OFWs are not milking cows!
At least our overseas Filipinos workers could breathe a sigh of relief now, this after Manila Representative Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David is reportedly planning to withdraw her bill which seeks for an additional $25 (on top of the existing mandatory $25 membership fee ) on every OFWs leaving the country for their repatriation fund.
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona, whose group is also behind the global campaign against the bill, stressed that the solon’s idea is contrary to the mandate of the RA10022 or Migrant Workers Act of 2010.
“Rep. Bonoan-David proposal is ill-advised. She may be misinformed because the issue is not about lack of funds. The OFWs trust funds held in trust to OWWA is now about P13-B and is earning, and yet the OWWA does not have enough programs and welfare services to OFWs and their dependents including the proper use of its Emergency Repatriation fund,” said Monterona.
The group however challenged Rep. Bonoan-David to “give up and volunteer to channel her millions of pork barrel allocation to OWWA’s emergency repatriation fund,” instead of imposing additional burden to our already burdened OFWs.
The group has also noted the huge contribution of OFWs in terms of yearly remittances posting to $1.7-B on April 3 to 4 percentage point higher than the same month of last year, thus the proposal is “unnecessary and unjustifiable.”
In a statement, Monterona said that his group along with other OFW groups and the Filipino communities abroad would like to tell our law makers and the present administration to stop thinking that our OFWs are source of easy-money for the government to exploit.
“We hate that we, OFWs, are merely treated as milking cows or geese that lay a golden egg, which we are not. This mentality by the government must be rejected,” Monterona added.
Sondra Demeterio, an OFW friend, shared to me her sentiment on the initial plan of Rep. Bonoan-David thru her social media post :
“This is another irony. I thought OFWs were called “Bagong Bayani (Modern Heroes)” because they are pillars that help prop up the Philippine economy–and now we have to pay MORE so our own government will protect us?”
Rep. Bonoan-David should junk the bill now or face ignominy. (comments at firstname.lastname@example.org)
By: Ronald Reyes
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