For decades, PMSC-Ottawa has called for changes to end the exploitation and vulnerability of migrant workers
Immigration, not deportation: Permanent resident status should be granted at the outset to prevent employer abuse and end institutionalized family separation. If they are good enough to work in Canada, they are good enough to stay and be active and productive citizens.
Access to health care: Temporary foreign workers (TFW) on an open work permit (e.g., caregivers awaiting processing of their applications for permanent residence) cannot access health care if they do not have a formal agreement with an employer to work on a full-time basis for no less than 6 consecutive months. They are doubly penalized – no stable income and no access to health care.
Fight for $15 legal minimum wage: Many TFWs are in low-skilled jobs that pay the minimum wage, which is barely enough for their families to survive. They are forced to take multiple jobs to make ends meet – no time for their families and no time and money to upgrade their skills so they can get better jobs. (More info: 15andfairness.org)
To Urge The Philippine Embassy In Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
To Provide Accessible and Affordable Consular Services Across Canada
WE, THE UNDERSIGNED MIGRANT AND IMMIGRANT FILIPINOS IN CANADA, do hereby call the attention of the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada to the following:
WHEREAS, one of the main problems of Filipino immigrants and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Canada is the lack of access to consular services. Consular services are only offered at the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa and the consulate offices in Toronto and Vancouver. While the Philippine Embassy opens every first Saturday each month (9am-noon), it fails to deliver on a regular basis the necessary consular services to other areas with high Filipino population such as Winnipeg, Montreal, Calgary, among others;
WHEREAS, given the limited office hours and the absence of consulate offices in other provinces, Filipinos have difficulty availing of much-needed consular services. Most kababayans have to take a few days off from work to travel to Ottawa, Toronto or Vancouver or wait for the Consul General to visit their cities in order to renew their passports, NBI clearance, and such;
WHEREAS, not only these consular services are poor and inaccessible, they are also unreasonably expensive. While the current fee to renew a Philippine ePassport in Canada is $69, it only costs $23 to avail of the same service in the Philippines. Exorbitant fees are also collected for other services such as passport replacement, NBI clearance, among others;
WHEREAS, we demand that the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa:
Open the embassy and consular offices every Saturdays and/or Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., without cutting present service hours;
- Provide adequate and accessible consular services to cities where there is a large number of Filipinos, such as Winnipeg, Montreal and Calgary;
- Lower consular service fees to match Canadian dollar value of fees charged in the Philippines;
- Eliminate exorbitant and unnecessary fees such as RCMP fingerprint authentication; and
- Reallocate budget from military spending and debt servicing to social services, including services to OFWs.
THEREFORE, we urge the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa to provide accessible and affordable consular services to all Filipinos across Canada.
Each year, thousands of Filipino women arrive in Canada to care for young children, the sick, persons with disabilities, and the elderly, leaving behind their own families. They provide valuable support to Canadian families, but are often subject to difficult working conditions, abuse and exploitation. Due to their temporary status in Canada, they are often unable to negotiate for better working conditions and are reluctant to complain. Due to the mandatory live-in requirement, they are vulnerable to abuse. When they try to escape abusive employers, they are subject to long delays in the processing of their work permits with harmful consequences to themselves and their families. Many foreign caregivers are professionals – teachers, nurses, accountants and engineers, to name a few. While providing care for others, they lose their skills that they will need to have a bright future in Canada. To make matters worse, their aspirations for a better life are often taken advantage of by unscrupulous placement and recruitment agencies.
It is time to change all this! It is time to recognize the value of the services provided by foreign caregivers! It is time to protect their rights and that of their families! Please join us to call upon the Government of Canada to:
• Grant landed immigrant/permanent resident status to foreign caregivers at the outset.
• Remove the mandatory live-in requirement.
• Ensure accountability from placement and recruitment agencies.
CAMPAIGN FOR JUANA TEJADA LAW ~ Victory on this campaign
Pilipinong Migrante Sa Canada (PMSC)