Monday, January 24, 2005

NR0123: Rep. Beltran consults OPAs in Japan

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release January 23, 2005

After visiting Japan, Rep. Beltran says Filipino OPAs need protection from
sex trafficking syndicates and Japanese mafia

After arriving from a 5-day visit to Japan, Anakpawis Representative Crispin
Beltran, vice-chair of the Committee on labor and Vice-chair of the Special
Committee on Overseas Workers' Affairs, said that the Philippine government
should take a more active stance in opposing the decision of the Japanese
government to impose stricter requirements on the entry of entertainers. He
was vetted by OPA and Filipino migrant groups in Japan affiliated with Migrante

Beltran said that the Filipino community of migrant workers including OPAs in
Japan were very alarmed over the Diet's new rulings. According to estimates,
some 80,000-100,000 Filipino entertainers currently working in Japan are in
danger of losing their jobs with the implementation of the new

"It's an unfair and insulting conclusion on the part of the Philippine
government and its Japanese counterpart to even just make t he insinuation
that many OPAs in Japan actually end up as prostitutes and thus justify the
need for stricter measures on t heir entry. The Filipino OPAs in particular are
hard-working men and women who have families at home, and whose only goal is
to earn a decent living. Protecting them from sex-trafficking or the dreaded
Japanese mafias are what the Philippine and Japanese governments should be
focusing on," he said.

Beltran said that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Department
of Foreign Affairs (DFA) as well Malacanang itself should, in dilomatic but
firm terms, express opposition to ththe Japan Diet's amendment to Immigration
Control and Refugee Recognition Act. He said that the new ruling was
anti-migrant, and anti-labor. He also said that the Japanese Diet was
discriminating against overseas performing artists and that the ruling was in
truth a means for the Japanese government to extract more fees from them.

Beltran said that Malacanang through its emissaries should urge the Japan
government to reconsider its decision to impose stringent requirements, seeking
from an artist visa applicant a two-year study from an educational institution
specializing in the performing arts and another two years of relevant
experience outside Japan.

"These new requirement will only mean more financial outlay on the part of the
OPAs, and will cut severely into their income. Instead of stricter requirements
for the OPAs, the Philippine government should push for more protective
measures for the OPAs - laws and regulations that will safeguard the health,
safety and security of OPAs in Japan. This is what's lacking, not the
training or documentation requirements," he said. "The Japanese and Philippine
governments should work hand-in-hand to catch and penalize illegal


Post a Comment

<< Home