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"The Filipino" by Malcolm Conlan

The Filipino

By Malcolm Conlan

‘Filipinos’ as the people of the Philippines are known as, make a significant contribution to the world stage. From the hundreds of thousands of healthcare workers who travel from the Philippines in search of a better life for them and their families, as well as exporting their vital skills to the world, to the countless engineers, mechanics, pilots, architects, seamen and other skilled workers, to the many domestic workers, nannies, carers and housemaids who also perform vital roles around the globe.

Overseas Filipino Workers or OFW’s as they are more commonly referred to as, are a vital workforce or group of people to pretty much every country on the planet. Wherever you travel to in the world, you will most likely encounter a few at least, if not more of these incredible, selfless, hardworking people who give so much of themselves for others. When Filipinos back home in the Philippines are growing up, many study a particular subject, not only to better themselves for domestic employment, but they know in their hearts that in order to provide for their families, they must take the plunge and seek a job abroad.

The sad part of it, is that the Philippines is being robbed of workers with valuable skills and training which could help the country, but the other side of the coin is that Filipinos can still earn much more abroad than they can back home. In fact in some areas of employment, what they can earn in one day in the Philippines can be earned in just 20 mins in some Western countries. That’s the sad reality for some!

I hope that one day, through hopefully constitutional reform and more Foreign Direct Investment, including dropping the 60/40 rule on foreign ownership of businesses in the country, that the Philippines will be able to be more competitive on the global stage and a hub for foreign companies to base themselves in the Philippines. This will in turn lead to greater competition by foreign companies in the Philippines for the best workers and hopefully will also lead to a much needed rise in salaries. I also appreciate the work that this government is doing through the build build build program and other initiatives including recommended pay rises initiatives to help its domestic workforce to stay at home.

I do find it sad though that in the 21st century, we still often read stories of Filipinos being treated as slaves virtually, by ruthless, evil employers and workers being forced to work 18 hours a day or more for only a few hundred dollars a month pay. But even then, the sad fact is that what even these low paid workers still end up earning more abroad than at home.

I hope and pray that one day, just one day, it will no longer be necessary for Filipinos to go abroad for work and to better their lives, but for Filipinos to stay at home. This way, less children will grow up without their parents at their sides, which in some cases leads to broken homes and relationships.

Finally, I would like to send my personal best wishes to ALL Filipino workers globally, thank you for your service and dedication to others, as well as helping not only your own families, but also the Philippines and her people through your dedication and hard work. Mabuhay.

The world will be at a great loss without its Filipino workers I believe, so let’s all applaud and salute them and I hope the world will appreciate them more.

(Photo ctto)


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