Wednesday, May 14, 2008

my concerns as a Filipino today

The unstable economic and political situation in the Philippines is one of the major causes why most educated and highly skilled Filipinos prefer to work abroad. Filipino workers could not see any hope from their leaders to achieve prosperity for the country...

Most of our leaders in the Philippines are not serious in dealing with the country's economic development and growth. They are spending more time on arguments, debates and opposing each other's proposed ideas and projects rather than taking action on the current problems of the country. There is lack of cooperation, understanding, acceptance and consideration on others' works and contributions. They are always complaining rather than working real hard for their country and for the Filipino people.

The Philippines is such a rich nation, from natural resources to human resources, but this golden opportunity is not well handled by most of the Philippine leaders and government officers. They are not considering the effects of "brain drain" that the country is facing at this time.

Millions of Filipinos are working outside the Philippines for contractual jobs and thousands are leaving yearly to look for better opportunities in other advanced countries. If given the chance, Filipinos abroad would not go back to their home country anymore but stay in the newly adoptive land to work and live permanently.

The Second Main Reason is Low Salary - To get better education from reputable schools in the Philippines is not cheap for an ordinary Filipino but by the time a worker gets a job in the Philippines, he does not get paid enough to equal his investment on education. Due to this, most Filipino skilled workers get jobs abroad where salary commensurate education, skills, and experience. Sometimes, an OFW can be paid more if he takes a blue-collar job even if he is a degree holder. That is why a lot of degree-holder Filipinos work abroad as maids, sales ladies, construction workers and laborers. Most Filipinos would work on any job as long as it is decent and high paying.

Poor Benefits - A foreign-based company can give benefits to employees such as housing, food allowance, medical or health care, dental care, paid leave, or even educational benefits for children but in Philippines, it is very rare to be employed and get most of these benefits. Although local companies in the Philippines can afford to pay their workers, most of these companies would not invest more or do not bother to give additional benefits for their workers. Since it is hard to live in the Philippines without a job, the poor Filipino workers will accept whatever these companies are offering. It is like putting the workers in a "take it or leave it" situation which I think is taking advantage of the workers.

Discrimination is one of the biggest problems as well. It can be noticed that most advertised jobs on newspapers in the Philippines require a degree or at least college level of education even for blue-collar jobs. An applicant must at least be 5 feet tall or higher and those who are 30 years old and over 30 are denied of the application. It is also difficult to get a job in the Philippines if you are married, disabled, not fair complexion and part of a certain group or tribal race. Some companies think that having beautiful, good-looking and "sexy" staff would boost their business but I think otherwise, it is the staff's attitude and good performance that would make a business succeed. There is an ongoing bill in the senate to abolish discrimination practices of employers against job applicants. I hope it will be passed and approved very soon.

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