Solon drops measure after drawing flak from OFWs
Manila Rep. Trisha Bonoan-David (4th distrct) is now rescinding her initial sponsorship of House Bill 6195, which would have amended parts of the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Protection Act of 1995. Rep. Bonoan-David’s camp sent to The Filipino Scribe a copy of the lady solon’s official announcement Friday afternoon.
Dated June 18 and addressed to House Majority Leader (and chair of the Committee on Rules) Neptali Gonzales, Jr., Bonoan-David said she is withdrawing sponsorship as principal author of HB 6195 “after some careful consideration on (its) provisions.” Curiously, a copy of the said bill is not uploaded in Bonoan-David’s page in the House of Representatives website.
Filed last May 17, HB 6195 will require departing overseas Filipino workers to pay US$50 as contribution to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration emergency repatriation fund. The Manila solon said her bill “intends to provide the necessary measures for the government to carry out its responsibility to assist distressed OFWs in cases of war, epidemic, disaster or calamities, natural or man-made, and other similar events, and promote their general welfare.”
The bill has received a firestorm of criticism in the social media, led by migrant workers’ rights advocate Susan Ople and other organization of overseas Filipino workers. In her blog, Ople described HB 6195 “bereft of logic” and “inimical to the welfare and rights of our OFWs.” The 2010 senatorial candidate added: “(The bill) touches a sensitive nerve because of its gross insensitivity to the heavily burdened life of an OFW.”
Bonoan-David is currently serving her second term in Congress. She has not indicated if she will seek reelection in next year’s midterm polls or if she will instead run for a higher post in Manila.
PS: Ms Susan Ople has mentioned this post in her latest blog entry.