The highest ranking official of the Catholic Church in Metro Manila blamed poor labor polices for the continued exodus of Filipino workers abroad to find a greener pastures there.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle expressed sadness over thousands of Filipino workers’ choosing to leave their families in the country to work abroad and become overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
“The unavailability of jobs, the lack of security and starvation wages drive millions of Filipinos to take chances abroad despite the long-term harm on families and to society,” Tagle said on his Labor Day message.
The country has an estimated of 10 million OFWs.
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Undersecretary Danilo Cruz said the Middle East has remained the number one country hiring OFWs and added that the government is still seeking new markets like Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
“There are lots of new overseas markets that we are developing,” Cruz said.
Meanwhile, Tagle urged Filipino workers to be united before they voice out their grievance before the Aquino administration.
“The workers sector must have one voice on labor issues,” the cardinal said.
“The bayanihan spirit will triumph over all problems,” he added.
On Thursday, while thousands of job seekers flocked to a mall in Pasay, more than 30,000 workers marched to Mendiola to voice out their grievances after President Benigno Aquino 3rd refused to grant a wage hike.