Binay urged to “dig deeper” into OFW concerns

Global alliance of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) Migrante International today urged Vice President and Presidential Adviser on OFW concerns Jejomar Binay to “dig deeper into the issues and concerns of OFWs.”

According to Migrante International Chairperson Garry Martinez, his group conducted a dialogue with Binay last week and they discussed to him various issues concerning OFWs, among them the 50% decrease in OFW funds in the 2011 national budget, erring and negligent officials, as well as other rights and welfare cases that need immediate action and attention from the government.

“We appreciate VP Binay’s initial efforts to consult with OFWs and we urge him to not only address tactical concerns but also the chronic problems that perennially confront our OFWs and their families,” said Martinez.

Martinez said that they presented to Binay a “5-point migrant agenda” which they have already presented earlier on to Pres. Benigno Aquino III at the start of his term.

“However, we have not heard Pres. Aquino’s position nor seen any actions with regard the issues we raised. Instead, after his inaugural speech and first SONA stating that OFWs are one of his administration’s topmost priorities, what we now have in store is the OFW budget cuts and numerous cases of government neglect.”

Martinez said that they once again presented the 5-point migrant agenda to Binay. “We await his official position as Presidential Adviser on OFW concerns on the issues we raised.”

The 5-point migrant agenda are as follows (please see also attached):

  1. Stop forced migration by generating jobs at home.
  2. Investigate, prosecute and punish corrupt and negligent government officials.
  3. Protect OFWs from unfair labor practices, discrimination, stringent immigration policies and other occupational hazards.
  4. Provide assistance for OFWs in distress.
  5. Scrap anti-migrant laws and push for genuine migrant representation in policy-making institutions in government.

Martinez said that they are ready and open to coordinate and cooperate with Binay on OFW concerns. “In turn, we are expecting his office to be more transparent and accessible to the sector and more open to criticisms and proposals from OFWs and families”. ###