4 April 2009
Migrants birthday presents on the 62nd day of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
For the 62nd birthday of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Migrante International, the largest alliance of Filipino migrant organizations worldwide, gave rotten eggs as a symbol of their contempt for her labor export policy.
“No President has been as determined to sell our migrant workers as cheap commodities,” said Migrante Secretary General Gina Esguerra. “The rotten eggs signify how foul the stench of her corrupt government is and it has reached all 190 countries where OFWs are.”
The Migrante leader said that with the deepening financial and global crisis, government has done nothing for OFWs who have even become more vulnerable to exploitation and abuses. She went on to cite the new batch of retrenched workers from Taiwan, all 50 of them, who have the same complaints as the former batches of retrenched workers: non-payment of the unexpired portion of their contract and overcharging of placement fees.
“What happened to the much-touted ‘assistance teams’ that the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) has been boasting about? We have been receiving reports that these teams are nothing but spokespersons of companies and agencies to convince retrenched workers to accept even more exploitative conditions.”
Esguerra also reported that the number of cases of overcharging, trafficked workers and runaways are being documented daily by Migrante’s Middle East chapters.
“Government’s response to all these is to send a police attache, not a lawyer or an additional welfare officer who can truly help,” continued Esguerra. “We fear that this police attache is to sow fear especially because OFWs are increasingly becoming more vocal about their disgust over this regime.”
“Meanwhile, in Hongkong, domestic workers are up in arms not only against the racial slur of HK magazine columnist Chip Tsao but also against the Arroyo government whose ruthless marketing campaign to sell OFWs as the cheapest commodity around.”
Around the world, migrant workers are restive. Let these rotten eggs be a warning to Arroyo that this social volcano might soon erupt! ###
Gina Esguerra, Secretary General, 09058361412
Ailyn Abdula, Media Liaison, 09212708994