After more than two months, retrenched overseas Filipino workers from Taiwan are still waiting for any form of government assistance. This despite the claims of the government that it is prepared to respond to the needs of retrenched workers here and from abroad and its announcement that a P1 billion livelihood program is available.
BY RONALYN V. OLEA
After more than two months, retrenched overseas Filipino workers from Taiwan are still waiting for any form of government assistance.
In a meeting with officers of Migrante International, February 11, some 30 laid off overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Taiwan, mostly women, poured out their sentiments.
Mary Jane Javier, one of the 49 retrenched workers from Kingtech company, said they have not been paid for the unexpired portion of their contracts. She started working in Taiwan on June 25, 2008 and was laid off November 4 of the same year.
Javier said she paid P75,000 ($1,686 at the 2008 exchange rate of $1=P44.47) for placement fee and only got a P50,000 ($1,124) refund from the agency.
Retrenched workers reiterate their demands to the Arroyo government in a press conference at the Migrante International office.(Photo by Ronalyn Olea)
In a dialogue with retrenched workers last December, lawyer Hans Leo Cacdac, deputy administrator for licensing and adjudication of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) said the POEA only allows the charging of a maximum of P55,000 ($1,236) for placement fee.
She and her co-workers have not availed of the livelihood program of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
Alma Ang and the rest of the 87 workers of the J3 International Holdings are demanding for payment of the unexpired portion of their contracts. She said all of them signed up for a two-year contract but most did not even reach one year at work. Their repatriation started in November last year.
Like the workers of Kingtech company, Ang and her colleagues were charged with placement fees ranging from P85, 000 ($1,911) to P145,000 ($3,260).