Thursday, February 5, 2009

P250-M OWWA fund to government's 'stimulus package' a double insertion

05 February 2009

P250-M OWWA fund to government's 'stimulus package' a double insertion

Migrante International today staged a protest in front of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) building to criticize the seemingly 'double budgeting' of the Arroyo administration for its economic stimulus package.

"We smell something fishy with this stimulus package. And as usual, they are targeting the funds of OWWA, which belong to us OFWs," Migrante Chairperson Garry Martinez said.

Martinez pointed out that the allocation from the stimulus fund will only create double budgeting for programs which already exists. He presented the case of the P250 million allocated from the fund of the OWWA which President Arroyo signed under Admistrative Order 248.

President Arroyo signed A.O. 248 last December 4 for OWWA to contribute 250 million to the stimulus package. The said amount was supposed to finance the program of OWWA which in fact, has been part of the agency's annual budget since 1986.

"This program is not new. The president is deceiving OFWs when she presented this so- called package. It's the duty of the OWWA," he said.

He added Malacanang can now easily pocket the said 250 million while OWWA will just continue to utilize the original allotted budget for the said program. The President had already raided the OFW fund during her campaign in the last 2004 election, and she will probably do it again on this coming 2010 election!" exclaims Martinez.

The group was pertaining to the 540 million OWWA funds that were transferred to PhilHealth during the 2004 presidential election. PhilHealth insurance cards were distributed for free during President Arroyo's campaign sorties.

Martinez distrust the economic stimulus fund of the present administration saying this would be another source of corruption to finance alleged plan of President Arroyo to perpetuate itself into power beyond 2010.

"How can we trust a corrupt ridden administration which has installed itself into power due to electoral fraud? P330 billion is more than enough to railroad President Arroyo's charter change, to finance a possible coup-de-etat or another electoral fraud," he explains.

"Enough is enough! We will not let the hard earned contributions of innocent OFWs be utilized again to finance the diabolical plans of the Arroyo administration. We will mobilize our chapters abroad to protest against this corrupt stimulus fund of President Arroyo," Martinez ended.###

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