The call for Zero Remittance Day on December 18, International Migrants’ Day has no substantial positive impact at all on the outcome of remittances from Filipinos overseas. The fact that the plan is only for just a day, it is likewise has no adverse impact on social needs of OFW families during Holiday season.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Administrator Carlos Cao said “total remittances by Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are likely to exceed P20.1-billion target for 2011.” Even a point margin for tomorrow’s call for zero remittance could not affect the forecasted 2011 total OFW remittances. Last year’s 2010 remittances of overseas Filipino workers’ (OFWs’) was P18.8 billion.
Let’s say, tomorrow’s action initiated by overseas Filipinos in 20 countries (as what they say) would push through, I am not inclined to believe that these OFWs represents the Overseas Filipinos Worldwide, and not all OFWs in Saudi Arabia will heed for the call for a “Zero Remittance”. Why? Because 50 percent of the hard earned money of OFW’s can be sent to improper channels, if we really want. Christmas is about giving and OFWs like me wants our families to be happy in this very important holiday season. We don’t want our families to troop down to malls on an eleventh hour shopping spree. And besides, “kaming naiwan sa Saudi Arabia ay masaya pag ang aming pamilya ay masaya tuwing kapaskohan even without our presence.”
What we need in our midst is “political empowerment” and it can easily achieve if there will be a unified and concerted effort among our ranks.
“Iisang boses, nagdadamayan, iisang katawan, walang gamitan, walang bangayan, walang AKO kundi TAYO lahat, Muslim at Kristiyano, nag-iisang tinig para sa makabulohang pagbabago tungo sa kagalingan ng Manggawang Pinoy sa ibayong dagat.”
We fought for the passage of the Absentee Voting Law, it is now in our hands, “Go Out and Register” – Be an Absentee Voter! (BongA)