20 May 2013
Group chides Labor chief over ‘more OFWs coming home for good’ remark
Filipino migrants’ rights group MIGRANTE today chided Philippine labor department chief Rosalinda Baldoz over her remarks that more OFWs are coming home for good when in fact she is only being hypocritical and clearly her ‘feet off the ground’.
John Leonard Monterona, MIGRANTE vice chairperson and regional coordinator of Migrante International in the Middle East and North Africa, criticized DoLE chief Baldoz over her remarks ‘more OFWs coming home for good’ as reported in Inquirer.Net May 20, 2013 news report http://globalnation.inquirer.
“Labor dept. chief Baldoz engages herself in plain cheap doubletalk in her vain attempt to picture out a Philippine economic growth and thus, it is creating more jobs for the 11-M unemployed and underemployed Filipinos,” said Monterona.
Monterona added that aside from the rising yearly rate of unemployed and underemployed Filipinos, the 4,200 to 4,500 daily of Filipinos leaving the country to look for jobs and work abroad is a clear indication of a bleak Philippine labor situation attributed mainly to its failure to generate local jobs, institutionalization of anti-labor policies such as labor deregulation, labor-only contracting, two-tier wage system, among others.
Monterona cited the January 2013 National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) unemployment and underemployment rate of 7.1 and 20.9, respectively.
“The unemployment and underemployment rate practically remain unchanged from 2010 when Pres. Aquino III installed in office up to January this year,” Monterona noted.
The displacement of thousands OFWs could not be construed as they’re coming home for good. “DoLE chief misread this situation,” Monterona averred.
Monterona cited the displacement of thousands OFWs in Saudi Arabia who were affected by Saudization or Nitaqat, while in Bahrain and Oman, both have intensified the ‘localization’ of its labor market giving priority the employment of their citizens over migrant workers, and the OFWs in Bahamas also face the threat of being displaced.
If there are 8-M OFWs abroad, excluding immigrants and overseas Filipinos, OFWs job displacement this year would equate to at least 4% or around 350,000.
“This is a sad reality which the PNoy govt. through its Labor dept. could not accept or mainly because it’s ‘feet off the ground’, thus misreading the real OFWs labor displacement abroad,” Monterona lamented.
Monterona asserted anew that it is high time the PH govt. review its labor export policy in light of the shrinking labor markets and OFWs jobs displacement.
MIGRANTE delegation along Commonwealth Ave., Quezon City, during 2012 PNoy State of the Nation Address (SONA). Migrante file photo.
“We need to develop an economy that is not dependent on cheap labor exportation and to the influx of OFWs remittances by shunning away from US-imposed economic neo-liberal policies of globalization such as liberalization, privatization, deregulation, and denationalization. Instead, the country needs to genuinely implement agrarian reform program and the nationalization of basic industries to serve as strong backbone for PH economy to survive and foster growth that is inclusive to all social strata and sectors,” Monterona added.
“If DoLE chief Baldoz insist her self-serving assertion that more OFWs are coming home for good, we are challenging her to a public debate not just to raise the issue into the bar of public opinion but more on substantiating if her claim is factual or plainly a doubletalk as she misread OFWs jobs displacement, thus they’re coming home,” Monterona ended. # # #
John Leonard Monterona
MIGRANTE vice chairperson
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator
Mobile No. 0063 923 420 0112