Nope. This is not a copy-paste of Abdullah Ai-Maghlooth’s full essay of the same title published in a local Saudi newspaper. By this time, his Filipino-friendly article has been amplified in a number of blogs (see Pinoy Around the World and USA Pinoy for example) and has landed in my inbox a gazillion times as a forwarded message. Why not? We hardly see something good written about OFWs and Filipinos in general. When we do get to hear positive remarks about ourselves, it is but appropriate that we smile and celebrate.
Randy David in his Philippine Daily Inquirer column Public Lives wrote A world without Filipinos which also mentioned Ai-Maghlooth. He quoted from the essay, “Nobody here can think of a life without Filipinos… We could die a slow death if they chose to leave us.” This could be true. I digress… Speaking of death, I wish greedy and self-centered traditional politicians in the Philippines, especially those with “cash cow mentality”, would die not only a slow death but a painful one at that!
I have been campaigning against the “cash cow mentality” (read On Milking the Cash Cow) of government officials in the Philippines. OFWs are being depended upon as cash cows. Bagong Bayani daw!!! In truth, the government has been juicing the fruit of OFW labor for years, setting up more and more remittance schemes here and there yet efforts and long-term programs to entice OFWs to return home are minimal if not nil.
I firmly believe that leaving the country to become an OFW could never ever be right. The government should not be contented with the billions of dollars in annual remittances by OFWs. The government should be held liable for OFWs who suffer discrimination, who are abused and who are murdered in foreign lands. The government should shape up and find ways to stop the Filipino diaspora. Otherwise, it is tantamount to committing crime against the people who they should be serving in the first place. The country has more to loose than gain by sending off its precious human resource abroad. I quote Prof. David,
“…[Foreign employers] single out Filipino workers for their skill, their tenderness and their loyalty. But they do not see the human being that performs all these services and possesses all these traits. They do not see the families these workers have left behind, the relationships they have put on hold because of migration, and the experience of humiliation and helplessness they often go through as virtual exiles in strange lands. Away from their loved ones and circle of intimates, their lives tend to be bare. Wrenched from the culture that is their medium, their identities tend to wither.
They help maintain and reproduce the social systems that host them, but these societies do little to integrate them as members. Their service is needed, but not their person, or-to be more precise-not the cultural practices that reproduce them as individuals with identities of their own.
A world without Filipinos may seem unimaginable to those nations whose lives have been greatly enriched by their presence. But, impossible as it may be, a world that allows every Filipino to take his loved ones along wherever he may choose to work would be a far richer world. Better still, a Philippine society that affords every Filipino the chance to grow and to use his talents without having to leave his country would be a far richer society.”
Now, what kind of government would allow the sons and daughters of its country to toil in foreign lands and rejoice in the bounty of their remittances? So sad. Very bad! Incompetent!
STOP MILKING THE CASH COW!!!