They are victims of a failed economy, as are those left behind who live in slums or in the streets. But the tragic thing is there is not enough concern among the “movers and shakers” of our wounded society, the ruling elite. They sleep the sleep of the smug in fortified communities guarded by private armies and attended by legions of servants, fearing any change in the status quo.
The late US President John F. Kennedy famously said, “To whom much is given, much is required.” In other words, those who are privileged have responsibilities, including lifting those below so they can rise from their knees. If our neighboring countries can emerge from the darkness of poverty to the light of progress, so can we. It is intolerable that we should accept this situation as “normal” and “inevitable.”
It is true that human exports bring in substantial amounts of foreign currency. But according to a study in 2008 by economist Ernesto Pernia, “extreme reliance on money from Filipinos overseas hasn’t helped the country get out of the poverty rut and may even hobble the poor’s income capability.”
This is backed by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas figures. According to a news report quoting the BSP (Feb. 15, 2013), fund transfers or cash remittances from overseas Filipinos (OF) transacted through bank channels amounted to $21.4 billion in 2012, accounting for only 8.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 6.5 percent of gross national income (GNI).
Hence, 91.5 percent of GDP and 93.5 percent of GNI are still contributed by 90 percent of left-behind Filipinos, proportionately more than the contributions of the 10 percent of OF. The mainstay of the local economy is still domestic labor.
Most studies by the United Nations and international groups find that the brain and brawn drain benefits the rich host-countries more than the poor countries from which the workers emanate.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) said in a paper in 1997: “Poorer countries invest an average of $50,000 of their painfully scarce resources in every university graduate—only to witness most of them emigrate to richer places. The haves-not thus end up subsidizing the haves by exporting their human capital, the prospective members of their dwindling elites, and the taxes they would have paid had they stayed put. The formation of a middle class is often irreversibly hindered by an all-pervasive brain drain.”
This is understandable because most of our OFWs are from the middle class that is able to send its members to universities. They are in demand by the rich technological societies. On the other hand, the lower class does not have the means to send its children to schools and colleges to obtain the required skills. It may send out drivers, construction workers, and housemaids, but their ability to pay the required recruitment fees is limited. They are also quickly sent back when their contracts expire. It is the educated migrants who normally remain in the host country to enjoy its higher living standards.
The ILO said that “among the countries in Asia and the Pacific, the biggest source of overseas workers is the Philippines, with 730,000 migrants [now estimated at ten million].” Of these, the great majority have a tertiary education. “The second largest stock of migrants is from China (400,000), which is split almost equally between the secondary and tertiary educational groups.” But labor migration from China has dwindled because of worker shortage at home.
Some perceptive statesmen deride labor migration as a global sickness. In a famous interview on state TV, the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin described labor migrants as “a fallout of the jaded.” Added the ILO: “But in many impoverished countries, local kleptocracies welcome the brain drain as it also drains the country of potential political adversaries.”
This last sentence is significant. Labor migration became state policy in the mid-’70s when Ferdinand Marcos’ martial rule experienced a serious fiscal crisis in the wake of the global oil crisis that sent the costs of imported fuels spiraling following the outbreak of the Arab-Israeli war.
To pay for our fuel imports, Marcos had the bright idea of sending our workers and technicians to the oil-rich Middle East to earn the needed dollars. The policy expanded to cover America, Europe and industrially emerging Asia, and also other professionals like doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers and nurses. It also served as an exit for the dissatisfied and disgruntled, who could have swelled the ranks of the communist and secessionist insurgencies.
Diaspora is to the nation as hemorrhage is to a person. If not stopped, it can lead to death. The ancient state of Israel died of this disease. It revived only after reverse migration. We can also revive our country by keeping our manual and intellectual workers on jobs here and recalling those abroad. We can do it, as others have done, through industrialization, modernization and self-reliance.
Manuel F. Almario is a veteran journalist and freelance writer. He is also spokesperson for the Movement of Truth in History (Rizal’s Moth). E-mail email@example.com.
Sabah as clutch
Sabah became their clutch when their own Sulu was sinking, so to speak, from the heavy weight of bloodshed that spiraled into poverty. Sabah became the vision of the last gold coin that could win back the possibility of rising again, getting back the worth of a name, the venerable House of Kiram. Many in the family have dispersed from Sulu and quarrels abound.
It seems rather ironic that many of those who followed Datu Agimodin Jamalul Kiram in last Thursday’s standoff in Sabah came from the island-town of Simunul in Tawi-Tawi province, a hop away from the Malaysian state of Sabah. Tawi-Tawi had separated administratively from Sulu province in the 1980s; this and the other islands of the southern archipelago, as far as Palawan, had formed the sultanate’s domain.
It was there where the Philippine military had secretly recruited mostly illiterate Muslims to stage allegedly an internal disturbance that was meant to give the government the upper hand in reclaiming Sabah, by force if necessary. This blew up into a political scandal known as the “Jabidah Massacre,” an event the military has not owned up to until today, but it has remained an open secret, a stigma on the deaths of some Muslim recruits who tried to mutiny.
This was said to be the crucial factor that sparked the Muslim separatist rebellion in the early 1970s, whose leaders were a brand of ‘activists’, as the Moro National Liberation Front was called, that did not want anything to do with the influence of the royal structures of the past and received clandestine support from Malaysia. The Sulu capital of Jolo was burned to the ground when the military quashed an uprising 39 years ago this month, and the island has sunk even further more, with peace hardly reached in the running insurgency since then.
As it goes, it’s a tale of one army after another; this time we hear of this, the Royal Sulu Sultanate Army – but it’s nowhere near the warriors of the sultanate’s golden age in the 17th and 18th centuries. What we have these days underlies, sadly, the foretold misery of Sulu. – Rappler.com
We need something like this for the Philippines!
On Reddit today: “Hey, it’s John Cusack. I’m here talk to about Freedom of the Press Foundation, among other things. Ask me anything.”
More from his intro:
Hey Reddit, I’m John Cusack. I make films and we can talk about that if you like, but I’m also on the board of directors of a new organization called Freedom of the Press Foundation. My fellow board members include legendary whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, writers Glenn Greenwald and Xeni Jardin, award-winning documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, and EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow.
We all came together in December to try to start a broad movement to help protect and defend the First Amendment, given secrecy is at an all time high and whistleblowers have never been under greater attack. I wrote about it for Huffington Post here. You can also read the two talks I did with leading free speech law professor Jonathan Turley and Kevin McCabe here and here.
Back in 2010, WikiLeaks was cut-off from payment processors despite committing no crime, after unofficial pressure from a couple Congressman. We wanted to make sure that doesn’t happen to another journalism organization again, but we also wanted to help other organizations bring transparency to government.
So, we’re taking donations to WikiLeaks, but also supporting three other innovative organizations, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Truthout, and Public Integrity.
They each have a specific secrecy-busting projects on US drone strikes, the Guantanamo trials, and US defense spending your money will fund. And every two months, we’re going to support a new bundle of organizations similar to these. You can go to our website and donate to any or all of these organizations here: https://pressfreedomfoundation.org
So hopefully you donate. But whether or not you do, spread the word around and read and support these organizations that are doing such important work. Obviously everyone can’t afford to donate, but awareness and knowledge is just as important.
Ask me anything though.
You can follow me on Twitter here and Freedom of the Press Foundation’s Twitter account is here.
Proof it’s me.
People were decrying Community after the season opener. Saying it’s a shadow of it’s former self.
Well after watching community religously for the past 4 years I’ve no doubt that community tends to finish strong but open very weakly except on one season where they opened strong had an okay middle and a somewhat weaker but still strong close.
I still feel a little out of sorts which I imagine as somewhat like to people who used to date each other but after a short but meaningful break decided to get back together. Even if we’re jiving before the feeling out stage begins anew.
Hope Episode 3 (Although I also enjoyed season 3 episode 2 it just felt like it was shot just in time for Halloween and was unfortunately delayed by the general delay in all things community for season 3)
Six Seasons And A Movie!!!!!
“Give us all gathered here tonight the strength to remember that life is so very fragile, We are all vulnerable. And we will all at some point in our lives, fall. We will all fall. We must cary this in our hearts. That what we have is special. That it can be taken from us, and that when it is taken from us, we will be tested. We will all be tested to our very souls. We will now all be tested. It is these times, it is this pain, that allows us to look inside ourselves.”
Coach Eric Taylor, Friday Night Lights Pilot
I have a great fear in growing old.
And while waiting for my code to compile I chanced upon a post from Bo sanchez about lola pilar and lola
A morbid thought crossed my mind while reading the previous post.
There is a third way to retire.
The shotgun retirement or in honor of one of my favorite writers the Hemingway retirement.
Oh the shame. Things I’d never post in facebook or google plus.
This is something I’d only post in my personal space.
It’s 0325 AM and after spending 14 hours in the office a few hours with the daily commute, some television, anime and Friday Night Lights I have to say that I am writing because it’s as if it is the only way I can grasp at things that seem to loom over me.
I watched Les Mis with Angela at GB1 the second week it was showing and it contributed to less than optimal viewing experience. We now had the people who didn’t want to be left out, people who don’t like musicals but disdain being not in the loop more. This is probably why during less frantic times I liked watching movies the first showing of the morning time. It’s during these times that you find more people in the front row center where I love sitting and less of the back people who more often than not are really out on a date, not really caring what was showing. It is with this mellow sometimes disrespectful audience that I watched Les Mis.
I’d have to say that I understand that the self imposed limitations and rules that Tom Hooper chose pleased a lot of people I just happen to not be one of those people. See, I believe that each medium and form has attributes that allows it self certain advantages and disadvantages that if one is aware of will be a game of balance or imbalance. My quibble with Les Miserable is that for my taste the choices Tom Hooper makes were not the choices I would have made either during the act of creation or even after seeing the final piece.
I appreciate the hard work that all the actors did to give birth to this beautiful but flawed musical.
If he wanted the continuous take then tell your actors that that’s what you are going to do but edit it or have them record the songs separately.
This leaves me to think that he was actually playing the soundbites game of wow you did all the singing in one take for the whole day, what dedication. Unfortunately we do not judge only the effort we have to also judged the creation and save for the inspired work of Anne Hathaway or the flashes of brilliance of Hugh Jackman and the pitch perfect portrayal of the young Gavrosh everything else seems a poor off broadway performance not worthy of the musical that I so loved.
Because it is a film musical, not only a film, not only a musical, but a melding of the two and to sacrifice the musical to heighten the film part is a choice that a big part of me can just not accept.
PS I wrote this before reading the negative review from The New Yorker Magazine. This is unfinished but the seeds of the core of my disappointment is already here.
I finished working from home at around two am today
I wanted to start reading a new book before going to sleep.
I had to stop at page eighteen.
If I didn’t,
I probably will be calling in sick today.
At least the first eighteen pages of it.
Samsung is like General Motors and Apple is like Ford.
Caught this amazing film playing in the red channel.Super cool film!
|Directed by||Tetsuya Nakashima|
|Written by||Tetsuya Nakashima
Kanae Minato (original novel)
|Editing by||Yoshiyuki Koike|
|Distributed by||Toho Company
MGM Home Entertainment
|Running time||106 minutes|