Press Release
July 20, 2006

P391.7 billion for debt service but none for Lebanon evacuation
OFWs, not just debts must be covered by sovereign guarantee Recto

If government can pay its creditors promptly so they wont be put in distress, then why cant it release funds for overseas Filipino workers who already are?

This was raised by Sen. Ralph G. Recto as he hit the contrast of government overpaying its creditors but seems to be scrimping on money that can be used to bring out Filipino workers trapped in strife-torn Lebanon.

Recto noted that the government had paid P391.7 billion to our foreign creditors.

This amount is 24 % over the P316.44 billion programmed for the year.

I do understand that our debts are covered by sovereign guarantee but isnt it just proper that we also extend the same guarantee to OFWs whose remittances to a large part allow us to pay our debts? Recto asked.

Hindi lang utang kundi pati mga tao ay may sovereign guarantee rin, Recto said. Annual remittances of the estimated 30,000 Filipino workers in Lebanon is something that cant be sneezed at, he added.

With each of them sending back to the Philippines a conservative P6,000 a month or P72,000 a year, their combined contribution to the economy is a staggering P2 billion a year.

If they were a corporation, our OFWs in Lebanon can land then in the top 100 corporations based on net profit.

Walang tax break ito, walang fiscal incentive, neto sa ekonomiya ang kanilang ipinapadala, Recto said.

Recto urged Malacañang to order Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to release funds for the evacuation of Filipinos caught in that middle eastern country.

For after all they were made to pay before departure the OWWA membership fee on the promise that this serves as a guarantee of government assistance in case they ran into trouble abroad.

News Latest News Feed