OFWs protest pork, send no money


MANILA, Philippines—At least 300 Filipino migrant organizations in 23 countries across the globe participated in Thursday’s Zero Remittance Day protest against the pork barrel and widespread corruption in the Philippine government.

According to Migrante International, overseas Filipinos workers in Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Malaysia, Macau, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States expressed their support and participated in the action.

Spearheaded by Depork! (Overseas Filipinos Demand Abolition of Pork), Zero Remittance Day was a symbolic protest where Filipinos toiling in different parts of the world withheld their remittances to their loved ones in the Philippines for one day to collectively show their outrage at the theft of their hard-earned money in the form of taxes by government officials.

Malacañang earlier downplayed any effects of the protest.

“We won’t be surprised if tomorrow the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) issues manufactured data on remittances sent today to show that the OFWs’ remittances were within the daily average inflow. Then Palace spin doctors will echo that Zero Remittance Day had no impact on the economy,” said John Leonard Monterona of Migrante Middle East-North Africa.

Monterona said the OFWs did not intend to sabotage the economy by withholding their remittance—upon which the government is heavily dependent—for one day. In July alone, the last month with final records, OFWs around the world sent home to loved ones in the Philippines P1.9 billion.

Migrante said they decided to hold the protest on Sept. 19 as the day coincided with the anniversary of the implementation of Overseas Workers Welfare Assistance Omnibus Policies (OOP) that made the $25 Owwa contributions mandatory per contract.

The OOP also limited benefits and services provided by the Owwa to member OFWs, Migrante claimed.

“We raise our call to the government to allocate our taxes and remittances should be allocated to social services and greater state subsidies for OFWs in distress,” said Connie Bragas-Regalado, one of the convenors of Depork!

Garry Martinez of Migrante and also a Depork! convenor said Zero Remittance Day was just the beginning.

“More global protests are coming and OFWs are geared up for longer zero remittance days in the next weeks,” said Martinez.

OFWs who were home from Saudi Arabia, Macau, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Syria and Dubai, together with their families, held a rally at Mendiola on Thursday in support of Zero Remittance Day.

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  • denzel_alfonso

    Wala yan, Yung mga OFW na di magpadala ay baka walang pera na ipapadala. Kaming mga seamen automatic 80% sa bank at minsan may additional pa pag may enrollment, birthday or Christmas.

  • Pio Pusli

    what a bunch of morons!!! did the idyots realized who’s affected? what difference that it makes if you send the next day again or back to normal the next month? will the corrupt politicians and rich people shed a tear for this? will their stolen money disappear and return to the govt? what a bunch of nitwits! this country is not moving because of this moronic people who papapel without using their brain. as a resident of Europe in late 80’s, I meet lots of these activists. they have all one thing in common, their boss is in netherlands and all are communists.

    • $51012568

      why? you hate the idea of the OFW’s protesting the pork? what do you want them to do alternatively? write letters to the president? or just ignore whats happening to their motherland?

      • Pio Pusli

        if you have reading comprehension, my point here is, this a pointless useless and stupid way of protest. only the ordinary people will be affected. there are lots of way to attract attention or manifest your protests but as i said this is the stupidest thing to do. got it, moron?

      • AmericanBana

        OK Genius, what’s YOUR SOLUTION?

      • Pio Pusli

        well moron. i didn’t say i have solution. all i have said was “holding remittance is the most idiotic way to protest” got that, styupid? here’s a question low IQ, feel the people, if they’re so outrage, there’s already another edsa 3, 4, 5…10, got that moron. now, to answer my question, majority of the people trust this gov’t in handling the current issues. the problem with people like you, either, pro marcos, pro gloria, pro binay, pro communists, this gov’t is good for nothing. but look at the majority, idyot, pnoy has 75% approval rating, got that dimwit?

  • philpatriot

    Ang mga artista ayaw ng magartista mas malakas kasi ang kita sa politika. Tignan mo si Joseph estrada,Lito Lapid,Jingoy Estrada, Bong revilla,J.R.Ejercito. They are bunch of Thieves.Ang babaw ng katwiran ang sinisi sa pagnananakaw nila ay ang kanilang chief of staff. Dahil guity kung ano ano ang iniisip kung papaano makalulusot. Sugarol ang mga ito kaya may kasabihan ang kapatid ng magnanakaw ay ang mga sugarol. Kailangan ng gobyerno na sampulan ang mga ito ng life sentence para di na pamarisan. Tawa kulang kapag humihimas na sila ng rehas na bakal. Lalo na si Bong Revilla at Jingoy ubod sa yabang ng dalawang ito kung umasta akala mo kanila na ang kongreso. Dapat sa mga ito bulukin sa bilanguan. Nakita kunang ngumingsi ang Ombudsman at may kasama pang pagpapatawa. Ang ibig sabihin nito malapit lapit na ang mga mangdarambong sa piitang bakal ng munting lupa.

  • Olibo

    Don’t vote for all politicians involved in pork barrel scams next election.

  • romelo

    Here in KSA, while I’ve not heard of any Kabayan defending those who are involved in the pork barrel scam or corruption in general, most of them find the proposed remittance boycott to be impractical or unrealistic. The general sentiment is something like, why should I punish my family for the sins of our corrupt officials or politicians? Moreover, the date of the remittance boycott is September 20, which is away from the days when OFWs receive their salary for the month. In short, the boycott call has no impact at all.

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