The Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD) has also called on Filipino nurses and other health professionals to join the Zero Remittance Day.
Eighty-five percent of licensed nurses are working abroad.
The group said that the exodus of thousands of nurses and other health professionals mainly accounts for the 17.2 percent increase in remittances, which has already reached US$11 billion from January to August of 2008.
Dr. Geneve Rivera, HEAD secretary general, said nurses will remain the priority export as highly skilled professionals continue to be in demand in many developing countries. “This, despite the dearth of health personnel in almost all public hospitals all over the country, where the nurse-to-patient ratio remains 1:45, or three times the ideal ratio of 1:15,” she said.
List of sins
John Leonard Monterona, regional coordinator of Migrante-ME said they made a list of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s ‘sins that justify their call for Zero Remittance Day.’
The list includes criminal neglect of distressed OFWs such as the case of Jenifer Bedoya who was recently beheaded and scores of others who are on death row in the Middle East such as of Dondon Lanuza and the Gonzales brothers; overcharging of recruitment agencies; and, corruption of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) funds intended for OFWs.
UNIFIL-HK’s Balladares said, “The Philippine government has every reason to be worried. With countries such as the United States, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates that are all in the top 10 sources of remittances of Filipino migrants participating in the call, there can be no doubt that the GFMD and the GMA administration would be shaken.” (Bulatlat.com)
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