BAGUIO CITY — The largest alliance of overseas Filipino workers’ organizations in the Middle East warns that the impending increase in passport fees and other consular fees will spark international protests from OFWs.
Migrante – Middle East Regional Coordinator John Leonard Monterona said the 25% increase will only be an additional burden to struggling OFWs and their family amid the global financial crisis and increase on the prices of basic commodities and services in the host country and in the homeland. Once the said increase will be implemente he said, this will surely earn the rage of OFWs who are now restive due to threat of jobs lay off as the global financial crisis worsens sending more of their number back home with no jobs readily available to absorb them.
“Increase in passport fees and other consular charges by the Arroyo administration through its Foreign affairs department and post abroad could not be justified especially in time of the global financial crisis and price increases of basic commodities and services,” Monterana added.
Monterona said the Arroyo administration is again using an old squid tactic to implement first the increase of passport fee and other consular fees in RP posts in Europe, testing the waters first, then if there is no opposition other posts would follow the same – imposing an unreasonable increase in fees and other consular fees.
“OFWs and their families must now be vigilant to counter any move by the Arroyo administration in keeping OFWs and their families bleeding dry by never-ending impositions of additional fees and charges,” Monterona ended. # Aldwin G. Quitasol