Abolish the Labour Export Policy!

A collage of two Filipinas separated by the Pacific Ocean - one in Canada as an OFW and one home in the Philippines
A collage of two Filipinas separated by the Pacific Ocean - one in Canada as an OFW and one home in the Philippines

CPSO supports the calls of Overseas Filipino Workers to abolish labour export policy and end family separation! Every day, thousands of Filipino workers are pushed out of the Philippines by the lack of jobs and the lack of aid to address the economic situation of the people. The Philippine government is able to rid themselves of unemployment that arises from the backwards agrarian economy while also bringing in billions of dollars through remittances which make up more than 10% of the Philippine GDP.

Labour export policy is an informal set of policies that have systematized and facilitated this process, from US colonial rule to the 1974 Labour Code established under the dictatorship of Marcos Sr. which explicitly promoted overseas work. The regimes since have maintained this exploitative economic relationship. Duterte has recently further systematized Labour Export Policy by creating the Department of Migrant Workers, further institutionalizing the migration of Filipino workers outside of their homeland, and also represents a bureaucratic power move by the government of the Philippines to maintain its control over a lucrative resource – workers. This a move that has been congratulated by Marcos Jr. as he bids to continue the Marcos legacy in the upcoming election.

The situation of migrant workers when they arrive in the host countries, such as Canada, is often a dire one too, where they often face poor working conditions and a high cost of living. Unscrupulous recruitment agencies and labour traffickers place OFWs in precarious conditions; it is not uncommon to hear these agencies holding their passports and working visas, letting OFWs work undocumented for under-the-table wages.

Ultimately the way forward is abolishing the labour export policy! End the separation of families and the exploitation of Overseas Filipino Workers!

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