‘JV’ wants OFWs legal fund cuts realigned

Published by rudy Date posted on April 1, 2011

While the nation still grieves over the execution of three overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in China yesterday, San Juan City Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito yesterday asked the Aquino administration to realign its position in cutting 50 percent of its Legal Assistance Fund (LAF) to OFWs worldwide.

“It is in our best interest that the Aquino government reconsider its position as there are still 227 OFWs jailed in China for drug offenses and 36 more in the Middle East on death row. We do not want a repeat of what happened yesterday,” Ejercito said.

The solon added as much as possible, the government should grant enough legal aid to the bereaved OFWs so as to release them immediately from their grim situation.

He said budget constraints implemented on the 2011 national budget by the Aquino administration is one of the main liabilities why services to the OFWs are now very limited.

“According to the computations of Migrante International, a meager P7,000 is allotted now for each OFW since the LAF’s total budget has been cut in half this year. Given that small amount of provision, how could the 36 OFWs in the Middle East even cope with the expenses when the cost of hiring a lawyer there is about $10,000 per case? It is quite odd that while we recognize the OFWs as our ‘bagong bayani,’ the government spends less for their protection and welfare while they are in distress.”

Ejercito further commented: “If we could appropriate billions of funds to AFP, which is prone to corruption, and the CCT project of DSWD, all the more that we should provide good services to the OFWs commensurate to the billions of dollars they contribute to the economy annually.”

The solon also proposed that the OFW Trust Fund of OWWA, which amounts to P13 billion, could be used to boost the LAF and that the government should provide effective mechanisms in administering support services to the families of the afflicted OFWs.

Ejercito also bared he intends to file a House resolution calling for the Aquino administration to urgently increase the allocation for legal aid and other support services to the OFWs. Charlie V. Manalo, Daily Tribune

Month – Workers’ month

“Hot for workers rights!”


Solidarity with CTU Myanmar,
trade unions around the world,
for democracy in Myanmar,
with the daily protests of
people in Myanmar against
the military coup and
continuing oppression.


Accept National Unity Government
(NUG) of Myanmar.
Reject Military!

#WearMask #WashHands

Time to support & empower survivors.
Time to spark a global conversation.
Time for #GenerationEquality to #orangetheworld!
Trade Union Solidarity Campaigns
Get Email from NTUC
Article Categories