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Office Address:

49 Mayaman corner
Matahimik Streets,
UP Village,
Quezon City

Office Telephone Numbers:
(632) 926-2838
(632) 259-5314
(632) 433-2136 (Telefax)

Email:
migranteintl@edsamail.com.ph
migrante@nsclub.net

MIGRANTE International
International Alliance of Filipino Migrant Organizations

The migration of Filipinos abroad is a product of extreme poverty and joblessness in the country that is brought about the decrepit social system perpetuated by US neocolonialism. The deepening economic crisis in the Philippines has simultaneously aggravated the migration of Filipinos abroad to gargantuan proportion. More than 2,000 migrant Filipinos leave the country each day and approximately one-third of these are composed of unskilled workers. They can be found in 182 countries worldwide.

Filipinos are driven abroad since the government cannot provide them work. This is not surprising since the Philippine economy is backward, agrarian, and without basic industries. Hence, it cannot generate enough employment for Filipinos. Millions of workers are being thrown out of their regular jobs as foreign and domestic capitalists resort to contractualization and downsizing so as to maintain and generate more profits. Thus, Filipinolippines, indeed, is a rich source of cheap labor by developed countries.

Migrant Filipinos contribute a lot to the economy through their remittances. From 1990 to 1995, remittances of migrant Filipinos were registered at US$14.543 billion. In 1999 alone, it registered a high of US$6.9 billion. The government recognizes this contribution. In fact, they are hailed as "new economic heroes."

Migrant Filipinos are an exploited lot. The Philippine government extracts exorbitant fees from them as requisite to their deployment abroad. Government rakes in millions daily in the processing of their papers alone. These include payments for passports, NBI and medical clearances, administrative fees, forced contributions and a litany of other expenses.

The abuses and exploitation they experience in their place of work are prevalent. These range from contract violations, rape, sexual harassment, mysterious deaths, among others. Yearly, hundreds of thousand of Filipinos are reported to have suffered various forms of abuse and exploitation in the hands of their employers. Women migrant workers in particular are most vulnerable to abuses and maltreatment. They are subjected to sexual and physical abuses, as in the case of domestic helpers, while many become victims of white slavery.

Nothing can pronounce the exploitation and abuses committed against migrant Filipinos than those inflicted to Flor Contemplacion and Sarah Balabagan. Their cases opened the eyes of the entire Filipino people and the international community on the hapless plight of migrant Filipinos.

The anguish and ordeal of migrant Filipinos continue. The conditions that confront them necessitate the continued organizing, education and mobilization work among their ranks in their struggle for their rights and welfare, and for genuine freedom and democracy.