2 March 2011
Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) criticizes government’s lack of better employment programs in anticipation of events that will result to more unemployment such as the on-going civil strife in Libya, Egypt, and Bahrain, among others in the Middle East and Northern Africa.
“We are well aware that the most important task of the government at this point is to ensure the safe return of OFWs from Libya and other host countries. However, it should be preparing, at the same time, alternative programs to also make sure that the families of these OFWs will not add up to the growing statistics of hunger in the country. Actually this is something that it should done a long time ago.” said PM General Secretary Judy Ann Chan-Miranda.
“After remitting around US$18 for 2010 and keeping our economy afloat for many years, our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) deserve more than a P10,000 grant, an “assistance package” that has no clear description yet, and an OWWA cap. An unemployment program for at least six months would be better than palliatives being offered by DOLE. We believe that our OFWs should be the ones to benefit from the billions that OWWA has been bragging about – pera naman ito na galing sa pawis at dugo ng mga manggagawang nagsasakripisyo sa ibang bansa, sa kanila natin ito gastusin.” added Miranda.
Miranda spoke about the difficulties OFWs are trying endure while working abroad, especially women OFWs whose work are more vulnerable to violence and sexual abuse. “Lalo na ngayong Women’s Month, dapat lang hindi puro lip service ang makuha ng ating mga kababaihang OFWs. Kadalasan kasi, kung kailan ora de peligro saka pa lang kumikilos ang gobyerno – para lang masabi na may ginagawa sila.”
The plight of OFWs, the general problem of unemployment, low wages, and health are some of the issues the Partido ng Manggagawa will be pushing forward with the upcoming celebration of International Women’s on March 8.