OWWA chief assailed for ‘cruel’ remark on murder of Ifugao lass in Canada

>> Sunday, October 21, 2007

BAGUIO CITY – The militant Migrante Metro Baguio assailed Overseas Workers Welfare Administrator Mariano Roque making “cruel” remarks on the murder of Jocelyn Dulnuan in Canada.

OWWA Administrator Roque said the OWWA had nothing to extend to the family because Jocelyn did not pay her US$25 membership to OWWA.

“We remind Roque that Jocelyn, like millions of other Filipinos, was forced to leave our country in her bid to survive and earn a decent living for her family,” said Flora Belinan, Migrante-Metro Baguio Chairperson.

“Their remittances prop up the country’s ailing economy. Jocelyn is a victim many times over. She is a victim of: poverty, joblessness, a labor export policy, murder, government criminal neglect and now sheer callousness under the Arroyo administration.”

Belinan said “Roque’s statement that it is unfortunate that Dulnuan was no longer a member of OWWA’ further highlights how the Arroyo administration treats its ‘new economic modern heroes’ under her labor export program. Migrant workers are treated as commodities for sale.”

“The problem is the OWWA omnibus policies and not whether or not Jocelyn paid the membership fee,” she said. “The OWWA, as the main agency for the supposed provision of services to OFWs in distress should provide this assistance to all OFWs. The membership fee should be charged to the employers and not the OFWs.

We denounce Admin. Roque for now using Joceyln’s case in his bid to suck more ‘membership’ money from the OFWs – and absolve OWWA from any responsibility in her case.”

She added, “Gagamitin pa niya ang pagkamatay ni Jocelyn para bantaan ang lahat na hindi nagbabayad ng US$25 para magbayad.” Migrante said “Roque should make a public apology to the family of Jocelyn. Instead of blaming Jocelyn, the blame should be on the OWWA Omnibus Policies which was passed in September 2003.”

Belinan said Migrate Metro Baguio, Migrate International and its member organizations, will continue to campaign for justice for Joceyln and call for the scraping of the OWWA omnibus policy and other government policies detrimental to OFWs and their families.


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