OFW group wants President Aquino III to tackle and act on people’s issues
AL-KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia - On the eve of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III delivers his 3rd State of the Nation Address (SONA), an activist overseas Filipino workers’ (OFWs) group today demanded him to seriously deals and act on peoples’ various legitimate issues.
Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) through its regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona said: “We expect the president to deliver the real state of our nation as such he should put forward and clearly states and define its administration’s policies and strategies that would truly deal on various peoples’ issues.”
M-ME added Aquino’s SONA should tell the real state of the nation and not to make it a mere propaganda just like of his previous SONAs to boosts his administration’s partisan claim of economic growth amid worsening economic condition of the majority of the Filipino people.
“The signs of economic hardships are quite revealing. For one is the continued exodus of 4,200 Filipinos daily who are forced to leave their families hoping to find job in foreign lands even without jobs security and protection. The number of unemployed and underemployed Filipinos is on steady figures and the Aquino administration is not generating local jobs with decent pay and benefits,” M-ME added.
M-ME added that the President should do a lot of explaining on his SONA about the US$ 1-B it planned to lend to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) despite that most of the governments basic social services allotted budget have been cut such as health, education, housing, but allowed government institutions such as Philhealth, PAG-IBIG, and Social Security System (SSS) to impose additional fees and charges to OFWs.
“We also question the Aquino administration’s imposition of K+12 education program that is only an added burden to the parents including OFW-parents. K+12 will not solve job mismatch as often cited by the government as one of the reasons for high unemployment and underemployment.” Monterona said.
M-ME would also want to hear from Aquino III to tackle on his SONA the following people’s legitimate issues:
1) Impose moratorium on basic commodities (water, electricity, and oil products) price increases.
2) Certify as urgent the passage of P-125 wage increase bill.
3) Rescind all the one-sided visiting forces agreements with the US and other foreign governments.
4) Push and not to derail the immediate implementation of Supreme Court decision distributing the Hacienda Luisita lands to the farmers and farmworkers.
5) To seriously go back to the negotiating table with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and honour all previous agreements between the two parties in hope of inking a peace agreement.
6) End impunity. Put a halt on political killings and falsely charging social, political, and environmental activists. Stop the so called ‘Oplan Bayanihan’.
7) Seriously investigate and file graft and corruption cases not only the officials of the previous administration including former president and now representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo but as well as those in his own administration especially those so called KKK-members (Kaibigan, Kaklase, Kabarilan)
The activist overseas Filipino workers’ group demanded that the President should not just cherry-pick what he wanted to say in his SONA. They said that the People’s legitimate issues should be tackled and he should choose to side the best interests of the Filipino nation, not his imperialist masters.