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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Migrante slammed the approval of House Bill 387, or "An Act Liberalizing and Accelerating the Processing and Deployment of Overseas Filipino Workers

Migrante International slammed the approval of House Bill 387, or "An Act
Liberalizing and Accelerating the Processing and Deployment of Overseas
Filipino Workers" by the House Committee on Overseas Filipino Workers
Affairs (COWA).

"This is an outrage! Through this bill, the COWA has just given the signal
to enshrine overseas Filipino workers (OFWS) as the 'national milking cow'
of the country, no matter what the costs are," declared Migrante Chairperson
Garry Martinez. "This bill will completely take the lid off of the Pandora's
box and will lead to even more horrendous abuses committed against our
kababayans, more human trafficking cases, more exploitation, more children
separated from their parents."

The largest alliance of Filipino migrant organizations abroad cited that
even with the stipulation in Republic Act 8042 prohibiting government not to
promote overseas employment to sustain economic growth, it has not prevented
government from flagrantly bidding out the Filipino as a cheap and docile
labor commodity. With RA8042 still in place, President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo has issued Administrative Order 247 directing the
Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to intensify its marketing of
OFWs abroad.

"This is treason of the highest order. The COWA and the Arroyo
administration could be 'burned at the stakes' for this, so to speak.
Instead of getting down to business and looking for genuine solutions to the
country's chronic and ever worsening crisis, such as implementing a genuine
land reform program and engineering a national industrialization program,
the COWA is choosing the easier route preferred by the greedy and the
corrupt by offering its citizens as slaves that unscrupulous scallywags in
government and the private sector, both here and abroad, can pocket more
money from the billions of profit earned from government fees and
remittances," averred Martinez. "Mr. Roilo Golez, we say to you: Economic
edge is really simply economic sacrificial lambs!"

Martinez continued, "Is the COWA completely so heartless to all the abuses
that have been brought to their notice, so obtuse that they cannot
comprehend how completely inutile this government is in providing the
miniscule of protection for its citizens, so blind to the havoc a more
intensive labor policy can wreak?"

The organization vowed to fight this bill, tooth and nail, while calling on
all Filipinos to demand that this bill be nipped in the bud immediately.

"This is not an issue affecting just migrant Filipinos. Using the labor
export policy as the cornerstone of its economic policy will intensify this
bankrupt government's continuous pimping of its citizens as it desperately
tries to avoid the inevitable sinking of the economy. We call on all
Filipinos to shout with one voice: LEP, hindi sagot sa krisis! Trabaho sa
sariling bayan!" Martinez concluded.###

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