Outgoing President Benigno Aquino III is leaving a sad legacy for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) official lamented.
Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, CBCP Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People head, cited the tanim-bala (bullet-planting) and balikbayan box scandals at the international airport.
” President Aquino will be leaving a sad legacy to OFWS because controversies like the ‘tanim-bala’ and balikbayan boxes have affected their lives. Until now, no one has been punished for the ‘tanim-bala’ at the airport,” he said in Filipino on Church-run Radyo Veritas.
In 2015, many OFWs scored a plan by the Bureau of Customs to clamp down on balikbayan boxes in its bid to curb smuggling.
After this, OFWs found themselves wrapping their luggage in plastic in the wake of controversy involving alleged corrupt personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) planting bullets on their luggage for extortion.
Meanwhile, Santos said OFWs were also saddened by the Aquino administration’s lack of gratitude to them for their contributions to the economy.
“The OFWs lament that the President did not even acknowledge them for their contributions, that in his six years, he did nothing for them and if ever there was, like the increase in ceiling tax for balikbayan boxes, it came a little too late.”