OFWs to Arroyo Gov’t: Compensation, Not Free Lunch

A global alliance of Filipino migrant organizations decried the Philippine government’s ‘failure to give compensation to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) laid off from Taiwan.’

More than a hundred OFWs from Taiwan went home last night.

Garry Martinez, chairperson of Migrante International said,”Instead of giving the much needed money, [Labor] Secretary Marianito Roque is offering them a lunch date with President Gloria Arroyo.”

The group said Roque invited the OFWs to report to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) head office this Friday to meet with President Arroyo.

Martinez said Malacañang would only use the OFWs for a photo opportunity. “This is nothing but a display of government’s utter callousness to the plight of the retrenched OFWs,” he said.

The group claimed that most of the repatriated OFWs had to pay for their own airfare since the Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei only gave NT$1,500 to each OFW.The airfare costs more than NT$5,000. Some of the OFWs, said Migrante, were forced to sell their belongings to pay for their own tickets.

The group maintained that OFWs should receive the full amount of their contract. Roque allegedly promised OFWs that the Labor Department will go after the recruiters to make them pay for the OFWs’ plane tickets.(Bulatlat.com)

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