Saturday, July 26, 2008

The State of Emigration in the Philippines

The Philippines is largely a country of emigration. In fact, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are hailed as the country's new heroes for their vital contributions in our economy. We are famous for "exporting" our human resources, the most vital driving force of any country. Brain drain especially for skilled workers and professionals from the medical fields have gone rampant. Our country's loss has been the gain of First world countries like the United States, Canada, Australia and European countries.
I haven't thought emigration here in my country has gone THAT bad until my co-worker was denied of her tourist visa application for Norway. It was clearly noted in the Royal Norwegian Embassy's reply to her visa application that "the applicant came from a country with a great potential for emigration due to its social and economic situations. In our experience, many applicants from the Philippines wish to resettle in other countries".
For me, it's kind of a big slap in the face for us Filipinos. We are famous for wanting to leave our own country because of the adverse economic conditions we Filipinos are all experiencing. We resort to leaving our families behind to give them a good quality of life. The threatening permanent loss of highly skilled and educated people in the Philippines is a reason for growing concern.
The Filipinos are hired abroad because of cheap labor cost. And what do our government have to say? Can they not remedy the high unemployment rate here in our own country? Though sending off Filipino workers abroad are mitigated with clearcut policies to bring benefits to both the country of origin and the country of destination, the impact of emigration could be detrimental for our country's social and economic development. It should be a main focus of anxiety for concerned parties because we suffer major losses from it in the long term.
As for our country's emigration state, I can only see two major reasons why Filipinos are motivated to leave the Philippines:
  1. Poor economic condition
  2. Bad Governance

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