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Conditions of OFWs worsened under Aquino – migrant group

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Conditions of OFWs worsened under Aquino – migrant group

“While the government relies on the remittances of our OFWs to keep the economy afloat, there are still many cases of abused OFWs because the government continues to neglect them.” – Garry Martinez, Migrante
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MANILA – People seeking jobs abroad have been buried in debt even before they flew out of the country for employment. Ivy Martillano, 31, for one, is buried in debt and might face charges of estafa if she is not able to settle her debt with Golden Right Pay Light lending agency. She has an existing loan of P70,000 ($1,627), which she was not able to pay because she did not finish her contract as a domestic helper in Hong Kong.

In November 2011, Martillano applied as a domestic helper in Hong Kong because her husband does not have a regular job. “We have two children who we have to feed. I have no job here in our country, my husband, on the other hand, has no regular job. So I opted to apply for work abroad,” Martillano said in an interview with Bulatlat.com.

However, Martillano had a cruel employer abroad. “After only three days, I already wanted to go home. My female employer threw water at me because its temperature was not as she expected. Good thing the water was not too hot,” she said.

Martillano acquired the loan to pay for her placement fee so that she could immediately go to Hong Kong and work. But she could no longer take the maltreatment of her employer and after three months, she finally decided to go home.

“In a period of one year, I was the sixth helper who did not finish the contract with that family because she abuses us.”

She said she worked from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. nonstop. Her only “rest” was while ironing their clothes. She stood while eating and before she slept she would hand wash all the baby’s clothes. She was also made to serve her female employer’s parents. “In my contract, it was stated that I would only work for them, working for her parents was not included. I was treated like a slave. I even got respiratory tract infection because of exhaustion. Every night I prayed that three months would end so I could go home.”

Martillano is only one of the many OFWs who experienced maltreatment in the hands of a cruel employer. They are compelled to work abroad as the economic crisis in the country is worsening. Under the administration of President Benigno “Noynoy” S. Aquino III, a huge number of Filipinos are still going abroad to work. Data from Migrante International, a global alliance of overseas Filipinos, shows that from January to October 2011, an additional 1.35 million Filipinos have been forced to go abroad due to lack of opportunities, decent jobs and wages, livelihood and social services in the country. The group said this figure is higher by 5.3 percent than the 1.281 million OFWs who were deployed from January to October 2010.

Labor export policy has intensified under Aquino

In his two years in office, the group said, Aquino has done nothing to alleviate forced migration and instead pursued a more intensified, aggressive and sophisticated labor export policy than his predecessors.

There are many Filipinos like Martillano who have no work here in the country and are being pushed to seek employment abroad. And because she is a mother, she has to find a way to make her family survive.
According to independent think-tank Ibon Foundation, the number of unemployed Filipinos has risen to unprecedented heights from 2001 to 2010 and even continues to reach record-high levels under Aquino. “One in every four workers is either jobless or underemployed.”.... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/06/15/conditions-of-ofws-worsened-under-aquino-%E2%80%93-migrant-group/


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