OFWs’ mandatory membership to Pag-Ibig hit - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

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OFWs’ mandatory membership to Pag-Ibig hit - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

MANILA, Philippines—An alliance of Filipino migrants rights group on Sunday criticized the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) for collecting the P600 mandatory Pag-Ibig membership covering all overseas Filipino workers.

In a news release, Migrante-Middle East said the amount is on top of the P1,164 membership fee for Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, their P900 contribution to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., and P100 processing fee.

“While we recognize the sound intent of the government’s housing program for OFWs who mostly have no house of their own, we question the implementation of the new Memorandum Circular 06, Series of 2010, issued by the POEA on 7 July 2010, requiring OFWs mandatory membership to Pag-Ibig,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.

Monterona said The Home Development Mutual Fund, popularly known as Pag-Ibig, has already an existing housing loan facility for OFWs.

“Before it is only optional, not mandatory, thus giving OFWs and their dependents leeway to choose which is better, appropriate, and practical considering the family’s priority, to get a housing loan from Pag-Ibig or just gradually build their own house from their earnings,” he said.

Monterona said making OFWs membership to Pag-Ibig compulsory is like highway robbery because it is tied up to getting an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), required for all out-bound OFWs and would-be OFWs.

He said that while the MC6 clearly stated that the collection of mandatory Pag-Ibig coverage shall start on 1 August 2010, “fellow OFWs have told us that upon getting an OEC (overseas employment certificate) at POEA main building, they were asked to pay P600 for Pag-Ibig membership on the first week of July.”

“After hearing P-Noy’s first SONA, we are asking, ‘is he only dreaming or will he be true to his words?’ The president did not even bother to give his marching orders and directives to all concerned government agencies concerning OFW concerns and issues. This is a bad indication that he too would be anti-OFW,” he said.

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