Attention all OFWs:

Please read and sign the petition to scrap all unjust charges and government taxes on OFW remittances. Kindly circulate widely. Thanks.



The Filipino people are facing a crisis never before seen after the time of the Marcos dictatorship. In the latest SWS survey, a total of 16.3 percent of families nationwide, equivalent to 2.9 million households or around 14.5 million people, experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the previous quarter. Prices of basic needs and services continue to rise. And yet, the Arroyo administration continues to deny immediate relief to the people by removing the VAT on oil and power.

Overseas Filipino workers are also adversely affected by this crisis. Remittances amounting to billions of dollars are not an indicator that OFWs have more money to provide for their families. In fact, they have to tighten their belts abroad so they do not need to lessen the $200 they send to their families at home. But due to skyrocketing prices in the Philippines, this amount is simply not enough.

Meanwhile, government and big business continue to earn billions of dollars from OFW remittances. The government directly benefits from the remittances of OFWs through taxes, such as the .15% documentary stamp tax collected in every transaction. For every billion dollars remitted monthly, the government earns $1.5M or P62M. This is aside from other fees charged to the OFWs before leaving the country.

Banks and private business also rake in gargantuan profits. For every $200 remittance sent monthly, $15-$22 is charged as service fee. For 10 million OFWs sending remittances, banks earn a staggering $1B every month.

On the other hand, OFWs are left with almost nothing. Thousands of OFWs experience oppressive working conditions and human rights abuses abroad, thousands are stranded in different countries and many are in death row. While proclaiming as “bagong bayanis,” the Arroyo government continues to neglect the plight of OFWs.

The $200 monthly remittances their families receive have radically shrunk and continue to shrink with the spiraling prices of almost all basic needs and services. And the Arroyo government refuses to scrap remittance charges and fees.

This predatory practice of charging remittances is practically feeding off our blood, sweat and tears. Enough is enough! Scrap remittance charges! Scrap VAT on oil and power! Repeal Oil Deregulation Law!


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