SONA 2011: P-Noy’s first year the worst for OFWs (Part 1 of 2)

my latest article for POC

A global alliance of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) declared that President Benigno Aquino III’s first year in office may arguably be the worst yearfor OFWs.

According to Migrante International, since Aquino took his oath it had been especially grueling for OFWs and their families despite his promises of special attention and protection.

In his inaugural speech, Aquino said that his administration’s goal is to “create jobs at home so that there will be no need to look for employment abroad”. He also directed the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and other concerned agencies to “be even more responsive to the needs and welfare” of OFWs.

“But what we have experienced so far is the complete opposite, and policy-wise there are no indications that things will get better,” said Migrante International chairperson Garry Martinez.

Migrante said that under the Aquino administration, OFWs have experienced unforgivable government neglect, the biggest budget cut for OFW services, more exorbitant state exactions and fee impositions, diplomatic blunders that have placed their welfare at stake and unending price hikes that continue to cripple OFWs and their families.

read full story here.

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