in a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of; in a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of

yesterday, when i was about to log out of yahoo messenger, a friend asked me if i could help him with his essay.

i said that i was about to log out and study for my exam this saturday. however, i don’t want him hanging in there so i asked for the topic. he complied and said that a phrase or a sentence is enough.

the question was. What is your opinion regarding the rising trend of Filipino migrant workers and its effects towards the Filipino youth.

before we start, let us define the key word, migrant workers. From the very reliable Wikipedia, the United Nations defines the migrant worker as someone who works outside of their home country. in Filipino staple, OFWs. that was quite easy to understand, don’t you think?

in tackling this topic, i thought that it ought to be two parts. the first is about my opinion regarding the rising trend of Filipino migrant workers. and the second, its effects towards the Filipino youth.

in 2006, the POEA hired a total of 1,221,417 OFWs which is a 1.37% increase from 2005’s total. the majority of which is working in the Middle East and other parts of Asia.

the OFWs are also ranked according to the occupations with most number of Filipino OFW employees:

  1. household workers
  2. factory workers
  3. construction workers
  4. health and medical workers
  5. hotel and restaurant workers
  6. caregivers and caretakers
  7. building caretakers
  8. engineers
  9. dressmakers and tailors
  10. performing artists

we can see that most of our fellowmen act as household workers the moment they step on another country.

so, what does the country get given that they help Filipinos land into jobs in other countries? the Philippines is rewarded by what we call OFW remittances. from 2005, the 2006 OFW remittances increased by as much as 19.4% or a total of 10,689,005.

given that statistic, we can say that the Philippines did a wonderful job in deploying Filipinos abroad. we earn a great amount of money to pay for different projects that would help the nation improve. we can pay for the loans we have that has long been overdue. we can save for emergency use. we can do away with this amount of money to make this nation progress.

however, we can see that the government has not been doing its job. okay. i’ll give them some slack, the government has been doing its job but it is not enough for the OFWs to say that their stay in another country has been worth it.

i will show you another statistic which is about the number of newly hired professionals abroad:

  1. Nurses – 8,528
  2. Teachers – 890
  3. Caregivers – 14,412
  4. Performing Artists – 7,431
  5. IT Related Workers – 325
  6. Domestic Helpers – 91.412
  7. Professional and Technical Workers – 76, 685

are we that short of jobs that we can afford to send these and more people abroad?

what the government should have done is to provide jobs for other Filipinos given the remittances we get from the OFWs. this way, we can prevent certain people from going abroad and do their work there.

one example of which are research scientists. what we fail to do is to invest in our researches. in Los Baños, the IRRI was once rich with international scientists that help us produce more and better varieties of rice. what happened was that the they lacked funds to continue on with the research. so, the researchers went to Thailand instead. given a proper budget, they could have continued on with what they were doing and would have given the Philippines the research award.

the problem with the Philippines is that it seems to spend on everything and yet we can see no fruits of such spending.

so, what is my opinion regarding the rising trend of migrant workers? it is an advantage to the Philippines but a disadvantage to the Filipino.

it is an advantage to the Philippines because of the money it brings into the country. and as i’ve said, we can use this money to help this country progress. however, we do not use this advantage for a better cause or for a cause that benefits every Filipino.

it is a disadvantage to the FIlipino because it just proves the fact that the government cannot supply us jobs and the wage to help provide for our needs. it also proves to us that going abroad is one of the most practical ways to face the reality that we are such a poor country.

The effect of this rise in trend of migrant workers work both ways – positive and negative.

The positive side is that we can help motivate the youth by giving them examples of people who work hard and turns out to be successful. we can show these OFWs who succeeded in other countries as role models for the children.

given that, the children will have to motivate themselves towards their goals and wish that someday they may be as successful and as fulfilled.

however, the negative outweighs the positive. from the data above, we saw that domestic helpers comprises the majority of OFWs. this may translate to the youth that they can always work as domestic helpers abroad – knowing how to sweep and cook may land them a job. this may result to students dropping out of school to apply for a domestic helper job in Taiwan or Hong Kong.

also, students may want to pursue their master’s degrees in universities abroad. however, we face a dilemma that they will not come back to the Philippines to share what they know or to practice here what they learned. they would want to land a better and  high-paying job in another country which may be a reason why they took the master’s degree in the first place.

in summary, my shortest possible answer that goes for both ways is, The rise in such trend influences the perception of the Filipino youth of what a better life is.


7 Responses to “in a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of; in a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of”

  1. the problems sometimes, in desperate situations, filipino’s will go for whatever they think will save them.. hmm, yeah, parang ngayon, filipinos abroad are parang natatype cast as maids or whatever associated with it.. but hellyeah, whatever.. still natutulungan nila ang mga pamilya nila.

  2. yeah, for as long as wla silang ginawang nkakasira ng pag pa Pilipino nila, and it should be na sana maging medjo decent ung work nila not only as maids..

    xur we can xlink, add na kita sa links ko.. pls inform me. thanks a lot! 😀

  3. i have linked you up na! nice blog name huh. heheh we both like the field er? hahaha

  4. brain wash is the term. it’s hard for the OFWs to spend a couple of months and maybe a couple of years away from their families and just watch how their children have grown using the webcam and not be there and witness it first hand. wrong leadership leads to crucial sacrifices. but thank God for them.

  5. Hi Jod

    you got an awesome articles here thanks for visiting my site i already put you in my blogroll and linked you.


  6. i agree with the brain drain, but i think sending OFWs is an effective stop gap measure in the meantime (if we cant make investors bring in the money, we might as well literally ship the money here from abroad =p). Besides, I doubt if talent can really be maximized if its used here in the country.

    as for the youth, i think you should give our generation more credit–we know how to look back to our roots unlike the oldies (and hey there’s no place as dynamic and lively as Manila!). i think most of the youth who decide to work abroad will eventually stay or settle down in the Philippines as soon as they get stable (at least that’s how I see myself if i get into that situation).

  7. i agree. nice post. =)

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