Tell Phil. Embassy: Do Your Job and Protect PG County Filipino Teachers Now!
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“We dream of a society where families are not broken up by the urgent need for survival." *
The Philippines has been touted as a global model for labor export. It has dazzled other countries in it’s ability to facilitate the external migration of it’s people and efficiently collect fees and remittances from them. It benefits tremendously from its push to send around 4000 Filipino workers abroad every day. Overseas Filipinos remit about $12.5 billion annually, doing much to prop up the ailing Philippine economy.
On the other hand, the Philippine government, including the one under President Aquino, has shown little will and often times what can only be described as criminal neglect in tending to the immediate needs, welfare, and rights of these overseas workers which they dub their “modern heroes.” Furthermore, what little substantive benefits and protection that they do offer, the Philippine government shrouds with red tape and appears very selective in their dispensation.
A case in point is the struggle of the Prince George’s County, MD migrant teachers. The Philippine Embassy and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), which is the agency tasked to protect overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), had known since March of this year that there were indications that the Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) was maneuvering to relieve 500 migrant teachers.
One would think the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC and the OWWA field office would already have devised a game plan and set things in motion that would properly address any eventuality. Sadly, based on how they have reacted, and based on the resources and funds they have mobilized, it is obvious that the Embassy and OWWA was still ill prepared for the settlement agreement announced on July 7 between the U.S. Department of Labor and PGCPS. The settlement resulted in the immediate job termination and an abrupt end to the lawful presence of several scores of migrant teachers.
For these reasons, we ask you to join us in demanding that the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC exert maximum effort in mobilizing the appropriate resources, agencies and funds to adequately assist the Filipino migrant teachers of PG County and all Filipino migrants in distress!
Photo Credit: Paul i. Tañedo, Copyright 2011
* The quote is a slogan made popular by Migrante International, a global alliance of Filipino migrants, their families and advocates.
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