Saturday, August 4, 2012

An Open Letter to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III

Honorable Benigno Aquino III
President of The Philippines
Malacanang Palace, Manila

Dear Hon. President,

In our country Philippines, I find myself contesting against the erratic of working condition and no jobs to accommodate myself. I wanted to raise and promote my living standards but I do not possess the necessary resources to climb up the ladder of success.

A press photo distributed by Office of the President of the Philippines on March 15, 2012 - Image via Wikimedia Commons. This time period was during the start of the Noynoying protests, although representatives of the Office claim the photo is published to counter the protesters. 

I strongly fighting for survival

From the time I arrived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines already had produced four presidents - from former presidents Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the newly elected President Benigno Aquino III, still I am in this foreign lands strongly fighting for survival for my extended family and to my beloved country. My youth and strength are already deteriorating. I often feel some joints pains. And yet, still, I am here undecided to go home with other million Filipinos.

Thousands are leaving our homelands

Every year our country produces thousands of graduates and the labor market could not accommodate them. So there are no options but to look jobs out from the country and it is through working overseas to solve the problem. Thousands are leaving our homelands everyday to have luck finding work in foreign lands.

Homesickness is our greatest enemy

Despite homesickness, which is our greatest enemy, still we Filipinos could well adjust to different races, cultures and standards of living. In addition, our love is intensified. For Filipinos who by nature love doings things for others, domestic chores like cooking, cleaning, gardening and baby-sitting are some of our several expertises.

Philippines is considered as one of the highest Asian’s countries exporting workers. In Saudi Arabia alone there are approximately 1.3 millions Filipino registered workers such as, Doctors, nurses, skilled technicians, janitors and laborers, hotel staffs, accountants, engineers, housemaids, drivers, teachers and trainers, barbers, medical technicians, computer operators, tailors and many more and working in hospitals, establishments, construction firms, industrial companies, private and government offices, supermarkets and malls, hotels and restaurants with courage, dedications and commitments.

Working abroad is a confederate for some of us

It has been noted that working abroad is a confederate for some of us who are fortunate enough to have good jobs and goodly employers. Through our earnings we could build a house and able to send our children to good schools. But there are some isolated cases, that working abroad had become a foe for us working spouses when during our absence our cherished partners left in Philippines took chances of jumping from one bed to another.

But working abroad is not always a fortune

Also to work abroad is not a fortune for those workers who are feed insufficiently, overworked, abused, maltreated and working as a sword-point or those who work as shock absorbers or punching bag by heartless employers. It must be concluded that not only those who have courage, determination and resistance should go out of the country, for life overseas is so rugged that it becomes a subsistence of the fittest, that those who can bear shall stay, but those who can’t should leave.

But despite all these, we, Overseas Foreign Workers are patiently working hard because we wanted for the bright future of our extended families and children and to help improve the ailing economy of our country, Philippines through the billions of dollars remittances that we sent home.

Unite to help cure the country

Now I am asking your good office and your leadership and all of your cabinet members and other feuding politicians in our country to see and consider our greatest sacrifices in foreign lands. It is not enough for us Overseas Foreign Workers to be called as the Modern Day Heroes. Yes, this is an honor for us OFWs. But what all we need is your true leadership and your soft and true caring touch for the OFWs. Please lead the country to stop bickering and lead to unite to help cure the country from its debilitating ills.

Please lead them to show vision, unity; determination and motivation to give the people good governance and work hard to achieve peace and order in the country for more investors to invest business there and create more jobs for the Filipinos and stop building our country on the concept of exporting manpower and as well to eradicate corruptions.

At umaasa rin po ako na nawa'y pakinggan n'yo po ang isinasamo ng nakakaraming OFWs na sana ang pagtaas ng PhilHealth premium mula sa 900ph to 2400ph sa susunod na taon para sa mga Overseas Filipino Workers ay huwag agarang ipatupad kung ito po ay hindi dadaan sa tamang pag-aaral at sinang-ayunan ng Philippine Congress and Senate.

Please hear what The Migrante Middle East petition said, “The hike in OFWs health insurance premium will not only bleed us (OFWs and dependents) dry, it also sucks out our blood leading ‘to death due to deprivation of free and affordable social services’. The government through various agencies is killing us so softly by imposing additional fees in pretense of better social services."

Truly yours,

Paul O. Pruel
OFW, Riyadh City
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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