Thursday, January 29, 2009

"Where are the jobs?"

Press Release
29 January 2009

"Where are the jobs?" - OFWs group asked DoLE Chief

"Where are the jobs?", thus today asked by an alliance of overseas Filipino workers in the Middle East to the Department of Labor and Employment that was quoted saying yesterday that there are plenty of jobs available for Filipino workers in the Philippines.

"The Labor department really does not know what it is talking about available jobs in the Philippines. Worst, Labor Sec. Roque reasoned out that most Filipino workers do not have the required skills, thus chances are they could not be hired," said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.

Monterona opined given the skills of our Filipino workers are not matching with what are required by hiring companies, it is but secondary reason why our workers could not land a job locally. "Scarcity of local jobs being the primary", he added.

"It is precisely the very reason why the government has institutionalized technical education and skills development through the creation of TESDA and other similar agencies run by the government – to provide the necessary trainings and skills for our workers for them to land a job," Monterona added.

Monterona said the Labor department could not simply put aside the increasing numbers of unemployed reaching now to an estimated numbers of 2.6-M Filipinos.

"Why there is 2.6-M unemployed if there are plenty of available jobs in the Philippines as what the Labor department is saying?" Monterona queried.

The OFW leader said the increasing numbers of workers who were forced to accept jobs abroad is an indication the Arroyo administration failed to create jobs locally.

"The 1.38-M OFWs deployed last year is a living proof of the Arroyo administration's inability to create jobs locally with decent pay and benefits accorded to our workers," Monterona averred.

Monterona further said Mrs. Arroyo's failure led her and her economic team to refocuses the main trust of her government to massively sell out the unemployed to work abroad.

"Deployment of overseas workers is not objectionable per see, but doing it in a massive scale having now 10% of our nation's population abroad because of the government's failure to create jobs locally and because of its fiscal aim to earn huge amount of money out of OFWs remittances and state exactions leaving behind the welfare and protection of OFWs well-being, is not good at all, objectionable, and condemnable!," Monterona added.

Monterona said the billions of OFWs remittances are like "manna in heaven", but the absence of a clear vision and independent progressive economic program of the Arroyo administration how to utilize this huge amount for the benefits of our country is not at all revealing and outstanding.

The Filipino people are now wary and discontented because of the left and right, rampant graft and corruption charges against the Arroyo administration at all level of governments, and almost all government agencies are besieged with several corruption and bribery charges.

"That's why the people are ever suspicious on the billions stimulus economic package proposed by the Arroyo administration because the people are well-aware of its graft and corruption records most especially that 2010 elections is near to come," Monterona added.

On their part, the OFW leader said Migrante chapters around the world along with their families will be vigilant to protect the OWWA funds, a compulsory collection of US$25 to every departing OFW, held in trust to the government.

Migrante-ME urges fellow OFWs around the world along with their families back home to hold our tight watch on the Arroyo administration as it is like "Ali Baba". # # #

Note: "Ali Baba", a fictional poor woodcutter who entered the cave of the forty thieves by means of the magic words "Open Sesame" that connotes trickery, ploy or maneuver.

For reference:
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante Middle East regional coordinator
Mobile No.: 00966 564 97 8012

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