With nearly a hundred – strong enthusiastic leaders and supporters , mostly Filipino migrant workers and young adults in attendance, the Migrante Sectoral Party ( MSP)  in Toronto, Canada officially launched its electoral participation as a partylist political party in the Philippines on February 27, 2016 at the Ontario Institute for Studies of Education (OISE), University of Toronto, Bloor Street West, Toronto.

The launching event was organized to provide an opportunity for the attendees to ” know more how they can help in the Philippines in electing better candidates for the 2016 May 9 elections”. Also, for a dual citizen or a Filipino Canadian , the session provided a means for those “who wanted to get the migrants voice heard and represent you in the Philippine Congress and Senate” .

It is a significant event, as the organizers said, to “join your Filipino friends and family and get more information on the Philippine situation news that are never heard in popular media”. The mechanics on how to vote and where to vote & help in the campaign for the May 9, 2016  were also discussed.

Citing  Philippine Statistics Office data,  Migrante Partylist reported that out of the almost 800,000 Filipinos in Canada, there are about more than 23,000 registered Overseas Absentee Voters ( OAV) in Toronto alone. More than 4,000 Filipinos leaving the Philippines daily and abour 25% to 30% land in Ontario. “Let’s Wake Up the Sleeping Giant” , chanted the event’s participants.

The community event included 1) a live stream telecast from the Philippines with Gary Martinez , a first nominee for Migrante Sectoral Party ( MSP) and 2) the official endorsement of Bayan MunaCongressman Neri Colmenares who is running for the Senate and proponent on the continuing fight of the SSS increase Pension Bill.

The Migrante Partylist is a “sectoral party of overseas Filipinos, transcending professions, sectors, cultures and across countries around the world”. The party takes “heed to trace its roots and affirm its task in rebuilding the Motherland towards the pursuit of a government of integrity, justice and genuine service”, and as well “a new brand of politics that will realize a new brand of Philippine politics and usher in a society that never has to be torn apart just for the need to survive”.

According to its website, Migrante Partylist, through its founding organization MigranteInternational,  is “committed to advance the rights and welfare of migrant Filipinos and their families as well as to work for a just and prosperous society that will eliminate the roots of forced migration and scrap the labor export policy”. Its vision is “to build a society where families will not be torn apart by their urgent need for survival – a society where our citizens can live a decent and humane life”. Its mission is “to encourage the participation of overseas Filipinos in the active struggle to effectively and continuously uphold and defend the rights and welfare of the sector WE represent”.

The historic event was organized and coordinated by Toronto community leaders  Ben Corpuz, Paulina Corpuz, Maru Maesa and Jeeson Reyes. The foursome will be online broadcast guests of WWW. Pinoy Radio.com’s ‘ “Sunday Talk Show with Randy” on March 27, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. to promote Migrante Partylist advocacy efforts. ( Tony A. San Juan).


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