Statement on International Women’s Day 2021

As we salute the working women all over the world on International Women’s Day, Filipino women migrants reaffirm their stand for the ouster of the tyrannical, militarist and corrupt regime of Duterte!

Years have passed since Duterte assumed office in Malacanang but women migrants continued to suffer from various forms of exploitation and continuously treated as commodities for export. Like the majority of the working and peasant women, Filipino women migrants are denied their rights to a just wage, right to land, right to a secure and decent livelihood and right to access free social services such as healthcare and education. Filipino women migrants had spoken – enough is enough! Duterte must be out of Malacanang!

Government neglect persists among Filipinos overseas especially for thousands displaced, stranded or died because of the pandemic. Notwithstanding, Filipinos are forced to risk their lives and leave their families through the Duterte government’s Labor Export Program which plunges them into deeper economic crisis as they undergo training and pay exorbitant fees required by unscrupulous employment agencies on top of other fees exacted by Philhealth, POEA, OWWA, DFA, NSO, NBI and other agencies created to extort from the poor Filipinos. Economic heroes indeed!

In Hong Kong, an increasing number of Filipino women migrants are being terminated from work and suffered not just for losing employment but even in returning home. Their flights are cancelled and have no place to stay while waiting for the next available flight schedule. They became stranded migrants in need of temporary accommodation but the Philippine government remain silent about their plight.

In the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia, cases of Filipina migrants who run away from their employers because of maltreatment, non-payment of salary and different forms of abuses, among others are being reported on an almost daily basis. It’s been happening since the labor export program of the government started and it continues to happen despite Philippine government promotions of unified contracts among others. In 2020, the situation of Filipina migrants in the Middle East worsened as the COVID 19 pandemic spread throughout the region and worldwide.

Young Filipina women who were first brought to UAE end up being trafficked in Syria. It took them years before their voices were heard. Last year, MIGRANTE International together with UMC Philippines held a press conference to expose and demand for their repatriation. We learned that aside from being trafficked, their handlers in Syria, even staff of the Philippine Embassy, are reportedly extorting money from them with the promise of repatriation. These are trafficked women and they were victimized not just once but several times.

Despite the reported cases of increasing job terminations and different forms of work schemes as a result of the global crisis and widespread pandemic, government cash relief efforts end up in empty promises to many who were not able to receive the first trance of DOLE-AKAP.

A study conducted last year by IBON revealed that cash assistance has dwindled to almost nothing compared to the magnitude of needs. Only Php239.3 billion in cash assistance was disbursed under Bayanihan 1 and dwindled to just Php13 billion under Bayanihan 2 as of December 2020. “There does not seem to be any other allocation for COVID-related cash assistance anywhere in the Php4.5 trillion budget. Nor is there any mention of additional cash assistance in the 340 pages of the supposedly post-pandemic updated Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 released in early February 2021.

”What is more distressing though for women migrants is the unforeseen danger behind the evils of trafficking such as the case of Mary Jane Veloso, who for ten years now continue to languish in a jail in Indonesia. Despite strong indications that Mary Jane is innocent, President Duterte’s administration did not actively pursue and exhaust all efforts to protect and defend the rights of Mary Jane as a victim of human trafficking. Additionally, President Duterte has not appealed Mary Jane’s case to the Indonesian authorities for pardon or clemency. Mary Jane’s case exemplifies the grave government neglect experienced by Filipino human trafficking victims, and the long, arduous journey victims have to undergo to achieve justice.

On February 7 this year, Jerlyn Isah Quisumbing, 24-year old woman seafarer, fell overboard in a vessel while preparing a gangway for MB Santa Clara, Flagship Denmark and has gone missing until now. Her mother, Rossana Lozada Quisumbing, is appealing for help to investigate the case of her missing daughter but her call for help seems to fall on deaf ears.

Yesterday, several activists including women were murdered and arrested in different places in Southern Tagalog. According to reports, 9 activists were murdered and 6 were illegally arrested at the crack of dawn by combined forces of PNP and CIDG. MIGRANTE International condemns these lawless actions by those in authority which only show who are the real terrorists in this country. Furthermore, we are one with the families of the victims and other progressive organizations demanding justice and calling for immediate and unconditional release of those arrested.

MIGRANTE International believes that as long as the regime of Duterte stays in power, Filipino women including migrants will continue to suffer from state terrorism, government neglect, discrimination and various forms of abuses. Indeed, the struggle of the working class women in 1909 to fight against oppression and inequality and other conditions in the form of feudal and capitalist exploitation hold true today. We need to strengthen women and peoples movements along with international solidarity in order to survive and win the struggle.

Migrant Women, Unite!

End Tyranny!

Oust US-Duterte Regime!

Long live International Solidarity!

Hands Off Otto! Stop Deportatie van Otto de Vries en Laster tegen EILER

Otto de Vries is a Dutch missionary to the Philippines where he has been serving in poor communities and labor rights’ research since 1991. Recently, the Philippine Bureau of Immigration revoked his permanent residency status and was ordered for deportation. This order is based on false reports and accusations that he is working with a terrorist organization. The report refers to the Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) where he renders volunteer research work.

Migrante Netherlands condemn the Philippine government’s blatant attack on the rights of Otto de Vries and the clear political persecution of labor rights defenders and institutions in the Philippines under the fascist dictatorship of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte. Our demand: stop the deportation of Otto de Vries and the political persecution of EILER.

We invite you to join us in an online indignation rally and cultural solidarity action on 18 February 2021 via Zoom, Facebook and Youtube channels of Migrante Netherlands. Organized in cooperation with the Promotion of Church People’s Response – Europe and the Nederlands-Filippijnse Solidariteitsbeweging (Dutch-Filipino Solidarity Association).

You can read here about the testimony of Otto de Vries and the Press Statement of the Nederlands-Filippijnse Solidariteitsbeweging.

For inquiries, contact [email protected].

Pagpupugay para kay Kim Garcia, artista at anak ng bayan!


Pinakamataas na saludo ang handog ng Migrante Netherlands kay Kim Garcia: isang artista, anak ng bayan, kaibigan at kasama. Ang kanyang maiksi ngunit makabuluhang buhay ay mananatili sa alaala’t kasaysayan ng mamamayang Filipinong nakikibaka para sa demokrasya at kalayaan. Ito rin ay mananatili sa alaala’t kasaysayan ng anti-kapitalismo at anti-imperyalismong komunidad ng internasyunal na solidaridad sa Europa.

Si Kim ay isang punk, isang thrasher at isang skate master na namulat sa walang pakundangang kurapsyon, kawalan ng hustisya sa lipunang Filipino, pananatili ng pyudal na kaayusan, at pagkatali ng bansa sa imperyalistang Estados Unidos.

Si Kim ay isang pambihirang alagad ng sining. Naging bahagi siya ng progresibong organisasyon, Southern Tagalog Multimedia Production. Dito inalay niya ang kanyang talento sa sining biswal, potograpiya, pagsusulat at paglikha ng mga pelikulang nagbibigay-boses at pag-asa para sa mga mahirap at aping sektor sa lipunan.

Si Kim ay isang aktibista at bibong anak ng baranggay Migrante sa Netherlands. Sa kanyang pananahanan sa Netherlands upang makasama ang kanyang ina, ipinagpatuloy niya ang kanyang aktibong paglahok sa panlipunang pagbabago at pagtamo ng matagalang proseso ng demokrasya at kapayapaan sa Pilipinas sa pamamagitan ng kanyang pagsapi sa progresibong grupong pangkabataan, ang Anakbayan Europa at ng pangkulturang organisasyon, ang Linangan Culture and Arts Network – Willem Geertman Brigade.

Kahit sa panahong nakikibuno at nanghihina na laban sa kanser, masigla siyang tumulong sa mga administratibo at teknikal na mga gawain para sa alyansa ng mga nakikibakang mamamayan sa buong mundo, ang International League of Peoples’ Struggle.

Si Kim ay isang rebolusyunaryo. Paborito niyang tambayan ang tanggapan ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines na nakabase sa Utrecht. Isa siyang maaasahang taguyod sa mga gawain, talakayan, programa, pulong at salu-salo. Siya rin ay dalisay na naglingkod para sa mga personal na pangngailangan ng mga kapi-kapitagang lider ng pakikibaka at rebolusyong Filipino gaya nina Prop. Jose Ma. Sison, Juliet de Lima, Luis Jalandoni, Coni Ledesma at kay Fidel Agcaoili, ang yumaong tagapangulo ng usapang pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng pamahalaan ng Pilipinas at ng NDFP.

Si Kim ay isang tunay na anak ng bayan. Hanggang sa kanyang huling mga linggo kung kailan siya ay nanghihina na sa dinadalang sakit, iniisip niya pa rin ang kanyang mga tungkulin bilang aktibista para sa minamahal na bayang Pilipinas.

Lubos ang pakikiramay at dalamhati ng Migrante Netherlands sa naiwang asawa at pamilya ni Kim.

Habang buong lakas naming maipagmamayabang at maisigaw sa mga kaaway ng bayan at sa mga umaabuso sa mamamayan: maraming Kim sa lipunang Filipino! Sila’y nakikibaka, sila’y nakikilahok at sila’y nakikidigma. Sila ang mga artista, sila ang mga kabataan at sila ang mga kababaihang hindi nagbubulagbulagan sa matagalan nang sakit ng lipunan. Bagkus, sila ay naglingkod sa sambayanan habang may buhay.

At sila ang mga migranteng Filipino. Sa bawat pamilya ng 12 milyong Filipino sa ibayong dagat, may isinisilang na Kim hangga’t nananatili ang kanser ng walang pakundangang kurapsyon at kawalan ng hustisya sa lipunang Filipino; ang pananatili ng pyudal na kaayusan at ang aliping pagkatali ng Pilipinas sa imperyalistang Estados Unidos na siyang ugat ng pang-aapi, kahirapan at pagpaslang sa karamihan ng mamamayang Filipino.

Mapulang pagpupugay at mapayapang paglalakbay Kim: anak ng bayan, kaibigan at kasama.

Migrante Netherlands offers the highest salute to Kim Garcia: an artist, daughter of the motherland, friend and comrade. Her brief but meaningful life will forever be cherished in the memory and history of the Filipino people’s struggle for democracy and liberation as well as of the anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist international solidarity community in Europe.

Kim is a punk, a thrasher and a skate master who did not play blind to the ruthless corruption and injustices in Filipino society; the dominance of a feudal order, and the country’s slave ties to the imperialist United States.

Kim is an artist who offered her talent for the people’s cause. She became part of the progressive organization, Southern Tagalog Multimedia Production. Here, she dedicated her capacity in visual arts, photography, writing and creating films that give voice and hope to the poor and oppressed sectors in society.

Kim is an activist and daughter of Migrante Filipino migrant communities in the Netherlands. During her stay in the Netherlands to be with her mother, she continued her active participation for social change and for achieving the long-term process of democracy and peace in the Philippines through her volunteer work and dedication to Filipino youth organization Anakbayan Europe and Linangan Culture and Arts Network – Willem Geertman Brigade.

Despite struggling with cancer, she even offered arduous help in administrative and technical tasks for the International League of Peoples’ Struggle.

Kim is a revolutionary. She liked to hangout in the office of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) based in Utrecht. Here, she was a reliable hand in the mounting of events, educational discussions, meetings and get-togethers. She also sincerely assisted to the personal needs of respected leaders of the Filipino struggle and revolution such as Prof. Jose Ma. Sison, Juliet de Lima, Luis Jalandoni, Coni Ledesma and Fidel Agcaoili, the late chief of the peace talk panel between the government of the Philippines and the NDFP.

Kim is a real daughter of the motherland. Until her last weeks when she was already very weak due to illness, she kept on thinking about what else she can do for beloved Philippines as an activist.

Migrante Netherlands sends its deepest sympathy to Kim’s bereaved husband and family.

Kim may unfortunately have left us at too young age but we are proud to shout at the enemies of the people and to those who abuse the poor: there are many Kims in Filipino society. They are in the struggle, they participate, and they fight. They are the artists, the youth and the women who have opened their eyes to the illness of society and who are willing to serve the people until the end.

And they are the Filipino migrants. For every family of the 12 million Filipinos overseas, a Kim is born as long as the cancer of ruthless corruption and injustices in Filipino society; the dominance of feudal order and the country’s slave ties to the imperialist United States exist to oppress, retain poverty and kill the majority of the Filipino people.

To Kim: our dear daughter, friend and comrade – red salute and have a peaceful journey!

More woes welcome migrant Filipinos in 2021 with PhilHealth premium increase


Overseas Filipino workers face the dread of job losses amidst the COVID pandemic crisis aggravated by onerous government fees as 2021 ushers in. This was declared today by Migrante International (MI), an alliance of progressive organizations composed of overseas Filipinos and their families.

Certainly, the mandatory PhilHealth membership and premium rate hike has been a burden for OFWs since the passage of the Universal Healthcare Act (UHC) signed by President Duterte on February 20, 2019. Under the UHC law the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is mandated by the State to protect and promote the right to health of all Filipinos. Ironically, PhilHealth has been used as a tool for unscrupulous health officials appointed by the President to amass billions of members’ contributions for their own selfish interests.

According to reports, a “mafia” involving the whole of Philippine Health Insurance Corp.’s executive committee has stolen some P15 billion from the agency using different fraudulent schemes. Why should contributors suffer by paying increased premiums in response to the agency’s lack of funds? The corrupt PhilHealth officials involved should be held accountable and duly prosecuted.

Meanwhile, OFWs believe that President Duterte’s recent announcement to defer the collection of increased PhilHealth premiums is only a tactic to quell the anger and anxiety of the people especially during this COVID crisis. Merely deferring the increased premium does nothing to calm down the people.

OFWs and Overseas Filipinos demand a total scrap of mandatory PhilHealth membership and make it voluntary for those with capacity to pay contributions. What the people want is a genuine, pro-people, universal health care program through free and comprehensive medical and health services.

Migrante International and all its chapters abroad urgently call on the government to provide services and protection of OFWs affected by the COVID pandemic at home and in the countries of work. Let the DOLE-AKAP serve its purpose to extend aid not just to a few and privileged ones but to every OFW. OFWs and Filipino migrants vow to continue campaigning for the passage of HB6698 that would remove the unjust provisions of the UHC law mandating the premium rate hike and mandatory membership for OFWs and overseas Filipinos.



Joanna Concepcion, Chairperson, Migrante International,
PH contact number: 0908-129-28-51
Email: [email protected]

Holiday Greetings from Migrante Netherlands Family


Mga mahal na kapatid, kabayan, kaibigan, kasama,

Ang taong 2020 ay puno ng ligalig ngunit ito rin ay isa na namang pagkakataon kung saan napatunayan nating sa sa pamamagitan ng pagsalig sa katarungan, tayo ay nananatiling malakas.

Ibayong pakikiisa at lakas ang aming handog para sa lahat ng mamamayang naninindigan para sa kalusugan, trabaho, karapatang pantao, demokrasya, pagmamahal, kapayapaan at hustisyang panlipunan.

Maligayang pasko at manigong bagong taon!


Mula sa pamilyang Migrante Netherlands Den Haag

To our dear brothers and sisters, compatriots, friends and comrades,

Year 2020 has its peaks of challenges but we also see it as another year wherein we have proven again that by standing on the grounds of justice, we remain strong.

We offer solidarity and more strength to everyone who stands for health, job, human rights, democracy, love, peace and social justice.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Onward with the struggle,

From the Migrante Netherlands Den Haag family

Tribute to Migrant’s Organizer Manuel “Ka Manny” Sarmiento


For a life of more than 40 years of genuine commitment for Filipino people’s struggle for democracy, freedom, peace and justice, rest in power Manuel “Ka Manny” Sarmiento!

Migrante Europe, a Europe-wide alliance of Filipinos in Europe pays tribute to Ka Manny, founding organizer of Austrian Society for Integrity and Social Transformation (PINAS FIRST) and Migrante Austria Filipino migrants organizations.

He was also a former union leader of Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Workers’ Movement), Nestle Philippines and National Federation of Union in Food and Allied Industries.

Watch the video here.