Fil-Ams too won’t remit on October 29

An alliance of 12 organizations in five cities across the United States has signified their intention to support the International Migrants Alliance (IMA) and Migrante International’s call for overseas Filipinos not to remit their hard earned cash on October 29 to protest the Global Forum on Migration and Development’s (GFMD) agenda of legitimizing “forced migration and systematic exploitation of cheap labor.”

“We support the call of IMA for a day of no remittance because we believe the Philippine model of outmigration is not an example to be proud of,” Chito Quijano, chairperson of the US chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) said.

BAYAN USA continued, thus:

“Using the Philippines as a case study (in the GFMD), massive and aggressive outmigration of over 3,000 Filipinos daily is an indicator of domestic economic failure, not development. The Philippines now has the most remittance-dependent economy in the world, and domestically is in a chronic state of economic crisis and massive poverty that will only get worse with the looming global financial crisis. At the same time overseas Filipinos around the world remain oppressed, exploited, abused in their host countries, and unprotected by the very government that pushed them out. This is anything but ‘development’ the people of the world seek. By not remitting for one day, Filipinos all over the world harness their economic power and take a stand against the sick and violative nature of the Philippine labor export program.”

The US-based Pinoys throwing of support for the “zero remittance day” call came after Asian migrants have vowed “zero remittance for the biggest violators of the rights of migrants.”

The Asian Migrants Coordinating Body in Hong Kong recently held protest rallies in the consulates of Nepal, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, the US, the office of the European Council and HK’s Central Government Office as part of the internationally-coordinated 10-day countdown against the GFMD.

“The hypocrisy of the GFMD is concretized in the policies on migrants of these governments. There is no way that the GFMD can really serve the interest of migrants if it does nothing to address the anti-migrant policies we are already suffering from,” said Dolores Balladares, AMCB spokesperson.

For Migrante International’s chapter in the Middle East, the “zero remittance day” call is “legitimate and a fair act of protest.” The group stated that OFWs who will be heeding the call on October 29 should not be accused of being “economic saboteurs” by the Arroyo government.

“The Arroyo administration and its minions are the real economic saboteur as we have seen unto the numerous cases of corruptions in the past including this ZTE broadband anomalous deal,” said John Leonard Monterona of Migrante-ME.

So, they are all in with the ZRD. Are you?

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