Friday, July 18, 2008

`Kanta-lampagin si Gloria' protests continue:

OFW group sings to the seamen

Press Release
July 18, 2008

Members of Migrante International today trooped to T.M. Kalaw in Manila to serenade seamen and seaman wanna-be's gathering in the famous street to find jobs aboard and bring their petition signing campaign.

"Here, we are certain that all are affected by the skyrocketing prices of food and fuel. The long queues for seamen jobs, despite the extreme loneliness and hazards seaman experiences while at sea, reveal how much Filipinos want to escape poverty," said Garry Martinez, spokesperson of Migrante International in explaining the group's "Kanta-lampagin si Gloria" campaign. "They are hard-pressed to look for whatever means to support their families.

Kalaw is popularly known as home to many seamen recruiting agencies.

"This is why we chose this venue to launch our petition signing campaign to scrap remittance charges in the area. These applicants for jobs abroad also need immediate economic relief from the government. The scrapping of remittance charges and remittance taxes will surely be of interest to them."

The petition signing was accompanied by songs from the group as part of their Kanta-lampagin si Gloria series. The song highlights the worries OFWs are facing with the severe economic crunch the country is suffering from.

Martinez continues, "The remittances OFWs send have reached another new high for the month of May. While government through remittance taxes and big business, specifically banks, telephone carriers and other financial institutions are enjoying huge profits, OFWs are tightening their belts even more just to ensure that the average $200 that they send to their families can bring enough food to the table. The scrapping of remittance charges and taxes is but a just demand."

In response to Migrant's calls, Vice President Noli de Castro and Finance Secretary Margarito Teves have earlier stated that the lessening of remittance charges is under study. Migrante is calling for a full scrapping of the charges.

"Migrante fully supports the workers' just demand for P125 wage increase, the removal of VAT on oil and the junking of the oil deregulation law," he said.

"We are determined to echo the Filipino people's just fight for economic survival under the exploitative Arroyo regime in theinternational stage," Martinez declared, adding that similar "Kanta-lampagin" protests are already in place here and abroad as part of the people's actions before Gloria's schedule State of the Nation Address.

For reference:
Garry Martinez, spokesperson
Migrante International
Tel. No.: 0921-7229740

No comments: