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Gabriela to P'noy: Give Due Importance to OFW Concerns in SONA
Press Release Posted on July 22nd, 2011.
REP. LUZVIMINDA C. ILAGAN 0920-9213221
Jang Monte (Public Information Officer) 0917-4049119
Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luz Ilagan today called on President Aquino to give due importance to concerns of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday and prioritize the passage of measures that will ensure protection and assistance especially to distressed migrant workers.
“We have around 10 million OFWs all contributing to uplift our ailing economy, thousands of them in distress. The least that this government should do is ensure that services, protection and assistance due them and their families are adequately provided.”
The Gabriela solon said President Aquino should put forward a concrete action plan on how the government intends to address the plight of 122 OFWs in death row, 7,000 OFWs in jail and some 20,000 stranded OFWs awaiting repatriation.
“In the past year, the Aquino administration has been quick to impose additional fees and exactions but extremely slow in giving assistance to OFWs in distress,” said Ilagan who noted that the government budget for its Legal Assistance Fund and Assistance to Nationals was slashed from P200M to P109M.
On the other hand, mandatory Pag-Ibig membership and contributions and mandatory insurance are all taking its toll on the budget of OFWs and their families. Ilagan further said that as crises hits economies all over the world, the Aquino government should also start bracing itself for the return of migrant workers and ensure substantive and sustainable employment for returning OFWs.
“A comprehensive economic policy that the Aquino administration promises to put forward in the SONA should take into consideration our OFWs, address their various concerns including and most especially their appeal for a sustainable employment program in the country that will put an end to the country’s labor export policy.”