Sunday, June 11, 2006

From the Office of Congressman Crispin Beltran
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer (+63)927.796.7006
Tel. # (+632) 931-6615 Email:
URL: http://

June 11, 2006

Beltran slams Sto. Tomas' call to redefine meaning of 'work'

Veteran labor leader and migrant's rights advocate Crispin Beltran of Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) Party List criticized outgoing Labor Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas' call to the international community at the 95th International Labor Conference in Geneva to redefine the meaning of work by including overseas foreign workers (OFWs), saying that this is was a "lame attempt to mask the local and global problems caused by labor export".

"This call to redefine the meaning of work will only legitimize and perpetuate the government's labor export policy, which blatantly condones such exploitative practices such as subcontracting and the exporting of cheap labor from underdeveloped countries. This is adjusting the definition of work to justify the disruptions caused primarily by imperialist globalization through the GATT-WTO," Beltran said.

The migrant's rights advocate issued his statement while confined under police custody at the Philippine Heart Center.

"It is insensitive of Sto. Tomas to assert such a thing, especially at this time when even the Church is warning Filipinos to think twice about working abroad, due to the government's lack of adequate support services for OFWs who are being abused and exploited," Beltran said.

"Sto. Tomas' redefining of work as being beyond national boundaries is also meant to hide the government's inability to provide adequate local employment for Filipino workers. It is meant to be a smokescreen for the massive problem of unemployment and underemployment in the Philippines, which has compelled at least eight to ten million Filipinos to seek jobs abroad in order to survive," Beltran said.

"This call to redefine the international definition for 'work' is no different in intention from the government's changing the definition of 'unemployment' last April 2005, which had the effect of drastically downplaying the crisis of unemployment in the country from 11.3% to only 7.7%," Beltran said.

"In fact, the Philippines is ranked as the third country with the most number of OFWs, next to China (35 million) and India (22 million). This is deeply disturbing because the Philippines has a disproportionate number of OFWs compared to its population and overall labor force," Beltran added. ###


Blogger engineerOFW said...

I urge Rep Beltran to promulgate a law to make it illegal for Filipinos to work as OFW's in the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere to return to the Philippines. Rep Beltran should immediately require the Dept of Foreign Affairs to cancel the passports of OFW's.

9:42 PM  

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