Gabriela solon participant in the global alliance of migrants’ assembly in HK

Jul. 01, 2008

Gabriela Women’s Party representative Luzviminda C. Ilagan participated in the assembly and conference sponsored by the International Migrant Alliance (IMA), a global alliance of im/migrants, refugees and displaced people in Hong Kong on June 15-16.

Ilagan spoke on the legislative agenda of the Gabriela Women’s Party regarding overseas Filipino workers.

Everyday, thousands of Filipinos face the risk of maltreatment, physical and mental abuse, illegal recruitment, violation of contract, illegal detention, and other problems related to working in a foreign land, Ilagan said.

The Philippines has become a major supplier of manpower to developed countries. The widening unemployment brought about by the worsening economic and political crises in the country forced more than eight million Filipinos to work in other countries where their rights and freedom are unprotected.

But not only when they are in other countries do overseas Filipino workers (OFW) experience exploitations. Despite being hailed as heroes because of their contributions to the country’s economy, OFWs are made into milking cows by the Philippine government agencies by exacting exorbitant fees.

At present, applicants pay an average of 15,400 pesos in government fees. This amount includes the mandatory Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) membership fee, Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) processing fee, health benefits, mandatory training, assessment, passport and other charges.

Its participation in promoting the rights and welfare of overseas Filipino workers worldwide made the Gabriela Women’s Party a participant in the IMA conference. It has responded to the issues concerning OFWs through its involvement in the country’s electoral system.

Ilagan has submitted resolutions and bills in the 14th Congress including House Resolution 185 which urges the government to immediately address the plight of OFWs who are in death row and languishing in jails all over the world, and House Resolution 181 which urges the government to conduct an investigation on the violation of contract and illegal recruitment of 27 Filipino nurses and physical therapists.

For Reference:

Representative Luz C. llagan 0920-9213221

Abby Valenzuela (Public Information Officer) 0915-7639619

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