Archive for the ‘OFW market’ Category

More OFWs leave the country for jobs abroad

March 24, 2009

It should tbe consolation to the Philippines that more Filipinos work outside the country in January this year than last year. Philippine Overseass Employment Administration (POEA) reports that 165,737 compared to 132,285 left the country for jobs abroad.

This resoundingly affirms the sustained global preference for our skilled and semi-skilled overseas Filipino workers (OFW), and their productive role in staving off the adverse effects of the global slowdown in the greater portion of the world’s economies,” said Labor Secretary Marianito Roque.—GMA TV News (03/24/09, Tan, JT)

The exodus of workers to foreign land has brought about US$16.4 billion dollars to the Philippine economy. In spite of the economic benefits, working abroad has caused a lot alienation, family displacement, and separation.

Filipinos still need to develop local placements and not rely on foreign work opportunities which disrupt local labor. There are many jobs with difficult working conditions abroad and Filipinos are forced to take them for lack of employment in the country. It is not hard to imagine that many of these jobs are menial, dangerous, and demanding that many locals of host countries refuse to take. (Photo Credit: Atsibatsi)=0=

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For lack of local jobs, Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo asks Filipinos to leave for employment abroad

March 2, 2009

Without enough jobs available locally, Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo continues to call on her people to pursue jobs abroad. About 500,000 employment positions, mainly in construction are available in the Middle East, Australia, and Canada.

This is the recommendation of the country’s president (the “top economist and chief executive officer”) for the employment-seekers present in a job summit at the Malacanang Palace.

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Augusto Syjuco advises Filipinos to take alternative courses in butchery, tile-laying, roofing, carpentry and other menial jobs just to survive in a growing economic crisis.

Something is wrong with their recommendations. The policy of sending Filipinos outside has drifted away from the task of government to provide livelihood for its people. For the government to adopt a policy of encouraging talents to leave the country is objectionable.

An estimated 9 million Filipinos are currently working abroad to support families and help avert the financial collapse of the country. Government critics complain that more Filipinos will be separated from their families and placed in risky conditions as a consequence of being forced to leave the country.

There is sadness in seeing a president advise its people to take menial work abroad as a way to build a nation back home—much more sadness in seeing officials propose second courses in preparation for jobs availabe outside. (Photo Credit: Mark Hillary) =0=

RELATED BLOG: “Who says we are spared from the effects of recession?” Posted by mesiamd at 2/27/2009

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Who says we are spared from the effects of recession?

February 26, 2009

Presidential spokesman Anthony Golez said the Philippines wasn’t among the Asian countries affected by the worldwide recession. It might be a lie that Malacanang Palace wanted us to believe. He based his conclusion to the non-inclusion of the country in the International Labor Organization (ILO) list which projects 113 million jobs loss in Asia as the world economy continues to falter (Malaya , 02/20/09 Bengco, R.) According to ILO, the expected unemployment number this year will be more than the 22.3 million jobs Asian countries lost in 2008.

It will do us good if we look closely at the data Golez is referring to before we celebrate. We aren’t that trusting anymore. The effects of the financial meltdown are just beginning to show. It is foolhardy for him and the government he represents to assume that we aren’t affected.

The unemployment we see in the street is a better gauge than the assurances of government officials. We see what food we eat and what clothes we wear. Most of us are familiar of the signs of chronic job loss and their aftermath. The employment stagnation in the country is long-standing and antedates the global economic meltdown.

5,500 OFWs lose jobs—–Arroyo

“Some 5,500 Filipino overseas workers have lost their jobs abroad and returned home over the past four months, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said Thursday. The Department of Labor announced earlier this week that 39,000 Filipinos had lost their jobs since October, a number which included overseas workers.”—Agence France-Presse/ Inquirer (02/26/09)

Foreign companies are pulling out their business operations in Manila. Unemployment among fresh graduates continues to rise. There is pervasive underemployment and lay-offs. The rush for jobs abroad doesn’t abate even if applicants downgrade their qualifications just to grab work even if it is risky and suffers from inadequate pay. With a bearish investment climate, people are afraid to shell out money that stir spending and growth. The number of impoverished Filipinos continues to rise.

Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo’s job creation is too little to assuage the fear and anger of the public. The government projects that are quick-disbursing, high-impact, and labor intensive (according to Management Dir. Hermogenes Esperon) don’t come close to reality when one sees the widespread unemployment, poverty, and corruption in the country. That’s why we rely early on ourselves more than depend on announced legislated measures by the administration. (Photo Credits: Slavishtubesocks; JRIOrion)=0=

3,000 IT & 10,000 semiconductor jobs at risk

At least 3,000 information technology (IT) jobs are at risk in first quarter alone while 10,000 positions in semiconductor industry could be shed during the first half of the year due to the global economic slump.”—GMANewsTV (02/28/09)

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The Coming Crisis of 2009: Some Thoughts (Part 1)

January 2, 2009


I do not know if my title is passe, that is, should it be termed as the crisis of 2008? Anyway, what the Philippines is experiencing so far is an economic downturn. There is no full crisis yet. But like the rest of the world Filipinos are worried about the spill-over effect of the US crisis.

Will there be a full-blown crisis? I don’t know either. Nobody has a perfect crystal ball on this crisis. One thing, there is no denial complex like in the other crises so looking for solutions came earlier. And the host country of the crisis can possibly marshall up to a trillion dollars of intervention fund to soften the blow. And the world, tickled properly, will probably respond to multilateral efforts in order to stave off a greater conflagration.

How do the Philippines stand in this crisis? Firstly, electronics parts imports have dived indicating that this sector of the economy won’t be a good performer this year. But that sector is no longer the country’s biggest sector. The biggest is now the OFW market and this sector is not dependent directly or indirectly in the US since it caters mainly to the Middle East and this region doesn’t produce a lot of goods and services for the US and other highly-industrialized countries (HICs).

A major sector, the natural-resources extraction sector including metals is primarily China-driven now. Will this suffer? Actually it will depend on how China handles this crisis since their number one market is the US. But being the cost and price leader worldwide they still have plenty of option regions. But of course these regions economic size and purchasing power cannot match the US’.

Our agri-business sector can probably ride out the storm since more and more it is not dependent on the US market. Instead it relies more on Japan and increasingly the Korea, China, Hongkong and other markets are being developed.

Meanwhile, our traditional agriculture market, though still big had become more of a non-factor in the last few years. Our coconut, abaca, tobacco markets is no longer that important while we are importers in our other agriculture needs like cereals.

An emerging BPO sector, which include call centers probably ranks second in importance now. This sector is putting up a brave face but its primary market is the US. Will enough US firms cut cost and outsource abroad so that previous demand cuts here will be negated? I cannot speculate on this since this is a US response area.

I point all of this out since I do not want to say that this impending crisis will just be a replay of the 2001 crisis spawned by the 9/11 NYTC attack. The world changes fast and underlying dynamics do change.

[photo credit:bigapple212]

The Coming Crisis of 2009: Some Thoughts (Part 1)

January 2, 2009


I do not know if my title is passe, that is, should it be termed as the crisis of 2008? Anyway, what the Philippines is experiencing so far is an economic downturn. There is no full crisis yet. But like the rest of the world Filipinos are worried about the spill-over effect of the US crisis.

Will there be a full-blown crisis? I don’t know either. Nobody has a perfect crystal ball on this crisis. One thing, there is no denial complex like in the other crises so looking for solutions came earlier. And the host country of the crisis can possibly marshall up to a trillion dollars of intervention fund to soften the blow. And the world, tickled properly, will probably respond to multilateral efforts in order to stave off a greater conflagration.

How do the Philippines stand in this crisis? Firstly, electronics parts imports have dived indicating that this sector of the economy won’t be a good performer this year. But that sector is no longer the country’s biggest sector. The biggest is now the OFW market and this sector is not dependent directly or indirectly in the US since it caters mainly to the Middle East and this region doesn’t produce a lot of goods and services for the US and other highly-industrialized countries (HICs).

A major sector, the natural-resources extraction sector including metals is primarily China-driven now. Will this suffer? Actually it will depend on how China handles this crisis since their number one market is the US. But being the cost and price leader worldwide they still have plenty of option regions. But of course these regions economic size and purchasing power cannot match the US’.

Our agri-business sector can probably ride out the storm since more and more it is not dependent on the US market. Instead it relies more on Japan and increasingly the Korea, China, Hongkong and other markets are being developed.

Meanwhile, our traditional agriculture market, though still big had become more of a non-factor in the last few years. Our coconut, abaca, tobacco markets is no longer that important while we are importers in our other agriculture needs like cereals.

An emerging BPO sector, which include call centers probably ranks second in importance now. This sector is putting up a brave face but its primary market is the US. Will enough US firms cut cost and outsource abroad so that previous demand cuts here will be negated? I cannot speculate on this since this is a US response area.

I point all of this out since I do not want to say that this impending crisis will just be a replay of the 2001 crisis spawned by the 9/11 NYTC attack. The world changes fast and underlying dynamics do change.

[photo credit:bigapple212]