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Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Plight of the Filipino Overseas Contract Worker

The labor force of a country is the backbone of its social progress, quite true. But in some countries especially in the Philippines this remains an ironic melancholy of sorts. The Philippines is one of the world’s top provider of cheap labor to countries which need such workers ranging from house hold help,entertainment and medically related fields.The country earns from this and is an integral part of its economy in a point that the country’s educational system is veering away from old and obsolete traditional methods integrated almost a century ago into a more simplified and straight forward educational system solely for the purpose of processing the whole Filipino society into a labor ready commodity.Strange as it may seem, some educational institutions even advertise on mass media about these so-called educational institutions concerning job assistance programs for students that enroll and undergo their educational programs and give the public an impression of complacency regarding employment guarantee.

As a country that was once colonized by the United States, the country has one of the highest literacy rate in the Southeast Asian region. But even though it is true, the Philippines are still facing a plight within its own domestic employment problems. Local unemployment rates are growing at a statistically uncontrollable rate despite of government programs to induce alternative measures to provide a temporary solution to this problem. The government has already instigated an educational reform program adding 2 more years in both the primary and secondary levels of the school system. This ratified implementation aims hopefully to help those who go through the program acquire a certain degree of proficiency geared towards a higher chance of employment possibilities that are available in the present economic system.

Even though there are countries that employ the Filipino work force there are still undeniable hurdles that have to be considered. One such issue is that of the European Union’s ongoing warning to the schools that are offering seafarers courses in the Philippines. It is said that in the coming years, the European Union will cease to employ the services of Filipino seafarers unless that the said schools that teach such courses meet the European Union standards that are required on all European Union flags carrying vessels. The said sanctions will be implemented in the next 3 years and unless the Philippines meet the standards imposed by the European Union, a great number of Filipino seafarers will lose their jobs because of a faulty substandard educational system.

The cost of sending children to school in the Philippines is quite high despite being a third world country and despite of government claims of economic growth and stability, the inevitable is still very obvious! One cannot deny that such adverse claims of social prosperity not be fully manifested in this society. An average child would be allocated an amount to almost a little bit more than 1,000,000 pesos just to acquire a decent college education but the guarantee of a stable job opportunity is not as directly proportional to the value of acquiring it. We might say in a reserved manner that it is quite a gamble to invest in your children’s future, and thus the emergence of the informal educational system which consist of an educational program aimed to develop basic skills implementation which is in demand at the moment and  that it requires only the basic skills set intended for the international labor requirements.

In short, the economic labor growth is directly proportional to the global labor needs of the international labor market, and the Philippines have started to follow with the demands of the world in regards to labor. The Filipino people have become a world commodity not as to dehumanize the term but the fact of the matter remains, third world countries such as this, have no choice but to follow unwittingly and choice less or be left out in the cold reality. As Filipinos, we are a hard working class of society never ever questioning the purpose of adverse labor despite the for the obvious reasons of servitude to others. This condition of a hard-working mentality goes back to about 400 years to the infancy of this Asian society.

The Filipino mentality toward labor has a funny history for that matter. It can be seen in the ordinary household where it takes place early in the morning as the day is about to start. Parents would often wake up their children very early to do menial   household work such as cleaning, cooking, laundry and all sorts of things. Laziness has no place in the household and everybody does their share in all work done within. This idealistic principles are passed down from generation to generation and is considered one of the most sought after aspects of Filipinos that landed them a niche in the international labor market. Where does this all lead to? Let's go back to the time where the Spanish colonizers took reign over the country and enforced a slave labor mentality to the point of enforcing it to the natives of the country. The Spanish master would come down and forcefully wake their Filipino slaves and order them to serve them without any humanitarian considerations. Added to that enforcing strict methods of labor sanctions including rationalizing everything including the distribution of food!

To tell you the truth, 400 years of enforcing such methods have a huge psychological effect upon a society that up to this day, the Filipinos have suffered a sense of psychological inferiority towards foreigners. Which explain why as a nation, the Filipino people are so accommodating to foreign principalities! And even though they thrive to achieve a sense of self-worth we still fall short on many aspects considering acceptance as equals in a world that perpetuates social equality but in fact we are led to make-believe that we serve and that we as a nation have a purpose! Yes, we do have a purpose and that is to be slaves of the system of the World.

Purpose? To serve. Bred to a point where all social aspects of a positive outlook in life to mold us into doing what the World wants us to do.Conspired by governments and systems integrated by conglomerates with just one purpose….. Lambs to the slaughter.

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