Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) director general Guiling Mamondiong has caused quite a stir with his comments about female oversears Filipino workers (OFWs).
"Mamondiong said the government should find ways to provide women livelihood in the country because many of them are abused as slaves abroad," reports Jovic Yee in Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Mamondiong's full statement was: "Hindi bale kalalakihan sa atin mapunta sa ibang bansa, pwede naman rin mag-asawa doon. Hindi ba? Pero yung kababaihan natin dito, pinapadala sa ibang bansa para gawing alipin lamang (It's okay for the men to go abroad, since they can marry there. Isn't that right? But our women, they are being sent abroad to become slaves)," he said.
He added, "When the women are empowered they become more powerful not just in the workplace but [also] at home. Halos wala na silang oras sa kanilang mga asawa dahil sila nga ay powerful. (They almost have no time for their husbands anymore because they are powerful)."
What's even more puzzling is that Mamondiong also said that the "overwhelming number of women in the country" was a "problem." In fact, he claimed that the Philippines has a female-to-male ratio of "five women to one man."
The Inquirer report noted that the Philippine Statistics Authority's 2017 Women and Men in the Philippines fact sheet contradicted Mamondiong's so-called numbers. The PSA actually estimates women’s population this year at 52 million, while men's population is at 52.9 million.
In any case, Joms Salvador—spokesperson of the women's rights group GABRIELA—tagged Mamondiong's pronouncement as "feudal-patriarchal." She pointed out that this kind of perspective "consigns women as weak, treats them as commodities and denies them of their rights."