Category Archives: Overseas workers

Unsurprising SONA tweets: my comments


On July 23, President Aquino III delivered his SONA (State of the Nation Address) to inform the Filipinos inside and abroad, on the condition of the country under his administration.

I have read and select some post-SONA comments, using hashtags #SONA2012 that Filipinos had, they be groups or individual, on tweeter. Here’s what I would have to say…

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Filed under Human Rights, Journalism, Overseas workers, Politics

Reducing OFWs to abstract, commodity

This article is about the negative impact of classifying OFWs according to their skills–“lowly skilled”; “semi-skilled” and “highly skilled”– blogger.

If the argument was purposely to label the workers according to their type of work, yes they can do it and they’ve done it. That is how commodities (are we?) are labeled, right? When the government decides on a matter of policy one is very likely or forced to, whether OFWs likes it or not, comply with it. But complying with it does not mean one agrees with it, or this will become absolutely correct at all.

But whether it has use in reality or what impact is has had in ones daily life, no scholar or government can feel the depth of what a person is experiencing. If the policy needs to be changed, then it is where it should go. It is (in theory) for the OFW, not for the sake of having a policy, right?

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Filed under Expat's life, Overseas workers, Public opinion

Filipinos can’t be divided in stereotypes

This article is a response to “Why Mareng Winnie was (likely) not addressing you” article published at – blogger.

This makes sense. Monsod’s argument about ‘traitor’ was inexcusably wrong.
But to divide and classify Filipinos abroad, in this article, merely of their work types–“highly skilled”, “semi-skilled” and “low-skilled”, itself does not speak of the reality.

It disfranchises, does not recognize and denies the existence of other Filipinos not falling under this author’s stereotypes.

This broad, generalization and stereotyping do not help at all. We cannot divide humans and their experiences merely because that is what is written in their work permits; or, their condition of stay in foreign countries.

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Migrants and their children treated subhumans


Largely migration is one person’s option when opportunities and chances of good life from his/her country of origin in dim.

But in some countries, for instance Burma, migration is not only motivated by the lack of opportunities back home but also a means to escape from persecution by the state authorities from whom they came from. The person who are supposed to protect their rights and ensure their wellbeing are the same persons responsible of shattering ones lives into bits of pieces.

Apart from being forced to leave from their home land for varying reasons, their descendants as well have had to suffer the consequences of their parent’s migration of their succeeding life ahead. The life of migrant’s siblings have already been decided even before the latter gains reason to defend themselves.

In Thailand, pregnant migrant workers has been threatened with deportation by the government. Migrant workers there are largely coming from Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. The Thai government unjustifiably considers this pregnant women as threats to national security, and that it requires action from them.

Apart from that, the supposed basic necessities for others; for instance use of mobile phone, motorcycle, medication for sick workers, amongst others things, is unlawful for migrant workers in Thailand, particularly in the border.

I was told that in Mae Sot one time a Burmese factory worker injured herself but refused to be taken to the hospital. The reasons: she has no proper documentation and the hospital bill would be charged from her meager salary. Not only she is afraid of being deported back to troubled Burma, she too had to endure her injuries for lack of any options. For her to suffer such was unthinkable for me but this however has become the way of life for migrants there.

In Hong Kong, the future of siblings of migrant couples are uncertain. The Hong Kong government do not consider giving either citizenship nor permanent residence to siblings of migrant workers who had nature of employment as domestic workers. These babies in effect would then be considered as undocumented alien and are vulnerable to deportation perhaps by the government.

In Japan, even siblings of migrant workers whose father are Japanese could not even obtain citizenship of their fathers unless the latter acknowledged it is his child. A large number of Japinos or Filipino-Japanese have been deprived of rights and welfare over this migration policies. This policy, however, has given more opportunity for Japanese fathers to exploit the female migrant workers.

This is however goes beyond the issue of morality amongst Japanese fathers but it’s a repressive policies depriving fundamental rights to children, who, in the first place caught in the middle and left without choice. Some siblings with Japanese have even experienced of being deported back to the Philippines and left to starve there.

Migrants and their children should not suffer this.

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Filed under Human Rights, Laws, Overseas workers

Restore minimum wage of HK maids

Note: this letter to the editor was published by the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong on 3 February 2006

IN relation to SCMP‘s January 27 story entitled:”Scrap levy, restore our $400 pay cut, say maids”, i strongly believed that to reinstate the minimum wage of migrant workers has long been delayed.

With the improving economy in Hong Kong, the justification to imposed the levy is no longer reasonable – if indeed it the levy is premised on HKs economy.
I express deep symphaty with my fellow Filipinos who are forced to leave their own children to take care of others; who opted to skip snacks to save money; who cut each others’ hair instead of paying a costly saloon hair cut, among others things, as part of their daily life to surive while working here.

To reinstate the worker’s minimum wage will give justice to them and subsequently more prosperity to the Hong Kong people. To me, I think the contested amount is fair enough. After all, it’s not wage increase but benefit that for them but was cut.

I had admirations regarding the HK government’s general treatment of Filipino maids. But it pains me to learn the the migrant worker’s petition for a judicial review on the levy to the effect of reinstating the worker’s minimum wage is dragging on. I would like to draw the HK government’s attention to resolve this without delay.

I was raised in a not so well off family, so i feel how this workers feel while working here. I dreamed of someday that my country back home could offer more jobs so that no Filipinos would be forced leave their home to come here for work.

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Filed under Human Rights, Letter to the editor, Overseas workers, Public opinion