04 October 2022
Migrante International condemns President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr for his family’s junket in Singapore last week. There are a thousand and one reasons why it is insensitive and irresponsible towards the current sad plight of Filipinos and migrants.
The Filipino migrants and people deserve to know how much public funds were spent for Marcos’ trip, which included First Lady Louise Araneta-Marcos, Ilocos Norte 1st District Representative Sandro Marcos, House Speaker Martin Romualdez, and Tingog party-list Representative Yedda Romualdez. Given the facts about the trip that are coming out, showing that it is more of a vacation than an official trip, said funds should be returned.
The country’s economy is in dire straits and the Marcos government has not taken effective action: the peso is at its weakest in history, prices are very high and continue to increase, and unemployment and landlessness are affecting an increasing number of people. Supertyphoon Karding (international name Noru) has just left parts of the country devastated, and charges for power and water are being increased.
There are 8,830 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from Saudi Arabia who are still waiting for the resolution of their years-long wage claims from construction company Saudi Oger. There are more than 10,000 OFWs in Saudi Arabia who are still waiting for their wages and benefits from employers in the Kingdom.
The money spent by Marcos Jr in watching the Formula One Grand Prix — tickets costing from SG$98 (P5,773.43) to SG$10,000 (P589,125), and party suites costing up to $70,000 (P4.1 million) a night — should have been more productively used to provide much-needed financial assistance to OFWs and their families. It could have amounted to a P5,000 financial assistance to almost a thousand families.
Almost a month after his trip to Indonesia, Marcos Jr. should swiftly and decisively act on the Philippine Supreme Court’s decision to move forward with the deposition-taking of Mary Jane Veloso, a victim of human trafficking who continues to languish in death row in Indonesia. Veloso’s case shows how the Philippine government acts very slowly and indecisively in protecting OFWs in jails in various countries, especially victims of human trafficking, despite its policy of labor export.
The Filipino migrants and people are facing a dark present and a bleak future yet Marcos Jr. has partied non-stop since he became the country’s president on June 30. This is a continuation of, not a departure from, the legacy of the Marcos dictatorship. Marcos Jr does not only refuse to recognize the wrongdoings of the past, but continues them to this day. ###