BY JOSETTE EMILY Z. DE JESUS
Migrante International with OFWs from Libya, Qatar and Taiwan along with their families marched to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) then to the Department of Labor and Employment this morning to demand for immediate government action on their grievances. The protest was held first at the Department of Foreign Affairs at exactly 10 in the morning then at the Department of Labor and Employment at 12:00 noon.
The family of Emy Pepito, an OFW who died in an ‘accident’ under questionable circumstances last November 12 2008, demanded for the immediate repatriation of his body which has remained frozen in a Saudi Arabian morgue for six months already. For several months now, they have been continuously seeking for DFA assistance but to no avail.
Workers from Libya amassed at the Department of Labor and Employment to demand for the recall, dismissal and investigation of Labor Attaché Nasser Mustafa who has allegedly abetted the substitution of their contracts. They also complained about the inaction of the Labor Attaché and the Philippine embassy in Libya on their pleas for assistance.
The OFWs from Libya joined forces with workers from Qatar and retrenched workers from Taiwan to demand justice from the government. They pledged to pursue a case of alleged illegal recruitment against Sharikat Al Saedi International Manpower Inc., Aqua-Gem International, HMO International Human Resources and SML Human Resources. They said they are also planning to conduct a mass filing of charges of illegal recruitment against the Arroyo government.
Migrante International, church groups, non-government organizations and migrants’ rights advocates have been demanding for an end to the government’s labor export policy and to, instead, provide jobs with decent pay and working conditions in the Philippines. They denounced the government for selling OFWs “like slaves or cheap commodities in exchange for the billions of dollars in state exactions and remittances that OFWs generate.”
Ms. Gina Esguerra, secretary general of Migrante International, said they are planning more activities such as lobbying for Senate and House inquiries on issues confronting OFWs to pressure the government to respond to the plight of those who the government calls as “Bagong Bayani.”(Bulatlat.com)