MIGRANTE International decries the recent OWWA pronouncement suspending its cash assistance program to our OFWs. This is an utter show of criminal neglect of this administration towards our OFWs who are one of those directly affected by the global crisis brought about by long years of global economic woes and the pandemic.

The Duterte administration only proves its continuing inutility in providing government leadership especially in times of crises. Instead of strategically projecting the course of actions during a crises situation, he continues to deny that there is a crisis and pandemic that is gravely affecting our people. Worse, in order to hide his ineffectiveness, he uses the military machineries including its Generals to lead the country including the fight against the pandemic.

Major government departments including the DFA and DND recently estimated the numbers of repatriated Filipinos from 700,000 to more than 1 million which includes both land and sea based OFWs and Filipino immigrants. They are expected to join the more than 3.8 million unemployed as of June 2021 according to the data of IBON Foundation.

The lack of jobs, cash assistance, and insufficient supplies of vaccines, the growing daily rate of new COVID infections, limited PCR
Testing and contact tracing in a national scale,  are major factors that cause the suffering of our OFWs and the most of the affected sectors under this administration.

MIGRANTE International reiterates its long time demand for the national government to fully subsidize not just the operations of OWWA but also its programs so it will guarantee sufficient funding from the national coffers and not just rely on membership contributions that also bleed dry our OFWs.

With the upcoming legislative hearings on national budget or General Appropriation Act, the people are clamoring for more economic assistance including ayuda for the sectors affected by the pandemic. If this will not be met by Duterte administration, the people will surely end his term even before the 2022 national election.##