Group scores Ph gov’t for backlash to OFWs of deportation of Taiwanese

A HONG KONG based migrant-serving group  scored the Philippine government over reported political backlash to Filipino workers in and bound to Taiwan of its decision to deport 14 Taiwanese nationals to Mainland China.

The   Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants said “When the news broke out in Taiwan, there have been calls echoed in the local media in Taiwan for President Ma Ying-jeou to conduct stiffer political actions against the move such as freezing the importation of Filipino workers. Recent developments have shown that such is the case even if there is no formal announcement yet. ”

Joram Calimutan, APMM program coordinator, the Aquino government should come up with mechanism  to curb the possible adverse impacts to their nationals of the action they took on the case of the 14 Taiwanese.

Calimutan expressed apprehension that Filipinos already in Taiwan may also be vulnerable to more backlash as the disappointment of the people of Taiwan may spread.

Philippine government statistics indicated that Taiwan is one of the top 10 destination countries of OFWs. It placed 7th in 2009 despite a 12% drop in hiring of foreign workers in Taiwan due mainly to the impacts of the global economic crisis. The number of OFWs in Taiwan is over 70,000 not including the undocumented ones.

“It should be recalled that the Philippine government was so unprepared to the mass layoff of their workers in Taiwan when it was hit by the crisis. Is the current Aquino government prepared to take on the thousands of OFWs who may find themselves without jobs if Taiwan really freezes the hiring of Filipinos?” remarked Calimutan.

“It is not the first time that Filipino migrants are the ones made to face the consequences of decisions and blunders of the Aquino government. The botched rescue during the Manila hostage crisis last year also threatened the deployment of OFWs to Hong Kong and even cost the jobs of some while the Aquino government was caught with their pants down on how to assist their workers,” he added.

Calimutan said that foreign policies such as the one-China policy should also take into account the rights and wellbeing of Filipino migrant workers.

“If the rights of Filipino migrants are not fully taken into account and enough preparations are made to ensure that foreign policy decisions will not adversely affect OFWs and the families, then a strong stance on issues such as the one-China policy will be looked at as just a move to just carry favors from China and an empty political show,” Calimutan said.

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