Overseas Filipinos Declare ‘Zero Remittance Day’ to Protest Gov’t Corruption

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An alliance of progressive organizations composed of overseas Filipinos has declared September 19, 2013 as Zero Remittance Day (ZRD) in protest of the alleged misuse of pork barrel funds by several lawmakers in the Philippines.

Manila-based network GMA News reports that a statement from Migrante International described ZRD as “a symbolic protest and a political exercise for Filipino immigrants from different parts of the world to collectively show their outrage on issues that affect them.”

“On this day, Filipino immigrants from all over the world will once again send a united message against the pork barrel system,” the group said.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers support the domestic spending that has fueled the country’s economic rise. A World Bank estimate from 2010 put the amount at $21.3 billion.

The alleged misuse of pork barrel funds has led to the largest protest rally in the Philippines under the Aquino administration last August 26, with another anti-pork barrel rally scheduled on September 11.

The Migrante group outlined the demands of the overseas workers' alliance in participating by refraining from remitting money to their families in their homeland, including: abolishing the pork barrel system, specifically scrapping the presidential and congressional pork barrel; and investigating agencies, and prosecute and punish all officials involved.