Monday, March 30, 2009

Migrante Slams Racial Slur

30 March 2009


The largest umbrella alliance of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) groups’ worldwide expressed outrage over a racist article published in the Hong Kong Magazine online on March 27 depicting the Philippines as a “nation of servants” and demanded a public apology for the racial slur from the writer and from the magazine where the article appeared.

Migrante also demanded for an immediate pull-out of the said magazine issue from the shelves and online and called for the government to declare Mr. Tsao “persona non grata.”

“The article written by Mr. Chip Tsao smacks of unqualified racial bias that vilifies the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos in Hong Kong and puts them in danger of persecution and harm. We demand no less than a public apology from Mr. Tsao and from the Hong Kong Magazine for allowing this bigoted garbage to appear on its pages,” stated Gina Esguerra, Secretary-General of Migrante International.

On March 27, 2009, the article “War At Home” appeared on the pages of the Hong Kong Magazine and on its online site. Mr. Tsao wrote: “The reason: there are more than 130,000 Filipina maids working as $3,580-a-month cheap labor in Hong Kong. As a nation of servants, you don’t flex your muscles at your master, from whom you earn most of your bread and butter.”

Tsao, in his article, even went to the extent of suggesting holding Filipina domestic helpers in HK as “hostages” should RP-China hostilities break out over the Spratly issue and that a “state of emergency” has in fact been declared in some of HK homes. He said Filipinas under their employ are made to shout “China, Madam/Sir” loudly every time they hear the word “Spratly.”

“Mr. Tsao’s diatribes is indeed a cause for alarm for overseas Filipinos and their families especially in this time of intensifying global financial crisis where bigotry and racial intolerance are customarily whipped up by host governments in a desperate attempt to evade responsibility on the crisis and to use the army of migrant workers as their convenient scapegoats,” stressed Esguerra.

“We are thus urging the Philippine government not to take this latest slap on our national dignity sitting down. We are also holding this government doubly accountable for its labor export policy that has sold our brightest minds as cheap commodities to foreign employers,” concluded Esguerra. ###

Gina Esguerra,
Secretary General, 09058361412

Don’t waste taxpayer’s money

Press Release
30 March 2009

Migrant group to pro-charter change Congressmen:
“Don’t waste taxpayer’s money, spend time crafting sound laws”

An alliance of overseas Filipino workers’ organizations in the Middle East today convey their message to pro-administration Congressmen and proponents of Charter change not to waste their time and especially the tax payer’s money by using the resources of the government for pushing hard the amendment of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

“For now, any attempt to introduced amendment in the Philippine Constitution is an exercise in futility, just a waste of the government resources and a waste of time instead of spending it in crafting sound laws,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.

The largest OFWs organizations’ alliance in the Middle East said the people and other sectors of the society have already spoken and registered their opposition in amending the Philippine Constitution just as what revealed in the recent survey conducted by IBON Research Foundation.

Monterona said the majority of the Filipinos are relatively aware of the issue, what are its pros and cons, who are the people behind the move, and the motives of these people who are actually pro-administration Congressmen.

“Even OFWs and their families abroad are likewise comparatively aware on local issues who are now keen on watching any development in the country through available tri-media outlets and access in the internets most especially in the political realm; and such awareness led them to create sound public opinion,” Monterona added.

Monterona said with just more than a year approaching the 2010 national and local elections, Migrante members and OFWs in the Middle East are of the opinion that those who are pushing hard to amend the Constitution- the pro-administration Congressmen, especially through Constituent Assembly have only one agenda in common –that is the lifting of term limits in facade of amending the economic provisions of the Constitution which their boss in Malacanang is luring for.

Migrante-ME said House Speaker Nograles is now feeling the pressure from Malacanang who is instrumental for his present occupancy as Speaker.

“House Speaker Nograles is obviously on the hot seat, which would explain why he is reported to file a resolution once session resumes calling for Constituent Assembly that would pave the way in amending the Constitution,” Monterona opined.

Monterona further said failure to do so would put Speaker Nograles political carrier at much risk like what happened to his predecessor, former Speaker Jose De Venecia Jr.

“Nograles and the rest of the pro-administration Congressmen are already marked by OFWs and their families among those with “tainted” public service records, thus they all don’t deserve a vote in the upcoming elections if they will run for re-election or other public office,” Monterona added.

“That’s why we are campaigning hard for the registration of fellow OFWs as absentee voters making OFWs vote as a powerful swing vote playing a big role in who will wins and loses in the elections, while the almost 10-M OFWs have strong influence over their families and relatives back home turning a commanding vote which could send a politician in office whether in national or local positions,” Monterona ended. # # #

For reference:
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-ME regional coordinator
Mobile Phone: 00966 564 978 012

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Free without assistance

Press Release
25 March 2009

Staying almost a year in Saudi jail without a crime committed,
accused OFW now a freeman sans any assistance from RP post

An alliance of overseas Filipino workers’ organizations in the Middle East today said an accused OFW who has spent 8 months in jail in Abha, Saudi Arabia for a crime he did not actually committed was freed last Sunday, March 22.

“OFW Eddie C. Javier was released from prison last Sunday, March 22 as per the information we have received from our Migrante chapter in Jeddah,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.

OFW Javier was sent to jail September of last year after the family of a Saudi national who has accidentally hit the company car driven by OFW Javier that is parking at the work site when the accident happened. The driver died but his family wrongly pointed Javier as the culprit, who is just standing besides the company car he used to drive.

On the day the accident occured, OFW Javier was sent to jail for investigation. Police officers said he would stay in jail until the investigation will be completed; but month had passed he remains still in prison prompting his employer to abandon him.

Monterona said Mary Jane Javier, the wife of Eddie, who is also a former OFW working in Taiwan, had sought Migrante’s assistance.

The family of driver asked a blood money from OFW Eddie Javier amounting to SR. 97,000 (more or less equivalent to PhP 1,260,000) so that OFW Javier could be freed from prison.

“Mrs. Javier along with Migrante staff in the Philippines went to DFA’s Assistance to the Nationals section to seek for assistance but was only told it will refer the case to the attention of the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia,” Monterona added.

Monterona said December of last year, Migrante chapter in Jeddah has endorsed and sought the assistance of PCG to provide lawyer for OFW Javier since he is innocent of the crime charged against him; until the family of the driver had asked OFW Javier for the blood money in exchange of his release from prison.

Monterona said OFW Javier is still fortunate because there is an Islamic organization that got knowledge of his predicament and believing that he is innocent, had raise and contributed an amount of SR. 75,000 to pay for the blood money asked by the driver’s family.

“Not only that, since the amount contributed by an Islamic Organization is still short of thousands more, Saudi Police officers of the prison where OFW Javier is jailed have initiated a solicitation among themselves and raised SR. 15,000 as their kind contribution to OFW Javier for the payment of the blood money,” Monterona added.

Last January 2009, the amount collected is SR. 90,000, which is short of SR. 7,000 from the amount of the blood money asked by the family.

“But again, generous people don’t want to see OFW Javier to remain in jail for 8 months already for a crime he did not commit, an additional contribution was raised initiated again by Saudi police officers that eventually reached the required amount of SR. 97,000,” Monterona added.

“Then, last Sunday we got the information that OFW Javier was released from prison as he had already paid the required blood money asked by the family of the Saudi national whose car accidentally hit the company car usually driven by OFW Javier,” Monterona added.

Monterona said like the police in Philippine action movies that usually arrived late for a rescue, Vice Consul Leo Ausan went to the jail of OFW Javier only to be surprised that he could not find the latter because it was already released in prison.

“This would explain how illogical and neglectful the Arroyo regime is-- that instead of sending more legal attaché to provide assistance to the like of OFW Javier and many innocent OFWs who are languishing in jails, two police officers were recently deployed by the Arroyo regime, to provide assistance or rescue OFWs only after the accident or incident had just happened? I doubt if the Police attaché deployed could rescue OFWs maltreated and abused by their employer.” Monterona added.

Migrante chapters in the Kingdom would like to extend its sincerest thanks to the Islamic organization and Police officers who have contributed said amount; without their generosity OFW Eddie Javier would not be released and would still be in prison.

Migrante officers in Jeddah have set to meet OFW Eddie Javier in the coming days.

For reference:
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-ME regional coordinator
Mobile Phone: 00966 564 978 012

Monday, March 23, 2009

Heavy Cross: Direct Hiring Ban


22 March 2009

For reference: Dolores Balladares-Pelaez
Tel. No.: (852) 97409406

Ban on Direct-Hiring,
a heavy cross on the shoulders of OFWs

HK maids march against pro-recruitment agency policies of Arroyo government

“As the Lenten season comes near, we ask the Arroyo government to unburden us of the heavy cross on our shoulders in the form of the ban on direct hiring and other anti-OFW policies.”

This was declared by Dolores Balladares-Pelaez, chairperson of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK) and convenor of the SKRAP the Ban coalition*, as they trooped to the Philippine Consulate General office Sunday, 22nd of March this year.

Carrying a ten-meter cloth bearing signatures and calls from different leaders of many OFW groups, alliances, church organizations and individuals, the Filipino migrants marched displaying their disgruntlement with the Arroyo government’s pro-recruitment agency policies.

“For a long time, the Arroyo administration has remained deaf and dumb to the cries of thousands of OFWs who have been victimized by recruitment agencies through overcharging and illegal fees. Instead of penalizing these unscrupulous recruiters, it rewarded them with the recent ban on direct hiring and the continuing implementation of the 2007 POEA Guidelines both of which license them to collect excessive fees through mandatory training and assessment,” she asserted.

More than 11,000 signatures against the ban on direct hiring have been gathered and submitted to the PCG on February 8 this year with no response since from either the DOLE or Malacanang. To make matters worse, HK Labour Attaché Salud publicly defended the memorandum and presented conflicting statements on this, according to the SKRAP convenors.

To stress the call for the scrapping of the said memorandum issued by DOLE at the start of this year, Balladares-Pelaez remarked, “Overcharging of recruitment fees and the lack of government protection and services are the widespread and serious problems we are facing, not direct hiring. Direct hiring is in fact the only recourse we have to get saved from overcharging of greedy recruiters.”

Balladares-Pelaez also lambasted the “conciliation” process that the PCG-HK uses to resolve disputes on overcharging by unscrupulous recruitment agencies.

“We also vehemently condemn the PCG hands-on conciliation policy which clearly favors crooked recruitment agencies. Promoting settlement with the recruitment agency through the conciliation process is tantamount to legalizing the extortion of fees by unscrupulous recruiters. In short, this scheme clears unscrupulous recruitment agencies from any crime and will not face any prosecution,” she added.

The SKRAP the Ban coalition also stated that the sins of the GMA administration to the Filipino overseas workers are endless.

While being ensured of profits from recruitment agencies, GMA has no responsibility and accountability on the Filipinos she exports abroad, according to the group.

“Without doubt, this administration holds the worst record of criminal neglect and extortion to OFWs,” the group said.

They condemned the recent misallocation of 1 billion from OWWA and SSS funds as part of GMA’s stimulus package, the transfer of OWWA Medicare funds to the PhilHealth before the 2004 elections, and depriving OFWs of financial and livelihood assistance through the OWWA Omnibus Policies.

“It is so easy for this government to make funds available for their own agenda but when we ask for services and financial assistance, the usual response is ‘no funds available’,” the coalition members lamented.

Most ironic of all, while thousands of OFWs are being retrenched and sent home from countries around the world because of the global recession, the Arroyo administration remains apathetic to their miseries. Instead of providing economic relief, GMA stubbornly signed AO 247 to market Filipinos in 200 countries with a target of two million OFWs deployed, according to the group.

SKRAP vowed to make GMA pay for her criminal neglect, denial of services and lack of protection especially for OFWs urgently in need.

“We will intensify our efforts and strengthen our ranks while this criminally neglectful government enforces anti-migrant policies with impunity,” Balladares-Pelaez concluded.

* SKRAP the Ban coalition is Samahan Laban sa Katiwalian ng mge Recruitment Agencies at Patakarang Ban sa Direct Hiring. It is a broad coalition of OFW groups in HK which includes many OFW organizations, alliances and church congregations.

The Secretariat
United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)
2/F., New Hall, St. John's Cathedral,
4 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong SAR
Tel. (852) 31562447 Fax. (852) 25262894

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Migrante raises alarm

Migrante raises alarm over deployment of Police Attache in KSA:

The largest organization of Filipino migrants organization worldwide denounced the move of the Arroyo government to deploy police attaches to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The attaches, who allegedly belong to the Intelligence Unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP), were purportedly sent to combat transnational crimes.

“This deployment is of serious concern to us, especially in the light of escalating attacks against those raising human rights issues against the Arroyo government!,” exclaimed Garry Martinez, chairperson of Migrante International. “We fear that this as an omen that migrant workers, critical of Malacanang’s intensified labor export policy, could be the next target of Arroyo’s brand of state terror.”

The Migrante leader cited the recent wave of extra-judicial killings in Mindanao where members of organizations tagged as “destabilizers of government” were targets.

Martinez continued, “We should bear in mind that Migrante has been labeled by the Arroyo regime, in their infamous video production of ‘Know your enemy’, as one of the “enemies” of the government. Organizations included in that specific video became targets of police brutality, forced disappearances, illegal arrests and torture and exta-judicial killings.”

“It is no secret that our Migrante chapters in the Middle East have been active in raising issues of migrants’ rights violations, not only in the KSA, but elsewhere in the Middle East. These chapters have also been relentless in engaging Philippine embassies and the Arroyo regime for its criminal neglect of OFWs in their part of the world.”

Other migrant advocates such as the Asia-Pacific Mission for Migrants and Migrante’s Middle-East chapter in the KSA has also questioned the deployment.

“Why send police officers steeped in intelligence work to Saudi Arabia, when crimes in the Philippines remain unsolved; when OFWs in the KSA desperately need lawyers, not police officers?” Martinez queried.

Martinez called on its chapter in the Middle-East to be vigilant and immediately report any increased and untoward police activity committed against its members. Migrante also reiterated Migrante-ME’s call to have this deployment investigated by Congress, including the funds being used for this deployment. ###

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Press Statement
19 March 2009

Migrante asks
What's a Police Officer and an assistant doing in Saudi Arabia?

Thus, asks today by an alliance of overseas Filipino Workers organizations in the Middle East upon learning that there are two (2) Police officers deployed by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

On March 4, 2009, the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh had announced that the Philippine government had deployed two Police Attache in Saudi Arabia which was posted on its web site (

Its statement said “x x x the Philippine government officials to assign him in the Kingdom in order to represent the PNP and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on matters pertaining to police functions.”

Philippine Embassy in Riyadh is referring to P/SSupt. Jimmy L. Manabat, as Police Attache, and SPO4 Wendel D. Vergara, as administrative assistant to the former. The two Police officers arrived on 24 February 2009 and paid a courtesy call to Ambassador Antonio P. Villamor the following day, the statement said.

Migrante chapters in the Middle East along with OFWs and their families especially those charged and with pending cases in the Kingdom and neighboring countries are long calling for the deployment of Legal attaché to provide legal assistance they needed, but instead the Arroyo administration through the DILG and the PNP have sent two Police officers purportedly to perform its police functions.

Migrante-ME queried what police matters the 2 Police officers would perform. Is there a threat to national security or to Filipino community here in Saudi Arabia? We don’t see any reason why the Arroyo administration had sent police attaché in the Kingdom, instead of sending legal attaché that would be of assistance to OFWs with pending cases, it added.

Migrante-ME said the Kingdom is the most peaceful place to live in the Middle East considering that it recorded the least crimes occurred compared to other neighboring countries, and considering the tight internal security measures being implemented by the Saudi authorities, thus the deployment of Police attaché is uncalled for, unless the Arroyo regime is now treating progressive OFWs groups like Migrante and its member-organization as a ‘threat’ to national security.

If being active and at the forefront of defending and upholding OFWs rights and welfare is now considered a ‘threat’ to national security and now a matter of police concerns, the Arroyo administration and its national security officials are totally wrong and probably misinformed and misled.

The OFWs alliance said the deployment of Police attaché will only creates an alarm and unfavorable impressions among OFWs and the entire Filipino community as it does not have clear functions to perform and most of all it does not justify its presence in the most peaceful place in the Middle East.

OFWs don’t think that the DILG and the PNP, by deploying its two Police officers, could perform police functions in a foreign land, which is out of its jurisdiction. All they could do is gather intelligence information related to counter-insurgency; but there is no insurgency problem in the Kingdom, it added.

Migrante-ME said the deployment of Police attaché by the Arroyo regime only signifies throwing its iron hand of continued political repression and persecution even abroad aimed of vilifying progressive OFW organizations like Migrante and its member-organizations which are at the forefront and actively defending and upholding OFWs rights and welfare.

Migrante-ME is urging Philippine Embassy officials in Riyadh to deeply think the repercussions of the deployment of Police attaché to the entire Filipino community in the Kingdom.

Migrante-ME is also urging the members of the Senate and House of Representatives’ respective Committee on Labor and OFWs concerns to conduct an investigation, in aid of legislation, pertaining to said deployment of Police attaché instead of legal attaché that could provide legal assistance to OFWs with pending charges and in jail. (end)

Police Attaché in KSA

Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM)
19 March 2009

Is Police Attaché in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
More Important then Legal Experts?

It was reported in the website of the Philippine Embassy to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) that the Philippine Government has recently deployed a Police Attaché there together with an Administrative Assistant to combat transnational crime. May we ask, is this more important than deploying more legal experts/lawyers to the KSA to assist the numerous cases of stranded workers, abuses and those imprisoned?

P/SSupt. Jimmy L. Manabat arrived in the Kingdom on February 24, together with SPO4 Wendel D. Vergara. The Intelligence Group of the PNP is the unit that posts and manages police attachés and staff for foreign intelligence operations. It defines its mission as performing intelligence and counter-intelligence operations directed against individuals or organized groups engaged in subversion, insurgency and other forms of activities that are considered threats to national security. It builds intelligence networks against security threat groups and criminally.

Earlier on February 3, Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo filed House Bill 5657 that would want to expand the scope and upgrade the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) program to provide full legal assistance to migrant workers and overseas Filipinos in distress especially in the Middle East. One of the provisions of the bill is to deploy Legal Attachés to all Middle Eastern countries. Apparently this bill has not yet been acted upon.

From any angle legal attachés are more important than a police attaché especially in KSA. The government should also be taken to task and explain why there is a police attaché there given that this is directly under the guidance of the Intelligence Group of the PNP.

We are thus urging the Senate and Congress especially its labor and OFWs committees respectively to conduct in aid of investigation, if there is really a need to deploy a Police attaché, instead of Legal Experts to the KSA. It is a known fact that there are OFWs charged with crimes in the Kingdom but the government failed to provide any legal assistance to them like hiring a lawyer for their defense.

This investigation will challenge as to what will be the functions of a deployed Police attaché, and why only it has deployed them in Saudi, not in other Middle Eastern countries? Is Saudi now a haven for transnational criminals?

Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM)
G/F, No.2 Jordan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR

Tel. no.: (852) 2723-7536
Fax no.: (852) 2735-4559
General E-mail:

Other Email Addresses:
Managing Director : /
Advocacy Program : /
Research and Publication: /
Women's Program : /


"We dream of a society where families are not broken up by the urgent need for survival.
We dream and will actively work for a homeland where there is opportunity for everyone to live a decent and humane life."

Monday, March 16, 2009

14 Years since Flor Contemplacion

Press Statement
March 16, 2009

14 Years since Flor Contemplacion’s Death
OFWs remain marginalized and neglected despite hail as ‘Modern Heroes’;
OFWs vow to resolutely advance, defend migrant workers rights and welfare

(A Joint Statement by Migrante Chapters and member-organization s in the Middle East commemorating the 14th year death anniversary of Flor Contemplacion, a domestic helper from Laguna who was hanged to death in Singapore)

Migrante, OFWs and their families are aptly commemorating every 17th of March every year the death of Flor Contemplacion. March 17 is considered a significant historical event depicting the real plight of overseas Filipino workers that undeniably continue to worsen due to Arroyo’s administration’ s neglect and unparalleled disservice to OFWs despite being hailed as ‘Modern Heroes’.

Migrant workers’ contribution in keeping the local economy afloat can’t be denied as their remittances keep on hitting new record of US$ 16.8-B last year that greatly contributed to our country’s dollar reserves; that makes OFWs ‘Modern Heroes’ into the eyes and minds of the past administrations including the present most-corrupt and most anti-OFW Arroyo administration.

Calling OFWs as “Modern Heroes” does not make sense to OFWs and families where the present Arroyo administration continuously neglecting and committing disservice to OFWs by not formulating genuine policies and programs that would advance and protect OFWs rights and welfare.

What OFWs and their families got from the Arroyo administration are anti-OFW policies such as the implementation of a codified OWWA Omnibus policies that phased out almost all welfare programs previously availed by OFWs and families including the Family loan assistance; the MC-04 prescribing rules on direct hiring that was challenged by Migrante, OFWs and families; the guidelines on Land-based recruitment and Household service Workers (HSWs) placing OFWs and aspiring alike at the hands of unscrupulous recruitment agencies collecting from OFWs higher fees amounting to P35thousand – P45 thousand each and other additional payments.”

The Arroyo administration failed to develop our local economy that would absorb the increasing numbers of unemployed whose only option now is to find work abroad; it has intensified its labor export program sending some 3,300 daily Filipino workers abroad and is targeting to send 2-M OFWs yearly; and to ensure intensified labor export, it issued Administrative Order No. 247 ordering POEA to focus on marketing and finding markets for OFWs and have allotted an increased budget of nearly P500,000for its marketing activities in its effort to boost exporting cheap labor abroad.

Intensified Labor Export at OFWs Expense

So long as this present administration remains to be subservient to the US-dictated policies of globalization, liberalization, and privatization as opposed to Nationalization of basic Industries and implementation of genuine agrarian reform, it will miserably fail to develop our local economy and can’t get out of this vicious cycle of economic reliance on foreign loans and labor export at the expense of our Overseas Filipino Workers.

We kept on saying that migrant workers are not commodities but humans whose rights should be respected and guarded and our welfare should be given foremost importance and consideration by our own government first, setting an example to the host receiving governments.

But the numerous cases of distressed OFWs due to maltreatment, unfair labor practices, and sexual abuses; the recorded 10 mysterious deaths of OFWs in the Middle East early this year, the increasing numbers of runaways at Khandera Bridge in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and Philippine Consulate now numbering to more than 250; the reported 300 OFWs in Libya living and working under harsh conditions; the increasing numbers of jailed OFWs including the 7 OFWs jailed in Maldives and the 26 OFWs facing death in the Middle East; all these tell us one thing: Arroyo administration’s gross disregard to protect OFWs, and this is tantamount to criminal neglect!

Misuse of OWWA Fund

OWWA fund is a trust fund, the Arroyo administration has attempted and it succeeded to a few to divert the use of these funds in a form of investments and creation of task forces presumably to help distressed OFWs abroad during emergency situation and war for OFWs immediate evacuations.

Migrante’s records revealed some of the alleged anomalous investments and misuse of OFW funds under Arroyo administration:

  • Transfer of P4B OFW Medicare Fund from OWWA to Philippine Health and Insurance Corporation by virtue of a secret issuance of Executive Order 182 devoid of consultations from OFWs as stakeholders of these funds

  • The P260M bogus claims exposed by then OWWA Administrator Virgilio Angelo himself just to justify OWWA Medicare fund transfer to Philhealth under the present Arroyo Administration

  • The un-audited US$293,500 for the Middle East Preparedness Team headed by General Roy Cimatu during the US war of aggression to Iraq where repatriation of OFWs never took placed anyway under the present Arroyo administration.

  • POEA’s alleged illegally granting of P40 million incentives and allowances to its officials and employees for the past three years since 2002 and allowing its Executives and employees who were issued mobile phones to download about P796,000.00 worth of games, tones and picture messages and other unauthorized items.

  • Misallocation of P1-B OWWA funds to its bogus Filipino Expatriate livelihood support program through the issuance of Administrative Order No. 248
The Arroyo regime, not contented to misuse of the OFWs P10-B fund at OWWA, has successfully secure overpriced deals of government projects such as the anomalous ZTE broadband project and the alleged South Rail Project and the controversial sell out of Philippine through the signing of a new baseline law recently by Mrs. Arroyo, not to mention the regime’s desperately pushing Charter change to omit the economic protectionist provision of the constitution but also to attempt to lift the term limits of elected officials including the presidency in her bid to remain in power beyond 2010.

OFWs and families at the forefront of defending their rights and welfare Migrante’s file of the Arroyo administration ‘sins’ to OFWs and families are becoming populated; but OFWs and families will not allow to inflict more injustice and disservice by the Arroyo regime.

We will also intensify our campaign urging fellow OFWs to join us in various forms of protests to show our disgusts and discontent to the most anti-OFW Arroyo regime.

As we commemorate the 14th year death anniversary of Flor Contemplacion who symbolizes OFWs persistent struggle to advance forward its welfare and protect OFWs rights, Migrante chapters and member-organization s in the Middle East vow to reach out more OFWs and families for them to be organized and closely join with the other sectors-- farmers, workers, professionals, government employees, students, laymen and Church workers, and all together will be persistent in calling for Mrs. Arroyo resignation so that a more democratic, with genuine people’s representation, pro-people post-Arroyo government could be immediately established.

# # #

This Joint statement is issued by Migrante Middle East Chapters and Member-Organizations, namely:
Migrante-Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan-Migrante- Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Migrante-United Arab Emirates
Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan-Migrante- Al Jouf, Saudi Arabia
Migrante-Dawadmi (KSA) organizing committee
Migrante-Eastern Region (KSA) organizing committee

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Job Fairs: useless, misleading

Mar 15, 2009

Job Fairs are useless and only mislead hapless workers

Anakpawis members held a “Jobless Fair” this morning at the busy Commonwealth Avenue and Litex Road in Quezon City to slam what they call “useless and misleading” job fairs spearheaded by the Department of Labor and Employment and local government units to earn “pogi points” rather than resolving the issues of illegal retrenchments, contractualization and equitable job opportunities.

“DOLE should stop fooling thousands of already miserable job seekers from fresh graduates, retrenched workers and returning OFWs through its public relations gimmick called Job Fairs,” said Anakpawis Secretary-General Cherry Clemente.

“Results of these job fairs are dismal. Only an average of less than 200 jobs is filled up vis-a-vis thousands of applicants queuing for long hours and has even come from far provinces only to be told that they are not qualified.”

Malacañang earlier reasoned that there is a “job mismatch” which means that the labor force do not qualify to available job opportunities. Clemente said that this is a fashionable scapegoat concocted by DOLE and other so-called experts to cover the incompetence of Malacañang in addressing the roots of the problem. To illustrate this, Anakpawis brought a matching type visual, showcasing a mismatch on the persons working as MMDA chief, ombudsman, DOJ secretary and most especially the President.

Anakpawis cited that the high unemployment rate is caused by the dependent, neo-colonial, export-oriented and import dependent character of our economy. This rising and continuing unemployment, they said, is further intensified due to the global economic crisis experienced by the major economies where the country is hooked-up for centuries. “Our dependence tied us to perennial rising unemployment, trade and budgetary deficits, indebtedness and backwardness”

What should be our economic goals?

“Left and right job fairs will not solve the problem. This will only aggravate the suffering of the masses who are most hit by the onslaught of the crisis of the world capitalist system. Nor will exportation of labor or entry of foreign direct investments absorb the huge joblessness in the country. What the country needs now is a radical policy shift. It is time to define our own national goal and establish a self-sufficient economy that is based on meeting the needs of the people not the profiteering of a powerful few.”

“We must build our national industries to create millions of internally generated jobs. We must free our lands from the control of a handfull of big landowners and foreign big business to liberate our landless peasants and address social inequalities. These should be our national goals in order to affect lasting change.” # # #

OAV registration in Mideast

Press Release
15 March 2009

Delayed and unfavorable registration timings hampering OAV registration
in some RP posts in the Middle East

An alliance of overseas Filipino workers organizations in the Middle East today said the delayed and unfavorable registration timings set out by some RP posts in the Middle East are reasons for the low turnout of OAV registrants.

“How could we expect the OAV registration would result to be good in the Middle East when in fact some of RP posts have just open up the registration few week backs and set up an unfavorable registration timings,?” thus queried by John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.

Monterona said they have known that only 1,649 new Filipinos have so far registered in the oil-rich region as at March 13, 2009.

“There are nearly 1.5-M OFWs in the entire Middle East region, and yet there are only a thousand more who have registered for the OAV so far; but it’s no surprise to us for the reason that some RP posts have just open up the registration few weeks back,” Monterona said.

Monterona cited for instance the Philippine Embassy in Qatar had just announced the start of registration on March 5, 2009, while the Philippine Consulate office in Dubai-UAE had started only last February 17; few weeks delayed from the re-scheduled start of OAV registration on 1st February by virtue of COMELEC resolution.

“The OAV registration was shortened by virtue of COMELEC Resolution issued last year; it is originally schedule to start on December 2008 but was re-scheduled to start on February 1, 2009 to end on August 2009; meaning from the original duration of nine (9) months, OAV registration was shortened to seven (7) months; then again some RP posts delayed its actual opening of registration,” Monterona explained.

“The late opening of registration by some RP posts in the Middle East is coupled with registration timings which are not favorable to OFWs who are working 6 days a week, with only Fridays as their day off,” Monterona added.

Monterona said both RP posts in Doha and in Dubai announced the OAV registration would start at 8a.m. to 5p.m. from Sundays to Thursdays to end on 31st August 2009.

“These posts failed to take into consideration that Fridays, as the official non-working holiday in most of Middle Eastern countries, when fellow OFWs normally have a freer time as this is their day off, thus they could go to their respective embassies and consular offices for registration,” Monterona said.

Monterona averred if RP Consular mission in Jeddah and the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh were able to extend the OAV registration during Fridays, we could see no reason as well for the Philippine Embassy in Doha and PCG in Dubai not to do the same.

“We are urging the Philippine Embassy in Doha and PCG in Dubai to reconsider to extend the OAV registration timings from Sundays to Fridays, 8a.m. to 5p.m. considering during Fridays fellow OFWs are normally have freer time to come to the designated registration centers,” Monterona added.

Migrante-ME reiterates its call to all RP posts to consider putting up additional mobile registration centers, not only limited to the offices of Philippine Embassy, but as well as to POLO-OWWA offices where many have been observed to visit during Fridays, and in areas where there are large concentration of OFWs.

“We are urging the Philippine Embassy staff to conduct series of dialog, forum, and consultation among OFWs and their organizations during Fridays to intensify information dissemination about the on-going OAV registration,” Monterona added.

Migrante chapters in the Middle East, since the start of OAV registration, are continuously conducting dialog, forum and consultation among OFWs and their organizations, and distributing leaflets to encourage fellow OFWs to register.

“The conduct of OAV registration during Fridays and extending it until November 2009 is worth compensating so that millions of OFWs could not be disenfranchised and could exercise their right and obligation to vote. The OAV Secretariat, the DFA, and the COMELEC must consider these valid proposals,” Monterona ended. # # #

For reference:
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante Middle East regional coordinator,
Migrante Sectoral Party Vice-Chairperson
Mobile No.: 00966 564 97 8012



Nuon, kay ganda mong tingnan sa bawat kasayahan
Suot mong saya sayad na sa lupa't -'yo pang natatapakan
Balakang mo'y umaalindayog, sa tugtog ng gitarang kay tunog
Sa sayaw na tinikling, kay ganda-ganda mong panoorin
Mata ng madla sa 'yo'y nagkakaduling- duling.

Ngayon nga Maria, nasaan kana nga ba?
Dito sa 'yong bayang sinilangan 'di ka na makita
Sa magulong lungsod duon pala napadpad ka.
Saya mong suot na kay haba ngayon ay wala na
Suot mong tela'y kakampranggot
Daig mo pa ang bagong silang sa 'yong suot

Mata ng manonood sa pagtingin sa 'yo'y nagkakanda bilog-bilog.
Para ka ngang ahas sa posteng bakal nakapalupot
Bagong hunos ang balat kayat walang nakabalot
Mapanuksong tugtog,balakang mo'y umaalindayog
Kalalakiha'y sa laman mo'y hayok na hayok.

Nasaan ka na nga ba ngayon Maria Clara?
Balita'y nag abroad ka na
Sa Japan at Europe duon daw nag lalagi ka
Ikaw ba'y yumaman na't nakapag "tour "ka na?
Ako nga'y naging marino't napadpad sa lugar mo
Sa Osaka't - Kobe'y nag liwaliw ako

Ako'y nagulat ng makita ka,--duon pala'y nag o-"all d way" ka pa
Sa bilog na lamesa'y may Hapong kapareha ka.
Sa Amsterdam sa Europe, ay naroroon ka rin
Nasa loob ng iskaparateng salaming mabilog
Parang panindang pinag kakaguluhan ng mga lalaking
Hayuk na hayuk.

Pati ba naman sa Port Hartcourt, Cotonou at Apapa sa Afrika'y
naroroon ka
Sa mga itang kay lalaki'y napapasalaula ka
Sa Pakistan at Egypt ay naroroon ka rin

Hanggang sa Sweden na kay lamig ikaw ay nakita ko rin.
Bakit Mariang tiga-nayon naririyan ka?
Dati'y sa bukid, nagtatanim; Sa palengke'y nagtitinda
Ngayon nga'y nasa iba't-ibang lupalop ng daigdig na.

Hindi na nga gulay ang itinitinda mo ngayon
Katawan na kapalit ng konting dolyar na laging
hinihintay ni Juang Tamad sa maghapon.
Pagkatanggap nito'y sa mall na ang tuloy
Sila nga'y labis na nag- eenjoy.

Bakit Maria nag kaganito ka na?
Sa konting pera'y, dangal mo'y nawala na
Imahe mo sa daigdig ay sirang-sira na
Ito kaya'y maiibalik mo pa?


Akda ni Jaime E. Santillan,
Isang Migrante sa Riyadh,KSA

Rebelyn Pitao

Sunday, March 8, 2009

In memory of Rebelyn Pitao
on International Women's Day 2009

The news of the abduction, torture and killing of a 20-year-old teacher, Rebelyn Pitao, in the southern Philippines demonstrates just how low the regime of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has sunk.

Desperate to hang onto power, sensing a growing dissatisfaction with her rule among the Filipino people, and unable to come to grips with an armed liberation movement fighting for true justice and democracy, the Arroyo regime’s brutal military thugs have murdered another innocent civilian.

We are outraged and disgusted by this cowardly killing and point the finger directly at the Philippine President and the government. They are responsible, along with the government’s backers in Washington, Ottawa and other imperialist capitals.

When she left school in a tricycle cab on the evening of March 5, 2009, Rebelyn, the third child of Lencio Pitao, a guerrilla fighter in the New People’s Army wanted by the military, had no idea she would end up the next day a lifeless body in a creek having been raped and stabbed five times.

We imagine her smiling and laughing as she headed home for dinner in Bago Aplaya, Talomo, Davao City, before a white van blocked the way and two unidentified men, in full view of witnesses, shoved the young teacher, crying and shouting, into the vehicle.

After her daughter was abducted, Rebelyn’s mother appealed to the authorities saying her daughter is not involved with the armed option and revolutionary actions being undertaken by her father. When her appeal was unheeded and her daughter's body was found, she blamed the military for the atrocity since only they could have had a motive for abducting her daughter. It was only last June, 2008 that Rebelyn's uncle, Danilo, was also abducted and killed in Tagum City.

Luis Jalandoni, of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, likewise blamed the Arroyo government for the killing. In a statement, Jalandoni said, “We hold Mrs. Gloria Arroyo and Executive Secretary General Eduardo Ermita responsible for this dastardly violation of Rebelyn Pitao’s right to life.” Previously, the Special Rapporteur from the United Nations, Philip Alston, and the eminent judges of the Permanent People’s Tribunal also concluded that the Philippine military, the police and by extension their commander-in-chief, President Arroyo, are implicated in the hundreds of extra-judicial killings taking place in the Philippines.

Rebelyn's death came just before International Women’s Day, a reminder that women are not safe and cannot expect justice from the government of Philippine President Arroyo. When civilians can be snatched from their everyday routines and eliminated, when the perpetrators can act in total impunity, then something is terribly, terribly wrong.

We invite you to join the international campaign to put an end to the now almost 1000killings in the Philippines since 2001. The injustice and impunity must stop now.

Stop the killings in the Philippines!
Justice for Rebelyn Pitao!
Bring to justice immediately the perpetrators of the killings in the Philippines !

Philippine Solidarity Network Canada(with member groups in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Victoria)

for more information:
Centre d'appui aux Philippines - Centre for Philippine Concerns (CAP-CPC)
member - Philippine Solidarity Network Canada and Stop the Killings Network Canada
Tel: +1 514 342-2111

Centre d'appui aux Philippines / Centre for Philippine Concerns (CAP-CPC)
25 ans de solidarité / 25 years of solidarity
6420 Victoria Avenue, Suite #9,
Montréal, Québec, Canada
H3W 2S7
Tel: +1 514 342-2111

Member - International League of Peoples' Struggle / La ligue international de luttes des peuples (ILPS)
Associate member - International Migrants' Alliance / Alliance internationale des migrants (IMA)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

85 OFWs sent to Doha with fake contract

Press Release
11 March 2009

As Victims of Arroyo-sponsored human smuggling
85 OFWs sent to Doha with fake contract

An alliance of overseas Filipino workers’ organizations based in the Middle East today said there are an estimated 85 OFWs who were sent to Doha by a recruitment agency in the Philippines using fake employment contract.

“’One of the 85 OFWs working for Woolim Company has lodged a complaint to POLO-OWWA in Doha due to the inhumane treatment by their employer, forcing them to work for more than 8 hours a day, no day off, non payment of overtime work, and unjustified deductions on their salary who later found out that their employment contract is fake,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-ME regional coordinator.

Woolim Company is a Korean company serving as a sub-contractor for Hyundai Engineering on its RAPO project in Ras Laffan area that employs 160 workers; an estimated 85 OFWs are presently employed by Woolim Co.

Monterona said 16 of the 85 OFWs have sent him a copy of their signed letter address to the Labor Department of Qatar Ministry of Civil Affairs complaining on their deplorable working condition and the inhumane treatment by their employer.

“One of them had asked our Migrante chapter in Qatar for assistance; we have advised them to file an appropriate complaint first at the POLO-OWWA so that they too could give them assistance and proper representation once they have formally filed their case with Qatar Labor department,” Monterona added.

Monterona said the OFW complainant representing his other 84 companions, presented their case to Welfare Officer Hector Cruz in Doha showing to the latter videos taken from their camp site proving their deplorable condition. “The complainant likewise showed his overseas employment-related documents to the OWWA staff,” he added.

“Upon verification of his employment contract by the OWWA officer, it was found out his contract is fake,” Monterona added.

The OWWA officer said it is fake contract because it does not have the signature of the Philippine Overseas Labor Official in Qatar, though stamped on it is the POLO seal but it does not have an Arabic translation.

Most of the 85 OFWs were placed by Bataguenio Human Resources located at Ermita, Manila.

“Based on what WelOf Hector Cruz had found out that theirs is a fake employment contract, it is no doubt that the 85 OFWs hired by Woolim Company in Qatar are victims of human smuggling,” Monterona averred.

Monterona asked if the 85 OFWs are victims of human smuggling, who then are its human smugglers, victimizing poor people by imposing huge amount from them who were forced to look for a job abroad to earn a living for their struggling family back home.

“Bataguenio Human Resources must be investigated which we believed is in cahoots with some unscrupulous POEA officials, without the help of the latter it could not successfully fake OFWs employment contract,” Monterona added.

Migrante-ME said the Arroyo administration too must be investigated on its continued peddling of OFWs abroad with gross disregard to OFWs safety, security and welfare once they have sold out abroad.

Migrante-Middle East is calling OFWs and aspiring OFWs to be vigilant on Mrs. Arroyo’s jobs offers abroad through the POEA in cahoots with recruitment agencies that even resorted to faking OFWs deployment documents as what they are after is OFWs’ money, placement fees, processing fees and other charges impose to us during the processing of our deployment formalities.

“All together we must demand from the Arroyo administration to create jobs locally with decent pay, not to continuously sell our labor abroad as mere commodity because as migrants we are humans with rights and dignity to protect and uphold,” Monterona ended.

Reference: John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator
Mobile No.: 00966 564 978012

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Ni: Marcial Gonzales Abay Jr.

Di na natin makikita ang mga dati’y magagandang tanawin,
Maging sa lungsod hanggang sa mga lalawigan natin,
Pati kalinisan sa dagat at papawirin ay wala na rin,
Kabundukan at luntiang palayan ay naglaho na din.

Dating busilak na puso ng mga tao ay nagiging itim.
Naging masama at nawala ang pagiging madasalin.
Sa kapangyarihan at salapi ay maraming naging sakim.
Ang kinang ng ginto’t pilak ang sa kanya ay umaalipin.

Asan na mga kababaihan natin na tulad ni Maria Clara?
Bakit napalitan na ng imahe ni Maria Magdalena?
Dito sa sariling bayan lalong-lalo na sa bansa ng iba,
Nakakalungkot tignan, isipin natin kung bakit nagkaganun sila.

Asan na ang mga matitikas at masisipag nating kalalakihan?
Bakit katauhan ni Juan tamad ang makikita sa karamihan,
Asawang babae ang naghanapbuhay, lalaki’y nakatiwangwang,
Mga anak binayaan,nangibang bayan upang kahirapan ay maibsan.

Nasaan ka na butihing ama, na sa mga anak ay kumakalinga dapat,
Bakit dangal ng iyong mga anak at kinabukasan nila ay iyong winasak?
Asan ka tanging ina bakit iniwan mo mga supling niyo na umiiyak,
Dayuhang bata’y pinatatahan mo, luha nila’y ayaw mong pumatak.

Asan ka anak, na dapat gumigiya sa mga magulang na mahina na?
Bakit pinababayaan mo sila at halos ipagtatuwa mo pa sila.
Hindi mo ba naaalala nung maliit ka pa ni lamok ayaw padapuan ka,
Kapag nagdadalamhati ka, lagi silang nasa tabi mo’t dinadamayan ka.

Mga mamamayan nahan ka na din at bakit wala kang pakialam?
Pagpili ng mga lider bakit hindi mo pinaghusayan at pinagisipan.
Ninakaw ang karapatan, talino, at maging ang iyong kayamanan,
Bakit di ka magsalita, di makarinig o sadyang nagbubulag-bulagan?

Mga nasa gobyerno na dapat magsilbi sa tao ng maayos ay nahan?
Bakit napalitan ng mga magnanakaw at sinungaling ang karamihan?
Makaupo lamang sa puwesto ay handa na silang magpatayan,
Interes na pansarili at di paglilingkod ng tapat sa bayan ang nasa isipan.

Nasaan na din ang ipinagmamalaki nating mga Pilipino na “bayanihan”.
Bakit away at gulo ang pumalit hanggang humantong na sa patayan?
Luzon, Visayas at Mindanao pawing sigalot at barilan ang mababalitaan,
Mga kapatid na Pilipino’y pinapatay dahil sa idelohiyang pinaglalaban.

Nasaan na ang mga bayani na dapat ay siyang tagapagligtas natin?
Tagasalba sa mga oras na tayo inaabuso ng iba at ginagawang alipin,
Bakit ang tagasalba ngayong panahon ay tagapagsilbi na sa ibang lupain.
Kami ay yaong mga OFW’s na tinawag na bayani ang tunay na alipin.

Nasaan na rin tayo na sa wari ko’y nagiging mangmang at bobo?
Bakit nagpapaalipin, tinutulungan umasenso ang bansa ng mga Arabo?
Samantalang kelangan tayo ng ating bansa para umunlad ang lahing Pilipino. Ahh! Mabuti pa tuldukan ko na ito...

At masakit na rin pati ang ulo ko!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Tribute to Juana Tejada

Migrante Saudi expresses our deepest condolences to the family of the late Juana Tejada, a Filipina who was at the forefront of the struggle for migrants workers' rights in Canada, especially concerning its Live-In Caregiver Program. Juana's story is a beacon for OFWs all over the world to overcome the physical and personal problems (Juana is stricken with cancer) in the pursuit of migrant's democratic rights and welfare.

Rest in Peace now, Juana!

A.M. Ociones, Chairperson
Migrante KSA
(Migrante International - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Chapter)
Tel. No.: +966-56-679-3202

Statement of Migrante-Ontario
08 March 2009
Toronto, Canada

Juana Tejada 1969 to 2009

Friends learned late today, March 8 of the death of our beloved friend Juana Tejada. Migrante Ontario extends our condolences to her husband Noli and her sister Berna. At around 9PM Juana lost her final battle. She died of cancer.

We in Migrante Ontario met Juana Tejada through her lawyer Rafael Fabregas. She was fighting for her right to stay in Canada. Juana was a caregiver that came to Canada under the Live-in Caregiver Program. She finished the 24-month requirement and was eligible to apply for permanent residency. Her dream of permanently living in Canada was broken when, after going through a medical examination, she was denied her right to stay. She was diagnosed with cancer and was told that she would be a burden to the Canadian health care system.

We kickstarted a campaign along with other community groups and individuals to support her fight to stay in Canada.

“It has been determined that you meet the eligibility requirements to apply for permanent resident status as a Member of the Live-in Caregiver class,” read Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s decision letter dated July 17, 2008. This decision did not come easy.

Juana and her husband were put in a very difficult situation. They had to endure anxiety and emotional letdowns after her application was twice refused because she was diagnosed with terminal illness.

But despite frustrations, Juana remained persistent and confident. Through her lawyer, she challenged the previous decisions, and subsequently made an appeal on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

After her victory, she continued to advocate for the changes to the Live-in Caregiver program. Along with her lawyer, Migrante and other community groups, she pushed for the amendment of the immigration law, in particular, calling to amend section 38(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act immediately by adding members of the Live-in Caregiver Class to the list of applicants who should automatically be granted exemption from the “good health” requirement. This is known to most of us as The Juana Tejada Law.

Just two hours before her passing, around 15 of us held a prayer vigil at the Toronto General Hospital. We talked about her and the campaign that she started. “As we gather today to be one with Juana in the final stages of her battle with cancer, I cannot help but situate this battle in the context of the larger struggle against the cancer plaguing Philippine society – the cancer that is slowly killing our compatriots in the Philippines - the social cancer of poverty, landlessness, the absence or lack of jobs that pushed Juana Tejada to leave the Philippines in the first place,” said Ricky Esguerra of the Filipino Migrant Workers Movement.

Juana tirelessly campaigned until she was brought to the hospital. We were inspired by her courage and her commitment was contagious. We know only too well the importance of this campaign and the importance of her contribution to the fight to improve the lives of caregivers in Canada.

As we grieve the loss of our friend, we also commit to pick up where she left off and continue the fight that she started.

Rest in Peace Juana


Migrante-Ontario member organizations:
Filipino Migrant Workers Movement; AWARE; Philippine Advocacy Through Arts and Culture (PATAC); Damayan Migrant Education and Resource Center; Migrante Youth; Migrant Workers and Family Resource Center - Hamilton; Pilipinong Migrante sa Canada (PMSC) - Ottawa; Pilipinong Migrante sa Barrie (PMB) - Barrie


Ni: Marcial Gonzales Abay Jr,

Pilipinas! Ang ating bansang sinilangan, ang ating tahanan.
Ang sarap mabuhay dito, malaya, sagana sa kalikasan.
Ngunit bakit andito tayo sa mainit at malayong bayan?
Parang busabos na alipin ng ibang lahi kung ituring at utusan.

Habang ang gobyerno natin ay naghihikayat ng mga dayuhan,
Turismo itinutulak para bansang Pilipinas ay puntahan,
Tayo naman ay pinadadala sa labas para sa iba’y manilbihan.
Tama ba itong sistema o isang napakalaking katarantaduhan?

Noon tayo ay hinawakan ng ibang dayuhan sa sariling lupain,
Pilit na humulagpos, naghimagsik laban sa mga mapang-alipin.
Magmula sa mga lahing Malay, pumasok ang Espanyol sa atin,
Amerikano ang nagpalaya’t idineklara kasarinlan ng lahi natin.

Mga sakang na Hapones sumunod na sumakop sa ating bansa,
Maraming buhay ang kinitil puri’t dangal ang niyurakan nila,
Mga Amerikano’y sinagip uli tayo sa mga mapagsamantala.
Hanggang dumating ang araw, sa mga sakang tayo’y nakalaya.

Tunay nga kayang nakamit na natin ang ating independensiya?
Nakahulagpos na nga kaya tayo sa pagkakagapos sa tanikala?
Tanikalang kinandaduhan ng mga tao ng mga maling sistema,
Sistemang ginatungan pa ng mga ganid at linta sa pulitika.

O Panginoon! Kami po sana’y Iyong hanguin sa aming kinasasadlakan,
Ipadala mo po sa amin si Moses sa ibang katauhan para kami’y tulungan,
O di kaya naman isang katulad ni Rizal para gumawa ng mga kasulatan,
Na magising sana ang mga taong naging sanhi ng aming kahirapan.


International Women’s Day 2009

We join our sisters in Asia Pacific and the world in celebrating 2009 International Women’s Day! in line with the international theme: “Women and men united to end violence against women and girls” despite the challenges faced by women in Asia Pacific and share our firm belief that a just world providing equal rights to men and women is possible.

The intersections of different factors such as caste, ethnicity, religion, economic and social status, sexuality, within Asia Pacific realities of militarization, globalisation, fundamentalisms and patriarchy reinforces VAW and inhibit us from enjoying the full benefits of our human rights. The situation is aggravated by the increasing State violence and impunity of human rights violators.

The push for trade liberalisation has led to economic as well as cultural dislocation particularly of rural and indigenous women in the region. The mushrooming growth of large-scale commercial extractive industries has led to the loss of land, traditional sources of livelihood, and worsened food insecurity and environmental degradation. These have contributed to the increase of cheap female labour, and a staggering increase in women’s migration. Without protective measures for them, they leave their homes vulnerable to exploitation and violence.

The recent global economic crisis left women and girls at the throes of desperation, especially with respect to the high cost of food. Further, the global crisis is resulting in vast number of women migrant workers losing their jobs forcing them to return home to their countries with no prospects of finding a livelihood. No doubt, that had been the initial reason for them seeking work abroad. In short, women have become poorer, more disadvantaged and marginalised as a direct results of economic globalisation and the global food crisis.

Religious-conservative groups use the vulnerabilities of communities to enforce extreme interpretations of cultural and religious practices, commonly expressed in forms that are violent to women and limiting women's rights. In many parts of Asia Pacific, culture, tradition and religion is used by individuals, communities and governments as a tool for condoning VAW, and justify inaction in bringing perpetrators to justice. Discriminatory and harmful cultural norms have been imposed upon women by local leaders in Aceh-Indonesia, Dalit communities in India, Muslim communities in Philippines and Malaysia, to name a few, as a means of maintaining and asserting their economic-political agenda.

Women and women’s bodies are used to assert cultural and religious interpretations and assertions of power that is detrimental to women’s well-being. These dictate women’s behavior resulting in curtailment of reproductive and sexual rights, and controlling women’s public and social roles. Sexual assault, honour killings, marital rape, forced and temporary marriages, polygamy, child marriages, bride price are some of the worst forms of violence suffered by women. Other terrible violations include virginity tests, acid burnings, female genital mutilations, foeticide, all practiced in the name of culture and religion.

There is a strong trend in Asia Pacific for States to adopt militarised responses to counter legitimate demands of human rights, freedom and democracy as seen in Burma, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Fiji, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to name a few. Women are more vulnerable to violence, especially in militarised areas.

There have been gains made in the international level such as the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court articles 7 and 8 establish rape and other forms of sexual violence as Crime against humanity and War Crimes. These were reiterated in 2008 by the UN Security Council Resolution 1820 which stresses the importance of ending impunity for such acts.

But these gains made at the international level are useless unless they are effectively implemented at the local level. We need to protect these gains. Superficial compliance to international commitments has come to mean “implementation”. A clear manifestation of this is creating national policies and mechanisms with no political will and lack of a viable budget to fully implement the programs. Yet states give huge budget allocation to the military, tourism, globalisation, and so called development projects that grab peoples’ lands, perpetuate VAW, and trade women for cheap labor.

Women human rights defenders face threats, violence, harassment and death. Impunity of perpetrators persists not only in the family and community where violence perpetrated by state and non-state actors is left unaddressed but also at the state level, when States fail to meet their obligations to ensure women enjoy their full rights and address acts of violation of women’s human rights.

Governments must ensure women’s rights are promoted, protected and fulfilled. They must recognise that violence against women come in many forms, and is a direct violation of women’s rights which is a result of intersecting forms of discrimination and patriarchy. States need to implement both systemic and service oriented strategies that will ensure women’s rights are upheld in compliance to international human rights standards and principles. Mechanisms for redress should be in place and should enable women to access justice, and guarantee the safety, relief and development of women.

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, APWLD reiterates its determination to be a vibrant active member of the women’s movement in the struggle to work for gender justice and protection, respect and fulfillment of women’s human rights. -#-

The Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development (APWLD) is a women’s human rights network with over 150 individuals and organisations members committed to enabling women in Asia Pacific region to use law as an instrument of change for the empowerment of women in their struggle for justice, peace, equality and development.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Migrante KSA cited by COMELEC

Migrante KSA considers the Absentee Voting Law a victory of migrant Filipinos, something fought hard for, a platform for pursuing the interest of the OFWs. Thus, advocating for wider participation in this exercise is inherent in its program.

But, the COMELEC citing a militant group like Migrante KSA is something we don't see every day!
Kudos (to all members) and thanks to the COMELEC!

Persevere in the struggle for democratic rights and welfare!
A.M. Ociones
Chairperson, Migrante Saudi Arabia/

OFW group cited for taking active role in OAV campaign
03/05/2009 06:35 PM

MANILA, Philippines — A militant group of migrant Filipino workers has been cited by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for helping promote the Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) exercise among expatriate Filipinos.

In its weblog (, the Comelec hinted that help from such groups as Migrante-KSA is most welcome considering the apparent lack of interest among many overseas Filipinos in exercising their right of suffrage.

Data from the Comelec showed that only 10,83 overseas Filipinos have signed up so far since the third OAV registration began on February 1. The registration period ends on August 11, 2009.

“The Commission commends Migrante KSA for taking an active role in encouraging our compatriots in the region to exercise their right to vote. With their help, the Comelec is optimistic that even in the arid desserts of Saudi Arabia, Filipinos can and will be enabled to plant the seeds of change in the homeland by way of their votes," Comelec spokesman James Arthur Jimenez said.

Migrante's Saudi Arabia chapter recently threw its support for wider voter participation among OFWs and commended the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah for extending the voters’ registration days to accommodate more OAV registrants.

Jimenez particularly cited the group’s efforts to conduct information drives in the Filipino community and for coming up with their own OAV primer.

“We are thus encouraging other OFW formations throughout the world to follow Migrante’s lead and help us encourage wider voter participation among overseas Filipinos. Let us join hands in proving to the rest of the world that distance and oceans are not a hindrance in proclaiming our love for the Motherland by voting for the nation’s next set of leaders in 2010," Jimenez said.

To encourage more OAV registrants, the Comelec has set up special registration centers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) for departing OFWs.

This move is meant to rid the departing land based and sea based OFWs of the hassle of going to their respective consulates and embassies abroad when they register, he said. - GMANews.TV

IMA on IWD09

Mark International Women’s Day with the continuing struggle for our jobs, wages and rights against imperialist globalization

(Statement of the International Migrants Alliance
for the International Women's Day 2009)
08 March 2009

Now, more than ever, women migrant workers must stand up and fight for our jobs, wages and rights together with other oppressed and exploited women in the world.

This year’s celebration of the International Women’s Day happens amidst the economic crisis gripping the world. However, today is also commemorated with the confidence that the surging militant and anti-imperialist movement of migrant workers bound by the International Migrants Alliance (IMA) shall take up the cudgels of fighting for the rights and wellbeing of the 180 million migrant workers worldwide, half of them women.

The economic crunch takes the heaviest toll to the working people. Decades after decades, the crisis of the capitalist system worsens and despite its reinvention under the slogans of neoliberal globalization, imperialists are unable to stop the imminent collapse of the world’s economy plundered by monopolists.

Neoliberal globalization policies have forcibly opened up the economies of poorer countries and have given multinational corporations the freedom to extract the most profit while leaving the people without livelihood, a decent job and a living wage. Labor flexibilization has become a rampant and legal practice in many countries that increased the exploitation of workers tenfold.

Now that an even more serious crisis is upon the world – brought by no less than the rapacious drive for superprofit of imperialists – the people are the ones who are being made to take the toll while big businesses are bailed out of bankruptcy with funds taken from the people’s money.

Women are part of those who will carry this burden.

Surely, the commodification of women migrants shall intensify as the poor countries cling to labor export for survival. With the labor market constricting, women migrants will be thrown into slave-like working conditions.

Migrant workers are already oppressed and exploited and women migrants doubly so. Women migrants are found in jobs that pay a pittance where labor rights are easily violated such as domestic work, entertainment industry, sweatshops and the service sector. Aside from inhuman working conditions, women migrants are prone to sexual and physical abuse while those who work in households are overworked and deprived of regular days off.

Women migrants also suffer from double discrimination based on class and gender. To add to their burden, women of color are victims, not only of sexism, but extreme racism as well especially in the more developed capitalist countries. Moreover, health and other social services sorely needed by women workers are denied them.

Also, imperialism destroys the fabric of societies of the sending countries where women migrant workers come from. The social costs of migration such as the separation of mothers from their children, women uprooted from their homes, broken families, drug abuse among the youth left behind by parents forced to work as migrant workers are painful social costs brought about by imperialism and borne mainly by women migrant workers.

As the world’s crisis worsens, imperialists will resort to more and more aggression to preserve its global dominance. The war on terror led by the US has not stopped despite the people’s rightful assertion that terrorism of imperialists is the most aggressive and deadliest of all as it destroys all aspects of the people’s lives – economic, political, social and even cultural heritage.

In times of wars, women are again made to suffer. Rape and abuses to women are rampant in countries occupied by US military forces as well as those where US military bases have a stronghold or the presence of US military servicemen is widespread. Most of the perpetrators of these crimes against women go scot-free as the US ironically banners its sovereignty while conveniently trampling on the sovereignty of other nations.

Expressions of the US war on terror in many countries are also seen in the increased fascism of states and repression against progressive and revolutionary movements. Women victims of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearance, illegal arrest, trumped up charges and other forms of violations of civil and political rights are on the rise.

With globalization and war at their disposal, imperialism will continue to imprison women in chains of poverty, displacement and human rights violations.

The history of March 8 is of women’s militance and perseverance for class and gender liberation. It is marked by the struggles of the working women against low wages, 12 hour daily work schedules and oppressive labor conditions in factories.

Such struggles remain relevant and, in fact, more urgent at present. This is what the IMA stands for.

The IMA strives to harness the strength of the organized movement of women workers to uphold the rights of the oppressed classes and sectors. It shall foster solidarity with local workers, women’s groups and other oppressed classes and sectors in host countries to defend their jobs, wages and rights which are continuously attacked by the leading adherents of imperialist globalization.

It is right for women to pin hope in the struggle and collective actions for liberation and social justice. It is in this way that women migrants will commemorate International Women’s Day.

Around the world, militant women’s groups lead the actions today that expose the root causes of the global recession, present the people’s demand and advance a social system that upholds freedom, democracy, justice, peace and human rights. Today, more than ever, women – including women migrants – prove that, indeed, a woman’s place is in the struggle.

In the victory of the struggle, women shall also be there.

Women Migrants, fight poverty and oppression!
Migrants Unite with all Working Peoples!
Resist Imperialist Crisis, Plunder and War!

Reference: Eni Lestari
Chairperson, International Migrants Alliance

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Kabayan, Paalala

Tula ni Miriam Tampos
Riyadh, 2009
Dala ng kahirapan, kaya nangibang bansa
May pangarap tayo, at inaadhika
Iniwan ang bansang Pinas, sa hangaring sumagana
Na ang sariling bayan natin, walang kaya at magawa.
Nang napadpad tayo dito, sa Bansang Arabo
Sa PDOS pa lang, aral na tayo
Marami silang Do’s and Dont’s, na ipinapanuto
Di dapat ipagsawalang bahala, nating mga Pilipino.
May samot’ saring daing, tayong mga OFW
May di tamang pasahod, maging pagmamaltrato
Malimit ngang biktima, kababaihan sa bahay nagtatrabaho
Kung hindi nagahasa, ginugutom ng Amo.
Ang tanong ko lang kabayan, sino ang iyong sandigan
Bago ka ba umalis, may baon ka bang Dasal
Pagtuntong mo ba dito, tumingala ka man lang
Panginoon andito na po ako, patnubay Mo’y kailangan.
At kung may pagsubok, sinong una mong tinatawagan
Kapag sakaling nalamang, anak o asawa’y may malubhang karamdaman
Si Inay ba o Itay na iyong pinagbilinan
Di ba’t dapat ang AMA, sa taas ng Kalangitan.
Kapag sa iyong hanapbuhay, may sularining nasagupa
May naiingit sa iyo’t, sa kompanya’y sinisira
Dapat ka bang gumanti, sa taong sa iyo’y gumawa
O ipanalangin siyang, magtino ang diwa.
Kung sakali man, sa iyo ngang mga lumbay
Buong panatag mong, sa KANYA’Y ibinibigay
Ngunit paano, kapag tinatamasa’y tagumpay
Ibinabalik mo ba sa KANYA, ang pagpupuri at wagayway?
Ito’y paaalala, sa ating lahat
May mabisang sandata, SIYA’Y abot kamay
Nakalaan SIYANG makinig, kung tatawag ka
Naghihintay lagi na, maalala mo SIYA!

POEA: now as full blast marketing arm

Press Release
5 March 2009

POEA’s function from regulatory now to full blast marketing efforts is inimical to OFWs safety, rights and welfare

An alliance of overseas Filipino workers’ organizations based in the Middle East today said a major shift of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) function from regulatory to full blast marketing efforts is seen as inimical to OFWs safety, rights and welfare.

“The POEA’s main function shifting from regulatory to full blast marketing efforts now acting as a premier recruitment agency is inimical to OFWs security, safety, and protection of their rights and welfare. Having said that, there is no government agency now looking for the regulation of overseas employment,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.

Monterona said overseas employment must be regulated, because what is stake on this lucrative business are the lives of OFWs and the future of their children, and their children’s children.

“OFWs are not commodities; they are humans with dignity and rights to be protected. Any sending government is duty-bound to uphold the dignity and protect the well-beings of its migrant workers,” Monterona averred.

Migrante-ME said Arroyo regime’s labor policy shift from local jobs generation, which it undeniably failed for the past years, to full blast marketing of Filipino workers abroad only spells out its desperation to sell out and continuously peddle Filipino workers cheap labor abroad to cover its own failure of generating decent jobs locally at the expense of OFWs lives and their struggling families.

The growing numbers of OFW victims, mostly women, seeking refuge at our RP posts abroad in the Middle East who were sent abroad of false job offers by unscrupulous and erring recruitment agencies is a clear failure of Arroyo regime and DoLE-POEA to regulate overseas employment.

Migrante chapters in the Middle East normally handles cases where recruitment agencies told aspiring OFWs to be working as nurse, waitresses , dishwashers, service crew in restaurants and hotels only to end up on a different job with lowered salary from what they’ve signed in the employment contract.

“The Arroyo regime failed to ensure that OFWs sent abroad would be protected from abuses, physical or mental, non-payment of wages, violations from employment contract and labor malpractices, and even excessive placement fees charged by recruitment agencies, much more now since it completely disregarded its regulatory function in exchange of its full blast sell out of OFWs abroad,” Monterona averred.

Monterona said this prompted his group to call the members of the Philippine Congress especially its respective concerned committees on labor and employment and OFWs concerns to look into this labor policy shift of the Arroyo regime in full blast marketing of OFWs that would lead to dehumanization OFWs as mere commodity for export.

Migrante chapters in the Middle East reiterates its call by joining the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to scrap Mrs. Arroyo’s Administrative Order no. 247 where she directly ordered the POEA and other government line agencies to full blast marketing efforts of OFWs abroad without any assurance their safety, security, rights and welfare will be upheld and protected.

Monterona said OFWs and their families are looking forward for a new administration that would seriously implement genuine agrarian reform program and support agricultural cooperatives and agricultural production, and employment in the provinces which could only be made possible through modernization of agricultural production and national industrialization.

“This new administration must be free from any foreign domination and impositions so that an independent and self-sustaining economy could be attained for the benefits of all Filipinos,” Monterona ended. # # #

John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator
Mobile No.: 00966 564 978012

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Prayer of a Child of an OFW

Dear God,

Every single evening
As I'm lying here in bed,
This tiny little Prayer
Keeps running through my head:

God bless all my family
Mommy, daddy and little baby
Keep them warm and safe from harm
For they're so close to me.

And God, there is one more thing
I wish that you could do;
Hope you don't mind me asking, as my "mom" request me to say to you
Please bless she said, the "distressed kababayans" too.

My mom whispered, "That it's unusual
What I hear? Those officials sitting there higher,
Mother dear said, "Those supposed to offer help to kababayans
Are putting these poor Filipinos on trial."

I then utter as well, please, help knock into their heart
Remind them, what is their duty and task
As I read from my book, public servant is to lean and trust
They should do the necessary and prompt

I fervently prayed and trying to understand
Mom even shouted, "Is it that too much for every OFW’s to ask"?


"Prayer of a Child of an OFW
by Miriam Tampos
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Translation of Arabic documents

Press Release
4 March 2009

Translation of Arabic documents is employer and recruitment agency’s responsibility, not of OFWs – Migrante-ME

An alliance of overseas Filipino workers’ organization in the Middle East today twits POEA Administrator as she again misses the point of complaining OFWs requiring them to have their Arabic documents, such as visa and work permits, to be translated as part of the formalities required for their job placement abroad.

“POEA Admin. Manalili again misses the point of complaining OFWs bound for work in the Middle East; translation of their Arabic documents spells out additional charges to the already numerous fees and charges the government is collecting and imposing from our struggling OFWs on top of the placement fees being charged by their recruitment agency,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-ME regional coordinator.

Monterona however said translation of Arabic documents is needed so that the content of the documents would be known and could be checked and verified.

Monterona added if Manalili would sign a new memorandum requiring departing OFWs to have a translation of their Arabic documents, there should be no additional fees and charges to be collected from them because it is the agency and prospective employer’s responsibility, not of OFWs. “Like the Standard Employment Contracts in most of Middle East host governments are with English translation,” he added.

“But if the memorandum would allow accredited agency like the Office of Muslim Affairs (OMA) to do the translation and then impose an additional charges or fees, then OFWs and their families have all the rights to oppose such issuance,” Monterona added.

Monterona said OFWs are already overburdened by the numerous impositions of fees and charges. An aspiring OFWs should spent a minimum of Php.20,000 for his documentation and formalities aside form the placement fee which is usually equivalent to one-month of salary.

Monterona said every time the Arroyo administration, through DoLE, POEA, DFA, and OWWA, talks about OFWs protection, it would only means more imposition of charges and fees to struggling OFWs and their families.

“That’s why OFWs and families are already weary hearing Mrs. Arroyo talking about OFWs right and welfare because after such pronouncement, mind you, another round of fees and charges’ imposition would follow soon,” Monterona averred.

Migrante-ME ended saying Mrs. Arroyo and her political allies are all seasoned bureaucrat-capitali sts who longed to perpetuate in power by all means and whose sole aim is to enrich themselves at the expense of taxpayer’s money and nation’s wealth.

Reference: John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator
Mobile No.: 00966 564 978012

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Intensified Commodification of OFWs

Press Release
03 March 2009

Arroyo-Recruiters communiqué is nothing but intensified commodification of OFWs – Migrante-ME

An alliance of overseas Filipino workers’ organizations in the Middle East today said the issued communiqué by the Arroyo administration along with recruitment agencies is nothing but spells out intensified commodification of OFWs.

“The Arroyo-initiated communiqué, through the Labor department along with recruitment agencies is nothing but continued sell out and commodification of OFWs abroad-- just like a cheap commodity for export,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.

The communiqué was issued at the labor forum initiated by the Labor department with recruitment agencies and contains list of measures that both vow to pursue that includes aggressive investments in skills training and skills enhancements; streamlining of recruitment processes and policies; sharing of government and private sector registry of workers; strengthening welfare and protection mechanisms of workers; review of prevailing salary standards; and conduct of bilateral missions for the protection of OFWs onsite.

“Nothing is new in this communiqué except the formalization of aggressive marketing of OFWs abroad between the number 1 OFW exporter – the Arroyo regime, and recruitment agencies which are earning a lot from OFWs huge remittances, and fees and charges,” Monterona added.

Monterona said welfare and protection mechanism, salary standards, and conduct of bilateral missions for OFWs protection remains wanting and the Arroyo administration fails to do.

Monterona said it does not make good if the Arroyo administration continuously peddles millions of unemployed by sending them abroad-- selling their labor cheap and without any guarantee and protection for their safety and security, after all OFWs huge remittances are not properly used to develop a self-sufficient economy.

Monterona said the 11.2-M unemployed, a significant numbers of which are now forced to look jobs abroad as the only remaining option just to survive their struggling families are true measure of the Arroyo regime’s failure to generate jobs locally. “This is attributed due to its wrong economic policies subservient to neo-liberal policies of globalization,” he added.

Migrante-ME said economic policies that are extremely submissive to deregulation, privatization, and liberalization is driving our local economy, dominated by foreign monopoly-capitalist corporations, to a disadvantage position while “waiting the axe to fall on our heads”.

“The billions of OFW remittances are merely used as an “exhaust valve” keeping the economy afloat and to ensure the government has enough dollar reserves for burgeoning foreign debt services,” Monterona opined.

Migrante-ME said sending 1-M or more OFWs overseas is not a viable labor policy especially at the context of neo-liberal policies of globalization which sole purpose is to corner and siphon the billions of migrant workers remittances through sending governments towards the banks of imperialist countries who dominate international financial institutions.

“The Arroyo regime’s bravado that it got lot of jobs abroad for unemployed Filipinos is only a pretentious display and facade of its own failure to generate jobs locally that it keeps on promising but repeatedly failed,” Monterona ended.

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

Monday, March 2, 2009



Sana nga 'di kana nauso pa
Disin sana'y walang pamilyang tumatangis pa
Wala na ring mga anak na umiiyak
Hinahanap ama, ina nilang nililiyag.

Kung hindi ka nauso OFW
Wala na sanang Pilipinang
Naabuso at minaltratong pisikal dito
Mga Pilipinang tapos sa kolehiyo
Na nagpaalila lamang dito sa bansang
Asal - hayop ang mga tao.

Kung nanatili na lamang sana tayo sa bayan natin
Nagsikap buhay ay paunlarin natin
'Di na sana tayo umalis pa
Pamilya sana'y buo pa
Lahat tayo'y maligaya pa.

Kung walang OFW, disin sana'y
Wala na ring OWWA at POEA
Na humuhuthot ng pera natin
Na wala namang silbi para sa atin
Bulsa lamang ng taong gobyerno
ang pinupuno, na sobrang naman ang lalim.

Lahat sana ng matatalino at magagaling
na Pilipino -- ay nasa bayan pa natin
Disin sana'y dito nila nagagamit, talino nilang ankin
Para bayan nati'y paunlarin.

Kung tayo lamang ay magsisikap sana
Tulad ng Intsik at Hapon sa bansa nila
Uunlad rin sana tayo, 'di na kailangan pang
pumunta sa kabilang ibayo --
Para mag hanap pa ng trabaho.

Kung tao lamang sa ating gobyerno'y
Matitinong tao--
Siguro'y wala ng OFW
Na kanilang naloloko.

Sana nga nuon pa ma'y wala nang OFW
Disin sana'y buo pa ang pamilya ko
Pag laki ng anak ko'y nakita ko
Ngayon nga'y mahal sana nila ako.

Hangad ko lamang ay matapos na sana
Pagiging OFW ng lahat ng Pilipino
Sa ating bayan ay maka uwi na tayo
Sa piling ng ating pamilya--
Lumigaya naman lahat tayo.

# # #

ni Ka Jaime Santillan,Riyadh, KSA