You as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) can use the national election in the Philippines to gain support to your causes. Use it to get answers to issues like absentee voting, human trafficking, illegal recruitment and good governance.
OFW voters will have the chance to embrace integrity and issue-based politics. You in the diaspora can choose to engage in such kind of politics.
People running for office cannot ignore your huge number as a sector. Your sheer number will force policies in your favor.
Start in making the overseas absentee voting law work. The law is not perfect but it is the only means for you to vote in Philippine elections.
Elections provide a good chance to raise issues.
Improving the absentee voting law remains crucial. The current version prevents many OFWs and Filipinos abroad to be absentee voters. Some say the requirements, place and manner of registration and voting need to change.
Another major issue is human trafficking. Stories of Filipinas as sex slaves or forced to work long hours are troubling. This happens despite the passage of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.
The government must protect Filipinos going abroad and in host countries. High placement fees, red tape and illegal recruitment must end to put off Philippine mail order brides for instance. Posts abroad must assist those in need in action! You can also improve your family's situation through the overseas absentee voting.
Lack of good paying jobs forces Filipinos to work abroad. Jobs cannot keep up with the 500,000 graduates every year and the 3 million who are looking for work. Not enough firms create jobs to employ more people.
The large population of the Philippines will keep on growing. The Reproductive Health (RH) law must help people plan their families. Couples and women can decide better when to bear children.
Poverty in the Philippines is common at more than a third of the people. This despite the Philippine education system making Filipinos excel in many fields abroad, your OFW remittances, and more good things about the country and its people.
We hear more issues and what candidates will do about them every Philippine election. But once in office, they do not fulfill their campaign pledges. So, be prudent to use your vote in the...
Every six years you can elect the President (and Vice President) of the country. I cannot stress enough how central this is. The right president will not neglect OFWs and the Nation.
Their oath of office swears to preserve and defend the Philippine Constitution, the basic law of the land, and serve the Nation. That is why you must vote in every presidential election to help elect the president. Ask your family to vote for your choice.
2016 Presidential bets' plans on OFW concerns
You can elect other officials also. Every three years you can elect Senators and party list representatives as an overseas absentee voter. You need friendly legislators in Congress to pass needed laws. Are there reform candidates to choose from?
Reform candidates not steeped in old-style politics and willing to stamp out graft and corruption are wanting. They stand for a unique kind of politics. Their courage and integrity make for good governance.
OFWs are a force to reckon with in politics. Seek answers on your issues and campaign and vote for reform candidates. This way, an election in the Philippines can make a change, big time.
OWWA benefits OFW-members, seamen or seafarers and their dependents. These include scholarship programs, financial assistance, health benefits and free training courses.
Leni Robredo won the Vice-Presidency by a slim margin although the OFW absentee voting ballots favored her closest rival. Here are her plans for OFWs.
OWWA serves and protects its member-OFWs before, during and after working and living abroad. Your contribution allow you to avail of its benefits. Its hotline is open 24/7 for any issue.