  • Redemption fees are charged by by UITFs but are typically about one to two percent if units are redeemed for less than 15 to 90 days.  However, it is not impossible for a UITF to have a longer minimum holding period.
  • Trust fees are the equivalent of the investment advisory and expense fees in UITFs.  I have noticed that UITFs have a lower fee than mutual funds.  Average trust fee is about one to one and a half percent (1 to 1.5%).

How are the two taxed?

As far as taxes are concerned, capital gains tax is not charged to mutual fund investors. Only when the fund distributes dividends wherein they are required by law to withhold twenty percent (20%) from the gross dividends.  This is probably the reason why Philippine mutual funds don’t give dividends.

UITFs follow the same rules on dividends, wherein there is a 20% mandatory withholding tax.  However, any gain arising from the difference in the buying and selling NAVPU is charged with a 20% withholding tax.

Who controls the world’s oil supplies?

An Exxon Mobil Corp...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Oil and Gas Reserves by Company – Country:

1. Saudi Aramco –  Saudi Arabia (more than 300 billion barrels)
2. National Iranian Oil Company – Iran
3. Qatar Petroleum – Qatar
4. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company – UAE
5. Iraq NOC – Iraq
6. Gazprom – Russia
7. Kuwait Petroleum Corporation – Kuwait
8. Petróleos de Venezuala S.A. – Venezuela
9. Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation – Nigeria
10. National Oil Corporation – Libya
11. Sonatrach – Algeria
12. Rosneft – Russia
13. Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) – Malaysia
14. Exxon Mobil – USA (about 20 billion barrels)
15. Lukoil – Russia
16. Petróleos Mexicanos – Mexico
17. Petrochina – China
18. BP – Britain
19. Chevron – USA
20. Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Brazil
21. Roya Dutch Shell – Britain/Netherlands
22. Total S.A. – France
23. ConocoPhilips – USA
24. ENI – Italy
25. Oil and Natural Gas Company – India
26. Sinopec – China

Oil and Gas Reserves by Country or Company,

Ninety five percent of of these companies are state owned while only five percent are private corporations.  With the high oil prices who do you think are raking in more billions in profits?

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