Friday, February 1, 2008

Migrante slams new POEA memo on direct hiring

News Release
February 1, 2008

For reference: Connie Bragas-Regalado,
Chairperson (0927-215-7392)

Migrante slams new POEA memo on direct hiring

An alliance of organizations composed of overseas Filipinos and theirfamilies today slammed the new POEA guidelines on direct hiring asanother Arroyo scheme against the interests of OFWs.

"Mafiosi is the most apt description for these new POEA guidelines. It exposes the Arroyo administration as a ruthless thug whose message is that all activities in its labor exportation alley must fall under its `protection racket'. We demand no less than the immediatescrapping of POEA MC 04," says Connie Bragas-Regalado, MigranteInternational Chairperson.

The POEA MC 04 was implemented last December 2007 and it covers all foreign employers wishing to directly hire Filipino workers. It also requires foreign employers to post a Performance Bond equivalent to 3 months salary of the OFW and a US$5,000 Repatriation Bond."

Although the Arroyo administration is sure to justify these bonds asinsurance for the welfare of the OFW, it is clearly nothing but`grease money' in that foreign employers will only be allowed to recruit if they fork out the necessary funds.

The painful reality here for OFWs is that employers usually extract their recruitment costs from the OFWs themselves – either through their maximum exploitation or through direct deductions from their salary," she added.

Central Bank figures indicate remittances from overseas Filipinos lastyear was around US$14 billion while state exactions or fees by OFWs tovarious government agencies amount to approximately P13 billion annually.

Global actions against the POEA MC 04"OFWs around the world are already in an uproar against this latest exploitative scheme. We commit to intensifying the campaign to demandits immediate scrapping. Further, given that this scheme underlineshow Arroyo will never implement policies for our genuine benefit – we will also strengthen the campaign for her immediate ouster," said Bragas-Regalado.

As part of its campaign to scrap POEA MC 04 and oppose other unjust anti-migrant policies, a petition campaign and a series of protest actions in the Philippines, Italy, Hong Kong, the Middle East and other countries is being spearheaded by Migrante International and its member organizations in the coming weeks. #

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