Migrante Prepares To Meet With Filipine Vice President To Discuss OFW Woes

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Jan 10 2011

By John Leonard Monterona,

regional co-ordinator, Migrante Middle East

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - A Filipino migrant rights group based in the Middle East today said it is looking forward to meet Vice President Jejomar Binay before the end of this month to discuss OFWs woes and other concerns.

John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator, confirmed that his group is working to finalize a courtesy meeting with Vice President Jejomar Binay who is also the presidential adviser on OFWs concerns.

Before 2010 ended, it was reported that the Vice President is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia upon the invitation of OFWs organizations in Jeddah supposedly on mid-December but it was postponed due to conflict of schedules.

“We were eager then to meet the Vice President upon hearing that he will be visiting Saudi Arabia on mid-December last year which was postponed due to conflict of schedules, and it was re-set but no definite schedule yet announced by his office,” Monterona added.

Monterona said in fact Migrante chapters along with other OFWs organizations are looking to meet him during his supposed mid-December visit to Saudi Arabia but it was postponed.

“The postponed planned visit by the Vice President was a lost opportunity on our part as we are prepared to convey to the Vice President the numerous concerns and woes of our fellow OFWs in Saudi Arabia and in other mid-east countries as well,” Monterona added.

However, Monterona confirmed that consultation is on-going to finalize a courtesy meeting with the Vice President with the assistance of former Negros Congressman Jose A. Lozada before the end of this month.

“We are proposing to discuss with the Vice President during the planned meeting with him the issue on OFWs protection, on-site services to distress, abused and maltreated, run away and undocumented, rampant labor malpractices, and the numerous unsolved cases of mysterious deaths and sexual abuses,” Monterona added.

Monterona said he will particularly be bringing to the attention of the Vice President the case of murdered OFW Romilyn Eroy-Ibanez and other cases of mysterious deaths which are still unsolved.

Last Friday, Migrante chapters in Saudi Arabia kicked off the campaign “Justice for murdered OFW Romilyn Eroy-Ibanez and other Victims” through press conferences and signature petition to press hard the Aquino government to act on the case of murdered OFW Eroy-Ibanez and other victims of abuse and provide on-site assistance and protection to OFWs in Saudi Arabia and in other mid-east countries.

OFW Eroy-Ibanez was murdered on September 2 inside the house of her employer in Al-Khobar. She was rushed to the hospitals and an hour later was pronounced dead. No formal case has been filed against the culprit as per the information received by Migrante-Saudi Arabia.

As of 10:00am today, KSA time, the online petition have already (http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/justiceformurderedofweroy-ibanez/) gathered 219+ signatures on plus about 300+ actual signatures, and 22 OFWs organizations, and still counting.

“Definitely, we will present a copy of the signature campaign ‘justice for all victims of abuse’ to the Vice President along with the lists of unsolved cases we have documented during the past years including last year,” Monterona averred.

Monterona ended saying his group “will continue to press hard the Aquino administration to seriously attend on the deplorable conditions of OFWs, and come up with a doable blue print on OFWs protection and improve on-site services in particular”.

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East