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Aquino’s 100th day in office will be marked “unsatisfactory performance” by OFWs and their families

A group of Filipino migrant workers in Middle East accused yesterday Aquino administration of neglecting OFWs particularly in Middle East.


Migrante International-Middle East regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona in a statement suggested to replace all inept consulate officials in the region as present officials do little to resolve issues and could only confirm or deny cases cases of migrant workers’ abuse.

"Every time we have reported a case or cases of OFW victims to the Philippine consulate general and the Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia – and it holds true in other Philippine posts in the Middle Eastern countries – all these officials could do is to deny or confirm these reports, then a lot of excuses will follow," Monterona said.

Without the media intervention, he said, a case of an OFW who reportedly died in a deportation cell in Saudi last April 6 which was later confirmed by consul general Ezzedin Tago, would have gone unnoticed. "If this has not been reported by Migrante to the Philippine press, Consul Tago will keep mum and would only exert little effort to ease the deplorable conditions of the distressed OFWs inside the Jeddah deportation center, despite intensive campaign launched by Migrante for the immediate repatriation of the OFWs."

"This neglectful support system, values and culture prevailing in Philippine embassies and consulates should be changed. And this could only be done if all the inept officials posted abroad will be fired and replaced by (those who have) a heart and are willing to serve in promoting and protecting the OFWs’ rights and welfare," Monterona said.

Meanwhile, Migrante International with chapters and member OFW organizations in 90 countries all over the world, said that it would hold internationally-coordinated protest actions on Aquino’s 100th day in office.

This is in protest of the budget mis-allocation and mis-prioritization and to call for higher state subsidy for OFWs. 

Middle East chapter will shave their heads in protest.  “Shaving our heads is one way of showing how frustrated OFWs and their families on P-Noy’s ‘unsatisfactory’ performance during his 100 days in office,” Monterona said.

Monterona said their members in Riyadh and Al-Khobar will simultaneously shave their heads on October 7 during a scheduled indoor protest.

Earlier report said, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) presented in Congress budget hearings a decrease in the Legal Assistance Fund from P50 million in 2010 to P27 million in 2011.

Department of Budget and Management said in response to OFWs protests on 50 percent cut in the proposed 2011 LAF appropriations, it submitted an erratum to Congress "to increase the government allocation for LAF in 2011, as mandated by RA 10022 Migrants’ Act."