Aquino will be remembered as anti-OFW – KMU


Marking International Migrants’ Day with a march to Mendiola together with other progressive organizations this morning, workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno said Pres. Noynoy Aquino will go down in history as a president who’s against Overseas Filipino Workers.

The labor group said the chief executive, whose mother popularized the term “bagong bayani (modern-day heroes)” to refer to OFWs and institutionalized labor export as government policy, presided over the worst jobs crisis in history and carried out numerous attacks on the rights of OFWs.

KMU said that in 2015 alone, controversies surrounding the tanim-bala scam, the policy of opening up balikbayan boxes, and the government’s delayed action on the case of Mary Jane Veloso highlight Aquino’s criminal record with regard to the plight of Filipino migrant workers.

“Workers and all Filipinos have every reason to tag Aquino as an anti-OFW president and to remember him as such. He has intensified the government’s labor export policy while ignoring migrants’ welfare and even attacking their rights,” said Jerome Adonis, KMU secretary-general.

The labor leader cited independent think-tank Ibon Foundation’s claim that with 4.3 million unemployed and 7.9 million underemployed, the country is seeing the most number of jobless Filipinos in history.

He also cited Migrante International’s claim, based on data from the Labor Department and the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, that OFW deployment increased from 4,018 per day in 2010 to 5,054 per day in 2015.

“Despite enjoying the effects of OFW remittances to the economy, Aquino has lent minimal support to OFWs on death row and in jail and to stranded OFWs and has failed to curb illegal recruitment and human trafficking. He is trying to increase exactions imposed on OFWs even as he fails to protect OFWs’ rights and welfare,” Adonis added.

KMU also said that the return of many OFWs to the country is not the result of so-called “inclusive growth” in the country but of the effects of the continuing Global Financial and Economic Crisis which has brought about anti-migrant employment policies and civil unrest in receiving countries.