In response to P-Noy Administration's proposal on reducing the DFA and OFW Legal Assistance Fund, Palipasan stands side by side along with PEBA, Kablogs and the Global Filipino communities worldwide in asking President Aquino to consider the repercussion of this action in the budget cuts which will eventually deny our thousand OFWs around the world who requires legal assistance and related services, either in jail or awaiting repatriation due to sexual and physical abuse and maltreatment and victims of human trafficking and other injustices that they suffered in the foreign lands.
The following is a manifesto issued by PEBA and KABLOGS on the proposed Government cuts on DFA & Legal Assistance Fund.
Official Statement of the Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards (PEBA) on the Proposed Cuts on DFA and OFW Legal Assistance Fund
We stand as an alliance of Filipino Expats and OFWs whose primary advocacy is to promote the welfare and safeguard the rights of our fellow Filipino workers abroad through blogs, we would like to call for the President Benigno S. Aquino and the members of the Philippine Congress to reconsider the proposed cut on the Legal Assistance Fund of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ budget.
This act is dangerous to the already deplorable conditions of many OFWs who are incarcerated in various countries needing legal assistance. The legal complexities of those who have been abused, ill-treated and became victims of unfair labor practice are costly and a lengthy fight.
The proposed cut would undermine the ability of our Consulate Offices to file legal actions that would protect thousands of Filipinos abroad working for their families to survive the poverty-stricken living condition of our fellow “kababayans” in the Philippines.
How unfortunate that this is what we get for being the “modern day heroes.” No country would treat their heroes this way; it is insane to reducelegal assistance fund to a meager 27 million a year. The lack of funds as a reason for letting piteous Pinoy OFWs die in other countries brought by inability to legally defend their case would be tragic, senseless and an insensitive display of our government’s agenda on OFWs and other migrant workers.
Please, please! We seek for your forthright defense of our already underprivileged sector whose only intention is to let their families live a good life, send their children or siblings to school, save the Philippine economy and let our nation become great again. As Filipino Expatriates and OFWs, we provide our nation with new hope, we let the world see our eminence in various field, we make each of us proud to become Filipino and yet, the government has been less and less appreciative of our contribution by decreasing our means to be protected from legal scuffles.
As united bloggers in different parts of the world, we will continue to knock, beat our drums and reach every home with Internet to let the world know that this is not fair, that this is an injustice to our welfare and would send our many fellow Filipinos working abroad into the mud of legal demise.
We hope that this plead will not fall on deaf ears, we are in a new era of governance, our new administration have relentlessly brandished renewal as their guiding thrust, prove to us that you care for the OFWs by scrapping the proposed cut from DFA’s Legal Assistance Fund.
Pinoy Expats OFW Blog Awards (PEBA) www.pinoyblogawards.com
PEBA-OFW Alliance Action Group
Kablogs (Gateway of OFW Bloggers) www.ofwkablogs.com