Binay Bares Truth about OFW Influx

Opposition leader Vice President Jejomar C. Binay yesterday said President Aquino hid the harsh truth about the influx of returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) during the latter’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA) last week.

In his “true” SONA delivered before students of the Cavite State University in Indang, Cavite Monday, Binay belied Aquino’s claim that the “mass return” of OFWs was due to improved employment opportunities in the country, of more job creation s which is a clear sign of economic progress.

While it is true that many are returning from overseas, Binay said it is not because of the improved economic conditions in the country but because of the geopolitical and economic upheavals from various corners of the globe that forced OFWs out of work leaving them no choice but to return home.

“These reasons include Saudi Arabia’s policy on prioritizing locals instead of overseas workers. There’s also the European financial crisis that led to the closure of businesses and mass lay-offs,” Binay revealed.

“These incidents were almost simultaneous with the upheavals in the Middle East and Africa where most of the OFWs were affected,” the Vice President said, referring to the Arab Spring which displaced a lot of OFWs.

Binay hinted that the influx of migrant workers would only worsen the problem of unemployment and poverty unless the government acts fast.

“Only a few are rich while the Filipino masses suffer from hunger, poverty and unemployment. The country has one plea: Jobs, jobs, jobs.”

Binay served as Aquino’s presidential adviser for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) for five years.

Binay, who will run for president next year under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) which he chairs, said even the figures of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration show that the number of OFWs have risen

Citing POEA figures, Binay said the average daily deployment of OFWs back in 2009 or a year before Aquino assumed office was 2,500. As of the first part of 2015, he said that the average OFW deployment per day has skyrocketed to 6,092.

“And this doesn’t yet include OFWs who were recruited illegally,” Binay pointed out.



But while the Vice President bared the Aquino government’s misgivings, retired Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz lamented that Binay did not offer solutions to the country’s predicament.

“I’m a little disappointed that what I heard is what we already know about the mismanagement and incompetence of the present administration,” Cruz said in an interview after watching Binay’s speech on television.

Cruz said the Vice President failed to mention what he intends to do to correct the wrong things in the present administration if he becomes president.

“I would not know if there is going to be another occasion for him to say what he plans to do. After saying what is wrong with the Philippines, let him say what should be right,” he said.

“The moment he sets up his own plan and tells us what he intends to do, we can gauge him later on if he becomes president and therefore measure him by his words,” added Cruz.



President Aquino attended a gathering of  Liberal Party (LP) allies in San Juan yesterday where  he criticized the opposition’s campaign slogan “Gaganda ang Buhay,” saying they have not presented any concrete platform to back up their promises.

Binay was not identified by Aquino but the Vice President is widely known for using the slogan, “Kay Binay, gaganda ang buhay,” in his 2010 vice presidential run. The tagline has reportedly been modified to “May ginhawa ang buhay kay VP Binay” for his presidential bid next year.

“They say that once they are in power, your lives will improve. Until now, I am still waiting how they will do that,” the President said.

“It is difficult to sell an abstract product,” added Aquino, currently chairman of the ruling party.

The President made the unscheduled appearance at the LP affair to make another pitch for the presidential bid of DILG Sec. Mar Roxas.

Aquino had earlier endorsed Roxas believing he has integrity, competence and experience to lead the country to greater progress.



Meanwhile, Binay’s spokesman Joey Salgado assailed Roxas for saying that the Vice President’s act of honoring the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) members killed in a clash with Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters and other armed groups in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January.

“The SAF 44 deserve to be remembered and recognized for their heroism.” Salgado said.

“Kung kay Secretary Roxas ay pulitika ito, mas pamumulitika yung pag-iikot sa buong bansa para kausapin ang mga kamag-anak na may media coverage. At pagiging manhid ang kalimutan na lang ang kanilang sakripisyo,” added Salgado.  (With a report from Samuel Medenilla)




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