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OFWs hurt by soaring prices of education, commodities

Soaring costs of commodities and education are making overseas Filipino workers ache, a militant migrant group said Saturday.

Migrante Middle East said OFWs’ salary rates are not even enough for the cost of daily living in Metro Manila at P917 ($19.84).

“Tuition increases in both private and public colleges and universities are adding to our already heavy burden as prices of food, fuel, water and electricity continue to rise while value of the US dollars continue to decrease thus making it more difficult for us to make ends meet,” Migrante Middle East coordinator John Leonard Monterona said in an article on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines news site.

Migrante supports the call of the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) to impose a moratorium on tuition hike.

He said domestic helpers and construction workers in the Middle East countries only get $250 (P11,550) to $450 (P20,790) a month.

“If we will compute the current salary rate of an overseas Filipino worker parent vis-à-vis the cost of daily living in Manila, it is P6,720 ($145.55) short. And what makes us wearier is the news that there are around 300 schools or universities that will pump up their tuition fee rates by seven to 15 percent. This means that many OFW parents will not be able to send their children to school, or if they want to, they will need to have an extra job to augment their meager salaries. However, this will make [a] toll to their health and well-being,” Monterona said.

Worse, he said the situation may force both parents to leave the country to work abroad, adding that such a scenario weakens family ties, with the burden of taking care of children transferred to the aging grandparents.

The group urged president-apparent Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III to come up with concrete solutions to the economic problems of the country as well as to create jobs here that can sustain the Filipino salary.

“If he can do this, then there will be no parents that will be forced leave their children to work abroad just to feed them, clothe them and send them to school,” Monterona said. — LBG, GMANews.TV

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