Migrante bucks cutback in Philippine diplomatic posts
An alliance of overseas Filipino workers and their families criticized plans by the Department of Foreign Affairs to close down 12 Philippine embassies and consulates by the end of 2012.
Migrante International said more diplomatic posts should be set up to serve the increasing number of OFWs. Also, Filipino workers and migrants were also spreading in more and more countries and territories.
“Not only is it highly impractical but outright insensitive to the plight of our OFWs. We have a shortage of Philippine posts abroad as it is. It is unfortunate that the Aquino administration is assailing embassies and consulates, the very support system of our OFWs abroad, for its austerity measures and at the expense of welfare services for OFWs,” Migrante chairman Garry Martinez said in a statement.
Martinez pointed out that there are currently 66 Philippine embassies, 23 consulates and four diplomatic missions worldwide. However, overseas Filipinos are situated in at least 239 countries and territories.
In a phone interview, Martinez added that the even if Philippine Overseas Labor Office and welfare offices were retained and increased, such “minor” offices would not have the diplomatic leverage to protect Filipino nationals.
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