Press Release
March 13, 2008

Jinggoy leads "Cinema Diaspora" launch

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada is the guest speaker in launching of Cinema Diaspora as part of the four-day celebration of Department of Labor and Employment-Migration Information Resource Center's (MIRC) first year anniversary.

Cinema Diaspora is a film festival of Overseas Filipino Workers-oriented independent and mainstream movies portraying the "joys and sorrows" of the OFWs.

Screening of "Katas ng Saudi," recipient of last year's Gatpuno Villegas Cultural Award in Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), will commence the event.

Sen. Estrada underscored the importance of film industry not only as avenue for creative expression but also exposition of social realities.

"The film is the medium that allows us to understand and feel, even vicariously the difficulties and predicaments of migrant workers. Then we will know what they go through as they confront day to day struggles in foreign lands."

With the theme "Tungo sa Pandaigdigang Kaalaman para sa OFW," Estrada stated that although our products may not have gone global, our migrant workers, both land- and sea-based, did and in fact very much in demand.

Estrada further manifested his admiration and all-out support to what he tagged as "modern superheroes."

"They have earned the respect of employers all over the world, and in return we must earn their respect here by exerting more efforts to protect their interests and welfare and to support their needs," Estrada said.

Sen. Estrada, concurrent Chairman of Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development and of Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Labor and Employment, lamented that in exchange for keeping the economy afloat, we lose professionals and specialists as they leave the country in droves.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) noted a 13.2 percent increase of OFW remittances from $12.8 billion (2006) to $14.45 billion last year.

Estrada stressed the need to "serve our OFWs and their loved ones better and with more intensity because we owe them much for whatever economic stability we are having now in spite of the political scandals now affecting this government."

DOLE-MIRC is tasked to "promote information exchange on migration and support efforts of migration stakeholders in uplifting welfare of OFWs and their families through research and formulation of migration policies and programs."

It is primarily managed by the policy and advocacy arm of DOLE, Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) under Executive Director Cynthia Rodis-Cruz.

Other activities prepared in line with the anniversary celebration include the launching of MIRC Interactive website and ILS Trade Central, Public Lecture Series on Prospects in Movement in Natural Persons, on-the-spot poster making contest and art exhibit.

News Latest News Feed