By Edith Regalado/Philstar
HONG KONG – If there is one thing that overseas Filipino workers here ask of president-apparent Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, it is for his administration to create more jobs and opportunities in the country so they would not have to leave and seek greener pastures abroad.
“Our hope is for the new government to create more jobs in the country so that there would be no more Filipinos would have to go out and work abroad,” said Milagros Ladra, a 44-year old native of Davao City who started working as a domestic helper since 1992.
Ladra has been working here since starting out in Singapore for her first two years as an OFW.
“We all love to go home,” she said.
She said it could be a long shot but that she also shares the same fervent wish that if there are jobs back home, the pay should also be equal if not higher than what they are receiving as OFWs.
Ladra likewise said OFWs here also pin their hope on Aquino that his administration would address the woes of their sector particularly on the matter of the unscrupulous practices of the recruitment agencies.
Delfa Tacuban, another Filipina worker here, said the recruitment fees have been so exorbitant to the extent that OFWs sell all their properties and even borrow money with high interests and yet they end up receiving meager salaries.
“What is worst is when the OFWs arrive here in Hong Kong and they happen to be immediately fired by their employers and their contracts terminated within five days. And now, what would happen to the replacement fee paid?” Tacuban said.
Ladra said the new government should also help in ensuring that there would be a better working condition for the OFWs as a number of them have been subjected to maltreatment, harassment and abuse.
“We hope the new government would help to make sure that all the provisions in the OFW contract shall be followed and complied with by the employers in providing a conducive environment for the OFWs to work,” Ladra said.