Friday, September 23, 2022

Philippines: The Country That Trains its People to Leave

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Last year, the Manila Times hailed the country as one of the fastest-growing economies in South East Asia with a GDP (gross domestic product) average of 5.6 percent in the first three quarters on strong demand and more jobs and investments. If we look at the current numbers of the percentages and averages, it seems to be that our country is now starting to get back to its former glory since the Marcos regime, however if we look into the real lives of our citizens, this percentage seems to be more than generous that it should be.

With our country being hailed as such, one would assume that our country could now supply enough jobs for the growing population of the country, nevertheless, this is not the case. Just like the previous administrations, our government are still very much dependent on the dollars that OFWs are sending to their families in order to keep our economy what it is today. With this current situation, one would question; just how long are we going to depend on them? News about abuses and maltreatment are now being reported from maids being harassed and workmen abroad who are being bad-mouthed by their own bosses.

Despite all these circumstances, many are still training to be able to apply for a job abroad, risking their lives, sacrificing time with their families for an opportunity to be able to give the people that they left a better life. When a reporter from BBC asked one of the trainee-maids in Manila if they are ready to be away with their families, many of them said that they don’t see any choice left in order to give brighter futures to their families.

Photo Credit: inquirer.net
Photo Credit: inquirer.net

Besides going abroad and working, another trend surfacing in the Philippines is BPO (business process outsourcing) which is working for call centre. Since its implementation, many Western companies have moved their low-cost operation in the Philippines. Having our children exposed to the English language means that many of us are quite fluent in the English language, that is why, amongst other countries in the South East Asia even in the whole Asia itself, Filipinos are the most sought after workers not only as domestic helpers but also as a call centre agents. We don’t have any accents when it comes to using the foreign language and we are also very adaptable that we are able to understand English and American humour when given enough exposure to it.

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We can say that our natural born skills as Filipinos have given us a niche in the global playground but with the growing population of our country, how long can we last with BPOs and OFWs. Being able to control over the population of our country can help us not only develop our country itself but to also help our citizens have equal opportunity in all aspects of their lives such as education and job opportunities.

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