OFW $50 fee bill dropped, Rep Theresa Bonoan-David withdraws HB 6195, after protests from OFW groupsBy Angel Cuala on Jun 22, 2012 in Asia, Lifestyle, Local, Politics •
Manila, Philippines – Manila 4th District Rep. Maria Theresa Bonoan-David has withdrawn her controversial House Bill 6195 (HB 6195), which if approved will require additional fees for overseas Filipino workers (OFW), after various protests via social media particularly from OFW advocates and from the OFW themselves.
Rep Theresa Bonoan-David
Image Credit: ANC video
As noted at ANC Channel on Friday, June 22, 2012, Rep. Maria Theresa Bonoan-David was forced to withdraw the said bill, which would require departing overseas Filipino workers to pay $50 per contract as contribution to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration fund (OWWA), once approved.
Apparently, earlier reports said that Rep. Bonoan-David said her proposed increase of OFW contribution from $25 to $50 per person for every contract “will help to sustain an Emergency Repatriation Fund (ERF) for distressed OFWs”.
“House Bill 6195 which you filed recently is an example of a proposal so bereft of logic that it begs us to ask this question: Did you even discuss this proposal with your OFW constituents prior to filing the bill?” Susan Ople of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center wrote in her open letter to Rep. Bonoan-David.
“US$50 may seem small to you. But it is a big deal to our OFWs especially those who are supposed to be paid more than they get based on approved contracts honored in breach once they step outside our shores.” Ople added, whose entire letter can be read via her official website at SusanOple.com.
“We do not know who Rep. Bonoan-David has been consulting but while her intentions may be noble, the bill is definitely unwelcome to OFWs. While there is indeed a need to increase funds for repatriation of OFWs in distress, it should not be passed unto OFWs.” Migrante International chairperson Garry Martinez was quoted at MigranteInternational.org, adding that the lawmaker should re-think the bill.
Nevertheless, netizens also used Facebook and Twitter to voice out their strong opposition against HB 6195, along with groups such as Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards; as well from the OFW themselves such as those working in Middle East and in Asia and their relatives back in the country.
Official letter of Rep Theresa Bonoan-David’s withdrawal of House Bill 6195
Image Credit: Outstanding Filipinos Worldwide (OFW) Facebook
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