【Viewpoint】To My Fellow Stateless Filipinos: Surrender for a Better Life !

Note: the article has been translated into Mandarin Chinese also, please see here.

Article: Gen Huang (“PhilTai The Voice” founder, Philippine immigrant in Taiwan)

One night I had a serious chat with a Taiwanese friend about illegal aliens and I was surprised with his response. After I digested all our conversations, I happen to understand why he said, “We cannot do anything about illegal aliens”. Truly, the complexity of this issue is too difficult to control and besides it isn’t easy to catch people that keep themselves hidden.

However, I am not losing my faith to our fellow Filipinos who are now stateless. I believe if this post would reach them, they might as well surrender and regain a life with freedom.

I prefer to call them stateless rather than illegal aliens because I have a strong feeling that most of them ran away because of abuse or life threatening situation and didn’t know who to call or where to go so they involuntarily become illegal aliens. I also believe those who are trapped in this cageless prison, without right to own citizenship and probably die nameless, they suffer the horror of statelessness right at this very moment.

Before I enumerate the heartbreaking scenario of these kababayans, allow me to inform all the readers about the sad disadvantages these so called “TNTs” have brought upon the legal overseas foreign workers or the migrants as a whole. The details we listed down are from our brothers and sisters who have or had some direct and indirect encounters with them. We would like to stress out that not all illegal aliens are doing this but unfortunately these negative reputation has flourished with the increase of TNTs.

1. Prostitution

Nena, not her real name, came here in Taiwan as a domestic helper went out to throw garbage one night. Out of the blue, a car stopped by and a foreigner asked her, “Hey Maria (their nickname for Filipina DH here) how much for your a&@?” Nena was terrified and ran fast back to her boss’ home. Later, she learned that some Filipinas are selling their bodies to any locals or foreigners who is interested.

When I heard Nena’s testimony, I was tongue tied. My image of a kind, meek and loving Filipina has become
fragile. I tried to verify information and the more I ask, the worse I hear from random people regardless of nationality.

Most of the commercial sex workers according to them are illegal aliens and they offer different kinds of deals. Some for real hotel happy hour while others ask as low as 500NTD for a bossom touch. The clients are mostly male elders and foreigners. Yes, sad but true. A cliche and a bitter truth.

This trade is another hard issue to end but if these illegal aliens indulging in this kind of work would surrender, I am sure our government now will give them a second chance to live a better life with their respective families. So, it isn’t too late. Surrender.

2. Financial Burden

We call it financial burden because let’s face it, not all of us here is living like a millionaire. We have enough but our savings are really for emergencies. With the OFWs, they are working hard to earn and send money to their own families. In short, legal Filipino settlers here are working hard to live.

However, as tell taled by most people I asked, illegal aliens are mostly earning more than the average wage here. Why? Because they have unlimited time and they also enjoy higher rates. Isn’t this unfair for the legal ones? Imagine this, an OFW here earns an average of 21 thousand while a free TNT can get 30K a month the least. If a fellow pinoy needs easy money, this gap is truly tempting. BUT, legal OFWs seldom or even rarely burden us with their health issues because they have insurance. Most of the time, these illegal aliens who earn more give us financial burden and a stranger who helped a TNT now would suddenly pay 20 thousand medical bill.

This is like a cycle here. A ranaway OFW, then they have keepers, earn bigger, get sick then ask donations. I know this is because we all have a big heart but please do not misinterpret this cited situation. What I am trying to imply here is, we can all help, but we can prevent this. As told by sources, there are so many happy and blessed illegal aliens too. Yet, why can’t they save for their medical needs? If you guys ask me personally, if there are two sick pinoys, one legal and the other is illegal, both need financial assistance, I would pick the legal worker for no reason at all just a matter of priority.

3. Theft

Liza is a working mother and has twins, (not her real name), she needs a nanny and the only option is an illegal alien for the government’s policy here is so strict on getting a domestic helper.

She said that they contacted the said TNT thru Line App and from that time on she has known how these illegal aliens communicate to each other. They are active on Line and Facebook. Some of them only know each other by usernames or FB profiles but don’t really know each other or haven’t met in person.

At the beginning, her hired nanny seemed ok but after a short period of time, the nanny ran away and brought with her the cellphone. Well, this might be a small value for us all yet what we are facing here is the issue of security and trust. I have heard from some people too that some TNT thieves bagged jewelries worth thousands and other valuables. No wonder why Filipinos here are condemned by some locals. They know more devastating cases relevant to hired illegal aliens.

I believe being away from home is like a torture so living like a fugitive in a foriegn land is like hell. Being stateless doesn’t only deprive you of your freedom, it also strips away humanity and soul because it’s like breathing fire because anytime you might get burned. You feel unsafe and paranoid the whole time. Paranoia is such a serious psychological state. The patient needs his or her family the most.

I have heard and seen from news that the policemen are doing random checks on reported illegal alien dormitories. Do not wait for you to be captured. There is a brighter life ahead of us in the Philippines. Just be diligent in going through financial assistance applications and for sure you’ll get help. The most important part is being with your family. Life is short, indeed. So how would you like to spend it?

Also remember this, anyone who gives information on your location will get a reward so anyone in your list may turn their heads around and report including your favorite taxi driver! No one will know who not even you because informants are protected with their privacy rights.