MARCH 2016

Circle of Empowered Women 2016 Forum/ Luncheon, March 26

The Illinois Chapter of the National Federation of Fillipino American Associations (NaFFAA) invites the community to its Annual Celebration of International Women’s History Month on Saturday, March 26 at the Holiday Inn Chicago North Shore, 5300 West Touhy Avenue, Skokie, lllinois 60077.

The theme will be "Honoring our Elders." There will be a lunch from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. followed by an Educational Forum from 12:30-1:30 pm. After that will be the Induction of the 2016 Circle of Empowered Women from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $40 and Student Tickets are $25. Registration is available at Eventbrite invitation by visisting the web site or visit
Guest speakers will preside over the forum topics. Daliah Saper, Esq., will speak about Cyberstalking; Emraida Kiram will speak about Filipino WWII Congressional Gold Medal Act; Rose Tibyan will discuss Educational Downward Mobilit; and Michelle Lura White will discuss Support Services for Caretakers.

To register to attend or for more information email or call 847-529-5558.

US Judge to home health care owners: Return $1.6 M looted from workers

By Mariano “Anong” Santos
PINOY Newsmagazine

CHICAGO—A Filipino American-owned home health care provider and two of its top officers are ordered February 16 to repay their employee's retirement plan a total of $1,736,339, stated a press release of the U.S. Department of Labor which brought the case against the outfit and its owners.

Retired Dr. Dalisay Sulit, 77, and her son Reginaldo Sulit, 47, president and secretary/treasurer, respectively, of Alliance Home Healthcare, Inc., located in Chicago's southwest suburbs of Palos Hills and Worth, Illinois, failed to appear before a federal judge in all the hearings and no lawyer in their behalf represented them since the case was brought against them last August.

Their non-action prompted the judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division in Chicago, to rule against the defendants by default. In an investigation by the department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (ERISA) in Chicago, Alliance and the Sulits were found to have improperly transferred and distributed $ 1,601,908 from the profit sharing plan to themselves, the company, and others. The judgment also requires the trustees to repay lost opportunity costs of $134,431.

The judge also removed the defendants from their positions as fiduciaries to the plan, and permanently enjoined them from serving as fiduciaries or service providers to any plan covered by ERISA. The court appointed Lefoldt & Co. P.A. of Ridgeland, Mississippi, as an independent fiduciary, compensated at the defendants’ expense, to distribute the plan’s assets to participants and beneficiaries and to terminate the plan.

Alliance Home Healthcare established the plan on Jan. 1, 2000, to provide retirement benefits to eligible employees. As of Dec. 31, 2006 – the last year an annual report was filed – the plan had 127 workers/participants and $1.6 million in assets. Alliance provided health care services to patients in their homes. According to another source, the 21-year old company is now down to 20 employees.

In an interview with a reporter of the Chicago Tribune at a building at Chicago’s Magnificent Mile where Reginaldo Sulit owns a condo, the younger Sulit said that he and his mom did not personally benefited but used the money to keep their company afloat. “It’s our intention to pay everyone back,” he added.

The Labor Department did not buy their excuses. “This judgment is a victory for the participants in the company’s profit sharing plan,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employee Benefits Security Phyllis C. Borzi in their press release. “Too often, we see employee benefit plan funds used illegally by company owners and management to prop up struggling companies. Employee benefit plans must be managed in the best interest of participants, bottom line.”

In the Tribune interview, Reginaldo Sulit complained of the unfairness of the ruling but also admitted that no nurse ever received money from the Alliance Retirement Fund because they did not retire or they are not vested.


PH Delegation in Chicago to promote Philippine Healthcare-BPM Sector

The Philippine Consulate General in Chicago, in collaboration with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in New York, hosted a business forum on the Philippine Healthcare –BPM (Business Process Management) Industry on Feb. 26 as part of a three-city investment roadshow to promote the fast-growing business sector.

The delegation, composed mainly of private sector executives who are major players in the Philippines Healthcare-BPM industry, arrived in Chicago from New York which hosted the first leg of the roadshow and will continue on to Las Vegas to participate in the HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) Conference and Exhibition.

The forum provided an opportunity for US companies to learn more about the Philippines’ booming BPM industry, as well as a chance for companies from the two countries to network and explore business-matching prospects.

During the forum, Undersecretary Terrado gave a presentation on the Philippine Investment Climate while Ms. Coronel discussed Investment Opportunities in the IT-BPM Industry of the Philippines.  Additional guest speakers from the delegation also discussed the Philippine Healthcare-BPM Industry in more detail, as well as an overview of the Philippine Telecoms Infrastructure which is vital to the success of the BPM industry.

After the presentations, the panel of presenters held an open dialogue with the participants on a wide range of questions.  A business networking luncheon concluded the morning event. 

Before proceeding to Las Vegas, the delegation also had the opportunity to visit two entrepreneurship and technology innovation centers based in Chicago, BLUE1647 and MATTER Chicago.

Read more "PH Delegation in Chicago to promote Philippine Healthcare

(Read more Community News)


MARCH 2016 

By Mariano "Anong" Santos




Filipino-owned home health care makes it to “100 TOP Work Places”

ABOVE PHOTO: The officers and the employees of MedPro posing after their weekly staff meeting at their headquarters in Tinley Park. (PINOY Photo by Anong)

CHICAGO--You are forewarned this story of a Filipino American-owned home health care agency is NOT about fraud or someone sentenced to prison. Surprisingly, it actually brings good and positive news.

Recently, the venerable Chicago Tribune came out with a list of its annual list of “100 TOP Work Places.”

Included along with brand names like Charles Schwab, Ernst & Young, Microsoft and Swissotel is a company named, “MedPro Health Providers.” Selections are from three categories--those with no more than 250 workers, then those with no more than 500 and those with 500 or more.

Ranked No. 7

The five year-old MedPro ranked 7th among those in the first category. Considering the unfavorable and embarrassing news associated with home health care agencies owned by Filipino Americans, we could not be faulted if we are surprised to learn that MedPro is not owned by one but FOUR kababayans.

Corporate lawyers in the area thrive just preparing separation agreements on quarreling partners of Filipino-owned companies—especially home health care agencies. Many ventures owned by more than one Pinoy just don’t last. That certainly makes MedPro-- a business phenomenon worth exploring.

So what makes one a TOP Work Place? In a detailed survey sent out by the Tribune, questions are listed primarily geared into knowing a company’s work policy and actual practice in creating a healthy environment for their employees to thrive happily in their work places.

In talking with MedPro President/CEO, Riz Villaseñor at their office in Tinley Park, a suburb in the southwest of Chicago, I was informed that his company has a “Growing Up Clinic” that helps its employees and their children to improve their physical, emotional and intellectual potentials. Psychologists, therapist and trainers are involved in their growth. “A day care center in MedPro’s HQ is also in the works,” added Villaseñor.

(Read more PINOY Insider...)


MARCH 2016


Start of the ‘silly season’


Guest Editorial
By Rina Jimenez-David

Pundits have called it “the silly season,” the three months or so of the “official” campaign period where candidates—running for various positions from the humblest local office to the highest electoral post in the land—can now openly declare themselves as aspirants for a specific post and conduct campaign sorties.

Of course, the “silly season” began long before this week, what with some candidates campaigning years before. But yesterday marked the day all “horses” left the gate, so to speak, mouths metaphorically foaming and teeth champing at the bit, in a fervid race to the finish line.

In previous electoral exercises, excitement filled the air as the tracking of candidates’ performances and potential for winning began in earnest. This year, analysts say, the outcome is neither clear-cut nor irreversible. While Sen. Grace Poe in most news accounts is said to have “regained” the lead in the race, wresting the No. 1 spot from Vice President Jojo Binay, she is “statistically tied”—meaning she is still on even footing—with the other three front-runners: Binay, former interior secretary Mar Roxas and Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. The fifth candidate, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, who won just 8 percent of voter ratings in the latest Pulse Asia survey, is deemed too far away from the rest of the pack to pose a threat.

Then again, Philippine elections in the past have been marked by shockers, the latest being the “surprise” victory of Binay against Roxas in the 2010 race for vice president. As basketball pundits love to intone, in any game, especially politics, “the ball is round,” and even the seeming loser could still end up on top.

Peering at tea leaves

If only for keeping up the morale of supporters—especially of the crucial financiers—candidates and political parties minutely scrutinize the results of opinion polls like ancient seers peering at tea leaves.

(Read more "Start of the ‘silly season’?"...)


MARCH 2016

The Years Before EDSA

By Jon Melegrito

Letter from Washington


Thirty years ago, Filipinos stood tall in the eyes of the world for having toppled a dictatorship that ruled their country for 14 years. They restored democracy. They were once again free to chart their own destiny.

Here in the nation’s capital, we commemorated those four days in February 1986 with recollections of our own role in the so-called “People Power Revolution.” Organized by the Philippine Embassy and the Philippine Arts, Letters and Media (PALM) Council, the 30th anniversary’s theme was “Pagbabago: Ipinaglaban N’yo, Itutuloy Ko!” Essentially, it means renewing the fight that many risked their lives to wage.

As Amb. Jose L. Cuisia aptly puts it, “The 1986 People Power Revolution was not only a turning point in Philippine history but also a source of inspiration for oppressed peoples everywhere. It was an unequivocal proof that a nation’s yearning for freedom and democracy could never be totally suppressed and that it could give the people the courage to rise above their fears and pessimism.”

There are many reasons, of course, to celebrate a historic moment when a people yearning to be free put their lives on the line and stood up to a ruthless dictator. Thousands suffered, disappeared and died. Like Ninoy Aquino, who said “the Filipino is worth dying for,” those who fought were martyrs to the cause.

Washington DC was the center of attention during those four days in February. President Reagan was under pressure to cut off his ties to his friend Marcos and withdraw US support from his regime. Massive demonstrations in front of the White House called on Reagan to officially embrace Cory Aquino as the duly elected president. When the US finally decided to side with the people’s uprising, forcing Marcos to flee, there was universal praise for People Power. It became a model for peaceful regime change across the globe.


(Read more "The Years Before EDSA"...)



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