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Sunday, June 17, 2012

An Open Letter to Cong. Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David

Dear Congresswoman Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David,

This is a personal letter to the representative of Manila 4th District, Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David. I will pose 10 questions for you to answer. I believe that the solution to the OFW Emergency Repatriation Fund is not the lack of funds, it is how do we make use of the money from OWWA funds.


Ako po ay sumusulat sa aking blog, sapagkat itong aking munting tahanan ay nagsilbi na ring munting tinig bilang isang mamamayan at isang OFW. Minsan na rin po itong blog na lumaban sa mga taong nagkutya ng mga Caregivers, at nakipagsagutan ng blog sa taong nagsabing ang mga ‘OFW ay humahalik sa mga puwet ng dayuhan para kumita ng dolyar.

Noong sinabi ni PNoy na babawasan niya ang funds ng mga Social Services para sa mga OFW, isa ako sa mga tumutol sapagkat nakikita natin na magiging mahirap ang mga bagay para sa ating mga OFW. Noong sinabi ng Philhealth na gagawin nila ang payment na required sa mga OFWs from P900 at magiging P2,400, isa din po ako sa mga nagblog ng pagtutol sapagkat wala akong nakikitang pakinabang para sa maraming OFW na nagbabayad ng Philheallth, kasi mas magandang Medical Insurance ang binibigay ng company dito sa Saudi Arabia or Middle East or ibang bansa kaysa sa Philhealth. Noong naging requirement ang Pag-ibig at nakita natin ang hindi maayos na sistema at paiba-ibang Pag-ibig number ang binibigay sa mga OFWs sa OWWA, ay nagreklamo tayo kay Vice Pres. Binay at sinagot naman po at pinaliwanag ng kanyang Chief of Staff.

Ang akin pong pagtutol sa mga bagay na ito ay hindi lamang para sa mga OFW kundi dahil mismo ako ay walong taon ng nagtratrabaho sa Saudi Arabia. Nabasa ko sa internet ang inyong panukalang batas na magdadagdag ng 50$ ang mga OFW na papaalis ng bansa, or maging ng mga magbabakasyon at isasama sa requirement ng OEC.

Pumutok ang balitang iyan na may inihain po kayo, Congressman Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David na House Bill (HB) No. 6195 to amend the Republic Act 8042 o ang Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995. As of this writing, your Facebook photos ay naishare na sa Facebook ng mahigit 1,000 times CONDEMNING your Bill in Congress.


I would like to ask you the following questions hoping for your answer so I can better understand and maybe support your bill.

1.    Who run the OWWA? I met with OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon, I just wanted a picture with her because she doesn't have time to entertain questions.
2.    Are the people working in the directorship of OWWA are former OFWs who understand our plights and situations abroad?

3.    Who audits OWWA? Let us be transparent here.

4.    Assuming there are 4,000 OFWs leaving the country every day, multiply that with 25$ we are paying as required, 4,000 x 25$ (P43) x 30 Days x 12 months = P15,48,000,000 (P15.5B) every year. Do we know where do OWWA use this money? Explain to us first where you use these funds because first and foremost we own that money. There is still a missing P551M funds from the previous administration.
5.    You said "There are millions of OFWs all over the world which the Philippine government is mandated to protect and safeguard under RA 8042 but it seems incapable to efficiently help distressed OFWs due to financial constraints” Why wouldn’t you be so noble to donate P10M from you and each of the fine congressmen from the PORK Barrel and we are talking about P10M x 200 Congressmen - a whooping P2B pesos in additional funds for OFWs!

6.    Why not make a bill or promote it so that OFWs who will retire at the age of 60 will benefit from OWWA?

7.    Sino ang nakikinabang sa mga binabayad namin na 25$? The undocumented, run aways, and those people who come as tourist and then decides to be TNT?

8.    Nakonsulta mo ba ang mga OFW groups and other NGOs sa panukalang batas na yan, Congresswoman David? I am sure they can give you very good advise. The likes of Susan Ople or Jun Aguilar?

9.    Di ba nakasaad sa RA Act 10022 or MIGRANT WORKERS AND OVERSEAS FILIPINOS ACT OF 1995 na bawal ang magbigay ng increase payments and burdens sa mga OFWs and their families?

10. Is there a way for you to pass the Bill creating an up-to-date database and locator system, disaster preparedness at mitigation measures without imposing the pay to us, OFWs?

I remind you that your political career is at stake here. Some of the OFW sentiments are strong, and emotions are high. I understand that. Just go over those comments, threading up to hundreds in FACEBOOK, TWITTER, FORUMS and Chatrooms. 

You awaken the quiet giants, 11 million strong and able men and women and their families back home, some of them maybe living in your district. If you cannot explain fully to the angry millions whom the government labeled as Bagong Bayani because of PERANG PADALA, and justify the measure, please, think of another Bill. Not this one. Tadtad na kami ng bayarin mula kaliwa't kanan sa processing and sa requirements.

Bagong bayani? Those Billions of dollars of money flowing freely to the Philippines keeps the economy afloat, feeds our families, and allow us to send our kids to school but we don't ask anything from you. We don't even rally to computerized the system of documentation and payments in OWWA so it will be a little easier for us, OFWs. We don't even demand from the people in the agencies and consulates and embassies who seem to be so honorable and unreachable with their titles to be kind to us, JUST BE KIND to us.

 We don't want glory, we want better government services and honest leaders.

Madam Congresswoman, with this BILL, you may have good intention, but you are fighting against people, the OFWs, who are already tired of politicians milking their very hard earned dollar. People who are lonely, away from their families and love ones. People who sacrifice all, bearing the heat of the desert and the cold of the night so they can provide a better future for their families. They feel the pain and frustrations, never mind the fatigue and tremendous challenges dealing with people of different background, culture and ways. WE ARE OFWs. WE ARE NOT HEROES, WE ARE FILIPINO CITIZENS of the WORLD who only wanted a better life. Don't make it hard for us.

Please be considerate. Please use your mind and heart.

A Facebook page against this Bill and to pressure Congresswoman Bonoan-David not to pass the Bill can be found here, GLOBAL OFW VOICES


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