http://www.sisterraquel.com/2015/05/why-ofw-cellphones eastwind journals 163 By Bernie V. Lopez firstname.lastname@example.org Permission is granted to re-publish with credits. Disclaimer – the views in this article are the author’s alone. Confiscating the cellphones of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), a new powerful harassment weapon, is like tying their hands, taping their mouth, and blindfolding them, so that they cannot voice complaints, implicate government employees and recruitment agencies who are part of a powerful unstoppable international inter-agency syndicate preying on them, with tentacles in the public and private sectors, both here and abroad. The syndicate is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year underground industry that no one, not even powerful Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, have succeeded in stopping. The syndicate knows that without a cellphone, OFWs cannot communicate, report, coordinate, incriminate. The scheme is the most ingenious and dangerous weapon against the global OFW community who number in the millions and whose remittances are in the billions of dollars per year. OFWs are the Philippine’s biggest dollar earner. It is roughly estimated that the syndicate siphons a staggering 15% of OFW income. The heavens cry out for vengeance against this evil force. The OFW cellphones are confiscated 1) in Philippine government-owned shelter houses for the distressed (they are distressed as victims of the syndicate). 2) recruitment agencies (they are victims of these agencies); 3) overseas employers (who violate labor laws and fail to give just compensation. The OFWs are essentially helpless against this malpractice. Possible steps against the syndicate – 1) Interpol arrests of those holding OFW cellphones; 2) filing of court cases against those holding OFW cellphones; firing them on the spot; 3) exposing the names of the confiscators and the institutions they represent in global media. Campaign from the angry OFWs. http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stopconfiscatingofwsphones/sign.html
We, the undersigned urge the Philippine government to:
#1 STOP the confiscation of OFWs’ cellphones at the Philippine government owned shelter houses for distressed workers
#2 REVOKE the license of recruitment agencies that confiscate cell phones from the OFWs
#3 REVOKE the accreditation of recruitment agencies in labor receiving countries that confiscate cell phones from the OFWs
#4 REVOKE the permit to hire from overseas employers who confiscate cell phones from the OFWs;
Petition Background (Preamble):This Petition seeks to STOP the common practice of confiscation of mobile/cell phones from the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) by: the staff of the Philippine government owned shelter houses upon arrival of the distressed workers seeking government protection from abusive employers the staff of recruitment agencies licensed by the Philippine government the staff of accredited recruitment agencies in the labor receiving countries, subjecting the OFWs to body searches, including body cavity search the employers who are in the approved overseas employers list of the Philippine government The OFWs, already facing the uncertainties of employment or repatriation, their desperate situations, becoming more desperate when their cell phones are confiscated, effectively cutting off needed emotional support from families and friends. Additionally, confiscating cell phones from abused workers discourages them from seeking refuge since they will be experiencing more isolations at the Philippine government owned shelters.
This Petition asserts the basic rights of the OFWs to communicate with the outside world via their cell phones. Pls click here: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stopconfiscatingofwsphones/sign.html