Thursday, August 06, 2009

Youth Group Calls on Filipinos to Register for 2010 Elections, Be Part of Change

August 6, 2009

For Immediate Release

Refrence: Yves Nibungco, Deputy Sec. Gen. of Anakbayan New York/ New Jersey


Youth Group Calls on Filipinos to Register for 2010 Elections, Be Part of Change

New Jersey- Filipino youth group Anakbayan New York/ New Jersey and Philippine Forum-NJ calls on the Filipino people in Jersey city to be part of change by registering for the 2010 Philippine National Elections.

On August 8, 2009, the said Filipino groups will be holding an Overseas Absentee Voter’s Registration at Kalusugan Coalition’s office at Suite 413 4th floor, 591 Summit Ave. Jersey city. The said event will take place from 10:00am to 3:00pm. A Free health screening, that includes blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol check, will be generously provided by Kalusugan Coalition alongside with the voter’s registration.

Time to Make OFW Voices Heard

Filipinos overseas comprises a huge part of the voting population as more than 3000 Filipinos leave every day. According to Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), in the first two months of 2009 alone, a total of 283,348 Filipinos went abroad. Also, remittances from OFW’s have been keeping the ailing Philippine economy afloat amidst a global economic crisis. Last year, remittances went up to $16B and $6.98B in the first 5 months of 2009 alone.

While the Overseas Filipino Workers keeps the Philippine economy alive, the government continues to neglect its so-called “Bagong Bayani”. Based on Migrante International’s report to the UN Committee on Migrant Workers, as of April 2009, there are 35 OFW’s in the death row in 6 countries and 10,000 still stranded mostly because they ran away from their abusive employer

“Philippine Consulates, Embassies and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) seem incapable and uninterested in protecting and advancing the rights and welfare of our compatriots around the world, a clear refleaction of the Arroyo regime's attitude towards OFW's. That is why we, as Overseas Filipino Workers, must start flexing our political muscle and demand a more accountable government that will truly serve our needs. Now is the time for us Filipinos abroad to get involved and be part of the movement to bring change in our motherland.” Said Yves Nibungco, Deputy Sec. Gen. of Anakbayan New York/New Jersey.

9 Years of Labor Export Policy Must End

Under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s regime, the Labor Export Policy became full blown. Concretely, under Arroyo, Administrative Order no. 247, was put into place, shifting the function of Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) from regulatory to a full blown marketing of OFW’s abroad. Labor Export Policy (LEP) became Arroyo’s substitute for the absence of national industrialization and genuine agrarian reform in the Philippines. This said government policy, according to members of Anakbayan, is responsible for the massive diaspora of Filipinos abroad and the rise of unemployment and poverty back home.

“We, the Filipino youth, believe that 9 years of Labor Export Policy must come to an end together with GMA's regime this coming 2010. But we have reasons to believe that Arroyo is planning to rule beyond 2010, regardless whether it is through charter change or martial rule. The Filipino people are not commodities to be sent and sold on the international labor market. We want genuine change back home. By registering to be an overseas absentee voter and encouraging our kababayans to do the same, we are sending a clear message to Ms. Arroyo not to even dare to extend her term. 9 years of being pimped across the globe must end now!”, said Kathleen Dy, member of Anakbayan New York/ New Jersey.

Rumors of a “No Election” scenario surfaced when the Philippine Congress rammed through the controversial House Resolution 1109 on June 2, 2009. H.R. 1109 is a resolution calling for the convening of a constituent assembly to amend the 1987 Philippine constitution. This move by the administration-dominated lower house, according to members of Anakbayan, was meant to extend Arroyo’s cling to power.

"If Arroyo pushes for the Constituent Assembly and Charter Change, she will definitely see more militant mass actions from Filipinos abroad and in the home front." concluded Ms. Dy.###


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