HONG KONG-Nearly 150 members from Migrante Partylist’s various chapters in the territory packed the assembly hall where report of the party’s accomplishments were shared, tasks ahead were affirmed, and a new set of officers were elected.
“Winning seats in the House of Representatives, topping the partylists polls in Hong Kong, and support the senatorial bid of Bayan Muna’s Neri Colmenares were the resolutions arrived at by our party members in our General Assembly last Sunday, August 9”, said Vicky Casia-Cabantac, chairperson of Migrante Partylist Hong Kong Chapter.
In her report, Casia-Cabantac pointed out the “consistency of the party in upholding the rights and wellbeing of Filipino migrants during non-election period to advance issues included in its legislative agenda such as wage increase, government fees, malpractices of recruitment agencies, lack of services and criminal neglect of the government.”
Casia-Cabantac also hailed the members of the party in ensuring that Migrante topped the elections in Hong Kong for partylist in 2004 and in 2013.
The party was not allowed to run in the 2007 and 2010 elections.
Meanwhile, Makabayan coordinator in Hong Kong, Eman Villanueva, narrated a brief history of the participation of progressive partylists under Makabayan in the electoral system monopolised by traditional politicians.
He shared the election irregularities perpetrated by those in power such as vote shaving that continued even when the system was automated.
“We should maintain vigilance against partylists that misrepresent Filipino migrants”, said Villanueva.
He hit, in particular, the OFW Family Club that he said “won two seats in Congress but has done nothing to address through legislation the urgent and burning issues of migrant Filipinos.
“Worse, it even attempted to revive the forced remittance order for OFWs that has been scrapped way back in the 1980’s,” he added.
Villanueva introduced Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares who will be running for a senate seat under Makabayan.
“Since 2010, the Makabayan bloc has fielded senatorial candidates who got significant votes in Hong Kong with former Rep. Teddy Casiño even getting the top 7 spot in the 2013 senatorial elections. We should ensure the OFWs vote for Neri Colmenares so we will also have our voice in the Senate”, Villanueva said.
Migrante Partylist national chairperson Connie Bragas-Regalado delivered an inspirational message via Skype that outlined the challenges of the coming election in order to bring issues of OFWs and their families to the Congress.
The tasks presented to the party included highlighting the migrants’ agenda, promoting voters education, and drumming up interest in the community for the national elections in 2016 stressing the need to intensify the voters registration campaign in Hong Kong.
The elections for the new set of officers re-elected Casia-Cabantac as Chairperson.
Others who got elected were Joy Gabotero as Vice-Chairperson, Lalay Bruno-Villanueva as Secretary General, Maya Maguinsay as Deputy Secretary General, and Loi Panganiban as Treasurer.