Global alliance of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) Migrante International today called on the Aquino administration to decisively deviate from its labor export policy and instead focus on creating decent and sustainable local jobs to end the cycle of forced migration.
According to Migrante International chairperson Garry Martinez, it is high time that the government reviews its labor export policy in light of recent developments in Saudi that may displace some 35,000 OFWs working there.
“We view statements from concerned government agencies stating that they are unworried and unperturbed as plain empty bravado. Our economy is so dependent on labor-export and the influx of OFW remittances that it cannot simply just brush aside the loss of revenue from at least 35,000 OFWs. Hindi na mapakali ang POEA, OWWA, DOLE at DFA dahil malulugi ang kanilang negosyo.”
“No domestic jobs are available for them as we already have at least 12 million in the unemployed work force. The government’s recourse is to once again seek markets for them abroad despite the ongoing global financial crisis that continues to displace thousands and thousands of our OFWs. It’s a never-ending vicious cycle, when does it end?” Martinez said.
The migrant leader also criticized the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration’s (OWWA) so-called reintegration program characterized by loan packages that do nothing to address unemployment and job generation. Martinez said that they have received reports that the Aquino administration through the OWWA is set to unveil a ‘P2 billion reintegration loan package’ on June 7.
“They offer loan packages to returned OFWs that come directly from OFW contributions. Ang OFW na ang siningil, sila pa ang pagbabayarin ng utang na galing din mismo sa pagod at pawis nila,” Martinez said. ###