Gov't Labor Export Policy Blamed for Workers' Exodus

Manila Bulletin, April 8, 2008 | Go to article overview
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Gov't Labor Export Policy Blamed for Workers' Exodus


In response to a Nobel Laureate's advice for Filipinos to shun work abroad and instead "stay and help" the Philippines, an alliance of organizations composed of overseas Filipinos and their families yesterday said the real culprit on the exodus of Filipinos overseas is the government's labor export policy.

"If there is truly a choice, most Filipinos would, indeed, rather stay in the country and remain with their families," said Connie Bragas Regalado, chairperson of Migrante International.

"The biggest barrier to this is the Philippine government itself. Through its systematic labor export policy, successive administrations are bent on exporting Filipino workers around the world even if it means robbing the country of its valuable workers," Regalado added.

Earlier, 2004 Nobel Laureate Prof. Aaron Ciechanover had noted during lecture tours in Baguio schools that educated Filipinos tend to leave the country to serve foreigners at the expense of the Philippines. He also said that serving one's country was one of the best ways to boost the Philippine economy and improve the quality of life of Filipinos.

"Professor Ciechanover's observations are best directed at the Arroyo government. It's also ironic that while a foreigner is alarmed over the massive exodus of our compatriots abroad, Arroyo tells OFWs to stay abroad and wants to increase even further the number of those leaving.

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