An alliance of organizations composed of overseas Filipinos and their
families today slammed the new POEA guidelines on direct hiring as
another Arroyo scheme against the interests of OFWs.
“Mafiosi is the most apt description for these new POEA guidelines.
It exposes the Arroyo administration as a ruthless thug whose message
is that all activities in its labor exportation alley must fall under
its `protection racket’. We demand no less than the immediate
scrapping of POEA MC 04,” says Connie Bragas-Regalado, Migrante
The POEA MC 04 was implemented last December 2007 and it covers all
foreign employers wishing to directly hire Filipino workers. It also
requires foreign employers to post a Performance Bond equivalent to 3
months salary of the OFW and a US$5,000 Repatriation Bond.
“Although the Arroyo administration is sure to justify these bonds as
insurance for the welfare of the OFW, it is clearly nothing but
`grease money’ in that foreign employers will only be allowed to
recruit if they fork out the necessary funds. The painful reality
here form OFWs is that employers usually extract their recruitment
costs from the OFWs themselves – either through their maximum
exploitation or through direct deductions from their salary,” she added.
Central Bank figures indicate remittances from overseas Filipinos last
year was around US$14 billion while state exactions or fees by OFWs to
various government agencies amount to approximately P13 billion annually.
Global actions against the POEA MC 04
“OFWs around the world are already in an uproar against this latest
exploitative scheme. We commit to intensifying the campaign to demand
its immediate scrapping. Further, given that this scheme underlines
how Arroyo will never implement policies for our genuine benefit – we
will also strengthen the campaign for her immediate ouster,” said
As part of its campaign to scrap POEA MC 04 and oppose other unjust
anti-migrant policies, a petition campaign and a series of protest
actions in the , , , the Middle East and
other countries is being spearheaded by Migrante International and its
member organizations in the coming weeks. #