COMMENTARY

Predictions of OFWs returning by the thousands should worry us

9

A Kicker Daily News story exactly a month ago (April 20) at this writing tells of an Australia-based overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who claimed that he lost his job “due to unruly pro-Duterte peers, mayor’s rape remarks.”

Kicker News said the OFW claimed “some of his co-workers were rabid Duterte supporters who were unruly and uncouth,” and that their [Australian?] boss felt insulted by Duterte’s remark” and “decided not to renew their contracts.”

Apparently some 50 OFWs were supposed to be involved. Kicker News asked “Did 50 overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs) in Australia just lose their jobs because of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s rape remark?”

Kicker News said that “In a post on the Facebook page of Philippines Defense Forces Forum, a person claiming to be an OFW in Australia said his contract won’t be renewed because of his pro-Duterte colleagues’ unruly behavior and the mayor’s remark involving slain Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill.”


The OFW’s post reportedly says, per Kicker News: “Sir, I am (a) Filipino working here in Australia. Many of us OFWs who work for the same company live in a company-provided apartment complex here and there’s a group of around 10-15 OFWs from Mindanao who are rabid Duterte supporters, they are very mayabang [arrogant]and even bullied another OFW who openly said that he is against Duterte, they hang Duterte posters over the railings and wear Duterte shirts all the time.”

Apparently, the pro-Duterte Filipinos had been hanging posters and holding happy-talk sessions where they spoke with admiration about now President-elect Rody. But the OFW said in his post that “his pro-Duterte colleagues stopped hanging posters and [holding]their gatherings after word of the mayor’s remarks reached their office.”

The OFW continued: “The owner of the company we’re working for is a very devout Christian and she felt insulted by Duterte’s comments against her fellow Aussie, our supervisor already told us today that the contracts of all of us 50 Filipino workers will no longer be renewed, that we will be replaced by Pacific Islanders.”

This story has “gone viral” on social media. But there is no indication, much less proof that it is true.

Migrante’s pessimistic report

Last February, Migrante was quoted in a CNN Philippines report written by Pia Bonalos, with the headline “Migrante: At least 50,000 OFWs stand to lose jobs.”

The story has a subhead: “According to one Filipino, OFWs have been losing jobs since October.” It goes:

“Metro Manila (CNN Philippines)—Migrante party-list, a group supporting the rights of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), warned Wednesday (February 17) that at least 50,000 Filipinos in Saudi Arabia will be out of jobs by March, as a result of the ongoing oil crisis in the Middle East.

“The drop in prices has taken a toll on the Saudi government’s budget, since most of its wealth comes from oil production.

“OFWs losing their jobs have been commonplace since October, said Rodel Perciana, an electrical foreman who was retrenched from his job in Saudi last December.

“Stop work ang mga kasamahan doon, pati sa Bin Laden at sa Saudi Oger,” he said.

“[Translation: "There has been a Stop Work Order in my company, as well as in Bin Laden and Saudi Oger.”]

“Bin Laden Co. and Saudi Oger Ltd are two of the biggest contractors hired by the government for construction projects.

“Perciana said most unemployed Filipinos in Saudi cannot leave because they are still waiting for their end-of-contract benefits.

“Others have filed cases against their companies for non-payment of wages and other labor violations.

“Migrante is appealing for the government’s help in extending OFWs’ work permits, as well as acquiring the benefits they are due.

“Malinaw na krisis na ito. Ano ba pamantayan ng krisis? Dapat bang may mamatay pa?” said Garry Martinez of Migrante.

[T[Translation: "This is clearly a crisis. Does someone have to die for this situation to qualify as a crisis?”]p>

“The Department of Labor and Employment said it can help with extending work permits, depending on the status of the worker. It also vowed to assist workers in securing employment benefits.

“According to the government, livelihood programs and alternative jobs also await OFWs who choose to come home.”

* * *

No mass job loss has been happening, thank God.

But if the European countries and the US will be like the UK, as described in the following story from London’s Financial Mail, we Filipinos should really be ready.

* * *

1.8M jobs at risk as small firm owners plan exit

BY VICKI OWEN
FINANCIAL MAIL ON SUNDAY, LONDON

MORE than 1.8 million jobs could be lost as 370,000 small businesses plan to cease trading over the next five years, according to new research.

These businesses each employ close to five employees on average.

The survey by Opinium for Bizdaq, a marketplace for businesses up for sale, found that a further 424,000 business owners plan to quit their companies by selling them within five years—a method which is far more likely to protect jobs.

Of the 1.8 million jobs that could be affected by closures, 370,000 will be within the next 12 months, as small business owners start to cease trading, said Bizdaq.

The company’s chief executive, Sean Mallon, said: ‘It is astonishing, given the Government’s rhetoric around job creation, that little is being done to preserve the number of jobs at risk within Britain’s small businesses.

‘If the Government were to make leaving a business easier and promote this as the “norm,” then hard working small business owners could capitalize on their efforts and we could retain more than 1.8 million jobs—it’s a win-win situation.’

The survey found that the business owners most likely to be thinking about an exit within five years are those in London, at 43 percent. Those in the East of England are happiest running their firms, with 11 percent considering exiting.

The revenue of a business did not affect whether an owner was planning to leave—the East of England had both the lowest exit rate and the lowest average revenue, while the East Midlands—which had the highest average revenue—was second only to London for business owners looking to exit.

With the EU referendum edging closer, small business owners across the UK are still split on whether to leave or not—41 percent said the UK should stay in the EU, 44 per cent were in favor of leaving, and 15 percent said they were still undecided.

The region most likely to support staying was Wales, with 53 percent of respondents for remaining, while the North West is most likely to support leaving, with 59 per cent in favor of Brexit.

The survey also revealed that small businesses with higher revenue were more likely to want to stay in the EU. The average annual revenue of those in the remain camp was pounds sterling 93,000 against pounds sterling 84,000 for those wanting to leave.

The sectors most likely to support Brexit were the hospitality, construction and professional services industries, while those in education, IT and wholesale wanted to remain.

Mallon said: ‘It is clear that Britain’s small business owners are relatively undecided as to whether it’s “better the devil you know” and remain in the EU, or whether their business would benefit from less EU regulation and more state control. It seems the larger the business, the more EU trade they are likely to have and there seems to be a correlation with these companies wanting to remain in the EU.’

Labor MP Chuka Umunna, who was Shadow Business Secretary until last year, said last week: ‘The Leave campaign often claims that our micro, small- and medium-sized businesses are more in favor of leaving Europe than our bigger businesses, who favor remaining. But there is no evidence for this. Not only are the polls clear—a majority of small businesses consistently support staying in the EU—so is the logic.

‘Our small businesses benefit from the EU’s single market—tariff-free trade and full access to a market of 500 million people. In the single market, they benefit from a simple set of rules, meaning they don’t have to have multiple production lines due to differing product standards.’

Former Business Secretary Vince Cable said last week that it was a myth that Brexit would mean less red tape for small firms.

©2016 Daily Mail (London) / Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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9 Comments

  1. At first I am not a supporter of Duterte but I will give him a chance the same way I gave chance From Marcos to Aquino. There is so much of the hypes from both supporters and non-supporters of DU30. Let’s think positive.

  2. tawag dito kwentong barbero! kung totoo yan di sana madaming DH and natanggal at pinauwi dahil kay PNOy dahil ayaw magsorry sa luneta hostage crisis

  3. Ignacio Balbutin on

    There should be no problem if all OFWs will be coming home, they have earned enough and they should come not to look for a job but established businesses and the government should help all OFWs planning to open a business. It will be more beneficial to our country

  4. Ignacio Balbutin on

    They are adults already and they should know if the remarks was a joke or not. President Duterte was just joking and that joke should not offend especially for adult man like the chairman of that company. If it was a serious comment I believe the country’s Prime Minister will protest already. I repeat it was a joke so nobody should take it seriously

  5. Let’s just wait at the end of this year when the presumptive president is already in power. By that time our analysis would be validated.

  6. Josefino Bajado Velasco on

    I do no think those empioyers are a bunch of dimwits to just punish some people due to one person’s remark they consider irresponsible.

  7. I live in Australia, for the last 35 years and have lots of Australian friends. This report of not being renued of employment because of Mayor Duterte’s, joke is all lies. The probable reasons of not being re-employed, iether they don’t have the right skills or in some part of the industry in Australia is slowing down in production due to a mild recession in some industry.

    • I wholeheartedly agree with you. It is just a pack of lies and the Rene Q Bas should be sacked for printing such rubbish. That sort of situation just does not happen in Australia. CHECK YOUR FACTS MANILA TIMES. !!!!

  8. pastor cortes on

    Yes i did the pediction. and more to come from europe and ammericas. philippines is the losers.