Global alliance of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) Migrante International today chided the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) for “promoting the insurance provision for suicides in the mandatory insurance coverage as if it were another viable option for OFWs and their families.”
“How insensitive, brutal and tactlessly lacking in foresight for the government. They are virtually encouraging OFWs to commit suicide by assuring them that their families will be covered (by the insurance),” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson.
Martinez said that the government should practice more sensitivity especially after the recent spate of suicide incidences among OFWs, the latest was of an OFW who killed himself inside a lavatory of an airplane.
“Una sa lahat, kalakhan ng ating mga OFW ay lumabas ng bansa dulot ng matinding desperasyon, hirap sa buhay at maraming binabayarang mga utang at iba pa. Kaya dumarami ang nagpapakamatay nating mga kababayan sa labas ng bansa ay dahil dumodoble ang kanilang desperasyon sa harap ng mga pasakit at pang-aabuso na dinaranasa nila. Ngayon, itong gobyerno naman natin, kung i-promote ang suicide insurance akala mo’y kung ano’ng klaseng promo, daig pa ang ‘buy-one-take-one’,” he said.
The newly-imposed mandatory health insurance for OFWs is stipulated in the amended Republic Act 10022 or the Migrants Act. Correspondingly, the POEA recently released Memorandum Circular No. 09 Series of 2010 last October 21, 2010 ordering the implementation of “compulsory insurance coverage for agency-hired OFWs,” land-based or sea-based. The mandatory insurance will be covered by a private insurance provider duly-licensed and certified by the Insurance Commission.
Migrante International has already expressed opposition to the new policy saying that it would inevitably be passed on to OFWs. ###