An international alliance of overseas Filipino workers today expressed apprehensions on Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s upcoming trip to the United States, saying that it is geared to intensify forced migration by strengthening the government’s labor export program.
Migrante International chairperson Garry Martinez said that Aquino’s US trip blatantly contradicts his statement during his inaugural speech when he said that his administration’s thrust is generate jobs at home so that Filipinos would not be forced to go abroad.
“Forced migration is brought about by widespread unemployment, poverty and landlessness. Aquino has so far not displayed any signs of addressing these, not with his proposed 2011 budget, and certainly not with his agenda on his US trip,” he said.
Martinez questioned Aquino’s lobbying for aid from the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a US government-owned corporation that grants foreign assistance to country partners.
He said that one of the conditions for MCC aid entails the further opening up of domestic markets to globalization trade agreements, as well as the commitment to “invest a country’s citizens”.
“We view Aquino’s US trip as a veritable sealing of a contract to further subject our labor force to cheap labor in the global market with very little or possibly no protection at all. The outcome of Aquino’s US trip will definitely gauge the his administration’s foreign relations framework and policy with regard to labor export and the protection of our OFWs,” Martinez said. ###
On Phil consulate in Dubai requiring affidavit of support from OFWs with visiting relatives
Migrante International today criticized the newly-imposed policy by the Philippine Consulate in Dubai requiring overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Dubai to issue an affidavit of support (AOS) for their visiting relatives.
“Why is the Philippine consulate imposing this requirement when it is not even required by the Dubai government? It is another added cost and inconvenience to our OFWs,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson.
Martinez said that the new requirement may yet be another money-making scheme as OFWs have to pay for the application of the AOS. “Mukhang panibagong porma na naman ito ng kotong sa ating mga OFW, especially now that the holiday seasons are approaching and relatives are expected to visit.
He said that the Philippine consulate’s measures to prevent illegal entry of the Filipinos in Dubai should not be at any added cost to OFWs. “That is their job and they have to accomplish it without any extra expense imposed on our OFWs.”
The migrant leader said that the imposition is not welcome to OFWs in light of the 50 percent budget cut on funds for OFW assistance in the proposed 2011 national budget. ###