Saturday, January 26, 2008
This is one of the fatal cancers happening in the Philippines aside from graft and corruption. We can say that all the best have ran away to other parts of the world to find better lives. I know it is not easy to be away from home, thus, most of the Filipinos abroad opt to live there, either looking for a better half in the country where he/she works (if single) or if they have families in the Philippines, they are petitioning and/or sponsoring them to go after. This can be one reason why the country is suffering from too much loss and poverty and Why the Philippines is Poor. But who can be blamed? Even the government itself is promoting people to go abroad! Is it a joke huh! But yes, we even have this "Bagong Bayani" for those overseas Filipino workers, yes, Filipinos call them "Modern Heroes" for serving other countries than serving Philippines.
I have read one of the latest brain drain articles at The Philippine Chess Chronicles highlighting the country's latest loss of remarkable player to Singapore. Take this an an example of the country's "Brain Drain".
I am Counted
Yes, you read it right. I am out of the country. I am here for work because of the dissatisfaction of many things when I was still in the Philippines. I have a bachelor of science degree and even the Filipino people have paid for my education. Yes, I was counted as one of the "Iskolars ng Bayan" (the Nations Scholar) from the University of the Philippines. All right now you can say "Shame on you" to me but I am not alone. You know that! Not only I have this degree but I also have a good, in fact very good qualification as our felow Filipinos may consider, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) title.
(After I got that scolding and cursing from you) I want to tell how I worked like a carabao in my Makati office. I was given the basic salary plus the fact that the amount of charged overtime was controlled. I worked even in weekends and most of the time, I was still in office at midnight or even at five in the morning. I slept under the table to relax my back from too much sitting and work when I could not hold my tiredness and sleepiness anymore. I ate late lunch when I had to finish something, yes I experienced it. The boss came and told me to finish something and I was eating that time. I never had a choice but to cover my lunch box and start working. See how I worked? And the worse side is, my salary is just enough. Not enough to compensate all the sleepless nights and restless moments that I had.
Now that I am away, I still receive e-mails from my previous co-workers clamouring about their situation. They tell me how lucky I am to have gotten away. Indeed Philippines is poor, not only on the monetary side but the way Filipinos are treated - it is the modern slavery!
Champion in the Brain Drain Contest
Among the Asian countries, Philippines ranks first in the "Brain Drain"tally. Aproximately, there are 730,000 (recently) migrants most of which are having college education. It is not only these days but rooted back since the time of the President Marcos, or even before for accounts of Ilocanos who worked as planters in Hawaii. It has become a major source of dollar for the Philippines growing to the level that there is one among the ten Filipinos are working abroad. Yes, nine million (9,000,000) so far. Daily, there are more than three thousand Filipinos (3, 000) going out to work abroad.
Satisfaction of the Slave
Those who work abroad are all literarate in English. Yes, because they are hired on that basis, to understand and to be understood. Also, to be resourceful and have initiative in work. Filipino seafarers occupy a big part and quantity in cargo ships of the world. Moreover, multinational corporations in the Southeast Asia have got their picks on Filipino professionals for their middle management teams. The worst part of the story is, teachers become domestic helpers or household assistants. Nurses became housemaids and waitresses. Engineers have become construction workers, while tourism graduates has become entertainers and dancers.
Who like to go out and be treated as slave? No one! But the circumstances leading to this fact is very strong, thus poor OFWs suffer. Who is to blame? Not only the government, not only the government officials, it is the whole nation with the wrong mind set. To tell you the truth, it is bad to be enslaved! But how do we stop this? How to stop Filipinos from thinking that progress can only be obtained by being a slave abroad? It is not overnight. Help me think how. Click here for more info on the "Brain Drain" Issue