Message of solidarity to the Alliance of Filipino Migrants in Italy
in their campaign against the unjust Circular No. 29
MIGRANTE Europe and the progressive network of Filipino organizations in Europe send their warmest solidarity greetings to Filipinos in Rome, Italy and in other parts of Italy who are in the midst of a just campaign to call for the repeal of Circular No. 29 released by the Italian Ministry of Interior.
Circular No. 29 is a measure that was implemented by the Italian government last October 7, 2010, which orders Filipinos living and working in Italy to drop their middle names in official documents purportedly to avoid confusion in the use of middle names. This measure was actually endorsed by the Philippine Embassy in Italy.
Filipinos campaigning for the repeal of this measure stand on solid and just grounds. The measure was implemented without consultation with the Filipino community; it has triggered more confusion among Filipinos; and, such would unjustly require all Filipinos to change their official documents such as passports and IDs, at their expense.
Despite appeals and requests from Filipinos, principally in Rome, to dialogue with the Philippine Embassy and for it to pursue diplomatic representation with the Italian Ministry of Interior to repeal the measure, the Philippine Embassy thru Ambassador Romeo Manalo has continued to ignore the pleas of Filipinos in Italy.
This, despite the overwhelming sentiment of migrant Filipinos who have registered their rejection of Circular No. 29. Righteously, Filipinos in Italy launched a campaign and was able to forge unity among compatriots with the formation of an alliance called Task Force Circular No. 29 also called Alliance of Filipino Migrants in Italy.
MIGRANTE Europe firmly supports the calls of the Alliance of Filipino Migrants in Italy, not only for the repeal of Circular No. 29, but also their equally urgent calls and demands to the Philippine government thru the Philippine Embassy, to repeal the law making membership in the PAG-IBIG Fund mandatory; to lower the passport fee; and to lobby the Italian government to allow retired Filipino migrants to be able to enjoy their pension in the Philippines.
The Filipino migrants' demands are just and reasonable in the context of the financial and economic crisis affecting migrant-receiving countries in Europe, that has resulted to less working hours, less pay, if not outright job loss for many migrant workers. Families of migrant Filipinos in Italy suffer the consequences of this crisis.
MIGRANTE Europe asserts that it is the fundamental duty of the Philippine government to ensure that the rights, welfare and voices of Filipino nationals, whom they have pushed to work abroad, because they are not able to provide them jobs in the Philippines, are safeguarded, upheld and heard.
We call on all migrants – Filipinos and all other migrant nationals, to close ranks and firmly assert and fight for their rights and interests, in the midst of the economic crisis and assaults by big business and states on the rights of all workers.
Postbus 15687, 1001 ND Amsterdam
14 May 2011