Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Press release from Taiwan on Filipino Migrant Workers

The Philippine government must prioritize its own people in Taiwan over the issue of Diplomacy

The Taiwan Committee for Philippine Concerns (TCPC) is very much concerned about how the Philippine government is treating its own people here in Taiwan as it aims to patch the diplomatic issues with China.

TCPC finds the deportation by the Philippines of 14 Taiwanese nationals to Mainland China condemnable because the Philippine government salvages its diplomatic relations with China at the expense of its own people working in Taiwan.

The TCPC, a network of individuals from different sectors (i.e. labor, indigenous people, academe, students and marriage migrants) in Taiwan concerned with Philippine issues, would like to remind Philippine President Benigno Aquino III that the Filipinos who are working in countries like Taiwan are the “lifeblood” of the Philippine economy. TCPC urges the Philippine government prioritize its own people in Taiwan over the issue of diplomacy.

It has been known publicly that Philippine diplomacy will only benefit those who hold positions in the government. This is somewhat reminiscent of the ZTE scandal that the previous Philippine government was involved in.

On the other hand, we deplore those people in Taiwan who demand the freeze-hiring of Filipino migrants as a retaliatory move to the Philippine government’s diplomatic backlash. These people in Taiwan must open their eyes on how migrant workers are helping to develop our economy and provide care to our elderly and ill family members. It is hypocritical and unwise for them to use migrants as sacrificial lambs.

We in TCPC are witnesses to the continuing abuse and exploitation experienced by Filipinos and other migrants in Taiwan. Despite the efforts of civil society organizations and migrant service providers to protect the rights of migrants in Taiwan, they will not be enough as long as the sending governments such as the Philippines continue to put more weight on political diplomacy rather than ensure the protection of their own people abroad such as those working here in Taiwan.

We believe that political diplomacy can be more beneficial if the concerns of their countrymen are put in the forefront.

Lastly, we call on the people of the Philippines and Taiwan not to be divided and instead continue to develop stronger people to people cooperation and solidarity.

15 February 2011

Reference: Hsiao-Chuan Hsia (Chairperson of TCPC)

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