4 September 2009
REP. LUZ C. ILAGAN 0920-9213221
Abby Valenzuela (Public Information Officer) 0915-7639619
Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Luz Ilagan said that instead of helping the overseas Filipino workers stranded under the bridge in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the Philippine government is only increasing their number and aggravating their situation.
“Despite the problem with stranded OFWs, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration still actively promotes labor migration to Jeddah and other parts of Saudi Arabia. In fact, the POEA has been trying to lure 1,600 health care workers to the country.”
Ilagan worries that the new recruits would suffer the same fate as the hundreds of Filipinos who, after having escaped abusive employers, had to sleep under the bridge and rely on alms for survival for months before they were repatriated to the Philippines.
“Saudi Arabia has a long history of abuse of OFWs: Many of our men and women have been physically abused and raped in this country. And our country remains without concrete measures and programs for OFWs in distress. Despite this, Mrs. Arroyo continues to solicit jobs from the kingdom,” Ilagan said. “The overseas Filipino workers are nothing but milking cows for this government.”
According to Ilagan, the problem with stranded OFWs in Jeddah will not be solved unless the Philippine government turns its attention to the problems such as the lack of medical and legal support system for the migrant workers and illegal recruitment.
“But the best solution still is to create genuine jobs in the Philippines so that no Filipino would ever need to go abroad just to have food on their tables,” Ilagan said.
Abegail Rose L. Valenzuela
Public Information Officer
Office of Rep. Luzviminda C. Ilagan
Gabriela Women’s Party
SW-601 House of Representatives,