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TINIG NG MIG RA NTE

1 J ULY 2012
D
espite his promises and posturing, President Benigno Aquino
III, after two years in offi ce, had done nothing to stem the tide of
forced migration and instead pursued a more intensified, aggressive
and sophisticated labor export policy than his predecessors.
SUMA:
Summing-up of the State of
Migrants Under Aquino
(2010- June 2012)
Underdevelopment and forced migration
By October 2011, an additional 1.35
million Filipinos have been forced to go abroad
by sheer lack of opportunities, decent jobs and
wages, livelihood and social services in the
country. This figure is higher by 5.3 percent than
the 1.281 million OFWs from J anuary to Octo-
ber 2010.
According to independent think-tank
IBON Foundation, the number of jobless Fili-
pinos has risen to unprecedented heights from
2001-2010 and continues to reach record-high
levels under Aquino. Hundreds of thousands are
underemployed. At least one-fourth of the coun-
try’s labor force has gone abroad to find work.
At the end of 2010, 11.2 million Filipinos or
28 percent of the labor force was either unem-
ployed or in search for additional jobs.
On J uly 2011, the National Statistics
Office (NSO) declared that the rate of unem-
ployment increased from 7.0 percent in 2010 to
7.2 percent; 19.1 percent was underemployed,
an increase from 2010’s 17.9 percent. One in
every four Filipino workers was either jobless
or underemployed.
In his 2011 State of the Nation Ad-
dress (SONA), Aquino attempted to downplay
the jobs crisis by claiming a lower unemploy-
ment rate (1.4 million jobs created). However,
he failed to mention that the jobs created were
disproportional to the ever-growing labor force
(an additional 1.2 million by J uly 2011) and un-
deremployed (an additional 829,000). This is
not to mention those already unemployed and
underemployed before this. According to the
J anuary 2012 Labor Force Survey (LFS), 64.3
percent is unemployed and actively looking for
jobs. Most of the unemployed are fresh gradu-
ates, young and educated – some half are aged
15 to 24 years while 30 percent is 25 to 34 years
old. The number of jobless and underemployed
Filipinos increased by over 600,000 during
Aquino’s first year in office.
Those who land domestic jobs suffer
very low wages. Since 2001, the gap between
the mandated minimum wage and the family
living wage (FLW) in the National Capital Re-
gion (NCR) had considerably widened. In 2001,
minimum wage was 52 percent of the FLW; by
end of 2011, the P426 NCR minimum wage was
only 43 percent of the P993 FLW.
Worsening joblessness feeds on al-
ready chronically low wages, with the current
minimum wage grossly inadequate to sustain
even the most humble of families. Family in-
comes are not keeping up with the inflation. The
average family in NCR now lives on P22 to P37
a day. This indicates the poor quality of life that
minimum wage earners in Metro Manila can af-
ford.
To conceal this striking reality, the
government tried to obscure the number of im-
poverished Filipinos by lowering the official
poverty line. However, the rising hunger and
malnourishment rates belie any attempts to
face-lift the figures. The gap between the rich
J ULY 2012 ISSUE
Published by:
Migrante International
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TINIG NG MIG RA NTE
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J ULY 2012
tries situated in six continents, namely, Asia, Australia, North America,
South America, Africa and Europe. The biggest population is located in
the United States (3.5 million based on the 2010 US Census); next is Sau-
di Arabia (1.5 million based on POEA 2010 data); and Canada (639,686
based on 2009 CFO data). There is also a big concentration of Filipinos
in the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Qatar, Malaysia, J apan, United
Kingdom, Hong Kong and Singapore. In the Philippines, about 30 to 40
percent of the 99 million population is remittance-dependent.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) places the Philip-
pines as the fourth leading migrant-sending country in the whole world,
next only to China, Mexico and India. According to data from the Philip-
pine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), 1.5 million Filipinos
were deployed abroad in 2010. This figure is 50,000 or 3.4 percent higher
than the deployment rate in 2009.
Majority of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are deployed in Saudi Ara-
bia (293,049), the UAE (201,214) and Hong Kong (101,340). Most are
in the service sector (154,535) working as domestic workers, hotel and
restaurant staff and caregivers; 129,647 are in manufacturing as factory
workers; and 41,835 are professionals (doctors, nurses, teachers, etc).
A closer look into overseas deployment data would show that
of the total number deployed in 2010, 781,966 were re-hires while only
341,966 were new hires. The number of new hires decreased by 2.2 per-
cent compared to 2009 (349,715) and 2008 (376,973) data. In the past
three years, there was a slight decrease in the number of new hires de-
ployed. In the first quarter of 2011, according to the POEA, only 380,188
new hires were deployed or 3.9 percent lower than the 395,189 number
deployed during the same period in 2010. (See Table 3)
The POEA attributed the decrease in the number of new hires
to the global economic crisis that erupted in 2008. The downtrend in
deployment in first quarter 2011, it said, was the result of the crisis in the
Middle East-North Africa regions and the multiple disasters in J apan. The
agency further said that the decrease in deployment of new hires should
not be interpreted as a drop in demand for OFWs in the global market. In
fact, by end of 2011, the POEA was confident that it had reached its target
job orders and deployment for the year.
However, according to a study by MI, job orders have indeed de-
creased over the years, even before the global economic crisis transpired.
This, however, did not stop Fili-
pinos from being forced to leave
the country in search for “greener
pastures”, as the yearly increasing
growth rate of migration shows.
Aside from the average 4,500 who
leave the country daily who pass
through the POEA, millions depart
through irregular means. They are
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Permanent 2,736,528 2,807,356 2,865,412 3,187,586 3,391,338 3,556,035 3,692,527 3,907,842 4,056,940
Temporary 3,049,622 3,167,978 3,385,001 3,599,257 3,651,727 3,802,345 4,133,970 3,636,259 3,864.068
Irregular 1,625,936 1,607,170 1,512,765 1,297,005 881,123 874,792 900,023 653,609 658,370
TOTAL 7,412,086 7,582,504 7,763,178 8,083,848 7,924,188 8,233,172 8,726,520 8,187,710 8,579,378
Growth Rate - 2.3% 2.4% 4.2% -2% 3.9% 6% -6.1% 4.8%
Source: Center for OverseasFilipinos (2010)
Table 1: Number of Filipinos overseas
and the poor has further widened, with the income of the top 1 percent of
families equivalent to that of the bottom 30 percent of households, IBON
said.
Social service spending, moreover, has not improved under
Aquino. The government has failed to allot enough resources to address
shortages and insufficiencies in education, health, housing and welfare
services. Social services’ share in the gross domestic product (GDP) has
continued to drop in light of annual budget cuts and privatization of public
utilities.
Aquino claims that his administration’s Conditional Cash
Transfer (CCT) program reduced poverty, an exaggerated and unscientific
boast, if anything. Being a beneficiary of the CCT is not tantamount to
a family emerging from below the poverty line. It is not sustaining and
offers merely band-aid solutions to the problems of joblessness and low
wages. Aquino also fails to mention that the cash dole-out supposedly for
100,000 families would only hold for five years, during and after which no
prospective jobs, wages or livelihood are available to beneficiaries.
The present administration is also second place in terms of poor
land distribution among post-Marcos regimes. Department of Agrarian
Reform Sec. Gil delos Reyes admits that they would not be able to finish
land distribution in time for the 24th anniversary of the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) on J une 10 – leaving some 500,000
hectares or almost half of DAR’s target for land distribution undistributed
by 2014, affecting at least 1.1 million farmers.
Perhaps the most controversial lands up for land
distribution are the Aquino-Cojuangco-owned
Hacienda Luisita that remain undistributed to
this day despite favorable ruling by the Supreme
Court for farmers and farm workers. This comes
as no surprise from a president who hails from a
landed clan and family of hacienderos.
In search of jobs, higher wages and
livelihoods, the number of Filipinos overseas
and leaving everyday – and the amount of remit-
tances they send back – has been on the rise over
the last three decades. The Philippine economy’s
dependence on labor outmigration and remit-
tances has become unparalleled under the Aquino
administration.
Remittances and intensification of labor export
According to the Department of Labor and Employment
(DOLE), there are now 15 million Filipinos abroad. This figure is sub-
stantively higher than the 8.6 million recorded by the Center for Overseas
Filipinos (CFO) in 2010, not including the 330,424 recorded number of
seafarers in the same year.
Migrante International (MI) pegs the number of overseas Filipi-
nos between 12 to 15 million. For MI, DOLE may be bloating the figures
to make it appear that employment rate abroad has increased. The CFO,
on the other hand, may be brandishing lower numbers in an effort to ob-
scure the annually increasing number of undocumented Filipino migrants
all over the world.
Of present, overseas Filipinos are scattered in at least 239 coun-

Table 2: Number of Deployed Landbased Overseas Filipino Workers by Major Occupational Category
New Hires (2004 – 2010)
Source: POEA (2010)
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those who become victims of trafficking and illegal recruitment, who
eventually become undocumented in their countries of transit or destina-
tion with the hope of landing jobs despite not having regular documents.
Meanwhile, seafarers still constitute the biggest sub-sector of
OFWs. The Philippines is still one of the biggest maritime countries, with
Manila still in the list of the biggest most important ports in the world.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Philippines
is still the top source of seafarers. An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 seafarers
are added to the total deployment every year.
Remittances from OFWs remain at record-high from
2001 until 2011 despite the global economic crisis. Statistics
from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipi-
nas (BSP) show that it had reached
a whopping US$20 billion by end of
2011, from US$ 18.8 billion in 2010
and US$17.3 billion in 2009. During
the first five months of 2011, an esti-
mated US$ 7.9 billion were remitted,
6.18 percent higher than remittances
during the same period in 2010.
According to the World Bank,
the Philippines is the fourth biggest
remittance-receiving country next
to India, China and Mexico. It is no
secret that the Philippine economy
relies mainly on remittances to keep
it afloat. By 2010, despite the global economic
crisis, remittances had already made up 8.7 per-
cent of the Gross National Product (GNP), surpassing the share of tradi-
tional exports of agricultural products.
This can be attributed to the following factors: (a) OFWs com-
pensate the dwindling dollar by sending more amounts to their families
back home; (b) OFWs get double or triple jobs to offset effects of the
crisis in host countries; (c) OFWs resort to more borrowing/loaning to
be able to send money home; (d) OFWs are now sending savings they
had acquired over the years, if any; and, (e) the number of undocumented
OFWs sending remittances back home has increased.
Further, in a study made by the ILO, more and more OFWs have
been looking for additional sources of income on top of their regular jobs
in order to survive the global economic crisis. No matter, what is obscured
from these figures is the fact that increasing remittances means millions
of Filipinos have to slave it out even harder in foreign shores just to up
or continue sending money to their families. And the government cannot
only but rejoice.
However, although annual remittances increased amid the glob-
al economic crisis, its growth rate has been decreasing in recent years.
From a 25 percent record growth in 2005, it dropped
to a lowest 5.6 percent in 2009, a year after the glob-
al crisis erupted. (See Table 7)
In the US where 50 percent of remittances
originates, the growth rate had decreased from 7.8
percent in 2008 to 7.3 percent in 2009. It had a slight
increase to 7.9 percent in 2010 but has been suffer-
ing a steady decline since the country’s debt crisis
ensued.
The continuing decrease in growth rate is
a constant worry for the Philippine government. If
the trend continues, the government will be in big
trouble because it relies mainly on remittances for
its foreign exchange revenues.
Table 3: Number of Deployed Overseas Filipino Workers by Type of Hiring (2008-2010)
Source: POEA (2010)
Philippines 28.1%
Russia 6.8%
Ukraine 6.3%
China 6.2%
India 5.0%
Indonesia 4.0%
Poland 3.5%
Greece 2.8%
Turkey 2.5%
Myanmar 2.3%
Table 4.
Number of seafarers
in the world, 2003 =
1,250,000 or 67% of
deployment
Source: POEA
Table 5. Top 10 OFW Remittance-Sending Countries
Country 2008 2009 2010 J an-May
2011
1)United States 7,825,607 7,323,661 7,862,207 3,232,073
2)Canada 1,308, 692 1,900,963 2,022,611 830,863
3)Saudi Arabia 1,387,120 1,470,571 1,544,343 616,193
4)United Kingdom 776,354 859,612 888,959 382,347
5)J apan 575,181 773,561 882,996 381,192
6)U.A.E. 621,232 644,822 775,237 307,964
7)Singapore 523,951 649,943 734,131 317,786
8)Italy 678,539 521,297 550,515 242,411
9)Germany 304,644 433,488 448,204 194,475
10)Hong Kong 406,134 339,552 362,524 148,873
Source: BSP (2010)
Table 6. OFW Remittance (2001-2010)
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This explains the Aquino administration’s desperation to further
seek job markets abroad and intensify its labor export program. Through
remittances, the government earns exponentially without having to shell
out much capital investment. Even funds for labor outmigration manage-
ment through agencies such as the POEA or the Overseas Workers Wel-
fare Administration (OWWA) are directly sourced from OFWs or recruit-
ment agencies and employers through various fees.
The Aquino administration, while mouthing local job genera-
tion as its core program to eliminate forced migration, continues to hail
the ”remittance bonanza” to further promote labor export in the attempt
to offset the downtrend in growth rate. To do this, it has become more
aggressive in implementing labor export, hence, the Aquino administra-
tion’s active lobbying for job markets and signing of bilateral agreements
with host countries in the past two years. Recently, it even lifted several
deployment bans in perilous countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan in its
greed for remittance inflow.
Aside from overseas remittances, labor export provides a tempt-
ing alternative to the unemployed and underemployed. Because of this,
the government is not obligated to create jobs that offer decent wages and
instead it becomes convenient to evade responsibility of implementing
policy reforms to turn the economy around.
By its nature as the exercise of individual choice, albeit forced
by circumstance, migration does not in and of itself require much govern-
ment ‘investment’ and will occur even if the state does not devote sub-
stantial economic, financial, administrative and political resources. The
natural economic ‘compulsion’ of
many Filipino workers to seek work
wherever they can to survive does
not require any strategic government
thinking, planning or intervention.
It is also notable how the migra-
tion phenomenon has spawned a vast
industry of related services such as
recruiters and remittance services, as
well as created profitable opportuni-
ties for other private sector actors
such as banks, real estate developers,
telecommunication firms and malls –
again, with little need for government
attention. Instead, the Philippines’ la-
bor export policy is disproportionately
focused on maximizing the overall in-
flow of remittances as a development
goal in itself without weighing this against the welfare of migrant workers
and their families.
Anti-migrant and neo-liberal policies
The country’s economic situation has not improved under
Aquino’s unreformed government policies. Development policies
in the country, including Aquino’s Philippine Development Plan
(2011-2016), continue to rely heavily on foreign investment, ex-
port-dependence, debt and the so-called free market – principles
from which a more intensified and aggressive labor export policy
is entrenched.
Aquino’s essential economic thrust is clear-cut: stick to adher-
ence to policies of neoliberal globalization, implement these more
thoroughly and systematically than his predecessors, promote
privatization through his Public-Private Partnership (PPP), and
selectively implement social protection programs like the CCT.
For OFWs, Aquino has employed the same impetus. The situa-
tion of OFWs has gone from bad to worse in Aquino’s two years.
Since Aquino took his oath two years ago, it had been especially
more grueling for OFWs and their families. Policy-wise, there are
no indications that he would instill much-needed reforms to curb forced
migration and deviate from a policy of labor export.
Budget cuts
During Aquino’s first two years, funds for direct services for
OFWs were slashed in the National Expenditure Program. For fiscal year
2012, budget for OFWs only got a less than one percent share (0.17 per-
cent) in the P1.8 trillion national budget.
Direct services for OFWs from concerned government agen-
cies, namely specific items under the Department of Foreign Affairs
(DFA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine Over-
seas Employment Administration (POEA), Department of J ustice (DOJ )
as lead agency of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT),
Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and the Office of the President
(OP), were decreased. Budget for OFW welfare and services in said agen-
cies suffered an 18 percent cut (P792 million) from last year’s sum of P3.8
million. This translates to a pitiful per capita spending of P261.83 for 15
million overseas Filipinos.
Moreover, while funds for welfare and services for OFWs de-
creased, increases were made in the DOLE and POEA budgets mainly for
their “marketing and job placement” purposes. The national budget is one
concrete manifestation of the government’s thrust to further intensify the
Table 7. Trend in Remittance
Source: POEA, BSP (2010)
Table 8. Relationship of Remittances to Other Philippine External Income
(Source: BSP, ADB, WORLD BANK, DOT, INQ7)
TINIG NG MIG RA NTE
5 J ULY 2012
government’s labor export policy despite declarations from Aquino that
he will focus on local job generation and more incentives for returned
OFWs to address forced migration.
State exactions and double taxation
Under Aquino, OFWs suffered more state exactions throughout
the whole migration cycle. Since 2010, the government had imposed nu-
merous other fees from OFWs pre- and post-departure – the increase in e-
passport fees, mandatory Pag-Ibig contributions, Philhealth premium cost
hike, mandatory medical insurance, Affidavit of Support fees, to name a
few.
MI estimates an average of P20,000 collected for every OFW
processed by the POEA. If 4,500 OFWs leave daily to work abroad, the
government earns P90 million a day, or roughly P32.8 billion yearly, from
processing fees and other costs shouldered by OFWs. State exactions
have caused OFWs and their families to become debt-ridden, contributing
greatly to the widespread landlessness and poverty of many. It is not un-
heard of for peasant families to mortgage or sell their small parcels of land
or to submit their children to unpaid labor just to be able to pay debtors or
produce the sum needed to pay for exorbitant pre-departure and placement
fees.
Government neglect of OFWs in distress
For the first time in history, four Filipinos were executed abroad
under one presidency. The number of Filipinos on death row has increased
from 108 to 123. At least 7,000 Filipinos are languishing in jails abroad
without legal assistance and at least 20,000 are stranded and awaiting re-
patriation.
In his two years, the Aquino government failed to address the
immediate evacuation and repatriation of OFWs affected by conflicts in
the MENA region. The so-called “one-country team approach” of the
DFA, DOLE and OWWA is non-functional, with the concerned agencies
blaming each other for lapses and inaction in the urgent repatriation of
OFWs.
In the ongoing repatriation efforts for OFWs in Syria, for in-
stance, the OWWA and the DFA offer conflicting information on the aver-
age deployment costs needed to negotiate with Syrian employers for the
release of OFWs from their contracts. The OWWA said that it had set the
average deployment cost at US$2,500 per OFW while the DFA pegged it
at US$3,000 to US$4,000. Even the figures for total population of OFWs
in Syria do not match. MI criticized discrepancies in the agencies’ offi-
cial reports, saying that efforts will be futile if concerned agencies do not
agree with basic facts.
Poor rights and welfare service programs
The Philippine government has been hailed for introducing mi-
gration policies that allegedly ensure the protection of its workers abroad
and for displaying “good practices” that promote migrant workers’ protec-
tion. Its pre-departure orientation program (PDOS) has been commended
as a useful model for offering protection that “begins at home”. The
Aquino government has also been highly praised for its attempt to work
with labor-receiving governments to formulate both formal and informal
agreements meant to ensure that migrant workers conditions are within
nationally and internationally-accepted standards.
These, however, are more wishful thinking than reality. The
truth is, OFWs are plagued with an assortment of issues and problems
throughout the entire migration cycle yet the Aquino government has
barely done any decisive action to support and protect its migrant workers
and their families. The Aquino government’s ability to uphold Filipino
migrants’ rights and promote their welfare has lagged behind its apparent
success in pursuing it labor export policy.
The efforts and outcomes are uneven. On one hand, efforts are
systematic, sustained and deliberate on regulatory matters facilitating the
departure of migrants and receipt of remittances. These have resulted
in record numbers of Filipinos overseas. On the other hand, efforts are
spotty, partial and erratic on matters relating to giving migrants protection
and support at home or abroad. There is even a lack of accurate, compre-
hensive and timely information about the migrant workers themselves.
All these highlight the steady rise in violations of migrant rights. Many
OFWs and migrant organizations have gone so far as to characterize the
government as “criminally negligent” in its repeated abdication of taking
primary responsibility for protecting migrants and their families.
Despite these, the Aquino government continues to promote la-
bor export. While it is also true that the country has a sophisticated and
well-developed legal framework to protect the rights and welfare of mi-
grants and their families, this has largely been pushed by force of circum-
stance of the rapidly increasing numbers of OFWs that have been victim-
ized by violations of rights and the resounding clamor of a great number
of OFWs, their families and advocates who have managed to organize
among themselves.
Particularly significant measures such as the Migrant Workers
and Overseas Filipinos Act (RA 10022, amended RA 8042), Anti-Traf-
ficking in Persons Act (RA 9208) and the Overseas Absentee Voting Act
(RA 9189) have not been implemented and fulfilled under the Aquino ad-
ministration. This is mainly because the fuller realization of the potential
benefits from formal laws and policies on migrant rights and welfare is
hindered by the country’s underlying labor export policy. The measure of
success in protecting migrants lies only partly in the system in place and
more in how systematically and sincerely migrant workers are actually
protected given their rising numbers, the existence of national institutional
mechanisms and processes, and the actual legal and political circumstanc-
es in receiving countries.
Taking these factors into consideration, the recurring problems
of maltreatment, insufficient social and welfare services, government fail-
ures and violence against OFWs underscore the reality of the wide gap
between the labor export policy and the protection and promotion of the
rights of migrant workers and their families.
The OWWA Omnibus Policies (OOP), for instance, which was
passed under the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2003, con-
tinues to be in force to this day. The OOP limits the benefits and welfare
services entitled to OFWs – among its provisions are the termination of
OWWA membership upon expiration of employment contract; restriction
of voluntary membership to two years; selective repatriation of migrant
workers in times of crises, epidemics and wars; and the granting of the
sole deciding authority to the OWWA Board of Trustees with regard the
management of OWWA funds.
Also under the OOP, only active members of OWWA could
avail of the services and benefits consisting of a life insurance for natural
death, insurance for accidental death, disability benefits, scholarship pro-
grams, repatriation and reintegration. Others, such as medical insurance
and health benefits, have either been privatized or taxed from OFWs and/
or employers.
Under the current OWWA policy, only active members of
OWWA could avail of the services and benefits that include a P100,000
life insurance (for natural death), and P200,000 insurance (for accidental
death), disability benefits, scholarship programs, repatriation and reinte-
gration programs.
There is also a lack of comprehensive and sustainable reinte-
gration program for returned OFWs. What the Aquino government offers
TINIG NG MIG RA NTE
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are mere dole-outs and band-aid solutions that are not long-term solu-
tions to unemployment, low wages and lack of social services. Most of
the government’s reintegration programs for returned OFWs are made up
of loans and one-time livelihood programs. Most recently, returned OFWs
are complaining about the P2 billion OWWA reintegration program that
Aquino inaugurated in 2011 because of its stringent requirements for col-
lateral and onerous interest rates.
Aquino also failed to investigate allegations of misuse and cor-
ruption of the OWWA funds. The plunder case filed against former presi-
dent Arroyo for misuse and corruption of OWWA funds, for instance, was
initiated by private citizens and organizations and not the Aquino admin-
istration.
Aquino’s lies
At the start of his presidency, Aquino committed to create jobs
at home and to uphold the policy of not pursuing overseas employment as
a development strategy and instead establish concrete policies and steps
towards more sustainable alternatives.
He promised to prioritize the protection of OFWs and their fam-
ilies. Aquino also committed to improve and enhance the government’s
services and resources for OFWs and their families.
He said that he would audit the Overseas Workers Welfare Ad-
ministration (OWWA) to rationalize the management of its funds, in terms
of benefits provided as well as how the funds are invested.
Aquino also vowed to strengthen reintegration programs for returning
migrants and facilitate their return by favorable terms of investment, tax
incentives, access to government financial institutions and other benefits.
But the facts and figures are telling.
In the past two years, the Aquino government has been aggres-
sive in crafting programs and services aimed at facilitating and encourag-
ing migration. While acknowledging the many social costs, these are ef-
fectively downplayed and the resoluteness of the labor export effort often
creates the impression that migration is unequivocally beneficial for the
migrants and their families. This is particularly done by overstating sup-
posed development benefits for the economy and the income benefits for
households.
The economic compulsion for the government to keep export-
ing Filipinos to maintain or especially to increase remittances unfortu-
nately overrides and precludes undertaking any measures that, directly or
indirectly, constrict the flow of migration – even if such measures would
immediately and in the long-run prevent the incidence of abuses and mi-
grant rights violations.
Conclusion
In the last two years, Aquino had miserably failed.
Aquino is no different and, in fact, worse than Arroyo. Filipino
people are being forced to migrate because of desperation. The economy’s
lack of development resulting in job loss, low wages and lack of liveli-
hood at home is the primary push factor. OFWs have borne witness to how
insincere, insensitive and inept the Aquino government is in upholding
and securing the protection and welfare of OFWs, while ironically also
showcasing a more blatant and unapologetic labor export policy that ex-
ploits OFWs’ cheap labor and foreign remittances.
To genuinely address the problem of forced migration, the gov-
ernment should decisively deviate from the past and present administra-
tion’s labor export policy and focus instead on developing the national
economy by advancing local industries, agriculture and basic services. MI
fully supports the call and struggle for national industrialization and genu-
ine land reform as the ultimate solution to the problem of forced migration
and labor export program. Only through taking steps in building the do-
mestic economy and ensuring social welfare intervention can joblessness
and forced migration be truly addressed. ###
Sa loob ng dalawang taon ni Aquino, pinatunayan ni PNoy na
hindi siya katulad ng mga nauna sa kanya. Mas masahol siya.
Para sa Migrante International, ang mga sumusunod ay mga
dahilan kung bakit walang pagbabago, at sa halip, sumahol
pa ang kalagayan ng OFW at pamilya sa ilalim ng kanyang
panunungkulan:
•Sa kabila ng kanyang mga pangako at pagpopostura,
walang ginawa si PNoy para pigilan ang pwersahang migra-
syon. Sa halip, lalo pa niyang pinaigting ang patakarang labor
export sa pamamagitan ng mas agresibong pagbebenta ng
murang lakas paggawa (cheap labor) ng mga OFW sa mga
dayuhan.
•Pagsapit ng Oktubre 2011, dumami pa ng 1.35 milyon ang
mga Pilipinong napilitang mangibang-bayan dahil sa kawalan
ng trabaho, mababang pasahod at kawalan ng serbisyong
panlipunan sa bansa. Mas mataas ito ng 5.3% kaysa sa 1.281
milyong Pilipinong nangibang-bansa noong Oktubre 2010.
•Mayroon nang tinatayang 12-15 milyong Pilipino sa labas
ng bansa sa mahigit-kumulang 239 bansa sa Asya, Australia,
North America, South America, Africa at Europe.
•Sa Pilipinas, may 30-40% na ng kabuuang 99 milyong popula-
syon ang umaasa sa remittance (padala ng OFW).
•Nananatiling pataas ang halaga ng remittance mula 2010 sa
kabila ng pandaigdigang krisis. Gayunpaman, pababa ang
tantos ng pagtaas (growth rate) ng remittance mula nang
umupo si PNoy.
•Kaya naman gayon na lang ang desperasyon ni Pnoy na
magpadala ng mas maraming OFW sa ibang bansa sa pama-
magitan ng patakarang labor export. Dahil pinakamasahol
ang krisis pang-ekonomiya sa Pilipinas, at walang makabulu-
hang mga repormang ipinapatupad ang gobyerno, walang
ibang rekurso kundi ibayong ikalakal mga OFW.
•Habang halos walang binibigay na serbisyo at proteksyon
ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno para sa kanila. Sa halip, mas
lumalabas ngayon na ang patakarang labor export ay isang
MALAKING NEGOSYO para sa gobyerno na walang ibang
hinuhuthutan at kinokotongan kundi ang mga OFW mismo sa
pamamagitan ng mga dagdag-bayarin at singilin.
Walang duda, si PNoy ang pinakamasugid na tagabenta ng
mga OFW sa mga dayuhan. Ang kaniyang mga pangako at
pagpopostura – pawang kasinungalingan. Para sa mga OFW,
kay PNoy, wala namang nagbago.
Para sa mga OFW, kay PNoy, wala nang maaasahan. Kailan-
gan nang lumaban.
Trabaho at makabuluhang dagdag-sahod sa Pinas, hindi sa
labas!
Serbisyo, hindi negosyo! Proteksyon, hindi koleksyon!
PNoy, pahirap sa OFW at pamilya!
Labor export policy, ibasura!
LIAR,
LIAR
TINIG NG MIG RA NTE
7 J ULY 2012
Independent and Transparent Investigation on the Death of Terril Atienza
APPEAL for URGENT ACTION
Terril Atienza, an overseas Filipina worker who died in Mongolia, was a victim of hu-
man trafficking. Circumstances relating to her death point to foul play and organ traf-
ficking.
With a tourist visa, she left to work in Singa-
pore in 2010. After one and a half years, under threat of
imprisonment, she was sent to Mongolia by her foreign
agency purportedly to complete a two year contract. She
worked as a domestic worker for Sergelen Davaakhu,
Austria’s Honorary Consul to Mongolia and President
of the International Federation of Business and Profes-
sional in Mongolia. In her four month service for this
rich and powerful employer, she was only able to send
US$184 to her family.
In November 2011, she was found dead in her
room. Initial autopsy reports from the National Institute
for Forensic Science of Mongolia indicated that Atienza
died of “severe intoxication from an unknown source.” A
conclusive autopsy report from Mongolia is still pending
following results from laboratory tests conducted on her
body.
However, conflicting information has raised
questions about Terril’s death and its cause.
Regent, Terril’s foreign recruitment agency, in-
formed the family that Terril committed suicide by over-
dosing on sleeping pills. However, soon after Terril’s
remains were repatriated, an autopsy was done by the
National Bureaus of Investigation (NBI) at the behest of
Terril’s family. The autopsy discovered that Terril’s heart
was missing and a rag was found inside her body. The
NBI autopsy report stated that her death was “probably
secondary to hypertensive cardiovascular disease” due to
a stabbing incident.
Six months after the Philippine government has
been informed of her death, the family still has not been
given the full forensic report and police investigation re-
sults from Mongolia and the belongings of Terril have not
been delivered to them.
The family now fears a whitewash of the case
and is pressing the government to immediately release the
results of the police and forensic report and conduct an
independent and transparent investigation.
TINIG NG MIG RA NTE
8
J ULY 2012
Send letters, emails or fax messages calling on:
• The Philippine Embassy in China who has jurisdiction over Mongolia and the De-
partment of Foreign Affairs to immediately release and provide the Atienza family results of
the investigation in Mongolia and facilitate the immediate return of Terril’s belongings to the
family,
• The Philippine government to conduct an open and independent investigation on the
death of Terril Atienza, and
• The Philippine government to institute the rightful case against the parties liable for
the illegal recruitment, human trafficking and eventual death of Terril.
RECOMMENDED ACTION:

H.E. Benigno C. Aquino III
President , Republic of the Philippines
Malacañang Palace,
Office: JP Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
E-mail: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph

Hon. Alberto del Rosario
Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs
Office: 2330 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Phils
Phone: (+632) 834-7374
Fax: (+632) 832-1597
Email: osec@dfa.gov.ph

Hon. Esteban Conejos
Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Wokers Affairs
Office: 2330 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Phils.
Phone: (+632) 832-1672
Fax: (+632) 551-0847
Email: oumwa@dfa.gov.ph

Hon. Hans Leo Cacdac
Administrator
Philippine Overseas Employment Agency
Blas F. Ople Building
Ortigas Avenue cor EDSA, Mandaluyong City
Phone: (+632) 722-1159/ 722-1163
Fax: (+632) 724-3665
Email: administrator@poea.gov.ph

Hon. Leila De Lima
Secretary, Department of Justice
Office: Padre Faura St., Manila, Philippines
Direct Line: (+632) 521-8344; 5213721
Fax: (+632) 521-1614
Email: soj@doj.gov.ph

Hon. Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex,
Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, QC, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
Email: chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com,
lorettann@gmail.com
You may send your communications to:
Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the above-named government officials, to our
address below.

Migrante International
45 Cambridge st., Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines
Telefax: (+632) 9114910
Email: migranteinte2007@yahoo.com.ph