OFW group balks at talks of Hontiveros as OWWA chief

Global alliance of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and families Migrante International balked at reports that former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros may be appointed as new head of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

“As far as we are concerned, Hontiveros has no outstanding track record with regard OFWs and the promotion of their welfare. We wonder at the reasons why her name is floating now for OWWA. Is this another pending appointment for political accommodation?” said Garry Martinez, chairperson of Migrante International.

Martinez echoed sentiments by some sectors of society that most of Pres. Aquino’s appointments favor those who have aided him during the campaign period. The latest appointment is of Dept. of Tourism Sec. Ramon Jimenez who was part of Aquino’s election campaign team in the 2010 national elections.

Hontiveros ran and lost the senatorial race under Aquino’s ticket in the 2010 elections. “It seems to be payback time for Aquino,” said Martinez.

Kung si Jimenez ay hinirang dahil kaya niyang ‘ibenta’ ang turismo ng Pilipinas, hindi kaya si Hontiveros ang napipisil naman para patuloy pang ibenta ang ating mga OFW tulad ng kung paano niya ibinenta ang mga magsasaka ng Hacienda Luisita?”, he said.

Hontiveros was the main author of the CARPER, a law extending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). Peasant groups and critics claim that the CARPER only served to prolong the government’s bogus land reform program and is pro-Cojuangco, the owners of Hacienda Luisita.

The migrant leader said that they are critical of Hontiveros and do not see how she can improve welfare services for OFWs and families “when she is clearly a rabid Aquino apologist and the president sees nothing wrong with the continuous implementation of the labor export policy”.  ###