Eduardo T. Mahiya
President, Federated Associations of Manpower Exporters Inc.
Friday, November 7, 2008
"I would like to clarify reports coming out in the media attributed to Mr. Vic Fernandez of the Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. (PASEI) that the "entire overseas employment sector supports the Workers Enhancement Insurance Program of the PASEI" which Mr. Fernandez is covertly pushing to be adopted by the government.
"The reports are patently false, big lies, and amount to a classic misrepresentation by Mr. Fernandez of the position of the sector.
"The Federation, the umbrella organization of 11 Associations of licensed overseas employment service providers (OESPs), is proposing an Emergency Repatriation and Legal Liability Insurance Program (ERLIP), an OFW protection system which is over and above the existing protection measures of the government for overseas Filipino workers and will not cost the OFW and the government any.
"The ERLIP is being proposed at this time when the overseas employment sector is facing a lot of uncertainties and because we believe that OFW protection is the best strategic approach toward ensuring Philippine competitiveness in the global employment market.
"We have informed Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque about our proposal.
"To promote the ERLIP, the Federation has signed a manifesto and had merely invited Mr. Fernandez, as PASEI president, to sign it.
"He indeed signed the manifesto, but used the occasion of the signing, as well as the document, to promote his own insurance program. Worse, he did not inform his fellow stakeholders in the sector about his actions prior to signing the manifesto—a regrettable behavior which confused the public about the OFW protection proposal of the Federation.
"The Federation has nothing to do with Mr. Fernandez’s insurance program which is optional, very limited, and is costly to the OFWs. This is the reason why even the PASEI insurance program has not gained wide acceptance.
"Because of his misrepresentation, the Federation dissociates itself from Mr. Fernandez’s past and future actions with regards the ERLIP and takes him accountable for his continued acts of self-promotion and misrepresentation even at the highest levels of government.