BY RAYMOND CALBAY
When a whistle-blower broke the news that socialite Janet Napoles was re-channeling certain lawmakers' Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to bogus NGOs, many overseas Filipino workers were particularly indignant. While OFWs separate from their loved ones to earn money abroad because of the lack of local jobs, the thought of politicians using government funds to fund their family's lavish lifestyles add insult to injury.
OFWs have every right to express dismay and anger about the misuse of a reported 10 billion pesos of "pork barrel". These workers mostly hold menial jobs abroad (as domestic helpers or factory workers) but managed to bring home almost U.S.$24 billion last 2012. The last thing they need are politicians leeching off their hard work.
Migrante International, an activist organization that safeguards the welfare of Filipino migrant workers, calls on OFWs to protest the pork barrel fund scam by not remitting on September 19.
Unity Statement of DEPORK! Overseas Filipino Demand Abolition of Pork Barrel http://t.co/tvzwv4BYfG
— Migrante Home Office (@migrante_intl) September 13, 2013
Meanwhile, the Aquino government downplays the protest and appeals to OFWs to reconsider their stand on the issue.
Palace tells OFWs: Think twice on no-remittance day vs 'pork' http://t.co/9ntECKA4jp
— GMA News (@gmanews) September 8, 2013
A series of protests by OFW groups - from Qatar, Hong Kong, to Canada - have been held. On Twitter, OFWs weigh in on the issue some more.
One day NO REMITTANCE may not be meaningful. Imagine what ONE WEEK would do. Great idea! More stoppages and acts of unity needed. CHANGE!
— Paul (@policarpio722) September 7, 2013
Longer zero remittance protest vs ‘pork’ possible – OFW groups « Bulatlat http://t.co/tMLaIGbS1X via @sharethis #ScrapPork #AbolishPork
— lenolea (@lenolea) September 16, 2013
As a fellow OFW, what do you think about the issue?