Can you help me sort this out? I am not sure if I should be happy or not. The government is providing a P250M livelihood fund for Overseas Filipino Workers who might, theoretically, be displaced due to the worldwide economic crunch. Livelihood? I am assuming this means that when an OFW is laid off, he or she can return to the Philippines and expect the government to lend a helping hand so that he or she can survive the crisis. This is an excellent initiative.
However, I am bothered about the “redeployment” strategy. The president said that monitoring schemes will be put in place to allow redeployment of displaced OFWs to emerging labor markets. This means an OFW displaced from one foreign country will be assisted by the government to find a new job in another foreign country. I don’t agree with that. This shows how our government views the OFW phenomenon as a solution rather than a symptom of a big problem. We should not allow this “cash cow mentality” to perpetuate. The government should shape up to prevent the Filipino diaspora. It should not be counting how many jobs the Middle East or Europe or Canada or Australia or New Zealand or Guam can provide for Filipinos. The government and its president should be looking for ways to create jobs in the Philippines to prevent its people from leaving. The government should inspire Filipinos and give them good reasons to stay.
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