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HK migrant group blasts Uson’s appointment to OWWA

04 October 2019

By The SUN
Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, suit, closeup and indoor
Shortly after her appointment, Uson joined President Duterte
in his official trip to Russia (photo from Mocha Uson Blog)

Militant Filipino migrant workers in Hong Kong have denounced the appointment of
erstwhile sexy dancer Mocha Uson as deputy executive director of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, saying it’s aimed at siphoning funds from the welfare agency.

 "Mocha Uson has no qualification to represent the OFWs. As a matter of fact, she put the lives and security of Filipino workers in Kuwait when she was the PCOO assistant secretary appointed by President Duterte," said Dolores Balladares-Pelaez, chair of United Filipinos in Hong Kong (Unifil Migrante HK).

In a statement issued by Unifil today, Oct 4, Pelaez also alleged that Uson’s “recycled appointment” is designed to allow the Duterte government to control the multi-billion peso OWWA fund and other resources allocated to benefit OFWs.
She cited as proof Uson’s recent statement that "she will now have more time to focus on the needs of overseas Filipino workers including the creation of a Department for OFWs."

"Since the establishment of (OWWA) it has been used as a piggy bank for government officials who are appointed to head this office. Billions of OWWA funds have been misused, re-channeled, and unaudited up to the present," Pelaez said.

During her stint at the Presidential Communications Operations Office, Uson figured in a botched attempt to rescue Filipino workers from their employers’ houses without police coordination, leading to sanctions by the Kuwaiti government.
Uson was forced to give up her post after lawmakers dragged their heels in approving the PCOO budget in the wake of the fiasco.

In the May mid-term election, she was named as first nominee of the party-list AA-Kasosyo, which, however, failed to win enough votes to send a representative to Congress.

But just five months since that failed bid, Uson was given the plum OWWA post, for which she’s reportedly paid Php155,000 a month plus perks.
Her appointment stirred protests from many observers, who invoked the one-year ban on appointing losing candidates to government posts.

This was immediately dispelled by the spokesman for the Commission on Elections, Jesse Jimenez, that the ban did not apply to party-list nominees, but only to individual candidates.

However, incumbent Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon disagreed, saying that losing party-list nominees should be treated as any other candidate because they are not a “protected class.”

Unifil said Uson’s appointment was unacceptable to OFWs who are mandated by law to pay OWWA membership upon deployment, and each time they renew their contracts.

The group also cited an ongoing probe into PCOO’s alleged misuse of funds amounting to Php39 million during Uson’s time there. The projects being looked into including Uson’s sexually suggestive “Pepederalismo” video which, however bombed;  and the noticeable spike in its foreign travel expenses.

The group vowed to remain vigilant and to “oppose and expose Duterte's fake welfare policies” which Uson is expected to push given that she owes her plum posts to President Duterte. 
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