Sunday, February 12, 2006

Filipino fund-gutting

A workers watchdog group, the Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants, has since the beginning of this month been accusing the Philippines' main liason office in Taiwan, the Manila Economic Cultural Office (MECO) of funneling 30 million pesos to current Philippinnes president Gloria Arroyo in advance of her last election in 2004. MECO gets its money from fees charged to Filipino workers in Taiwan, 235 million pesos in 2005, according to APMM. These fees are supposed to take care of its budget and provide services to resident workers (yeah right). Financing embattled Arroyo's reelection would be a scandal, though scandals are so dime-a-dozen in the Philippines it's hard to gauge how big a scandal. Also, it's still not clear where evidence of the alleged transfer comes from, but the story has gotten some attention in a CNA story in the China Post, where MECO denies the accusation.


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