Millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will attempt to flex their economic muscle by holding a “Zero- Remittance Day” (ZRD) this month in support of the move to abolish the pork barrel system.
In a statement, Migrante International Chairperson Garry Martinez said they have already coordinated with their chapters to urge their members not to remit on Sept. 19, a Thursday, to compel the government to scrap the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
Migrante International has 145 member organizations in 23 countries worldwide. There are around 10 million OFWs in all continents around the world, or roughly 10 percent of the country’s total population.
In 2011, OFWs remitted $20.117 billion, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) figures.
BSP said other OFWs also send dollars to their relatives in the country through other means.
“The power to send or not to send remittances rests on Filipino im/migrants and OFWs alone,” the statement said.
By not remitting for one day, Filipinos all over the world will use their economic power to make a stand against corruption, patronage politics and social injustice,” Martinez said.
This came amid the ongoing controversy on the alleged release of billions of pesos worth of PDAF to bogus non-government organizations (NGOs).
Martinez said the misuse of PDAF in the Congress “is an insult to OFWs.”
“While we are hardly surviving by the day due to the global crisis combined with the onslaught of price hikes, to learn that our hard-earned money is being plundered for patronage politics and self-serving interests of a privileged few is a huge injustice,” Martinez said.
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