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19 May 2013
Protect the rights of Filipino workers in Taiwan!
"PRESS RELEASE May 15, 2013 Demanding and Calling for Urgent Action of the Aquino Administration in Solving the Philippine-Taiwan Dispute and Protecting the Rights and Welfare of Filipino Migrant Workers in Taiwan This is in relation to the current face-off of the Philippine and Taiwanese Government which have put the welfare of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Taiwan at risk. The alleged intentional shooting of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to a Taiwanese fishing boat which was an act of ‘self-defense and were only performing their duty of stopping illegal fishing and poaching inside the Philippine territory’ after claiming that the said boat ‘had tried to ram its vessel near Batanes’ actually killed a 65-year old Taiwanese fisherman. This then flared up the outrage of the Taiwanese not only towards the Philippine government but to the Filipino people. As a way of its dissatisfaction to the response from the Philippine government on the matter, it banned the recruitment of Filipino workers, banned its citizens in travelling to the country, and even its own citizens refused selling goods to Filipinos in Taiwan. If this is not resolved, 95,000 documented OFWs in Taiwan will be affected. Thus, we are calling for both parties to immediately resolve this dispute in any peaceful and diplomatic means. We call for the Philippine Government to immediately craft solutions addressing the dispute while executing measures that would protect and uphold the welfare of OFWs in Taiwan. We call for the Taiwanese government to be open for diplomatic negotiations and discussions with the Philippine government on how to resolve this issue. We call for all the workers in Taiwan to remove divisions created by culture and nationality and to be united instead for the workers’ welfare and rights. As we always demand and call, Philippine government should strengthen self-sustaining local economy that would provide decent employment for Filipinos. KAAGAPAY OFW Resource and Service Center, Inc Cotabato City, Mindanao, Philippines firstname.lastname@example.org