In his 100th day in office, Migrante International, the largest global alliance of overseas Filipinos gave a score of 84 to President Rodrigo Duterte as they joined various peoples’ organizations in Mendiola in a rally demanding urgent socio-economic reforms, the release of political prisoners and the removal of all US troops from the Philippines.
“We gave him a satisfactory grade based on his administration’s accomplishments on the immediate ‘do-ables’ and on his notable actions on urgent issues and concerns of OFWs and the nation. This, by far, is the highest score that we have given to a president in their first 100 days,” said Mic Catuira, Migrante’s Acting Secretary General.
The group based their score on the current administration’s performance relative to the “agenda for a Better Pinas for OFWs” which they presented to high-ranking officials of the government. In their score card, Pres. Duterte was given a dismal average grade of 54 but earned significant additional points for his “other striking actions on OFW concerns” and “notable achievements on national and people’s issues.”
“Pres. Duterte made strong policy pronouncements and sweeping actions that serve the interests of the people and nation. However, these does not swiftly translate to reality because many of his Cabinet members and other government are still stuck in the olds ways of previous administrations or does not necessarily share his radical views,” Catuira lamented.
Catuira explained that they still maintain high hopes with the Duterte administration. “His assertion for an independent foreign policy and his continuing efforts to pursue social-economic reforms through the peace process are indicative of his sincerity to bring real change for the people. Wala mang substansyal na pagbabago na nakakakamit, pero may mga nailalatag na batayan para makamit ito.”
According to Catuira, what OFWs and their families need to hear in Pres. Duterte in the succeeding months is how he plans to decisively deviate from the labor export policy and instead focus on creating decent and sustainable local jobs to end the cycle of forced migration.
“We expect to see his political will on ending labor export and other neoliberal policies imposed by foreign powers. It is high time for the Duterte administration to depart from past governments’ recourse to chronically seek job markets abroad in exchange for remittances despite the ongoing global crisis and to the detriment of OFWs and their families. This cycle has got to end,” Catuira concluded. ####