Is the Philippine government hell-bent on milking poor OFWs of money?

Another lawmaker has thought of a brilliant way to make money out of our hardworking and mostly cash-strapped Filipino overseas foreign workers (OFWs). Congresswoman Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David authored a bill that would increase the contribution of every departing OFW to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) from $25.00 to $50.00 (Php2,400).

Unsurprisingly, her bill is being strongly-opposed by the OFWs themselves. According to them, OWWA Resolution No. 038 in 2003 that obligates OFWs to pay $25 per contract for the Emergency Repatriation Fund (ERF) is already enough. However, Bonoan-David wants to amend Republic Act 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 primarily to increase the fee.

The reason Bonoan-David gave for her proposed increase in the fee is that it will boost the Philippine government’s efforts to help distressed OFWs in strife-torn countries. It sounds good on paper but it’s really not. When Filipino politicians are involved, funds tend to get mismanaged. And why the heck do OFWs need to pay to be able to work abroad? It’s not like the government helped them find a job in the first place. The government is not even capable of providing jobs for them at home, which is the number one reason why Filipinos are forced to go seek employment overseas. It seems the Philippine government is getting more brazen in its continued violation of the OFWs’ right to travel.

Even some recruitment agents are not happy with the bill. Recruitment consultant Emmanuel Geslani stressed that the congresswoman might be breaking another law in seeking to amend Republic Act 8042. He said, “under Republic Act 10022, no additional fees may be imposed on top of the current fees stated in the law.” Furthermore, the OWWA already “accumulates P100 million every year for a total of P13 billion.” The consultant is also worried that the bill could turn off potential foreign employers who shoulder the OWWA contribution and could “cause the reduction of foreign companies who hire OFWs.”

The congresswoman has definitely caused uproar among OFWs with her proposal and I can understand why. Her reason is very lame and out of touch with reality. Some OFWs barely scrape enough cash to bring with them. I know of someone who was lucky to get a permit to work in Canada as a hairdresser but she didn’t have enough pocket money to bring with her so she had to ask for donations from family and friends to sustain her stay until she gets her first paycheck. She probably managed to collect less than $500.00 from everyone who could give. The thought that the government has to grab $50.00 dollars from people like her if ever the bill is passed is not just crazy, it’s also stupid considering the millions generated from the $25.00 from every departing OFW is said to be not even accounted for while some still languish in foreign lands unassisted by the Philippine government.

It’s bad enough that OFWs have to go through an eye-of-the-needle-like procedure at the airport due to the mandatory paperwork they have to show before they can be allowed to board the plane. All that is made even worse now that the fees they may have to pay would leave a big hole in their pockets. The required fee doesn’t stop with the OWWA contribution. They also have to pay the POEA processing fee of PhP100.00; Philhealth contribution of PhP900.00; Pag-Ibig membership of PhP100.00, not to mention the ever-increasing airport tax! All this financial strain just adds to the physical and emotional strain every OFW has to go through every time they leave the country.

OFW group Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) is making a lot of noise and is seeking a dialogue with Congresswoman Bonoan-David. It would be interesting to see if the Congresswoman would even bother to listen to their grievances. Most lawmakers are good at ignoring the people they are supposed to be representing. John Leonard Monterona, M-ME regional coordinator labeled the proposal clearly anti-OFW.

Under former President Gloria Arroyo’s government, OFWs were hailed as a hero and were not required to go through a validation procedure at the airport anymore, giving them hassle-free departures. In contrast, President Noynoy Aquino (PNoy) seems silent on the matter, not even bothering to look into the woes of the OFWs.

It is disappointing that the current government is neglecting its Number One revenue earner. The OFW contribution in terms of remittances is said to have reached $1.7 billion for April alone.

To be honest, Congresswoman Bonoan-David’s proposal has laziness written all over it. Instead of a bill that could potentially milk more money out of the OFWs, she should come up with more legislation that contributes towards generating more jobs in the country so Filipinos would not have to go abroad. Lawmakers need to address the country’s dependence on remittances from overseas foreign workers (OFWs).

Like what I said in my previous article, the Philippine economy will collapse without the OFWs. The economic policy of exporting laborers as a response to our economic woes has to be addressed in the long-term. PNoy is probably thinking that he doesn’t have to work on the economy because he can rely on the remittances anyway, but as a country we cannot be too dependent on OFWs forever. In a study, Canadian professor Prod Laquian concluded that the export of workers has prevented the Philippines from advancing as a self-sustaining nation. He also likens the country to a man who “has become lazy because he receives remittances from a wife working as a domestic worker abroad.” Furthermore…

He noted that the Philippine government adopted the labor export program in 1974 as a stop-gap measure to ease unemployment and foreign exchange problems.

However, after 37 years, the Philippine economy has become heavily dependent on remittances, he said.

Almost ten million Filipinos are currently working overseas, mostly in North America, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Europe, he noted.

Laquian stated that the most serious negative effect of Philippine labor export policies “has been the neglect of domestic production and poor investments in infrastructure, agriculture, mining, export promotion, and social development because of the easy availability of funds from remittances.”

“The country may be likened to a man who has become lazy because he receives remittances from a wife working as a domestic worker abroad,” Laquian said.

“For the government, the easy money from foreign remittances is a major cause of its inability to pursue sound economic development programs,” he added

I am just glad that I am not an OFW. There is no way in hell I would be happy to give this government more money that they can’t even manage well, specially since PNoy is under pressure to show economic growth after a slump last year. He’s probably happy someone from under his government thought of an easy way to tax the slaves.

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Post Author: Ilda

In life, things are not always what they seem.

110 thoughts on “Is the Philippine government hell-bent on milking poor OFWs of money?

    Bill Steffen

    (June 21, 2012 - 11:49 am)

    As a foreigner I never could understand why the govt made it so hard on the OFWs! Good Article!

      Ilda

      (June 21, 2012 - 2:54 pm)

      As a Filipino, I can’t understand it either.

      Thanks

        pururut

        (June 23, 2012 - 11:51 pm)

        as an ofw, also i cannot understand this government..

          sana

          (June 28, 2012 - 10:32 am)

          me either

    tonybac

    (June 21, 2012 - 11:57 am)

    Good for you you’re not an OFW. Kapal din naman ng mukha ng kongresistang ito. Grabe! Mga wala na ngang silbi, mangongotong pa! Puro lang misplaced priorities! Are our esteemed leaders really that out of touch of what is happening with their surroundings to really come up with another stupid law that wouldn’t really benefit anyway those who are going to be affected first-hand? Swapang! Ganid! Buwaya! hehehe

      Ilda

      (June 21, 2012 - 2:52 pm)

      Hi Tony

      I can understand why you guys would be outraged. It’s too much money the public servants cannot be trusted with. I hope they would stop coming up with this kind of costly ideas. Maybe Binay’s airfare came from the OFW funds too. Frankly, his trips to China last year to try and save the drug smugglers were pointless and very costly. It’s not like he travels alone on those trips. Unfortunately, they just do what they want without thinking.

        A

        (June 21, 2012 - 7:36 pm)

        I wish we were like China and would also eliminate all the drug smugglers and not cave in to political pressure from other gov’ts.

          Ilda

          (June 21, 2012 - 7:55 pm)

          Yes, our law enforcement agencies and justice system should punish the criminals and reward the law abiding citizens. That’s the only way to achieve peace and order in our society.

    up nn Grad

    (June 21, 2012 - 1:54 pm)

    OH, NO!!! Lacierda/Ochoa (and maybe MLQ3 and Valte) will make sure that PersiNoynoy never reads your blog post. That’s because you actually suggested that GuLLOO’s administration was more pro-OFW than the Noynoy administration.

      Ilda

      (June 21, 2012 - 3:00 pm)

      The triumphalists Malacanang staff members will not like it, indeed. They are probably busy with their SONA at the moment. Good luck with that.

    Gogs

    (June 21, 2012 - 2:24 pm)

    It is truly more fun in the Philippines. No work for you here but pass go and pay $50 on the way out. What’s that game again? Oh yeah. Monopoly.

    rich but poor

    (June 21, 2012 - 2:43 pm)

    puro na lang ba pagkakaperahan ang topic sa mga sessions ng mga ulupong na mga officials na yan?!

    BenK

    (June 21, 2012 - 2:44 pm)

    According to Channel 5 just in the past hour or so, the Congresswoman has apparently caved to the universal ridicule and withdrawn the bill.

      Ilda

      (June 21, 2012 - 3:04 pm)

      Oh wow! That is good to know. Was that due to the power of social media? 😉

        BenK

        (June 21, 2012 - 5:52 pm)

        Her office apparently contacted Migrante and told them she would withdraw the bill, so we’ll have to keep an eye on this. I don’t know if it was “the social media”, or if she just grew a clue that introducing a bill that was going to piss off a huge constituency ahead of an election was probably not a good idea.

          Ilda

          (June 21, 2012 - 6:25 pm)

          At least there is still some sense in her. That should teach others to look into the consequences of their actions before doing something.

          I’m sure social media has something to do with it too because her photo was being passed around on Facebook along with a lot of unflattering remarks. And someone wrote an open letter to her too. Not to mention mainstream media has been quoting Twitter comments in their news report.

          Paul Farol

          (June 21, 2012 - 7:33 pm)

          A lot of OFW groups probably visited her office or sent word, one way or another.

          I’d also probably credit Susan Ople and others who spoke out against it through their AM radio programs. Susan or Toots heads the Ople Center and has been an advocate for OFWs.

          Ilda

          (June 21, 2012 - 7:52 pm)

          Goes to show that when we Filipinos are united against or for an issue and are more pro-active in voicing our opinions to our public servants, we can pressure them into working for us.

    Sid

    (June 21, 2012 - 5:56 pm)

    This really annoys me to no end. For me, traveling overseas should be regarded as a relaxing luxury, not some prerequisite to a decent life. Besides most of the OFW’s would rather go back home than to assimilate into their place of work.

    I’d like to see more Filipinos traveling for the sake of adventure and new thrills rather than worrying when they can send a paycheck to heir families.

      Ilda

      (June 21, 2012 - 6:22 pm)

      I’m sure most OFWs would rather be soaking up some sun in the Bahamas or leisurely looking at artworks at the Louvre Museum instead of waiting on someone’s behind all day. They just don’t have a lot of options. I don’t like the OFW phenomenon too. I hate the fact that some leave their kids behind while they take care of someone else’s kids in another country. But at least they are not wallowing in self-pity just waiting for manna from heaven like some do.

      What’s annoying is when OFWs get robbed by the government.

    K3

    (June 21, 2012 - 6:08 pm)

    Killing the goose that lays golden eggs. Smart move Rep. Bonoan-David!

    If you ever run for higher office, you can expect my vote to be waster before it goes to you.

      K3

      (June 21, 2012 - 6:08 pm)

      *wasted

    alconce

    (June 21, 2012 - 7:15 pm)

    For someone called “honorable”, she should not have even thought about it in the first place. Just goes to show the kind of people we elect to represent us in congress.

    hasik64

    (June 21, 2012 - 7:27 pm)

    This increase in the contribution of departing OFWs is just like the second collection during Sunday Masses in Catholic churches.Sobra na!

      Ilda

      (June 21, 2012 - 9:10 pm)

      Hey! That’s true. I could never understand the need for the second collection. The first one is already sort of an imposition. 🙂

        Crisostomo Ibarra

        (June 22, 2012 - 3:21 am)

        Good day!

        Well, everyone, everybody, everything has a second chance.. nope.. I mean second time..
        Hehehe..
        Were money today taste like food?

      Aegis-Judex

      (June 23, 2012 - 2:28 pm)

      My take on the second collection’s different. Personal experience–when the ‘dre calls for it, he’d sometimes say why. Other times, it need not be said (cf post-Ondoy or post-Sendong).

    A

    (June 21, 2012 - 7:33 pm)

    Local elections are approaching and politicians need the funds.. What else is new?

      Crisostomo Ibarra

      (June 22, 2012 - 3:23 am)

      Good day!

      Whoah. They really know how to grow and harvest money from diligent and hardworking Filipinos.

    Paul Farol

    (June 21, 2012 - 7:35 pm)

    Bonoan-David is my Congresswoman and she’s not getting my vote in 2013.

      Crisostomo Ibarra

      (June 22, 2012 - 3:27 am)

      Good day!

      I’ll get her vote. I mean, I’ll get the Balot boxes with all her votes inside and just throw it away abroad. I’ll pay 50 dollars for the shipping so that the votes will have a bon voyage.

      Ice breaker.

    Izah

    (June 21, 2012 - 9:06 pm)

    Such a stupid law, obviously never studied nor considered all sides of those will be affected by such. Obviously, pera-pera lang, at masabi lang may nasulat na law.. lolz

      Ilda

      (June 21, 2012 - 10:26 pm)

      It gives you an idea of the kind of person who wrote it.

        Crisostomo Ibarra

        (June 22, 2012 - 3:29 am)

        Good day!

        Idealistic stupid bill of her own.

        Ice breaker.

    FallenAngel

    (June 21, 2012 - 9:18 pm)

    Nice write-up, Ilda.

    I just don’t really understand why the government requires OFW’s pay to work in another country. The government itself was also lax in not giving them an incentive to stay, for that matter.

    I can only imagine that PNoy will be opening his mouth about another “kabuwisitan” soon.

      Ilda

      (June 21, 2012 - 10:24 pm)

      @FallenAngel

      I heard that in a lot of cases, the government is slow to act when the need to evacuate OFWs arises. In fact, there is another advocacy group who help them when the government goes MIA. Also, since PNoy wants to “save”, he closed down a few embassies in other countries. Like what someone said, “Aquino government is telling our OFWs: Go ahead and continue sending the remittances our economy is seriously addicted to, but when you need government help, you have to take the bus or a plane to the nearest Philippine diplomatic mission.”

      Thanks!

        FallenAngel

        (June 21, 2012 - 11:56 pm)

        It’s effectively not just biting the hand that feeds the economy, it’s cutting it off. And still expecting it to keep giving. He’s approving budget cuts in the wrong areas. Oh well, not surprising.

        Danny Swift

        (July 2, 2012 - 7:04 pm)

        It’s a pity. We see ill government practices every time getting unbearably worse. However as expected, it just keep on getting worse.
        The radical reason for this is the culture. It’s sad to say it but the nauseatingly rubbish mindset of most government politicians and officials is the clear mirror of majority of the citizens of this country: PARASITIC!
        Whatever we few people would say it would just be a drop of water in vast ocean of sands.
        Majority of Filipinos don’t even care if this country would go to the rabid dogs. What they most care about is they can play their stereo or karaokes so loud pestering their neighbors, sell their votes for a lousy sandwich meal and demand a share from the income of their neighbors or their relatives working abroad.

      Fishball

      (June 21, 2012 - 10:30 pm)

      Dont brand the president as that because he is doing a good performance in his job for us as his bosses. He had recently signed the
      Foster Care Act of 2012,
      which seeks to
      systematize and enhance
      the foster care program in the country. Foster care refers to the provision of planned temporary parental care to
      a child below 18 years old
      by a person duly licensed
      by the Department of Social Welfare and
      Development.

      Justice Sereno has also the odds to be chief justice so lets support her.

        Gogs

        (June 21, 2012 - 10:36 pm)

        Kris, your Kuya? I am sure he signed for his Xbox live membership . Make some more generals wait.

        Daido Katsumi

        (June 21, 2012 - 11:14 pm)

        You should have a job after all… as a comedian. You make us laugh with your immaturity.

        And no, the president STILL doesn’t do his job very well.

        FallenAngel

        (June 22, 2012 - 12:00 am)

        Oh really?!?! And that affects the OFW’s in a good way exactly how!?!?!?

        Your beloved president should be working to reduce our dependence on OFW remittances, but instead, he’s making us more reliant on them, and leaving the OFW’s for dead, literally and financially.

        Those OFW’s will have a lot to say about his “good performance”.

          Fishball

          (June 22, 2012 - 1:49 am)

          There are 3 years left and that is a big time that the president can change this country. It is not like making a building which is done immediately.

          Amir Al Bahr

          (June 22, 2012 - 12:21 pm)

          3-4 years left? What about the 2 that he has already wasted, hmm?

        Danny Swift

        (July 2, 2012 - 7:13 pm)

        That’s it? PNoy also encourages congress to legalize the use of OWWA funds to lend money to other countries. To make the money grow? Rubbish! That is to have additional justifications in case most of the funds will disappear during election or for the royal trips and vacations of most government officials and politicians and their families abroad, and to pamper their royal lifestyles in this country.

      harold

      (July 9, 2012 - 4:57 pm)

      really your imagination has become a reality again for us OFW and we are bwisit na bwisit na, now philhealth will increase from 900 -2400..

    OFWSingapore

    (June 21, 2012 - 10:27 pm)

    A message for Cong. Theresa Bonoan-David of 4th District in Manila:

    To whom it may concern:

    Ano po ‘to? Anong kapalpakang panukala ito Ng isang babaeng hindi naman ata naging OFW?

    Ano po ‘tong dagdag bayad na nalalaman niya?Hindi niya po ba alam na madaming katulong sa Singapore, Riyadh, Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi, Jeddah at iba pang bansa, na isang beses sa isang buwan LNG nakakapag-off day? Hindi niya ba alam na may nga OFW dito na d na makauwe dahil OEC requirement na yan kaya ung iba, sa ibang bansa nalng nagbabakasyon?

    Hindi niya po ba Alam na madaming OFW na dalawang taon na pinagpapaguran ang contract, Hindi parin tapos sa pagbabayad Ng placement fee?

    Hindi niya po ba alam ang salitang pagdurusa?

    Marahil, makakatulong po sa bansa natin ang panukalang Ito. Bagamat, marami din po kasing nakakaalam hindi Lang mga Pinoy pati mga ibang lahi kung saan talaga mapupunta ang perang ito.

    Hindi pa po ba sapat Ang mga binabayad Ng OFW sa mga agency like western union sa bawat pagpapadala buwan buwan? Hindi po ba, ang mga OFW Ang bagong bayani? Hindi po ba, kaya gumaganda ang ekonomiya ng mahal kong bansa dahil sa remittance Ng mga OFW? Ano po ang nangyare?

    Marahil, madami na ng mga OFW ang umunlad ang buhay. Marahil marami na ang mga OFW na nakaka- afford mag shopping at magbakasyon sa ibang bansa. Pero yung mga OFW na mga yun, ay wala sa kalinkingan nga mga OFW na tumatalon sa bahay ng amo mula sa mataas na palapag dahil minamaltrato, inaapi, ginagahasa, pinapatay sa gutom. Wala pa po yun kalingkingan ng mga OFW na nagpuputa dahil kulang ang perang pinapadala. Wala pa yun sa kalingkingan ng mga OFW na araw araw ay batid ang lungkot, paghihirap at pagdurusa dahil sa malayo sa pamilya nila. Dahil sa lumaki, nag-elementarya, sekondarya, at naka-graduate na ng kolehiyo ay hindi parin nakauwi dahil hirap sa pera.

    Ang babae po bang Ito Ay sadyang mangmang sa katutuhanan? Ang katutuhanan na ang pangingibang bansa ay hindi kasing dali ng pag-upo sa kongreso at pag-iisip ng batas na maiipanukala dahil malapit na ang eleksyon? O hindi kaya sadyang wala siyang maisip na panukala sa sarili niyang distrito kaya ang aatakihin niya ang mga taong wala sa bansa, dahil mahirap sila makapagsalita? Ang mga bayaning OFW.

    Iyon po ba ang trato sa mga bagong bayani? Ah… Tama nga naman, ang bayani bago maging tunay na Bayani, dapat pinapagdusa pa. Hindi pa ba sapat ang pagdurusa na nararanasan sa kasalukuyan ng mga OFW? Kulang pa po ba?

    Kaya ang mensahe ko po sa babaeng ito, congratulations po, at naagaw niyo po ang atensyon ng mga mamayan mula kay Claudine Baretto. Buti pa po Si Claudine, alam niya kung kelan siya maging bayolente, eh kayo po? Alam niyo po ba kng kelan at para kanino magpanukala ng batas? Congratulations po, dahil after ng mensaheng Ito, trending na kayo sa twitter. Pero sisiguraduhin ko po, sa eleksyon trending din po kayo, at hashtag niyo ay #kulelat.

    I’m speaking in behalf of those who have family outside the country. To those whose mother, father, brother or sister is working abroad for the longest time, yet, never given a chance to see each other since. This message is for every OFW in the country who share the same notion about this (new) law. This message is for those who spent their birthdays abroad alone, without even no one greeting them, not even their family because they have no enough money to make an overseas call. This is for every Filipino who believes that this idea is crap, trash, selfish, BULL****! This is for someone I know, who should have gone home on my wedding day but couldn’t because her employer would not allow her. This is for my mother!

    And yes Ms.-I-don’t-know-you, if you really believe that this is going to help the country, why don’t you volunteer yourself to be a domestic helper like my mom for years and be back in the Philippines, propose the same notion again, how about that?

    If you believe I am right… Please share.

      Fishball

      (June 21, 2012 - 10:42 pm)

      She already said that she has withdrawn the bill so stop and move on

        Ilda

        (June 21, 2012 - 10:44 pm)

        You can’t tell us what to do. Can’t you see that the campaign against it worked? But it’s not enough. We need to convince more people of this current government’s incompetence.

          Fishball

          (June 22, 2012 - 2:10 am)

          There is no incompetence in the current government because the people still trust it, recent survey says.

          LOOK HERE: It is Gloria that must be blamed here because of extremely high graft and corruption during her term. The greatest example is the national artist award to Dolphy. She stole and have it to Caparas because of debt of gratitude. Many protested and now there is a hold order of nominations for new artists, made by no other than Gloria. People will have more reasons to have her.

          And your reply’s background color looks like Raissa quoting a source.

          Daido Katsumi

          (June 26, 2012 - 11:37 am)

          @Fishball:

          Still missing the point. You still have a blind eye because incompetence is still rampant. And Gloria shouldn’t be blamed because in every from of government, there is ALWAYS corruption. Only intelligent people knows this while you mediocre people wouldn’t get it.

          And please, don’t compare Raissa to Ilda. Raissa’s blog has more tsismis compared to this. 😛

        jeanne

        (June 22, 2012 - 1:24 pm)

        Why ask her to stop? Just ebcuase the bill is retraced for the time being doesn’t mean that it cannot be revived. This is a major sore spot for the writer and she exercises her freedom of thought. Even you have no right to stop her from expressing whtaever she is feeling. That same right is also afforded to you. If you wat her to be stopped, then you are also given the right to be stopped. One sauce apply all (I meant the sauce for the goose and the gander).

    traffice2000

    (June 21, 2012 - 10:39 pm)

    Congresswoman David – a heartless lawmakers.
    Did she ever check the conditions of OFW in OWWA when there getting their EOC as required by the government before your work abroad?
    Ang haba ng pila at lahat binabayaran from tubig, kape, ballpen…punyeta! nagbabayad ka na pagwala kang dalang ballpen bibili ka pa…isang araw ang uubusin mo para lang makuha mo EOC mo…..wala man lang pakape or patsaa!! at animal pa mga teller kala mo mga preso yung mga kumuha ng EOC kung makapagtaray at makaismid! kulang na nga sunugin mo yung building para wag ng tumungtong sa OWWA na yon..wala man lang silbi sa amin! kung taon taon ka pa nagbabakasyon taon taon ka rin magbabayad tapos dadagdagan mo…pangkain nalang namin eh ibibigay pa namin sa inyo…Curse you!! nakakahighblood…

    Fishball

    (June 21, 2012 - 10:51 pm)

    you must be now low blood because she has withdrawn the bill.

      Daido Katsumi

      (June 21, 2012 - 11:17 pm)

      Like Ilda said, that wasn’t enough. Stop screwing yourself and look at the bigger picture: most people should step up against the present government’s incompetence.

        Fishball

        (June 22, 2012 - 2:27 am)

        Who is more incompetent? Gloria or Noynoy? I’ll go for Gloria because all of her dirt is on the street.

          Totoong Pilipino

          (June 22, 2012 - 3:03 am)

          Good day!

          They were both super heroes and super villains. I like them both on these two categories. I admire them and at the same time I hate them. Let’s make it balance.

          Thanks,
          Crisostomo Ibarra

          Daido Katsumi

          (June 26, 2012 - 11:42 am)

          Nah. Noynoy has more dirt than Gloria. I mean, you’re just being EMO on her, claiming laiming she stole millions of YOUR money (when its the governments money to begin with. Taxation money ain’t yours son! You aren’t down with that? Complain about taxation without representation!) when she also was an efficient leader that kept the Philippines economy afloat, invested on its economic side and did what she could to keep the government from going astray as she wasn’t going to get any legitimacy as the transitional leader after Estrada. So in this system, she had to what she can to gain allies, even if it meant throwing money at them.

          Ok, why is Noynoy incompetent? He’s all blunders, blame games, allowing hostages and soldiers to be killed, going at parties instead of immediate response on calamity victims. Always not taking responsibility and instead blame on someone else. He has more dirt than Gloria because THAT is not what a leader should be.

          “Real leaders never play the blame game.” Never on her presidency did that. Noynoy is just the opposite.

          Cry more, dipsh*t. You’re just as dirty as a dirty fishball. Wouls you still blame Gloria for dirty fishballs? Get real. 😛

    Hyden Toro

    (June 21, 2012 - 11:46 pm)

    Bonoan-David proposed a law, that could bleed the departing OFW slaves, to the last drop. She should be sent to a foreign country. To work as an OFW, then be charged with the fee, she is proposing, with her meager earnings abroad. She has good pay, as a Congresswoman, with a lot of Pork Barrels. Does she has any sympathy or even a sense of empathy on our OFW slaves…

      Fishball

      (June 22, 2012 - 2:58 am)

      Don’t call our OFWs slaves because they are the new heroes of our nation.

        Totoong Pilipino

        (June 22, 2012 - 3:09 am)

        Good day!

        Before there were heroes, slaves were first. In my SO (stupid opinion), OFW’s were slaves of their homeland government. Their considered heroes because of their “pagiging martir” in their homeland’s government.

        Thanks,
        Crisostomo Ibarra

        tonybac or

        (June 22, 2012 - 4:07 am)

        Nagsalita ang OFW, walang OFW ang naniniwala dyan! Magtanong ka sa kaninong OFW, baka mura pa abutin mo. Sinong niloko ninyo? Bayani? Gatasan kamo!

        Hyden Toro

        (June 23, 2012 - 1:01 am)

        OFW slaves are called “Heroes”, to give fragrant names to their works. Like a Garbage Collector, called “Environmental Technician”…it’s nothing new about it. These people go to other countries; to work on low skill, low paying jobs. Live in dismal conditions, and are subject to all kinds of abuse by their employers…I have nothing against the job of collecting garbage. It’s an honest job. But, if you deceive people, of their hard conditions…this is something else…

        sana

        (June 28, 2012 - 10:57 am)

        Really? HEROES?That is what they want the majority of the masses to believe.That’s why they keep on advertising that “bagong bayani” on mass media. The reality is, the government itself don’t treat us as one.Go to owwa or poea, kulang na lang murahin nila ang mga ofw at duraan.madalas tatarayan nila.Same with poea and marina.At san ka nakakita ng bayani na pinagbabayad ng kung ano anobago pa lang makaalis? Kaya nga kami umaalis dahil kailangan ng pero tapos dami nyo pang hinihingi. all of this Bagong bayani thing is bs. We are heroes to our family but a “slave to this government”

    Dolly

    (June 22, 2012 - 12:37 am)

    Very well written, Ida. Thank you so much for your support.

    I am an OFW, too. Although I have a good job with a decent pay (I’m a teacher in a Catholic school), I’m very much in solidarity with fellow OFWs. Firstly, I don’t understand why OFWs are charged all those fees. Secondly, I am certainly NOT in agreement with this proposed bill.

    $50 may sound small for some, but in reality it is not, and definitely not for me. What is the worth of $50 for us, OFWs? For teachers like me, it means working 24/7. Paper works don’t stop even as we get out of the gates of the school. It also means sleepless nights to finish working on those papers. For some other OFWs, it means stretching their already tired bodies just so they’d be able to send a part of their income to their loved ones back home. And mind you, that “part of their income” would sometimes mean leaving NOTHING for themselves. $50 could also be spent for so many phone calls already just to hear the voices of loved ones back home, which give us strength and moral support. I could go on and on…

    Please, Ms. Bonoan-David, if you truly and genuinely care for OFWs, it should reflect on the kind of bill(s) that you author. Certainly, robbing OFWS of their hard-earned money does not reflect genuine care. Have MERCY and COMPASSION please.

      Fishball

      (June 22, 2012 - 2:24 am)

      Its all on Gloria especially the 12% EVAT. She must be in jail.

        Totoong Pilipino

        (June 22, 2012 - 2:58 am)

        Good day!

        Our food taste like VAT.

        Gogs

        (June 22, 2012 - 3:01 am)

        Sana walang corrupt, walang mahirap, walang Fishball.

        tonybac or

        (June 22, 2012 - 4:09 am)

        Pirma muna ng waiver, baka nagkakalimutan na yata e.

        Anonymous

        (June 22, 2012 - 9:41 am)

        Your president must sign the waiver first FISHCRAP if he is truly for the “daang matuwid”

        up nn Grad

        (June 23, 2012 - 2:22 pm)

        PersiNoynoy has to go for one more term, don’t you think? Otherwise, guLLOO will be out of jail before she has paid for her Hacienda Luisita sin. Only PersiNoynoy will move heaven and earth to make sure guLLOOrrYYAA is in jail by hook or by crook.

    Totoong Pilipino

    (June 22, 2012 - 1:32 am)

    Good day!

    I hope the Congresswoman would memorize this line. “Ako ay Pilipino. Mahal ko ang bayan at kababayan ko.”

    Ice breaker.

    alma

    (June 22, 2012 - 1:37 am)

    TO CONG. BONOAN-DAVID: ALAM MO? BOBA KA. SANA BAGO KA GUMAWA NG BATAS NAG RESEARCH KA MUNA HINDI MO BA ALAM NA MAY BATAS KA NA NILALABAG?R.A. 10022. BASAHIN MO. PATI YANG MGA STAFF MO NA PINASASAHOD MO (AY HINDI PALA IKAW ANG NAG PAPASUWELDO SI JUAN DELA CRUZ) WALAAANNNGGG KWENTA ANG NAISIP MONG PANUKALANG BATAS. WALA NG KWENTA MAPANG API PA SA MGA OFW. MATANONG NGA KITA ANO NA ANG GINAWA MONG PROYEKTO SA NASASAKUPAN MONG DISTRITO SA MANILA? ABER ANONG PINAG GAMITAN MO SA P200M PDAF MO? BUKOD SA PINANG SWELDO MO SA MGA STAFF MO NA HINDI RIN MARUNONG MAG-ISIP NA KATULAD MO???????

      Fishball

      (June 22, 2012 - 2:38 am)

      I think you are going below the belt. She is still a representative and honorable. The bill will not moved forward anymore. I think we as citizens must respect that.

        Totoong Pilipino

        (June 22, 2012 - 2:51 am)

        Good day!

        @ Alma: Subject is chemistry: Flaming reactions starts from hot emotions.
        @ Fishball: She’s only releasing the hot air inside. Everyone has their right to speak and express.

        PNP (peace na po)

        itchyBB

        (June 22, 2012 - 5:00 am)

        @ Fishball:

        Wow! Did you just ask her to respect the congresswoman because of her position. Did you even do that to GMA and Corona? Such effin’ hypocrisy!

        Talk about RESPECT. Geez! Mirror mirror please!

          Gogs

          (June 22, 2012 - 8:43 am)

          Itchy you ever see Fishball’s Kuya respect anybody? Runs in the family. Both will be the first to cry about not getting respect . Witness BS Aquino every time poll goes down.

          aaaaa

          (June 22, 2012 - 10:28 am)

          I’m convinced this street snack is being an idiot on purpose just so he can get off on our reactions against him.

        Danny Swift

        (July 2, 2012 - 7:39 pm)

        Honorable? This is what politicians and government officials furiously demand to be addressed. For what? For making billions even trillions pesos of the national budget each year disappear without any significant projects or accomplishments?
        You really must be from another planet.

    Totoong Pilipino

    (June 22, 2012 - 1:41 am)

    Good day!

    I hope all of you money face Politicians would do this. I have a secret on were you can get plenty of money and golds. Money and golds were not found on the pockets of our diligent and hardworking Filipinos comrades. All you have to do is wait for the rain to come. After the rain comes a rainbow. And at the end of the rainbow is a pot of gold. Go look for it and ask the Lefrecon for more.

    Ice breaker.

    Fishball

    (June 22, 2012 - 1:45 am)

    There is 3 years and that is a big time that the president can change this country. It is not like making a building which is done immediately.

      Totoong Pilipino

      (June 22, 2012 - 2:56 am)

      Good day!

      Yep, it’s through.

      Thanks,
      Crisostomo Ibarra

    Totoong Pilipino

    (June 22, 2012 - 1:47 am)

    Good day!

    Congresswoman has a beauty with high value. She looks like a money. Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas should make a 15 peso coin and with a face of her inside. (note that the 15 peso coin with a face of her has a whole on the center)

    Ice breaker.

      Fishball

      (June 22, 2012 - 2:18 am)

      I think you should be a great patriot and made a significant contribution to our country to be an icon in money like Ninoy and Cory. Thats why the P500 bill is my favorite.

        Totoong Pilipino

        (June 22, 2012 - 2:32 am)

        CC

          Totoong Pilipino

          (June 22, 2012 - 2:40 am)

          Cute Comment of yours.

          Anyway. I’ve already gave my contributions to our homeland and still looking for other meaningful and humanly ways to dedicate my sweat and blood. Sorry for all of my KO (killer opinions). I’ve done my part as a Filipino. I just wanted to be a someone to a no one so that she/he/they/them can wake up.

          GB and P (God Bless and Peace)

        Gogs

        (June 22, 2012 - 2:59 am)

        Not all of us have parents like you Krs. Stop making yabang. I know it worked for Kuya Noynoy. Having the right mom who died at the right time. His only accomplishment is being ksp like you.

          Crisostomo Ibarra

          (June 22, 2012 - 3:18 am)

          Good day!

          Whoah.

        Daido Katsumi

        (June 26, 2012 - 11:45 am)

        Ninoy is no hero. Cory is no saint.

        I pity fools like Fishball on believing the Aquino magic and hype. Maybe the Philippines will be a better place if people like you would never exist. 😀

        Danny Swift

        (July 2, 2012 - 7:53 pm)

        What major contributions did Cory gave to this country? Firstly, reinstate all the rubbish politicians back into a much wilder rampage, who now become much stronger and affluent than before. Secondly, change the name of some landmark buildings, roads and streets. What more? Evidently, nothing to make her deserve all the accolades given to her.
        If ever, only in the minds of the people. If we really look at why she was placed in her post because the dirty politicians at that very knew that she was weak to stop their rampage but have very strong popularity to win the sympathy of the majority.
        Just look around what is now happening to this country and the mindset of the majority. This is one of the products of her unqualified and weak governance legacy amplified buy the rubbish attitude of most people.

        Danny Swift

        (July 2, 2012 - 7:57 pm)

        What major contributions did Cory gave to this country? Firstly, reinstate all the rubbish politicians back into a much wilder rampage, who now become much stronger and affluent than before. Secondly, change the name of some landmark buildings, roads and streets. What more? Evidently, nothing to make her deserve all the accolades given to her.
        If ever, only in the minds of the people. If we really look at why she was placed in her post because the dirty politicians at that very well knew that she was weak to stop their rampage but have very strong popularity to win the sympathy of the majority.
        Just look around what is now happening to this country and the mindset of the majority. This is one of the products of her unqualified and weak governance legacy amplified by the rubbish attitude of most people.

    Totoong Pilipino

    (June 22, 2012 - 1:57 am)

    Good day!

    OFW: Knock knock!
    Congresswoman: Who’s there?
    OFW: 50 dollar!
    Congresswoman: 50 dollar who?
    OFW: ofcourse you! not who!

    Ice breaker.

    Crisostomo Ibarra

    (June 22, 2012 - 3:15 am)

    Good day!

    May everybody have a 10 minutes break so anyone can chill down?

    Dave

    (June 22, 2012 - 1:19 pm)

    Cong. Bonoan-David, anong palagay mo sa OFW’s? tumatae ng pera? Wala kang kwenta, ano ba nagawa mo sa distrito mo bukod sa libreng tule??
    WAG IBOTO SI TRISHA BONOAN-DAVID!! PAHIRAP SA TAO!!

    jeanne

    (June 22, 2012 - 2:47 pm)

    If I can only qoute JPE’s line ‘Trash’ line in the same manner taht he did, I would and I could say it right now.

    rony

    (June 22, 2012 - 11:13 pm)

    Sana pakaisipin nyo muna kung makikinabang ba talaga kaming mga OFW sa panukala mong ‘yan? Bakit di mo silipin ang PHILHEATH? Ano ba ang dahilan bakit kinakailangan namin magbayad diyan ng sa gayun di rin naman namin magagamit dito sa ibang bansa? Di niyo ba nakikita ang ang malaking katangahan ng may panukala na pagbabayarin kami pero kami naman ay aalis din lang naman pala? Kung hindi namin nagagamit yung philhealth na iyan sa loob ng isang taon SAAN NAPUPUNTA ANG AMING BINAYAD?
    Di ba mayroon namang allocation ang gobyerno para sa mga iba’t ibang problema ng mga OFW’s? Ano ang nangyari at saan napunta ang allocation na yan para sa amin?

    rony

    (June 22, 2012 - 11:19 pm)

    Kung sakali-sakali lang na kami ay magbabayad nga ng 50$ times 1 million na OFW’s equals 50 million dollars. uuhhhmmm! Sabagay, malaki-laki nga naman. At walang kahirap-hirap na papasok sa kaban ng mga KAWATAN!

    Mark

    (June 23, 2012 - 5:22 am)

    As usual Ilda excellent article.

    It is weird because just 5 minuted before reading this article I read an article about Pnoy donating $1bn to the IMF to help them with the crisis in Europe.

    Reading your article only made me realize even more how ironic it is.

    This $1bn Donation to IMF reminds me of these OFWs who come back to visit their families.

    It is imperative for them to show how good their life is abroad. They have to invite out their friends and family and buy gifts and hand out money, even though 99.9% of these OFW actually struggle to live on their low salaries.

    I guess Pnoy feels that he needs to show off to the world despite the fact that the Philippines has more debt than Greece. People are not starving in Greece but they are starving here. People get proper medical attention in Greece but they do not get any here. People get education in Greece and here they do not.

    It puzzles me what Pnoy is so proud of, has he solved all outstanding issues effecting filipinos? Has he eliminated poverty? Has he provided health care or education for the sick and poor?

    Or is Pnoy just trying to ensure that Greece survives so that we can export some more OFW slaves to work below minimum wage in greece?

    WTF is wrong with this government? Do they think this is Monopoly money?

      Gogs

      (June 23, 2012 - 11:02 am)

      Mark, in one sentence BS Aquino is extremely naive. His campaign proved it with the slogans and rhetoric . His manner in handling things prove it. This guy has never faced crisis as a decision maker whenever poll numbers dip he wonders why . Loves taking credit and deflecting blame. He is such a moron and many of us said this before May 2010. Thanks for your comment . I invite you to read my many Noynoy observations on this site and in my personal blog.

        up nn Grad

        (June 23, 2012 - 2:29 pm)

        Sabi nuong barbero, PersiNoy is not naive, he is a brilliant world leader. Barbero gave as example when PersiNoynoy made “Opo!!” when Beijing told him to boycott the Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies in Oslo. PersiNoynoy knew if he obeyed Beijing then, then Beijing will be one of his BFF’s.

      Ilda

      (June 23, 2012 - 10:25 pm)

      Hi Mark

      Thanks for reading. You are right about the PNoy’s need to show-off. Perhaps he wants something new to say during his 3rd SONA.

    […] Is the Philippine government hell-bent on milking poor OFWs of money? […]

    tchan

    (June 29, 2012 - 12:50 am)

    So this is exactly why I’m tempted to go elsewhere than go home for a good holiday. And also why I have a perpetual scowl on my face everytime I’m at the Philippine Embassy to “get an OEC”in which I’d have to pay “my OWWA membership” and my “Pag-Ibig membership” that I will likely never need. Definitely smells like a mega money shakedown. And indeed, imagining someone who barely scrapes by for him/herself having to fork it out every time is just tragic.

    It’s ironic that homecoming should be a sweet affair, but is now largely ruined by all the $ and bureaucracy you have to go through. Even tourists have it better than our fellow OFW countrymen.

    mcalleyboy

    (June 30, 2012 - 4:10 am)

    There should be no more collecting of money anywhere in that airport, no airport tax no OFW tax, what a stress especially if your very low on money and then to make matters worse there’s a 3rd window for non Quota Immigrants and you have to pay on exit and it has to be in peso’s (Way more to this story). If this really needs to be done it should all be collected when you purchase your ticket what a hassle for everyone.

    jeff

    (June 30, 2012 - 1:28 pm)

    it’s kind of frustrating to read something like this…poor OFWs

    harold

    (July 9, 2012 - 4:15 pm)

    Hi author, i appreciate your article so much as i too feel really ungrateful with the current administration (PNoy’s) because he is damn evil!! He promise better and quality life and yet what is his administration doing, killing us all. I am an OFW and honestly we feel burdened by their actions and continuously ignoring us. We would really appreciate if you will write an article for us OFW as we were constantly being ignored and we need eye opening articles such as this.. to give you an idea of what we are protesting, i would post a fb page link in this comment http://www.facebook.com/OFWVOICE
    thanks.

    Thanks for this article as it clearly help dump that house bill but we, ofw’s are facing another problem, an increase in philhealth from 900 to 2400 next year, we don’t even use philhealth as we have our own insurance here abroad..

    harold

    (July 9, 2012 - 5:36 pm)

    I feel the need to comment on the issue… I am an OFW stationed here in Riyadh. I’m a nurse, and had an opportunity to mingle with other people and see their current situation. Ok, first, regarding the issue of this House Bill requiring us to pay additional 25 dollars, I know it’s been closed so i need not to elaborate on this, i just want to thank all the people who united, OFW’s, NGO, bloggers and writers, even some of the polititians, and the media at this issue as well and the others, great, the house bill has been dumped. Now, we have another concern, Philhealth had a new memorandum of increasing the MANDATORY contributions for OFW’s from 900php to a whooping 2400 pesos, take note, we, OFW’s have to pay this first before leaving the country starting january of 2013. Now, if you will say Philhealth is good for the masses and the poors, i agree to that but with limitation, TO SOME, not ALL, and this SOME probably majority of them has someway in good aquaintances with Philhealth workers and politicians. How about for us OFW’s? DEFINITELY NOT… Why are they requiring us to pay this MANDATORY when we find this as practically useless. I suppose all of us OFW has their own insurance provided by our own sponsor company, which offer far more better benefits than that of the PHILHEALTH where in you pay your contribution on a yearly basis and if you fail a single year for some reasons, you loose entire coverage… plus their way of classifying dependents for the program is really something very unacceptable, for me as an example, I will pay the philhealth but i don’t even have any dependents to put since i don’t have a spouse or children, may parents are even less than 60 years of age to be classified as a valid dependent. What about those couple both working abroad and has to pay exact amount as his/her spouse pay with either of them is also their dependents. This is really concerning us. We are starting to be infuriated by this current administration. If you’re not an OFW, probably you will find it hard to understand us. And I would like to add, PAG-IBIG contribution has is also being eyed as a tool to milk us again from 100php to 600php.. This is a total bullshit.. They can’t blame us. I would also like to ask you. Who among you haven’t had any problem processing your philhealth?? What more on us OFW’s outside of the country. Their system is crap. Here abroad, we just simply show our insurance card id and voila, we get the proper treatment for us, with a little or no payment at all coming from our own pocket…
    This is my sentiment;

    Sincerely;
    A totally disgusted OFW from KSA…

    DustonB

    (August 8, 2012 - 8:58 am)

    All of this is absolutely horrendous. I’ve lived here for 5 years and the depths of depravity that politicians sink to to exploit the citizenry they are supposed to protect and defend still shocks me.

    All of these fees imposed on people trying to earn a living because the government has failed to create an environment that fosters job growth.

    Not to mention all the extortion fees that I have to pay just to be able to leave and go back to my home country!

    Any other country would let me go home with just my valid passport and my airplane ticket, but not the Philippine government, no.. I have to pay thousands of pesos in extortion fees to be permitted to leave along with my US Citizen child!

    People wonder why there is limited foreign investment? Because the government has created a hostile environment for non-Filipinos to come here and live, work and invest!

    Tom World

    (September 12, 2014 - 8:49 pm)

    Tom World

    (September 12, 2014 - 8:50 pm)

    It is time the criminals running this government and the POEA were all fired

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