Overseas Filipino workers welcomed the election of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as president and expressed optimism that he will implement policy changes for the welfare of Filipino migrants and their families back home.
“By now, it is clear that Filipinos overseas have put their stakes on him and hope that change will indeed come in relation to policies and practices that are detrimental to the rights and well being of Filipino migrants and families,” the Migrante Party-list said.
Official canvass among OFWs in China alone has shown Duterte with a commanding 46,418 votes with the closest rival Miriam Defensor-Santiago getting 8,442 votes.
By all indication, such trend is also shown in other countries.
Based on a platform of change from what the previous administration has failed to do, it is incumbent for the Duterte administration to respond to problems that have been plaguing OFWs, the migrants said.
“His term can prove promising if in his first 100 days, he can deliver concrete reversals of what the previous administration has done or has failed to do, such as signing the SSS petition hike authored by Rep. Neri Colmenares from which many former OFWs can benefit, looking into the Migrant’s Agenda that the Aquino administration never took notice of, and enabling productive dialogues with OFWs in various countries to hear and resolve their concerns,” the group said.
The migrants said Duterte’s recent pronouncement about acting on the “laglag-bala” scam at the NAIA is a welcome development already.
“We hope that he will respond to both the urgent and long standing concerns of Filipino migrants including excessive charges of the government such as the OEC and overpriced passport, faulty services of the OWWA, and illegal fees by recruitment agencies,” they said.
For this election, overseas voters showed a strong showing with almost 400,000 OFWs casting their ballots.
Such a big number has shown that OFWs are heavily invested on the polls for we have been ignored for far too long by succeeding administrations who were only interested in how big our remittances will be each year, or what other way fees from us can be charged.
Migrante Partylist has been raising these issues consistently, before and during elections.
The support that Migrante has gained from overseas Filipino voters has shown that addressing our concerns is a top priority for Filipinos abroad.
On the official canvass of the greater China votes -- China PRC, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan ROC -- Migrante garnered 14,735 votes or 30% of the total party-list votes cast.
Migrante shall continue to support policies and actions that uphold the rights of Filipino migrants. If the Duterte administration will be true to its promise of putting OFWs as one of the major national agenda, Migrante will welcome moves that will lead to achieving this goal.