Cayetano: Time to repay OFWs, now that economy’s better


Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano: Wooing HK maids. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), who for so long had propped up the Philippine economy with their hard-earned foreign exchange, may just miss out on the economic gains the country is now reaping as they find it necessary to continue toiling abroad, reelectionist Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano said Tuesday.

Cayetano, a candidate of the administration Team PNoy coalition, suggested the government take advantage of the positive economic climate and make loans available to OFWs and their families so they could start businesses and not have to take jobs overseas.

“We call them modern-day heroes. They propped up the country when the economy was bad. Now that the economy is improving, it seems that they are still encountering difficulties,” Cayetano told the Inquirer in a phone interview from Hong Kong.

Cayetano brought his campaign to the Filipino absentee voters, many of them domestic workers, in the Chinese territory over the weekend.

According to his media staff, Cayetano had lunch with Filipino workers at their usual Sunday gathering at Statue Square. He then attended a campaign rally of Migrante, the party-list group that represents Filipino migrant workers.

On Monday, Cayetano visited the Philippine consulate in Hong Kong to discuss with its officials the problems that OFWs face.

“While placement fees are already illegal back home [in the Philippines], there are still OFWs who are charged their monthly salaries to pay for these fees,” Cayetano said.

Cayetano learned from the domestic workers that they were sometimes required by their employment agencies to cough up cash for bogus requirements that replaced the “placement fee” that was declared illegal in 2006.

The senator said that while many OFWs sent home enough money to take care of their immediate families’ needs, other relatives who also depend on them cut into their funds.

“There must be [loans] available to their families so the families could start businesses even when they are still abroad,” Cayetano said.

He said OFWs’ families must have sufficient income at home “so their children will not have to go abroad to work just like them.”

“The biggest thing that I realized while listening to our OFWs here in Hong Kong is that if they had opportunities for employment in the Philippines, they would opt to stay home instead of leaving their families just to be able to feed them,” Cayetano said.

He called on the Aquino administration to focus on generating jobs under the current good economic conditions.

After posting a 6.6-percent economic growth rate in 2012, the country was given its first ever investment grade rating by credit agency Fitch in late March. This has made the Philippines more attractive to foreign investors.

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  • klepto

    Ang pinaka mabuti dawin gagawin ni Alan ay buwagin at ibasura ang POEA at OWWA. Walang kwenta ang mga ahensiya na eto kundi nagbibigay lang ng dagdag na hirap sa mga OFW. Kung di eto magagawa ni Alan, gagawin na lang niya ang kanyang expertise, ang tsumupa ng uten at burat.

    • blue01

      Tumpak. Pero sana ma realize din ng ibang OFWs na hindi naman talaga kailangan ang POEA at OWWA. Processing done in the embassy of the country needing the worker should be enough.

      Unwanted 3rd wheel or middle-man na lang itong POEA at OWWA eh.

  • joboni96

    owned by pilipinos only

    2. direct retail sale of government bonds to pilipinos only, specially ofw’s

    3. retire all government foreign loans
    using government foreign reserves
    replenished by $20 billion by pilipinos every year

    4. expanded government bonds bought by pilipinos to fund mega projects
    no foreign loans, no foreign ownership

    5. anti trust law
    bumiputra law

  • boldyak

    the best you can do, Mr. Cayetano is to stop being a politician…..wag mo na bilogin ulo namin… ano bang law ang naipasa mo na nakinabang ang mga OFW’s?…wala ka namang ginawa kung hindi porma ng porma sa mga hearing sa senado “in aide of legilation”…anong batas ang naipasa mo as a result of those hearings?…ang police cars sa taguig may pangalan pa ng asawa mo sa likod…hindi ka ba nahihiya nyan sa pinaggagawa nyong pamilya?…all of my family members will not vote for you, dahil inuuto mo lahat….

  • Commentator

    “We call them modern-day heroes”

    weh. no disrepect sa mga OFWs pero nagtratrabaho kayo at naghihirap sa ibang bansa para buhayin ang pamilya niyo at hindi para maging bayani ng bansa.

    eh kaya nga kayo nasa ibang bansa kasi napakawalang kwenta ng bansa natin diba. tapos tatawagin kayong BAYANI? labo

    • Jun Santiago

      @tANG INA NIO .. Common sense naman at wag maging Tanga…
      Dahil sa OFW’s ang pera ng ibang bansa pumupunta sa atin kaya gumaganda ang economiya o negosyo ng dahil may perang pambili ang mga pamilya ng mga OFW….Ang government natin ay kumiti sa TAX sa mga negosyante at tao.. kaya meron na ring pera ang Government pag gastos at pambayad ng utang sa labas ng bansa…
      Ano kaba… ikaw lang ata ang Ganyan…

      • Commentator

        hoy tanga hindi mo naiintindihan eh no.

        napipilitan mag ibang bansa ang mga tao kasi walang.trabaho dito. may pinoy bang nagsasabi ng “gusto ko maging bayani at magsakripisyo pra sa bansa ko kaya ako mag oofw”

        may ganyan ba? nagiibang bansa sila kasiwalang kwenta dito hindi para maging bayani! eh kung hindi naman puro magnanakaw ang mga tao sa gobyerno hindi natin kailangan ng “bayani”.

        gets mo na ba? ang tanga….

  • labcu

    Under Aquino administration means all from top to botton and vice versa all elected and appointed officials and all government employees must deliver development/ecomic programs that would create jobs for the people! The Filipinos are pleased to know what job/income generating programs that already impacted the lives of the people that had been implemented by the office of the good senator.

  • Ronny Cadag

    as an ofw of 30 years what i want to see is some compensation when we retire. we had been paying the poea and owwa for membership and other things but can only receive some form of compensation if we figure in an accident. how about the rest of us who had toiled all these years without receiving anything from poea or owwa? when we are working we do not need assistance because the companies we work for usually pays for medical expenses but when we retire we have nothing. therefore i ask that we receive at least some form of compensation for the so many years of service to the country as an ofw.

    • shane oy

      Dental missions po marami nya schedule ang OWWA. Specialty nila yan.

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