Sabado, Marso 3, 2018

Blame Congress for the deaths, abuses of OFWs

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

Because there were not enough attractive paying jobs in the Philippines, Joanna Demafelis, 29,  took her chances as servant for the family of a Lebanese  and a Syrian couple in Kuwait – a country notorious for abuses among foreign workers.
Demafelis had not only been looked down, but abused, harmed, and murdered by her masters who hid her cadaver in a freezer in an abandoned apartment for a year while they absconded to another country.
Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting and indoor
The Lebanese and Syrian couple, the alleged killers of Filipina maid Joanna Demafelis? A photo grab from the Facebook's community page.
The resident of Sara, Iloilo was only one of the countless Filipinas who suffered those brazen inhuman abuses like wanton rapes because members of the Congress – yes Virginia those  publicity hungry senators and congressmen you saw on TV in a circus called public hearings – did not act if not procrastinate in amending the Public Safety Acts (PSA).

Amendment of the PSA or Commonwealth Act No. 146 is the Silver Bullet that would give tremendous jobs for the Filipinos.
It deals with and regulates all types of common carriers, be it by land, air or water, water supplies and systems, petroleum, electricity, communications systems and even broadcasting stations.
It is where utilities have been mandated by law to be averagely 60 percent owned by Filipino or Filipinos despite the thick pockets of the foreign partners who contented themselves to settle for the 40 % of the voting stocks.
As a result, most foreign investors shun our country and instead poured their billions of U.S dollars in Mainland China, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, other countries in the Far East Region.
These countries dangle 100 percent business ownership and other perks to draw to their shores the elusive capitals of these businessmen.
 A report on the amount of  foreign direct investments to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) shows that between 1952 and 2012, Singapore accounts for more than half of total foreign direct investment (FDI) to the whole region (at 52 percent). Thailand ranks the second with a 13 percent share, followed by Indonesia with 11 percent, Malaysia with 10 percent, Vietnam with 8 percent and the Philippines with 3 percent.
Consequently, these countries have less employment problems unlike the parochial thinking Filipinos whose senators and congressmen were seen riding in a lent helicopters and planes of local oligarchs who need protection (read: against adverse legislation) for their well-entrenched businesses at the expense of better services to the Filipinos.
Yes, I know what you are thinking as you read this column. What flashed in your mind are PLDT, Globe, and other big businesses that got your ire because of not only pathetic but very expensive services. Blame duopoly and members of Congress who relished and splurged the alleged lobby monies in tens if not hundreds of millions of pesos allegedly given by these Interest Groups.
Because of reduced competitions, Filipinos wallow into poverty because of lack of jobs because firms are limited to Filipinos lead by tycoons like Ayalas, Manny V. Pangilinan and his Hong Kong-based First Pacific Company Ltd., Sys, Gokongweis, Aboitizes, Tans,  Gotianuns, Angs, and others.

The cadaver (left) of Servant Joanna Demafelis, 29, of Sara, Iloilo Province who was murdered by her foreign couple employers in Kuwait and her remains stuffed in a freezer for one year before they were discovered by authorities.

In December 2017, the Philippines Statistics Authority disclosed that we have 2.2 million unemployed Filipinos in October last year. That’s 5.0 of the employable aged Filipinos. That’s almost half of the presently 106 million populations.
Experts forecasted that unemployment worsen at the end of the first quarter of this year with 5.50 percent while the percentage of unemployed Filipinos was estimated at 5.0 percent in October,
On the other hand, independent organizations have forecasted the unemployment rate to be 5.50 percent by the end of this first quarter and around 6.30 percent in 2020.
If our congressmen and senators had summon their common sense and acted when Former President Gloria Arroyo assumed office in January 20, 2001 by amending the PSA we would have avoided gory deaths like the one that befell Demafelis  and less reports of abuses among our workers abroad 18 years later.
Are you not bothered by those regular wailing of helpless Filipina maids at their self-taken video they posted at Face Book while their masters sexually molested if not raped them? That’s the price of being a poor country with narrow minded and greedy members of Congress.
If they have changed in 2001 the xenophobic 60-40 percent to 100 percent business equity for everybody, we do not have that 2.2 million unemployment problem presently and we have less than the present 10 million overseas foreign workers (OFWs) that were vulnerable to abuses.
Our Johnny-come-lately members of the House of Representatives, who were branded as House of Thieves vis-à-vis the customary cut on the 20 percent on projects, had passed in September 8, 2017 the Third and Final Reading the amendment of the PSA while the senators procrastinate and had just woke up to their slumber last February 15 and started to deliberate and debate about their version of the PSA before they submit it to the Bicameral Conference Committee and for President Rodrigo Duterte to sign it into a law we called Republic Act.
There is a probable snag: If the Interest Groups interfere, would the senators pass a watered down version of the bill on the PSA?
In case the oligarchs succeed, then we defenseless Filipinos just brace ourselves in the corner and wait for another Joanna Demafelis  and other Filipinas to be raped and murdered in a foreign land because the exodus of the Filipinos there are blamed to the lack of job opportunities that should be brought by a liberal PSA.


(You can read my selected columns at and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at

Walang komento:

Mag-post ng isang Komento