Monday, May 4, 2015

Welcome Message to the Reintegration Programs and the OWWA Charter: Ways Forward

Reintegration Programs and the OWWA Charter: Ways Forward
Organized by:  Philippine Migrants Rights Watch (PMRW)
Bayleaf Intramuros; April 30, 2015

Welcome Message
Carmelita G. Nuqui
President, PMRW

Distinguished speakers and guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant good morning! Welcome to our forum on Reintegration Programs and the OWWA Charter: Ways Forward.

You might have read this quote being shared in the social media which we would like to share and I quote:

"Para sa mga mahal kong kababayang babae sa Pilipinas, gusto kong ipaabot sa inyong lahat na kung gusto ninyo magtrabaho o pumunta sa ibang bansa, huwag kayong papayag kung hindi kayo gagamit ng agency o legal na paraan para maiwas kayo sa kapahamakan at nang hindi ninyo abutin ang sinapit ko."

To translate  - "To all my fellow beloved women in the Philippines, I would like to let you know that should you want to work or go abroad, make use of an agency or through the legal way so you will be spared of the  difficulty  I’m going through."

This is a meaningful quote from the letter of appeal of Mary Jane Veloso who got another lease of life yesterday, after Indonesian President Joko Widodo granted her an 11th hour reprieve after a woman suspected of recruiting Veloso turned herself in to authorities in the Philippines. She was another Flor Contemplacion in the making, who was hanged in Singapore in 1995, the same year the RA 8042 or the Migrant Workers Act of 1995 was passed into law. The same year also the Philippine Migrants Rights Watch (PMRW) was established through the leadership of Fr. Graziano Battistella. PMRW is a network of migrant-NGOs who lobbied for the passage of RA 8042 and the network aims to promote the welfare and protection of the rights of Filipino migrant workers together with many of you who are here today.

Mary Jane Veloso is now the new icon of the feminization of migrant labor who belongs to the most vulnerable group of Filipinos wanting to make their families have better lives.  She belongs to the millions of other Filipino women working abroad despite the odds and perils it entail, the social costs of long years of family separation and leaving behind loved ones and kids to the care of family members and relatives.
How many more Contemplacions and Velosos are we counting on the statistics of Filipino women migration? How many more OFWs are we evacuating and repatriating with the continuing instability and insecurity in the Middle East and other countries where our workers are deployed? What programs do we have for them, especially when they decide to stay for good and reintegrate.
These are some of the grim scenarios and realities that we continue to face and we need to fully address. So as we gather here today, as we listen to the presentations of our speakers and engage them in the open forum, let's open our hearts and minds as we consider our modern-day heroes or Bagong Bayanis' predicaments, that we all strive to find and work out solutions to protect and promote their rights and welfare. 
Let us thank the Lord, recognize and celebrate, that collective prayers and actions do wonders and miracles.  And let's remind ourselves, that our coming together is for our quest to make the lives of our OFWs better be it through the timely provision of welfare or in helping them in their reintegration to their families and the Philippine Society. And in so doing we fulfill our tasks and mission in making this world a more humane and a better place.

        Thank you for coming and a pleasant day!

Fr. Graziano Battistella, Director, SMC providing input on
Return Migration: A policy  Framework

Director Chona M. Mantilla, NRCO-DOLE  sharing on the
National Reintegration Programs and Services .

Mr. Reynaldo Tayag, OIC Director for Regional Operations Coordination Services
sharing the 2012 OWWA Reintegration Review: Findings and Recommendations.

Cong. Gutierrez of Akbayan Partylist for his
presentation on HB 4744.

Panel of speakers during the open forum.

Mr. Edmund Ruga of CBCP-ECMI raising an issue.

AOS Group Photo

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