A pro-migrants group on Friday urged presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte to stray from the Aquino administration's "tuwid na daan" and come up with policies that will counteract the causes of forced migration.
"We want a new government that will depart from all the failures and empty promises of the so-called 'tuwid na daan'," said Migrante International in a statement.
Noting the support given by OFWs to Duterte, Migrante called on the outgoing Davao City mayor to scrap the current labor export policy and address corruption, lack of basic social services, widespread unemployment and contractualization — factors that the group said drive Filipinos to seek greener pastures abroad.
"We want accountability for all the crimes committed by the Aquino government against the Filipino people," the group said.
The group also urged Duterte to provide legal assistance to Mary Jane Veloso, who is on death row in Indonesia for drug trafficking, and other Filipinos facing the death penalty overseas, as well as victims of illegal recruitment and trafficking.
Migrante said the next president must also initiate an investigation against government officials involved in the "laglag-bala" extortion scheme at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport that victimizes tourists and OFWs.
"Unnecessary fees" and certificates such as the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) should also be removed, the group said.
"We will hold you to your promise to make OFWs your top-most priority in your labor agenda," Migrante said. "We want new leaders who will be nurturing to OFWs and their families. We want a new government that will uphold and protect our rights and welfare."
Migrante said it is ready to meet with Duterte to discuss these issues and other concerns of the OFW community.
"We are very much open to hold a dialogue with you to further discuss urgent and fundamental OFW concerns, especially as the nation is set to commemorate Filipino Migrants’ Day on June 7," it said. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News