Thursday, March 5, 2009

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

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