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News Release
December 18, 2001
For reference: Poe Gratela

Denial Queen si GMA, charges MIGRANTE International

Contrary to an email Presidential Spokesperson Rigoberto Tiglao sent to MIGRANTE International, the global alliance of migrant groups stands firm that President Arroyo supports a wage cut.

No matter how much GMA tries to deny her support of a wage cut for Hong Kong OFWs, MIGRANTE Internationals stands firm that President Arroyo sold them out.

"Kahit anong denial, we don't believe GMA is serious about fighting for our rights and welfare. This isn't the first time that her regime betrayed our interests and it's not the first time she supported a wage cut," assailed Poe Gratela, MIGRANTE International Secretary-General.

Last November 9, the Taiwanese government implemented a 20% wage cut for all new migrant worker. By simply accepting the deal, MECO's Rod Reyes and the Philippine government in effect sold the OFWs out.

Another example of how Preident Arroyo fails to further the rights of OFWs is her acceptance of the "trainee system" in Korea and Japan. As trainees, thousands of OFWs are given only allowances or very low wages and deprived of various rights and privileges.

"Her administration's strict collection of the mandatory $25US OWWA membership fee also highlights how instead of our rights and welfare, it's our dollars and payments to the government that she's after," said Mr. Gratela.

"And since Mr. Tiglao asked for our advice about what the President should do, we challenge her to raise workers wages by P125. And for government employees, she should raise it by P3,000," he said.

In an open response letter to Mr. Tiglao, MIGRANTE International also reminded him that if not for the mass actions of militant organizations like theirs, President Arroyo would never have been installed. #