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Migrante International: President Aquino’s US trip will intensify forced migration

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Migrante International, an alliance of organizations for migrant rights in the Philippines and abroad (and apart of the BAYAN alliance), released a press statement stating:

An international alliance of overseas Filipino workers today expressed apprehensions on Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s upcoming trip to the United States, saying that it is geared to intensify forced migration by strengthening the government’s labor export program.

Migrante International chairperson Garry Martinez said that Aquino’s US trip blatantly contradicts his statement during his inaugural speech when he said that his administration’s thrust is generate jobs at home so that Filipinos would not be forced to go abroad.

“Forced migration is brought about by widespread unemployment, poverty and landlessness. Aquino has so far not displayed any signs of addressing these, not with his proposed 2011 budget, and certainly not with his agenda on his US trip,” he said.

Martinez questioned Aquino’s lobbying for aid from the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a US government-owned corporation that grants foreign assistance to country partners.

He said that the conditions for MCC aid entail the further opening up of domestic markets to globalization trade agreements, as well as the commitment to “invest a country’s citizens”.

“We view Aquino’s US trip as a veritable sealing of a contract to further subject our labor force to cheap labor in the global market with very little or possibly no protection at all. The outcome of Aquino’s US trip will definitely gauge his administration’s foreign relations framework and policy with regard to labor export and the protection of our OFWs,” Martinez said.

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