Jobs and justice, land and freedom! No to dictatorship!

BAYAN Canada
Statement on the occasion of Duterte’s
State of the Nation Address
Jobs and justice, land and freedom! No to dictatorship!
21 July 2018

Two years of Duterte rule more than ever reaffirm the dictum that the people and the people alone, with their collective strength, will carve out their own history and achieve the fundamental change towards a truly free and democratic, just and peaceful society.
The US-Duterte regime is not serious about talking, much less making, peace. It is hellbent on effecting the surrender, if not destruction of the revolutionary forces led by the Communist Party of the Philippines. This is why Duterte upon the advise of his generals has once more cancelled the peace talks even as the peace panels of the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines had signed a coordinated unilateral ceasefire agreement for the duration of the coming peace talks.
US imperialism is the criminal mastermind after all behind the cancellation of the peace talks between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. The scheduled talks have been “postponed” so that the “people can be consulted” first before signing the agreements. But so-called consultations are meant to confuse the people and lead them into localized peace talks in line with the scheme to not hold the talks in a foreign neutral venue, eliminate the third-party facilitator (the Norwegian government) and do the negotiations in the Philippines under the complete control of the regime and its armed minions.
Within the framework of Oplan Pacific Eagle, the regime carries out its counterinsurgency Oplan Kapayapaan, bolstering the Human Security Act, giving more powers to the police and the armed forces, targetting whole communities in countryside and city, eliminating pro-people mass leaders and activists. This is why Philippine army contingents continue to set up camp in villages, occupy schoolhouses and community health centres while conducting air strikes and ground attacks in an “all-out” military suppression and encirclement campaign especially in hinterland areas all over Mindanao. Martial law remains in Mindanao even as the stage is being set for martial law nationwide.
The Duterte regime has no intention of addressing the roots of the civil war that has been raging for close to five decades now. It caters to every whim and accedes to every imposition of its US master even as it opens its doors wide and sells out the nation’s sovereignty to China. While facilitating super profit extraction for the transnational corporations, and reaping huge benefits for its big landlord, big business and bureaucrat capitalist cohorts, it keeps the greater mass of the population mired in poverty and destitution. Inflation is at a 4.6 percent high with the real value of the peso dropping to a low of 86 centavos. As of April 2018, 4.13 million Filipinos are unemployed and 6.9 million underemployed.
Whether in the form of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law that has only led to the skyrocketing of prices of food and other basic necessities, or the deregulation of the oil industry, or trade liberalization and privatization of essential services, or foreign corporate mining practices, the end result has been suffering and misery for the toiling people, plunder of the nation’s resources and destruction of the environment.
Duterte’s campaign promise to end labour export, migration and the separation of families will forever remain empty. In 2017 alone, it was estimated that 5,460 Filipinos were leaving the country daily. Despite the impact of the crises in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait on the welfare of overseas Filipino workers, there was no deployment ban set by the government. It even set talks with China and Russia as alternative destinations of OFWs. Also due to the anti-poor and anti-people TRAIN LAW, OFWS are directly affected especially by the increase of fees collected for basic documents required for their work abroad.
The proposed shift in the draft constitution towards federalism is designed to give dictatorial powers to the president, extend the terms of elected officials, weaken the rights of the people, remove prohibitions to foreign military bases, and sell out the Philippines’ national economy and patrimony to foreigners. It is the worst attempt to change the 1987 Constitution in favor of fascist dictatorial and imperialist rule in the country.
Bayan Canada therefore calls on all democratic, freedom and peace-loving Filipinos and Filipino-Canadians to come together in a broad coalition and unite with our kababayans in the Philippines and overseas in opposing the move to another dictatorship. The Filipino people demand a just and lasting peace by resolving the root problems of foreign domination and control over all spheres of Philippine life, landlessness and landgrabbing in the countryside, as well as chronic unemployment, low wages, lack of job security and the many problems besetting the workers, peasants and other basic sectors.

No to charter change and dictatorship.
End the oppressive and exploitative rule of the US-Duterte regime!
Onward with the struggle for genuine freedom and democracy!
Fight for a just and liberating peace!


Rhea Gamana
National Organizing Committee
BAYAN Canada



Statement on Trump-Trudeau Visit to the Philippines
November 12, 2017

In the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Trade and Security Summit in Manila, US President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau represented two leading imperialist states with their own economic and political agenda and concerns. The United States and Canada are not members of the ASEAN but were invited by the Philippines who is the host and the chair of ASEAN 2017.

Trump is still dealing with his scandal-besmirched election campaign officials and the opposition to his racist, homophobic pronouncements and his threats of fascist measures. There is Trudeau’s own economic crisis and his government’s need to ensure the continuous flow of temporary workers into Canada for permanent jobs in caregiving for children and seniors, in agriculture, and in the service and hospitality sectors. Within US and Canada, both Trump and Trudeau continue to face resistance and strong opposition from their own people.  In the Philippines, militant anti-imperialist protests and marches have erupted to oppose and denounce Trump and the US meddling in the country, with huge banners saying “Ban Trump”. Philippine protestors have been met by anti-riot police with water cannons, truncheons and a sonic device that obstructs one’s sense of hearing. In Canada, concerned Canadians and overseas Filipinos have asked Trudeau to bring up the human rights issue of tens of thousands of extrajudicial killings in Duterte’s so-called war on drugs, the killings of human rights defenders, and the human rights violations in mining areas that include Canadian mining corporations.

The Philippines is the last stop of Trump’s Asia trip and presents a good opportunity for the US to reconstitute and reaffirm US leadership and control in the politics and economics of the Asia-Pacific region. The mutual admiration between Duterte and Trump was played out in the media and will certainly impact trade, foreign policy, military aid and presence, etc. This “great relationship” in the words of Trump once more confirmed what everybody knew, including the Left, that Duterte’s earlier speeches against anti-US meddling in the Philippines were purely rhetoric and that Duterte remains to be a willing and subservient partner to US dictates and policies. We will see increased militarization, high threat of being dragged into the US-North Korean conflict, the increase in US military troops in US facilities in the guise of US war exercises and civic engagement, and involvement in the US “war on terror.”

For Trudeau, the acceptance of Canada as observer in the ASEAN, is likewise a chance to raise Canada’s profile in the Pacific region for trade, investment, and labour needs. The Philippines remains to be one of the top sources of low-skilled temporary foreign workers and caregivers in Canada. Canadian mining corporations remain to be among the biggest in mining applications and in mining operations. Just on these two issues alone, human rights violations remain to be on-going concerns.

Although the ASEAN, APEC and other talks are presumably about coordination with Asian states and non-Asian states about the trading system, it is the leadership of the US which is the main point of contention in these meetings.  The US can certainly dictate the “opening” of countries to foreign trade by “creating” constitutional changes, further sharpening the oppressive neoliberal policies such as deregulation, privatization and liberalization that will make wage levels remain meager, industrialization impossible, and the basic masses more impoverished. The US continues to raise threats against North Korea in its effort to build up and strengthen US military presence in the area. US- instigated anti-people policies and fascistic protection of foreign businesses only mean that profits will increase for foreign companies; it will mean even higher numbers of workers going overseas for jobs; it will mean war and profits for companies in the war industry.

The participation of Trump and Trudeau at the ASEAN serves to raise their visibility and military presence; it also serves to give the other imperialist and capitalist countries like Japan and China the opportunities to collude among each other to further break down trade and investment barriers.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte seeks to benefit from these alliances with the US and Canada as he wages his so-called wars against drugs, insurgency and so-called terror – wars that are essentially wars of his government and military against his own people.

More than ever, as overseas Filipinos, we should be vigilant on these collusions, on the machinations of US imperialism and the subsequent actions of the Duterte government. We should continue to organize and strengthen ourselves as overseas Filipinos and launch our political actions and campaigns against the US-Duterte’s war against the people and we should not stop in pushing forward the people’s demand for social and political liberation.

Fight Trump, fascism and imperialism!
Fight Trudeau’s repressive immigration system!  Down with Canadian imperialism!
Uphold Philippine sovereignty!
Struggle for national democracy!

Dr. Constancio Claver


Bayan Canada and Migrante Canada Joint Statement on the Peace Talks – Feb. 14, 2017

Migrante Canada and Bayan Canada condemn, all over again, the continued blatant and rampant violation of human rights of innocent civilians and of people from progressive organizations who have dedicated their lives to advocating for justice in the Philippines. We condemn, more than ever, the relentless war that has been carried out through the reckless militarization of rural areas by troops and paramilitary, through the decades, under the aegis of the Philippine government.

We specially condemn the fact that this reckless militarization has plagued the country, despite the 5-month old unilateral ceasefire declared by President Duterte, as a sign of his intention to pursue talks about peace. However, as we now know from reports, contradicting such offered signs of goodwill, as of January 2017, 51 battalions have been deployed to Mindanao alone, and the state’s troops were deployed to about 500 villages across the country.

The people have always asked for justice, knowing this is the way to lasting peace.

Just as we, alongside many, praised President Duterte’sresumption of peace talks with the CPP-NDF-NPA, we now condemn the recent results of his withdrawal of the government panel from the talks, and his latest declaration of an “all-out war”. We condemn the new counterinsurgency program, which started early this year and has escalated rapidly.

• January 20, the killing of Alexander Ceballos, regional council member for the National Federation of Sugar Workers, and threats dealt to other agrarian-reform activists in Negros;
• February 3, the killing of Lumad leader Renato Anglao, Secretary General of Tribal Indigenous Opressed Group Association or TINDOGA;
• February 6, Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines re-arrested NDFP consultant Ariel Arbitrario and threatened to re-arrest thirteen (13) other NDFP peace consultants.

These events took place quickly, in glaring contrast to the long-drawn out silence of government regarding the request voiced out by human rights advocates to bring justice to around 40,000 victims of human rights violations and the voices asking the government to carry out the president’s previous promise to free the close to 400 political
prisoners languishing in jails.

With such a start, Oplan Kapayapaan, obviously can only be as merciless to non-combatants as other programs in the past, and already tells the nation that it will produce the opposite of its name, bringing more suffering to more numbers of people.

We join other organizations hoping for peace in the Philippines as we urge the Duterte government to continue the peace talks and to complete the positive discussions that have begun and forge agreements regarding the social and economic reforms much needed by the people. We all are at a crucial point in our history which can decide the direction of our nation.

The heightened suffering of the vast numbers of Filipinos through the recent decades has proven a dark nightmare of a false democracy. Ironically, of course, it has increasingly become a pleasure dome for the elite and their lapdogs. We utterly condemn this result of successive Philippine governments submitting to an enforced tutorial under its colonizer, the American government.

We, alongside the people, call for the the Philippine government to respect previously signed agreements, and continue on with the peace talks!

We call for an end to trumped-up cases that have victimized many members of progressive groups!

We call for a stop to all forms of political persecution of members of progressive people’s organizations and development workers!


Chandu Claver
Chairperson, BAYAN-Canada

Tess Agustin
Chairperson, Migrante Canada

Bayan and Migrante Canada Statement on the Kidapawan Massacre April 1, 2016

To The Aquino Government and Its Cohorts:


Bayan Canada and Migrante Canada denounce the brazen and brutal dispersal of the farmers of North Cotabato. The recent massacre of protesting farmers, killing 3 and injuring some 116 people, is once again proof of the cowardly way of this government in dealing with the grave economic and social problems which are, in fact, this government’s own creations!


On April 1, military and police forces of the Philippine government opened fire at protesting farmers in Kidapawan, North Cotabato in Mindanao. More than 6,000 peasants had barricaded the provincial road since March 30 to call for the release of the 15,000 sacks of rice promised as assistance for El Nino-stricken farmers, and for the immediate pull-out of military troops from peasant communities. The farmers’ main demand for disaster relief due to the long drought remained overdue for seven months, while their related demands for changes in local agrarian policies, and demilitarization of their communities, are both urgent and essential changes in their severely oppressed lives. The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the local government through its governor replied with violence.


The government troops are now harassing and encircling the encamped peasants in Kidapawan, along with the harassment of the church people of the Spottswood United Methodist Church that have been assisting the farmers from the beginning. Why is it so difficult for a government to give the people what they urgently need? What is so dangerous in granting them rice when they are hungry, free rice seedlings for their farms, or authorizing an increase in the farm gateprices of agricultural crops so that farmers can have a little profit for their survival?


It is abundantly clear that the government arrogantly moved to “resolve” the criminal neglect of its citizens by shamelessly launching a criminal fascist attack upon its victims! It is abundantly clear that, like the first Aquino administration, which also massacred farmers in 1987, this government’s policy is one of “total war” against its people.


We therefore in the strongest possible terms state the same position as other people’s organization have regarding the the Kidapawan crisis and massacre. We hold President Benigno Aquino III principally responsible for these heinous crimes, and with him, the following are also accountable: The Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Liberal Party member and North Cotabato Governor Emmylou “Lala” Taliño-Mendoza and PNP Col. Alex Tagum. We also condemn the Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas for, according to reports, triggering the dispersal because he thought the farmers would cause disturbance in his presidential campaign.


We join our compatriots in demanding that the calamity fund be immediately released and the perpetrators of these crimes be brought to justice!


Justice for the victims of the Kidapawan massacre! Rice, not bullets!



Chandu Claver, Bayan Canada –

Tess Agustin, Migrante Canada –

Bayan and Migrante Canada Statement on Philippine Independence Day 2015

The Aquino government’s yearly celebration of a fake Independence Day is a stage act done to deceive people into believing the nation is free from the clutches of slavery and the grip of a foreign colonizing power.  The dark reality is that the American government’s power continues to reign supreme in the Philippines, propped up by a subservient local ruling elite.  Philippine independence is an absolute lie that has been bandied about as a gift from the American government, and raised wine glasses to by knee-scraping Philippine governments all throughout the decades.  In brutal fact, this century-long lie has thrown millions of lives into misery – a lie that has brought unmitigated suffering to majority of our people.  The same lie is the tool by which the elite continually feeds and fattens itself.

If we look closely at world history, we see the glaring truth that independence is never easily declared or given by a colonizer to a colonized country and its people.  True independence is fought for by citizens who desire it and who fervently want to end a prevailing unjust situation.  Only when gained through such means and under such conditions are a nation’s freedom and independence authentic.

The undeniable fact is that Philippine independence from Spain was declared by Filipinos on June 12, 1898, wrenched from Spain’s colonial government by means of their victorious revolution.  However, this clear victory of the people – the first such victory in Asia – was stolen and snuffed out by another colonizer, the US government, which maneuvered into the role of “savior”  by making an under-the-table deal with Spain and by paying for the assistance of the puppet government of twice-turncoat revolutionary Emilio Aguinaldo, previously paid by Spain to exile himself in Hong Kong. The collusion of these two pretenders, American politicians and Filipino ex-revolutionaries, sealed the fate of the nation for the incoming century, as they threw into the pot as well the decimation of the remaining revolutionaries who, with persistent valour, had sought, against all odds, to advance the struggle for true freedom.  With these true patriots, hundreds of thousands of Samar residents were also decimated by American troops.

This dark history continues today.  The persistence of US imperialism in the Philppines, which can count on the support of the feudal machinations by the local business and political elite, is the main cause of the nation’s continuing plunge into poverty, oppression and abuse under foreign companies.  Most of these, clearly the American companies, are in mining, agribusiness and manufacturing.

US intervention in the Philippines is simultaneously economic and political.  Recent proof of this is the very secrecy of the signing of the Enhanced Defense Agreement (EDCA) by which the Aquino government sold over Philippine sovereignty and patrimony to the US government.  By it, the whole Philippine archipelago has essentially become a military base of the US, and every port and open port of entry for US troops.  By it, all kinds of American military weapons, including nuclear arms, freely enter.  Clearly, as shown in the Mamasapano incident, EDCA puts Filipino civilian, particularly those in the countryside, under continuous threat of militarization and the scourge of repeated violations of their human rights.

The current military aggression of the Chines government against the Philippines clearly puts focus on American intervention, as the EDCA is used as basis for American military protection fo the Philippines against China.  Beneath this mask of protection, it is clear that America is using the Philippines as a launching pad for military action against China, and moreover, in view of the ongoing American economic crisis since 2010, it sees the Philippines as a much-needed marked for its military weapons productions.  By the same token, China also stands to benefit from any conflict situation involving the Philippines since it can use as wedge its loans to the US for any trade negotiations regarding Philippine natural and human resources.

The collusion of US political and economic interests and the selfish interests of the local ruling elite led by Aquino maintain a fascistic military force to protect those interests against the justified desires of the Filipino nation to be freed from injustice, exploitation and oppression.  EDCA was forged precisely to ain weaponry and military technology to crush the nationalistic forces which find that their desires for change are best advanced by a national democratic revolution.

While empty celebratory bouquets for a fake Philippine Independence are being strewn everywhere, it is the best time for the Filipino people to look at their sacrifices, their suffering and the various injustices in their lives and realize that this fake independence does not contribute anything to their welfare and well-being.  That fake independence only serves the interests of the local Filipino elite and most of all, it serves the interests fo their imperialist master :  the American government and its business corporations.

It is the best tiem for us to see that we can only attain true freedom and independence by throwing off and destroying the instrument so oppression that this imperialist power has created in our country.  Untied in our fight to end exploitation and oppression, we will overthrow feudalism so that the farmers will have lands to till; we will build national industrialization so that our liberated workers can lead us towards economic progress and economic justice.  Finally, when we reach the time that the many who have been suffering injustices can truly take lead and wield political power as active members of a truly democratic nation – only then can we say that freedom is ours, truly ours.



Bayan-Migrante Canada Solidarity Statement: On International Labour Day 2016

With fists raised high, we salute all workers on International Labour Day!


On this glorious day, May the 1st, we join workers all over the world in celebrating this great day.  We also join all workers in advancing their fight against the exploitation and oppression dealt upon them by the giant foreign monopoly capitalists and their cronies, the local bourgeois capitalists.


From the many corners of the Philippies, worekrs and citizens are already gathering together in the streets to make urgent calls: for a national minimum wage of 750 pesos an hour; for an end to contractualization; for justice due to the Kidapawan farmers who were killed and injured, and to condemn the criminal neglect of the Aquino government of the victims of the typhoon.  They demand that the Aquino government own up to its long list of human rights violations that are connected to its Oplan Bayanihan program.  They cry out against the government’s selling off of the national patrimony regarding the crisis in the West Philippine Sea.  They condemen the Aquino regime’s agreement and signing of unfair and anti-worker treaties that increase the suffering of workers and Filipino citizens.


Ever since Marcos implemented neo-liberal policies dictated by the U.S. and the IMF World Bank, the Philippine economy started to deteriorate.  Through the years of succeeding governments, we have seen only worsening joblessness, poverty, and escalating economic backwardness.  We saw more wealth and economic power concentrated in a few corporations and a handful of wealthy businessmen.  This is the result of over 35 years of neoliberal :free market” policies.  More and more, we have seen the government giving its support to the profit-seeking of a few and the abandonment of its duty to provide socio-economic development for the majority.


And so many of us have had to find work in foreign countries, and here, in Canada, we begin to understand the importance of our unity with the workers and farmers in the Philippines who are tirelessly protesting against the oppression and exploitation of foreign monopoly capitalists and crony local capitalists.


Our challenge as migrant workers overseas is to protest the neoliberal policies implemented by the Aquino government, which are connected to the inhumane and oppressive Labour Export Policy, which now exports 6,000 Filipinos every day.  In Canada, where there are 800.000 Filipinos, the oppressive whip of exploitation is suffered  by workers, particularly those who work under the Temporary Workers’ Program, who, because of their temporary status, do not have benefits and their rights as workers are not secured.  Already in a precarious situation, these workers are now being sent back to their countries after four years if they have not attained landed status, and have to wait another four years before they could reapply to work in Canada, without any certainty they could return.


This situation of the TFWs in Canada has come about as a result of globalization schemes to create and use cheap and flexible labour in order to increase the profit of monopoly capitalists.


The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement recently signed by the wealthiest countries of the world is an even bigger scheme to make more profit, since through this agreement, they can pry open resource-rich countries from national laws protecting ancestral lands so that the capitalist could further plunder them. In foreign countries, temporary foreign work is expected to increase, without necessarily giving improved conditions for workers.  In countries like the Philippines, this would intensify human rights violations and militarization to protect foreign interests in such areas, and the impact on the people is absolutely negative – damaging the livelihood and wellbeing of the people who reside int hem.  We already see this happening in the Philippines, victimizing the Lumad communities in Mindanao, particularly.  We can only expect that this would worsen should the Philippines change its foreign trade laws and become a member of the TPPA countries.


All these neo-liberal policies are being advanced and promoted by the ruling elite and the reactionary Philippine government, under the direction of the U.S. IMF-World Bank, during the current electoral campaigns, 2016.  These policies, based on the people’s experience, can only mean the continued suffering and exploitation of the people and the land.


On this international day of workers, let us, the people, take the progressive path and commit ourselves to advance our fight against the puppet government that will be set in place by an imperialist master, a government that will never serve the people, whose real face is the face of imperialist plunder and whose only interest is to plunder the land for profit and more capital!


Long live the migrant worker!

Protection, not collection!

Services, not business!

Long live the Working Class!

Fight Contractualization and the Exploitation fo the Working Class!

Advance the fight for a National Minimum Wage!

Long live the people’s fight for true freedom and justice!

Unite and empower all the exploited sectors under the leadership of worker and peasants!


Tess Agustin – Migrante Canada

Chandu Claver – Bayan Canada






Migrante Canada and Bayan Canada Statement on the Proclamation of Duterte as President

Changing the Lives of Migrant Workers and OFWs: The Great Task of Serving the People

With an overwhelming voice, millions of Filipino voters -including 407,000 overseas Filipinos – have dramatically brought the Filipino nation to still another turning point in our history.  The people have chosen lawyer and politician Rodrigo Duterte to lead them away from the crimes, ills, deceit, feebleness and decrepit morality of the passt Benigno Aquino regime.  The desired change they cry for is certainly obvious: a solution to the basic problems of the country that have plagued the basic masses – widespread unemployment, chronically low wages, contractualization, landlessness, the lack of basic social services, corruption, the rampant violations of human rights and of national sovereignty.  The resulty poverty in the Philippines today marks even the capital region of Manila and its districts, where an average family lives on a measly P22. to P37. a day ($0.60  to $1.01 in Canadian currency).  Such extreme poverty is staggering and ironic in a resource-rich country, where the world’s wealthiest corporations have been allowed to establish huge agribusiness projets and to extract gas, gold and other minerals with little concern for the rights and welfare of local communities.  The plunder that goes on has clear links to poverty, which past governments have shamelessly maintained and supported.

Of course the people want to spit out and trash these problems quickly, and clear the ground for change.  However, the problems have become fixed in a system that has been developed over the decades, and has increasingly worked against the people’s interests.  Like cancer, the system has also invaded foreign shores, to follow and beseige those Filipino migrant workers who have gone out of the country to seek personal solutions, and have been made pawns in a state-enforced labour export policy.  Migrants arrive with great hope, only to find that the cancerous situation for the Filipino nation, wherever it exists, is unrelenting, and they must always struggle to survive.  The old cancerous system from the past century, against which people rose in revolution, has worsened through corruption and the greed of landlords and the business elite, and flourished through the neoliberal policies adapted by successive governments, and moreover, today it has been integrated with a global system set by the self-serving corporate agenda of world trade and business.  This present system of advanced cancer continually abuses the whole Philippine economy, its sovereignty, and its people – wherever they are.

There are now 12-15 million Filipino migrant workers abroad, and their numbers are increased by more workers leaving the country at the rate of 6,000 a day – which is clear proof that joblessness and unemployment levels remain high despite  state declarations to the contrary.  As evidence of the Aquino government’s dependence on migrant workers, by the end of 2015, Bangko Sentral recorded that workers had sent a total remittance of $39 Billion US.  And yet, according to Migrante International’s documentation, many persons in this labour force, an estimated 1/4 of the total labour force of the country, have had to suffer, and still suffer, from injustices such as:  imprisonment (92 on death row); being stranded in war-torn areas; illegal recruitment and human trafficking; increased state exacti0n; a dismal safety and service program; misused OWWA funds.  Over and above all that, they have to bear the tremendous social cost of their lengthy separation from their families, as they bow to the demands of immigration laws.

The solution will not be easy to accomplish, but the people’s organizations can offer their recommendations and proposals to the new  government, and many have already done so.  Migrante Canada and Bayan Canada, trusting that the Duterte government will hold steadfast to its announced political will to serve the people, backs the pro-people agenda already present by Migrante International to government.  We also welcome the government’s idea of setting up as Department for OFWs, provided that it is integrated to an over-all program which moves towards making migrant work an option rather than a forced necessity.

To realize and actualize change in the lives of migrant workers, webelieve that the Duterte governemnt can, within its six years of office, work towards creating the foundations for a decent life for all Filipino workers by bringing about the following, which Migrante International has pinpointed in its proposal:

  • 10 million sustainable jobs in the Philippines within 6 years

  • A stop to contractualization of labour in the country

  • A genuine agrarian reform program

  • Free basic social services such as education, health care and housing

  • A genuine reintegration program for retiring ofws and a universal pension system

  • A planned economy to ensure the trickle-down of OFW remittances to national industrialization and land reform

  • An efficient mass transport system, better internet and IT utilities that OFWs can come home to

  • Fast, efficient and more accessible venues for OFWs in distress, both in the Philippines and abroad

  • Competent and OFW-friendly embassy and department officials

  •  Rights-based bilateral labour and immigration agreements with labour-receiving countries

  • Justice and indemnification for all victims of illegal recruitment and trafficking

  • An end to all schemes and government policies that treat OFWs as mere milking cows

We are at a historic turning point, and the future of the nation is in the balance.  As we, in the organizations of Migrante and Bayan Canada look forward to the changes that the new Philippine government will make in a direction that serves the interests and welfare of migrant workers, we firmly believe that the opening of coordination between the people’s organizations and government authorities will facilitate much-needed change.

If we are to serve the people, we must heed the people.

Hear the people’s cry! Let the people’s voice be heard!




Chandu Claver, Bayan Canada

Tess Agustin, Migrante Canada