For Comments, Suggestions, Contributions & Advertisements,
SULYAPINOY observes the Philippine PressCode of Ethics .
We reserve the right to refuse any submissionwe deem does not meet our policies andguidelines.
D I S C L A I M E R
Different opinions are encourage to stimulatemember input and involvement.
s role is to provide information that per-mits
members to develop informed opin-ions on sub
ects that will affect their statusas migrant workers and, in some instances,their personal lives. FEWA does not hold itself responsible for statements made by any con-tributor. Statements or opinions expressed inSULYAPINOY reflect the views of the author(s)and not the official policy of FEWA unless sostated.
Is Reintegration an Option
eintegration is a government pro-gram to encourage Overseas Fili-pino Workers (OFWs) to stay and work in the country instead of going abroadagain. In his pronouncements PresidentPnoy himself desires that Filipinos work-ing abroad should be a matter of choicerather than a necessity. Promising as itmay seem, reintegration for most OFWsmay not be a practical choice but a no-choice.The Ramdam Survey made by Sulyapi-noy on contract extension showed thatmany of these Employment Permit Sys-tem (EPS) Filipino workers are soon tobid goodbye to South Korea. When theywere asked about their readiness to goback home, only 10
of those who an-swered said they are ready, 2
willapply for other countries, 59
wouldwant to come back to Korea, and therest answered they are undecided. Thisproves that many are not yet ready toreintegrate for various reasons. Thesurvey also shows that many of thosewhose contracts have ended or aboutto end and do not have guarantees of being able to come back because of their age have opted to become un-documented. Their number becomessubstantial when added to other nation-alities choosing to become undocu-mented to ensure continued work.In the Middle East, governments areaggressively pursuing nationalization of
obs so that their own citizens can work instead of hiring migrant workers
aclear indication of dwindling and morecompetitive international labor marketsfor OFWs. Philippine data shows that in
ack Rusl, Ehd Villarta,Benjue del mundo and Marzy Serdena
Saudi Arabia more than
of OFWs are rehires compared to thosenewly hired pegged at less than
.Saudi Arabia, a country employingthe biggest number of OFWs in theMiddle East, is finally implementingits long protracted Saudization policy.The Philippine government is tryingto allay fear among OFWs with theirwait-and-see attitude, but for mostmigrant workers and their familiesSaudization is a serious issue. Al-though no clear estimate has beenmade so far as to its possible impacton the economy, it should be consid-ered as cause for concern for every-one.Calamities like the earth
uake thatturned into a nuclear disaster in
a-pan, the internal conflict in Libyaand other threats to peace and secu-rity in other countries are adverselyaffecting the livelihood of many of our OFWs. Some were forced toevacuate, leave their
obs and goback to the Philippines without
obs.Responding to these situations, last
une 7, 2011 the Philippine govern-ment launched a 2-Billion Pesos Re-integration Program in Manila in time
for the Migrant Workers’ Day and
First National Congress of OFWs andFamilies. The Reintegration Programis a
ect of the Departmentof Labor and Employment (DOLE),Overseas Workers Welfare Admini-stration (OWWA), Land Bank of thePhilippines (LBP) and the Develop-ment Bank of the Philippines (DBP).The reintegration program will supportviable businesses of OFWs especiallyin agribusiness, tourism, education,and healthcare.
OFWs with existingbusinesses or those who want to startany business or livelihood pro
ect mayapply for loan assistance of up to 2million pesos without collateral pay-able in 7 years with 7.5
annual in-terest.For many OFWs reintegration is thelast recourse especially when they areunable to find
obs because of theirage. Some groups are criticizing theloan under the reintegration program.They believe that it is a potential pit-fall for OFWs to sink further in povertyonce they failed in their business en-terprises, since not all OFWs are capa-ble of putting up and sustaining a suc-cessful business. Other groups claimthat OFWs do not need loans, butshould be provided with a
ob for theirsource of livelihood.Whether reintegration is an option orno-choice at all, OFWs will have todeal with it in the short or long run.But for many, they are not yet keen tobite the bait of the government, par-ticularly with the present economiccondition and the prevailing
ob mar-ket situation. Instead many still prefermigration as their only solution totheir economic woes. And for someEPS workers they will ignore the dan-ger and insecurity of being an undocu-mented worker
ust to have a contin-ued