Time for PH govt to ensure more emergency funds to aid OFWs in hardship needed, not confidential funds for VP Duterte et al – MIGRANTE Aotearoa, New Zealand


31 December 2023

The closure of giant labour hire ELE Group has left hundreds of Filipino migrant workers in a state of uncertainty, grappling with the challenges of unemployment and financial instability during what should be a festive time of year.

Migrante Aotearoa welcomes the Philippine Embassy announcement of available financial assistance for the ELE workers in New Zealand. But the ELE collapse is most likely not a one-off case. Hundreds more are fearing they will suffer the fate of ELE workers. This is why Migrante Aotearoa New Zealand is calling on the Marcos government to ensure emergency funds for all OFWs in hardship due to job losses.

We expect the Philippine government to have financial aid ready within 48 hrs to assist OFWs in hardship. We know that emergency aid for OFWs is totally possible, if only the billions of pork barrel funds and confidential funds that have been pocketed and unaccounted for by the Philippines’ most corrupt politicians have been allocated to support OFWs and their families instead.

Our community did our part to deliver support for our jobless and distressed migrants by launching the 48-Hour Christmas Food Drive. In the true spirit of Christmas and solidarity, Migrante Aotearoa and Banyuhay Aotearoa, leading advocacy groups for Filipino migrants in New Zealand, rallied the community together in this epic community food bank for over 700 Filipino migrant workers who were laid off following the shutdown of ELE.

As we all prepare for festive New Year countdown, our volunteers in Christchurch distributed another 100+ food boxes, huge thanks to Christchurch City Mission. Thanks to the support of Belong Aotearoa and more donations from churches and concerned Filipinos in New Zealand, yesterday and today we delivered around 300 food packs for displaced ELE workers in Auckland, Wellington, Tauranga, Blenheim and others outside of Auckland who have no access to food banks this holiday season.

Christmas and New Year’s eve are big festive celebrations in Filipino culture. We are grateful to all Filipinos and Kiwi friends who came to the rescue to ensure the ELE workers can still celebrate.

In the new year, volunteers from Migrante Aotearoa will continue to work closely with the FIRST Union and Union Network of Migrants in supporting the displaced ELE workers around their final pay and other entitlements, access to financial aid, preparing CVs, assisting on visa queries, reviewing new job contracts, assisting with food security and attending to their holistic wellbeing.

For media inquiries or further information, please contact:

Mikee Santos – Chair, Migrante Aotearoa – 027 930 8888
[email protected]

ELE Group collapse: Concerns hundreds more workers at risk, review of labour hire called for (newstalkzb.co.nz)