Thursday, April 16, 2009

Jeddah OFW killed by ‘joyride’

Press Release
16 April 2009

Migrant group to OWWA:
Provide all the needed assistance to OFW killed by a ‘joyride driver’ in Jeddah, extend condolences to OFW’s bereaved family

An alliance of overseas Filipino workers’ organizations based in the Middle East today is urging the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to provide all the needed assistance to an OFW reportedly killed by a ‘joyride driver’ in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and extend its condolences to OFW’s bereaved family.

“The OWWA, being the premier government welfare agency for OFWs and their families, should provide all the needed assistance to the family of the victim OFW Ryan Fajardo, only 27 years old,” John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-ME regional coordinator.

Monterona said whether the victim is an active OWWA-member or not, his family should be given the needed assistance, including burial assistance.

“All OFW, in one way or another, who are contributing much to keeping the local economy afloat through their regular remittance sent home, OFW victim Ryan Fajardo and his family deserves all the needed assistance especially in time when they needed most an assistance from the government,” Monterona added.

Monterona said the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah must also ensure by proper representation for the OFW victim and his family, to file an appropriate charges against the alleged culprit so that justice will be served.

“The provision of providing the needed assistance to OFW victims of crimes abroad is not enough; if filling an appropriate charge against the perpetrator is necessary, all RP posts abroad must do so without any hesitation so that other foreign nationals and even the locals of the host government would give respect to our OFWs rights and wellbeing,” Monterona averred.

Monterona said it is now the time for the RP government to put forward and advance OFWs rights and welfare, but this may not be possible under the Arroyo administration, which is perceived to be the most neglectful and anti-OFW administration the Philippines ever have.

“Thus, we are calling all Presidential aspirants to be a vanguard of OFWs rights and welfare; the next administration must reject the continued commodification of human labor by rejecting the labor export program of the present Arroyo administration,” the migrant leader continued.

Monterona said the next administration must create jobs locally through sound economic policies such as the genuine implementation of agrarian reform and nationalization of basic industries, getting away from the neo-liberal policies of globalization, deregulation, privatization and denationalization.

“But, what we have noticed on the political ads of some presidential aspirants though OFWs’ welfare have been mentioned, no one declared its opposition against the vicious policy of continuously sending OFWs abroad and commodification of human labor,” Monterona added.

“To capture the most number of OFWs votes and their families back home, Presidentiables must include in their platform of governance OFWs and their families agenda especially the elimination of poverty, jobs creation and generation locally, sound social and welfare programs for OFWs and their families among many others,” Monterona ended. # # #

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

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