29 November 2012
OFWs forced migration a weak anti-RH justification, group tells Enrile
Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) today chided Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile after the latter justified his anti-RH stand by saying that he is against RH bill because OFWs is Philippines biggest export.
On Thursday, during the Kapihan sa Senado press forum, the Senate president said, “Ang pinakamalaking export natin is OFW (overseas Filipino workers). Export iyan eh, kaya ako kontra ako sa RH dahil diyan. Ang magpapalago ng bansa natin ay iyong excess population natin na sinanay natin na tumatanggap ng mga trabaho abroad that others don’t want to handle. We have to accept that. Korea started that way.”
Reacting to this, M-ME regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona said, “While Sen. Enrile is right in his observation that OFWs is PH biggest export, which previous administrations kept on denying, however his justification of his anti-RH stand is misplaced and put in an improper context.”
Monterona added Sen. Enrile failed to recognize the root causes of Philippine forced migration phenomenon.
“To say that the PH economy will improve mainly due to intensified government labor export program and abundant human resources for export is not true at all just because it’s keeping the PH economy afloat,” Monterona stressed.
Monterona noted at present no migrant-sending states could claim that they gained economic development by mere reliance to migrants’ remittances though it helps pump-up the often stagnant local economy due to massive local consumption.
“More so, Sen. Enrile failed to see that most OFWs who are engaged in a contractual employment returning to the country empty only to be reintegrated to the jobless population,” Monterona adding that ‘human labor exportation is on the path of vicious cycle of maldevelopment or a state of development that was not developed in a normal way.
Monterona further said, even the reported 3rd quarter 7.1% PH GDP growth, certainly OFWs remittances contributed to this, but how does it positively impacted the lives of OFWs and their families is a good question to ponder amid good peso appreciation against dollar, rising prices of basic goods and services.
“The 7.1% PH GDP growth is a positive bulletin only for the 1% rich families; while for the 99% poor and middle-income families, it won’t be felt,” Monterona averred.
“Sen. Enrile’s justification of his anti-RH stand will only intensify the peddling of millions of unemployed Filipinos despite no protection abroad and disregard of our rights and welfare as migrant workers, and this won’t solve forced migration phenomenon because it does not squarely finds solution to its root causes,” Monterona concluded. # # #
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator
Mobile No. 00966 543547736