By NIKKA CORSINO & ANNIE RUTH C. SABANGAN, GMANews.TV
They may have brought home the bacon – $17 billion in 2009 or over 10 times bigger than last year’s expected foreign direct investment – but more than an economic force, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have evolved into a social phenomenon that the country’s next president needs to resolve decisively.
The Filipino diaspora has fostered a “culture of migration,” Professor Mary Lou Alcid of the University of the Philippines’ College of Social Work and Community Development said in a campus forum in early February. This has resulted in “transnational Filipino families” with the father in Saudi Arabia, the mother in Hongkong, the daughter in Taiwan, the brother in Dubai, and the youngest left in the Philippines, she added.
In the May elections, migration experts believe that voters should pick a candidate who can resolve the problem of large-scale labor deployment abroad which results in the break-up of families, abuse of OFWs, the spread of infectious diseases, and other ills.
However, less than three months before the polls, migrant groups say no candidate has come up with specific strategies to address these problems.
“Migration is a new answer to a very old problem, which is unemployment,” said Maria Angela Villalba, executive director of the non-government Unlad Kabayan Migrant Service Foundation. read more>>>>>>
Noynoy’s Platform re: OFWs
A Commitment to Transformational Leadership:
(10) From a government that treats its people as an export commodity and a means to earn foreign exchange, disregarding the social cost to Filipino families to a government that creates jobs at home, so that working abroad will be a choice rather than a necessity; and when its citizens do choose to become OFWs, their welfare and protection will still be the government’s priority.