The National Alliance of Filipino American Youth

www.sandiwa.org 40-21 69th St. Woodside, NY 11377 sandiwa.national@gmail.com

 

Solidarity Message to the Migrant Filipino Teachers of PG County, Maryland on their Struggle for Justice.

August 1, 2011.

We, the youth and students of Sandiwa, the National Alliance of Filipino American Youth strongly express our firm solidarity with the hundreds of migrant teachers of PG County in Maryland who are struggling for justice.

We are outraged at the conditions that over 500 migrant teachers face right now with the termination of their contracts; cases of detention, deportation, criminalization and intimidation of many of these migrant workers intensify.  We are furious at the US government’s deceit and discriminatory actions against migrant workers as clearly manifested in the cases of these migrant teachers.

Offensives on Filipino migrants in US, like the PG County teachers increase. Cases of labor trafficking such as that of Sentosa health workers, Florida, Arizona and Los Angeles trafficked workers pile up including cases of slavery and dehumanization such as that of Moratal. We criticize the inaction and neglect of the Philippine government to protect these migrant workers whom they pride as heroes of the nation.

Despite these attacks on migrant workers, it is more apparent that the people are organizing, building stronger unities and are empowered to stand up, link arms and directly confront these attacks.

The unity that the migrant teachers of PG county have forged with other workers, students, migrants and other sectors of society to assert your rights and welfare truly inspires us, the youth and students. Let us continue to bring forth a blazing might by fostering a stronger sense of community in tackling concerns and asserting our demands collectively.

We, the sons and daughters of migrants and the migrant youth and students, raise our fists and voices with you in your struggle… In our struggle. We look forward in building with you a vibrant movement of migrant workers who will genuinely fight various forms of aggression and repression against migrants.

Protect the rights and welfare of our teachers!

No to wage theft, joblessness and deportation!

MGA GURO NG BAYAN, NGAYON AY LUMALABAN!

Ms. Anne Beryl Corotan

National Chairperson

SANDIWA; the National Alliance of Filipino American Youth

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Posted by: sandiwa | July 28, 2011

ACT NOW for Filipino Migrant Teachers in DC Area!

Dear Friends,
We just launched a petition in support of the Prince George’s County Public School Systems’ migrant teachers, the majority of whom come from the Philippines. As the final decision can occur anytime from now until August 5, 2011, there is an immediate need to generate pressure on the DOL.  We are hoping to get 5000 signature by August 5. Please forward to your friends, family, networks, unions, church, immigrant rights groups, etc.  Please target US based folks.
The petition can be found here:
http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-dol-their-protection-of-pgc-public-school-system-teachers-gets-a-failing-grade
Attached is a primer that Katarungan created on the issue.
Other actions you can take:
1. A Letter of support from your organization to the PGCPS Teachers for upcoming mobilizations schedule in the next few days:
 a) July 29: protest in front of the Department of Labor in Washington, DC (for the 3rd week in a row)
 b) July 30: Save our Schools March in Washington, DC (click here for more info)
 c) Aug 1: protest at DHS Washington, DC
2. Contact your Congress person and Senator to pressure them to question DOL’s actions on this matter. You can base the wording from the petition letter. You can use the tool from Immigrationvoice.org to assist you in figuring out who your representatives are and how to contact them.
3. Go to news.google.com and search for this topic (key words, PG County Teachers, Pilipino Educators Network). Put comments on articles you find. Write to the editors.

 
In Solidarity,
Katrina Abarcar
Katarungan: Center for Peace, Justice and Human Rights in the Philippines

Migrant Filipino Teachers of PG County, MD: A Primer On Their Struggle for Justice

The recent settlement agreement between the U.S. Department of Labor and PG County Public Schools (PGCPS) pushed hundreds of Filipino migrant teachers Filipino migrant teachers and their supporters to demonstrate in front of the DOL’s main headquarters in Washington, DC two weeks in a row. In April, the DOL determined that PGCPS had willfully violated laws that govern the H1B temporary foreign worker visa program. DOL’s investigation discovered that foreign teachers <http://www.penusa.org/&gt; were, in effect, underpaid because they were required to provide for fees that are the responsibility of the employer. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, in a selfcongratulatory manner, celebrated the settlement agreement reached on July 7, 2011 as a victory for the protection of workers’ rights. Many teachers affected by the settlement see it differently. Included in the settlement, PGCPS had agreed to be debarred for two years from filing new petitions, requests for extensions or requests for permanent residency for foreign workers under any employment based visa program. As a result, although 1000+ foreign teachers stand to gain an average payout of $4,044, hundreds have or will see their contracts terminated, and could face deportation or become undocumented. A PGCPS spokesperson acknowledged the contribution and value these teachers brought to the school system and expressed disappointment with the decision but in the same breath admitted it was too costly to continue to sponsor foreign teachers. In June, given a decreased budget, PGCPS faced the decision to cut as many as 700 teaching positions. They were able to encourage more than 500 teachersto accept an early retirement deal leaving around 200 jobs to cut. This is about the same number of foreign teachers whose jobs are immediately impacted by the settlement. The PGCPS spokesperson said, “This decision is in the best interest of our school district and marks the end of a challenging chapter in our school district’s efforts to meet the mandates of the federal government’s No Child Left Behind Act.” But how is cutting the highly qualified migrant teachers brought to PG county to raise the quality of education and with a track record of positive results and dedication supposed to be in the best interest of the students and their families? The PGCPS feels ” now it is time for us to move forward ,” but for the teachers who have gotten the short end of the stick, “moving on” is not an option. The costs they incurred to come to the US both financially and emotionally as well as the economic prospects awaiting them in the Philippines are pushing the teachers to fight for their interests since neither party engaged in settling the issue had the teachers’ best interests at heart. The teachers are not alone in their struggle. The Filipino American community in the DC/MD/VA are has rallied around them. The Philippine embassy has been voicing their plans to exert diplomatic efforts to assist the teachers in their quest to stay. As one of the supporters of these teachers, Katarungan strongly advises the embassy to also advertise, mobilize, and make easily accessible the appropriate resources and programs in place for these “modern Filipino heroes” so that any teacher that chooses to return or is forced to return to the Philippines is properly supported. Katarungan is not blind to the fact that the Philippine government, even under President Aquino, has used Filipino OCWs and im/migrants the world over to prop up the ailing economy through state exactions and remittances. Instead of relying on a labor export policy with unacceptable social costs, the Philippine government should genuinely focus on providing decent and competitive jobs in the Philippines. In the coming weeks, the teachers and their supporters vow to escalate protests, educate and form solidarity with fellow teachers, their students and the broader public for their struggle. Katarungan vows to exert maximum efforts for this cause and predicts that this struggle may unfortunately be a precursor to more Filipino migrant teachers in other cities losing their jobs in a like manner as the economic crisis in the US continues. There is estimated to be over 19,000 migrant teachers in the US. The majority of these teachers are Filipinos.

###

Useful contacts to learn more about the issue:

PEN

USA (Pilipino Educators Network)

The Pilipino Educators Network is a dynamic alliance of Filipino educators in in Prince George’s County,

 

Maryland geared towards the advancement of professional excellence and advocacy of Filipino heritage.

 

PEN is a public voice of Filipino educators that provides leadership and networking opportunities. It

 

establishes means for mutual assistance, collaboration, and cooperation and initiates programs and

 

activities, which promote Philippine culture and traditions.

 

Website: http://www.penusa.org/

Contact person name: Mr. Carlo Parapara

 

Email: cbparapara@yahoo.com

 

 

Katarungan: Center for Peace, Justice and Human Rights in the Philippines

KATARUNGAN was formed in 2006 in response to the international campaign to stop the extrajudicial

killings and other human rights violations in the Philippines. Since then, it has transformed from an adhoc

committee to a center that would promote peace, justice, and human rights in the Philippines through research, education and grassroots advocacy.

 

Website: http://www.katarungandc.org/

 

 

Contact person name: Jo Quiambao

Email: katarungan2009@gmail.com

 

Posted by: sandiwa | June 2, 2011

NAFCON at PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE 2011!

NAFCON at PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE 2011!

by Philippine Forum-NewYork on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 1:47pm
 

This Sunday, June 5, please join the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) at the Philippine Independence Day Parade! Let us wear our brightest RED shirts to symbolize our message: STOP TRAFFICKING OUR PEOPLE and STOP THE ABUSE OF OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS (OFWs)!

 

Meeting place at 37th St between Madison and Park Avenues @ 1030am. Look for NAFCON flag. See you there! Please pass! Thank you!

 

Some photos of NAFCON contingent from previous years:

PIDC 2007 (Justice for Sentosa Nurses ++!!!)

 

PIDC 2008 (Got rice? Got independence?)

 

PIDC 2008 (Got rice? Got independence?)

 

PIDC 2009 (NO to CHA-CHA! NO to CON-ASS!)

 

PIDC 2009 (NO to CHA-CHA! NO to CON-ASS!)

 

PIDC 2010 (Bagong Pagbabago!)

 

PIDC 2010 (Bagong Pagbabago!)

 

 

Let us continue marching for the rights and welfare of Filipinos abroad and at home! This year, let us march for our trafficked brothers and sisters and say “STOP TRAFFICKING OUR PEOPLE!”

 

Mabuhay ang manggagawang Pilipino! Mabuhay ang Migrante!

 

www.nafconusa.org

For Immediate Release

Filipina/o-American Youth Commemorate December 10, International Human Rights Day, with Reaffirming Commitment to the Protection of Rights and Welfare of All People

December 10, 2010

Reference: Ryan Leano, Secretary General, SanDiwa National Alliance of Fil-Am Youth
Email: sandiwa.national@gmail.com

SanDiwa National Alliance of Fil-Am Youth joins all human rights defenders and supporters around the world in commemorating International Human Rights Day. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was signed December 10, 1948 by 48 countries, including the Philippines and United States. 62 years later, despite these countries’ ratification of the UDHR, human rights violations continue at an alarming rate. With the ongoing abductions, torture, and extrajudicial killings of civilians & activists under the Philippine government’s counter insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya (Operation Freedom Watch) in connection to the unilateral Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the U.S. and the Philippines, the recent attacks on Filipina/o nurses & domestic workers in the U.S., the suicides & hate crimes against LGTBQ youth in the U.S., and the slashing of the education budgets in the Philippines and the U.S., the task for Filipina/o youth & students to defend and uphold human rights comes with great and imperative urgency.

During the presidency of U.S.-supported Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, over 1,000 cases of abductions, torture, and extrajudicial killings of activists and civilians occured. The much-hated Arroyo administration was replaced in June 2010 with now President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, III, under the campaign of hope & change, mirroring the presidential campaign of U.S. President Barack Obama. However, in Noynoy’s first 100 days in office and continuing after, at least 25 cases of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings have occurred, which by witnesses’ accounts point to the Philippine military as responsible. To date, not one person has been tried or convicted in any of these crimes against humanity. These human rights violations occurred during Arroyo’s counter-insurgency campaign of Oplan Bantay Laya, a bloody campaign that continues today with the Aquino administration. These campaigns of the Philippine military, in cooperation with the VFA, operate under the guise of fighting the “war on terror.” However, the VFA makes the entire Philippines a virtual military base for the U.S. and funds the Philippine military, effectively subsidizing human rights violations.

Because of these rampant human rights violations and worsening massive poverty, nearly 4,000 Filipina/os make the forced choice to leave the Philippines for literal livelihood. With a population of over 4 million, the U.S. is home to the largest Filipina/o population outside the Philippines. Despite contributing to U.S. society as hardworking nurses, domestic workers, and youth & students, Filipina/os in the U.S. face countless racism and discrimination issues, many in 2010 alone. Anti-immigration legislation such as Arizona SB 1070 have become rally points for rising anti-immigrant sentiment.  Filipina/o nurses have face discriminatory hiring practices and “English Only” work policies at various hospitals in the U.S. Filipina/o domestic workers & caregivers are forced to work 24-hour workdays with pay being withheld. Education, a very prominent value among Filipina/os, has been continually slashed in its budget, rendering college unaffordable to many working class students, including Filipina/o Americans. In the LGBTQ community, suicides and hate crimes have become an epidemic. For many Filipina/o American LGTBQ youth, the double discrimination of being Filipina/o and queer is an unfortunate and unneeded burden. We must ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and non-gender conforming rights and commit to dismantling homophobia, heterosexism, and transphobia.

Despite human rights violations across all sectors, the vibrant people’s collective action have gained several human rights victories in 2010. In New York, the Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights was signed into law, ensuring the rights of privately-employed housekeepers, nannies, and caregivers. Filipina/os constitute a significant population of domestic workers in the U.S. A growing campaign of Filipina/o nurses in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Virginia are currently addressing discriminatory policies at various hospitals. The youth & student movement in the Philippines and U.S. have grown tremendously in aggressively addressing the slashing of the education budget and rising tuition costs. More recently, President Aquino ordered the dismissal of the trumped-up charges against the Morong 43, effectively ensuring their freedom. The Morong 43 are health workers who have been political prisoners since February 2010, accused by the Philippine military of being insurgents against the government. During their illegal detainment, they were physically and mentally tortured by the Philippine military. Two women of the 43 gave birth while in detainment. Aquino’s order of dismissal of charges against the Morong 43 came as a result of immense pressure from human rights defenders and supporters in the Philippines and internationally clamoring for their unconditional release. The Morong 43 are hoped to be released very soon and be reunited with their families in time for Christmas.

SanDiwa celebrates the victories in the cause for human rights, commemorates the victims of human rights violations, and reaffirms its staunch and unwavering commitment to defending and protecting the rights and welfare of all human beings, and will continue to do so until true justice is served to the victims and their families. While these victories should be celebrated, it must also be recognized that there are much more human rights battles to be fought, whether they be institutional, interpersonal, and/or internal. SanDiwa will continue to link arms with its kababayan in the Philippines and human rights defenders and supporters around the globe, moving forward with the struggle, upholding the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and recognizing and protecting the dignity of every human being.

###

SanDiwa, the youth and students arm of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), is a national alliance of youth, students, activists, and community youth organizations, united to (re)educate, celebrate, and advocate for issues that affect our Filipino communities in the United States and in the Philippines. As an alliance, we seek to work cross-culturally in reclaiming our humanity and to work collaboratively with “other” minority groups to protect the rights and welfare of young Filipinos all over the United States.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Statement

Reference: NAFCON National Office

Email: info@nafconusa.org

A Year after Ondoy and the Overwhelming Support of Filipinos in the U.S.

On September 26, 2009, Typhoon Ondoy struck the Philippines, killing hundreds of

people and displacing thousands more. Although many consider Ondoy as one of the

worst “natural” catastrophes in Philippines history, Rev. Benjamin Alforque, NAFCON

President commented, “The real catastrophe is not the typhoon but the government

neglect and corruption that led to the overwhelming number of avoidable casualties.”

For decades, members of the government profited by selling mining and logging rights to

foreign corporations without regard for its people. The irresponsible mining and logging

destabilized the soil where thousands of Filipinos live. Soil destabilization created places

prone to severe mudslides that toppled over and wiped away entire communities during

Ondoy. Rev. Alforque continued, “If the government acted in the interests of its people,

they would have prohibited the mining and logging to protect our kababayan.”

The government-made catastrophe continued when Ondoy hit and the nation had no

money for emergency relief. Anne Beryl Corotan, Chairperson of SanDiwa (NAFCON’s

youth and student arm) commented, “The government could not even afford to purchase

rubber boats to rescue survivors of the floods.” The President at the time, Gloria

Macapagal Arroyo (GMA), spent the entire P800 million relief fund on extravagant trips

throughout the world.

The government’s role in creating disaster became clearer when a blogger named Ella

released pictures of entire government warehouses filled with rotting relief goods. Even

after people throughout the world responded in force to assist victims of the typhoon, the

government could not deliver.

In the face of the GMA administration’s failures, NAFCON organizations coordinated

relief work independent of the government. NAFCON initiated BAYANihan for

Philippine Disaster Relief. In partnership with Migrante International, a migrants’

organization working directly with the communities most effected, whom are also

families of migrant workers around the world, NAFCON made sure that the donations

gathered would be distributed immediately to those people who needed them.

As part of NAFCON’s relief effort, money along with hundreds of balikbayan boxes

began piling up at the different drop-off sites in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los

Angeles, and New York/New Jersey. In the end, BAYANihan for Philippine Disaster

Relief generated 750 boxes of goods as well as over $50,000 in cash.

In June 2010, Ryan Leano of SanDiwa, visited with Migrante. Leano commented,

“Migrante took me to visit the communities that received our donations. The people sold

much of the donated clothes to help buy beds, building materials and tools. They are still

rebuilding.”

One year after Ondoy, former President and now Congresswoman Arroyo still needs to

be prosecuted for her role in the government-made catastrophe. Rev. Alforque said,

“Arroyo needs to be held accountable, not only for her failures in the wake of Ondoy, but

for the series of corrupt practices throughout her administration.”

###

The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) is a national network of Filipino

organizations, institutions, and individuals committed to advancing the rights and

welfare, celebrating culture and history, and building unity among Filipinos living and

working in the United States. Founded in 2003, NAFCON members are based in over 23

cities across the country. Member organizations include: SanDiwa National Alliance of

Fil-Am Youth, National Ecumenical Forum for Filipino Concerns, Filipino Community

Center–San Francisco, Filipino Community Support–Silicon Valley, Philippine

Forum—New York and New Jersey, F.I.R.E.—New York, Habi Arts—Los Angeles,

Liwanag Kultural Center—Daly City, Filipino Ministry of DSB—San Bernardino,

Fellowship for Filipino Migrants—Illinois, and Filipino Migrant Heritage Commission—

Virginia.

SanDiwa, the youth and students arm of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns

(NAFCON), is a national alliance of youth, students, and community youth

organizations, united to (re)educate, celebrate, and advocate for issues that affect our

Filipino communities in the United States and in the Philippines. As an alliance, we seek

to work cross-culturally in reclaiming our humanity and to work collaboratively with

“other” minority groups to protect the rights and welfare of young Filipinos all over the

United States.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reference: Ryan Leano, Secretary General, SanDiwa National Alliance of Fil-Am Youth

email: sandiwa.national@gmail.com

FROM UNITED STATES TO MANILA, YOUTH & STUDENTS ASSERTING RIGHTS TO EDUCATION MUST BE HEARD, NOT ARRESTED!

The SanDiwa National Alliance of Fil-Am Youth, in the strongest terms, expresses disapproval of the trifling arrests and violent dispersal of Filipina/o youth and students by the Philippine police at a protest against budget cuts in Manila.

On August 25, 2010, Filipina/o youth and students held a protest action at Rizal Tech University (RTU) in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, where the President of the Philippines, Noynoy Aquino, was scheduled to speak around 10:15am. Members of the League of Filipino Students, Anakbayan, College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), and Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP) staged a loud but peaceful noise barrage to address the issues of budget cuts on higher education, revival of mandatory ROTC, and the addition of 2 more years for basic education.

After half an hour, negotiations had been on-going between the students and the police, when their sergeants and superior officials began to push their own officers to push the students back. The students moved back slowly and were not being violent. One protestor was right in front of the police taking a video of the slow dispersal when one police officer grabbed her camera. When she tried to get her camera back, she was immediately arrested and charged with illegal assembly. Three other youth protestors were arrested and all were taken to the police headquarters in Mandaluyong. The 4 youth who were arrested—Frances Martinez of Anakbayan, Aby Gonzales of Kabataan Partylist, Antonio Perdigon Jr. of CEGP and Faith B. Sadicon of the SCMP—were not read their rights, and despite two of them sustaining bruises and one having a bloodied lip, they were denied immediate medical attention. All 4 were charged with Batasang Pambansa 880 (illegal assembly) and “alarm and scandal”, which are still pending investigation. As a result of this pending investigation, and the clamor of the youth and students outside the police headquarters, all 4 have been released.

“Filipina/o American youth finds the actions of the Philippine authorities unacceptable. Although we are glad that our kababayan (fellow countrymen/women) have been released, this violent dispersal and arrests should not have happened in the first place” Pia Rivera states, a student of Clark University and Executive east coast director of SanDiwa. “As youth and students of Filipina/o descent in the U.S., we know what it is like to be criminalized by government authorities for fighting similar concerns as our kababayan in the Philippines are facing, such as poverty, unemployment, rising tuition and education costs, and human rights violations” added Rivera.

“Expressing our concerns and raising awareness about detrimental actions of the government are not crimes, but are basic rights of the people. Budgets for education are being slashed, and just like our counterparts in the Philippines, we are fiercely clamoring for an increase in the education budget and youth services. We know that real change evidently does not come from one person but through firm and persistent fight such as that of  the youth and students asserting their rights to education,” stated Anne Beryl Corotan, Chairperson of SanDiwa.

This incident serves as another reminder that the people must not tolerate harassment by the government authorities, which is a problem plaguing urban youth and immigrant families in cities throughout the U.S. and our kababayan in the Philippines. “Voices of disagreement and concern should be listened to, not brutally suppressed. The SanDiwa National Alliance of Fil-Am Youth, which includes U.S. chapters of League of Filipino Students and Anakbayan, stand in solidarity with their counterpart youth & student organizations in the Philippines. SanDiwa urgently calls for justice for the youth & students who were unjustly arrested by the Philippine police.” Corotan ended.

Media coverage of incident by TV5: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=454801689523&ref=mf

###

SanDiwa, the youth and students arm of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), is a national alliance of youth, students, and community youth organizations, united to (re)educate, celebrate, and advocate for issues that affect our Filipino communities in the United States and in the Philippines. As an alliance, we seek to work cross-culturally in reclaiming our humanity and to work collaboratively with “other” minority groups to protect the rights and welfare of young Filipinos all over the United States.

News Statement
July 28 2010
Reference: NAFCON National Office
info@nafconusa.org  718-565-8862           718-565-8856 (fax)
 
NAFCON-US Calls on the Filipino Community to Oppose Arizona’s SB 1070 and Support Nationwide Protests against the Law’s Implementation

New York— Despite US District Judge Susan Bolton’s issuance of a temporary injunction that halts key parts of the SB 1070, NAFCON-US calls on the Filipino Community and our allies to continue protests and efforts to repeal Arizona’s SB 1070, which is scheduled to go into effect this Thursday, July 29, 2010.  NAFCON stands with the many organizations and individuals throughout the country who have condemned SB 1070.  NAFCON’s member organizations, which are based in 23 cities across the US, will be joining local rallies and marches against SB 1070’s implementation. 
The law, signed in Arizona by Governor Jan Brewer in late April 2010, mandates racial profiling by law enforcement and includes a provision that would require police officers to question and detain Latinos and others who they “reasonably” suspect of being undocumented.  If a person doesn’t immediately present documents proving that he or she is legally in the US, he or she may be criminally prosecuted for trespassing, jailed, and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation.
“We cannot stand silent as communities in Arizona are victimized by this bill. The law has no safeguards against racial profiling and increases the likelihood of arbitrary arrest and detention. These are all human rights violations.  Arizona public officials ignored the fact that all human beings have human rights, regardless of nationality, ethnicity or immigration status,” states Father Benjamin Alforque, NAFCON President.
“President Obama has strongly criticized SB 1070 as undermining basic notions of fairness. Judge Bolton’s decision to block the section of the law that required local and state law enforcement officials to check immigration status is an important victory for the Obama administration. We must raise with even greater urgency the need for immigration reform legislation and call on Obama and congress to live up to their promise of change,” adds Alforque.
There are over 4 million Filipinos in the United States, the largest Filipino population outside of the Philippines. Migration to the US has increased considerably since the Philippine Government’s, under the former Macapagal-Arroyo regime, economic policies have eradicated the potential for industrialization and employment in the homeland.  Because of the need to survive deepening poverty in the Philippines, Filipinos in the US have no choice but to make ends meet for them and their families, including living under the shadows as undocumented immigrants. 
 
Like our Latino and Latina brothers and sisters, Filipino immigrants are subject to raids and deportations at the hands of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), human rights violations that occur without any intervention from Philippine consular officers representing the Philippine government in the US.  In fact, Philippine consular officers in the US not only steal public funds meant to go to programs for overseas Filipino workers via the OWWA, but they assist the forced migration of Filipinos to the US by implementing corrupt schemes of human trafficking under the radar.  Such has been the case with the Sentosa 27 Filipino healthcare workers, Filipino teachers in Louisiana, Filipino Caregivers in San Francisco, and the Bon Secour 4 Filipino nurses in Baltimore.
These stories of violence, exploitation, and neglect are the voices that inspire NAFCON’s fight against Anti-immigrant legislation, migrant labor exploitation, and unfair labor laws.  NAFCON actively opposes the Philippine Government’s Labor Export Program which has commodified Filipino workers, forcing them to work overseas and face contract violations, wage theft, physical and mental abuse, and even death.  NAFCON also actively opposes any immigration Law such as SB1070 that racially profiles, criminalizes, and violates fundamental human rights. 
 
Repeal SB 1070 Now!
No to Anti-Immigrant Legislation! 
No to Migrant Labor Exploitation and Unfair Labor Laws!
Legalization for All! Stop the Raids and Deportations!
Immigrant Rights are Human Rights!
 
NAFCON Mission and Purpose
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) is a national network of Filipino organizations, institutions, and individuals committed to advancing the rights and welfare, celebrating culture and history, and building unity among Filipinos living and working in the United States. Founded in 2003, NAFCON members are based in over 23 cities across the country.
 
The main purpose of NAFCON is to contribute our time and efforts to fight and protect the Rights and Welfare of the Filipino immigrants all over the globe. Through education, organizing, mobilizing, fundraising, networking and lobbying; we hope to restore social justice and equality for our people in the United States and in the Philippines.

Posted by: sandiwa | March 27, 2010

SanDiwa Solidarity Statement on the PUP Student Protests

For Immediate Release*

Reference: Anne Beryl Corotan, Chairperson SANDIWA, The National Alliance of Filipino American Youth. Sandiwa.national@gmail.com

Fil-Am Youth Stands in Solidarity with PUP Student Protests and Demands the Release of Arrested Student Leaders

SanDiwa-National Alliance of Fil-Am Youth extends its strongest solidarity with the protests led by students of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) against a proposed 1700-percent tuition fee increase and demands the release of five student leaders from the Manila City Jail who were arrested on March 24 for alleged robbery.

The PUP administration’s callous announcement of a planned tuition hike from 12 peso per unit to 200 peso per unit without consultation from students led to student demonstrations that started on March 18, wherein dilapidated chairs were thrown and set ablaze as a symbol of disgust and outrage at the government’s neglect of the PUP education situation. More protests by hundreds of students followed in condemnation of the proposed tuition fee increase in the country’s biggest state university. On March 24, the five student leaders, now called the PUP 5, were leading PUP students in a march toward the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) when they were blocked by police after taking out decrepit chairs from the PUP campus as a symbol of the education situation in the country.

SanDiwa recognizes that this crisis in education is happening both in the Philippines and United States. On March 4, members of SanDiwa marched in solidarity with thousands of protesters in cities in the US expressing their outrage toward massive budget cuts in education.  In New York, the City University of New York (CUNY) system cut $51 million from its budget as the governor’s plan to address the state’s financial crisis. In California in July 2009, the California State University (CSU) system increased student fees by 20% and did not accept applicants for Winter 2010 and Spring 2010 terms. In November 2009, the University of California (UC) Board of Regents committee approved a series of controversial increases in student fees that will raise UC undergraduate fees by 32% by Fall 2010.

“We empathize with the PUP students’ fight for an accessible and quality education, and we support their protests against unjust tuition hikes whose effects will be mostly felt by poor families in the Philippines. We understand the outrage felt by the PUP 5 and other student protesters because we know that the approval and implementation of these tuition hikes could mean the forced expulsion from the University Thousands of poor students and the destruction of their future,” said Jackelyn Mariano, SanDiwa Vice-Chair of Publicity and student at CUNY Hunter. In California last fall in a protest against budget cuts in education, students at UC Berkeley took over and occupied Wheeler Hall to demand the UC Board of Regents to rescind their decision to increase student fees.

“The public school system in the Philippines and the US are increasingly being commercialized. What we need from both governments is more state subsidy for education. The students are forced to take on the streets when those in authority are not only abandoning their responsibility to provide students with quality education, but are also approving unreasonable increases in school fees at an alarming rate,” added Aurora Victoria David, SanDiwa West Coast Coordinator and a student at Stanford University.  SanDiwa reiterates its solidarity with the PUP student protesters and demands the release of the PUP 5. “An affordable and quality education is a basic human right and raising the costs of tuition at unaffordable rates is a direct violation to this basic human right”, David ends.

No to state abandonment and commercialization of education! Free the PUP 5!###

SanDiwa, the youth and students arm of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), is a national alliance of youth, students, and community youth organizations, united to (re)educate, celebrate, and advocate for issues that affect our Filipino communities in the United States and in the Philippines. As an alliance, we seek to work cross-culturally in reclaiming our humanity and to work collaboratively with “other” minority groups to protect the rights and welfare of young Filipinos all over the United States.

 WHAT ARE THE ISSUES OF THE YOUNG FILIPINOS IN AMERICA?

In our efforts to remain closely linked to the needs and issues of the Filipino Community, SANDIWA the National Alliance of Filipino American Youth under NAFCON and its member organizations carry out ongoing community research initiatives. Please help us know what issues the young people (ages 0-35) of our Filipino Community would like to see addressed.

Please do not write your name or contact info below; if you woul)d like us to follow up with you regarding your responses, do not hesitate to contact us at sandiwa.national@gmail.com or simply visit: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BTRMRQG and www.sandiwa.wordpress.com

 

Date: ______ Age: ___ Gender: M or F Sexual orientation: Lesbian Gay Bi  Trans Questioning Straight

Occupation: _____________  Student: Yes or No    City and State of Residence:­­­ ________________________

(1)     What issues facing the young people (ages 0-35) of our Filipino Community today, do you feel need to be addressed in the months to come?  


___ Gang violence

___ Deviant Peer Pressure

___ Drugs/illegal substance

___ Under-age drinking

___ Teen pregnancy

___ Suicide

___ Rape

___ Child Abuse

___ Child Neglect

___ Sexual Assault

___ Domestic Violence

___ Housing

___ Foster Care

___ Family communication

___ Running Away

___ Juvenile Detention

___ Youth crime

___ Military recruitment

___ Racial Profiling

___ Police brutality

___ Racism

___ Discrimination

___ Legal migration status

___ Deportation

___ ICE Raids

___ Family reunification

___ Knowledge of legal rights

___ Access to Legal service

___ Access to social service

___ Access to health care

___ Mental Health services

 ___ No Education funding

___ Access to loans

___ Tuition fee hike

___ Cultural & Ethnic studies

___ Tagalog Classes

___ Cultural awareness

___ School dropout

___ Job security

___ Unemployment

___ Community Belonging

___ Unprotected Sex & STD

(2)      From the ones listed in Question 1 above, which issues do you feel the National alliance of Filipino American Youth, SANDIWA and its member organizations should consider addressing in future events or activities? Identify the top ten most urgent.

(3)      General Comments:

Maraming salamat po! Thank you very much!

Posted by: sandiwa | March 15, 2010

An Evening of Sharing w/ Melissa Roxas

please join us in…

An evening of sharing from Melissa Roxas,
a survivor of abduction and torture in the Philippines

Melissa Roxas is one of the founding member of Habi Arts and a cultural worker. In 2007, Melissa traveled back to the Philippines to conduct research for a writing project and to dedicate more of her time to community health work. On May 19th, 2009, while on a medical mission in Tarlac, Melissa Roxas became a victim of a human rights violation herself when she was abducted at gunpoint and held against her will for six days, while being subject to physical and psychological torture until her surfacing in Quezon City on May 25, 2009.

Sponsoring organization: SF CHRP, BAYAN USA, Never again to Martial Law Coalition, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, and SanDiwa National Alliance of Fil-Am Youth

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