Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Exodus Continues, Rebuild...

It won't be a great rebuild, but then I'll try:

It all started with this story:

This led to my rant that the Philippine situation won't be cured when the Philippine dream is to get out of the Philippines and live in America. I'd like to add that it's just not America now, it's Japan, Taiwan, the Middle East (Dubai and Saudi Arabia, in particular), the UK, Italy. Name a country on the map that pays better wages and a ticket to leave the Philippines, you will have a willing comer.

We can't go through the hypocrisy of fixing the ills of the country when there is not enough money to buy food, to shelter people, and to clothe them properly. How can there be a brighter day when the promise of a new day is warped by the wrong priorities?

I know this to be true because during each day I was last back home in the Philippines, my three objectives were to relax, load up on alcohol, and get laid. Oh, I did give my mother a vacation to celebrate her 70th birthday, but not much else. Yup, that's why I would never be a candidate to run the country.

But I digress. The Philippines is screwed-up because of the wrong priorities --- in governance, in development, in culture. A really long story. Maybe I will get this Grand Theory casserole cooking some time in the future.

My friend and former classmate Eric says, in response to my first post:

"The past week, the Inquirer has been running stories on the medical situation in the country, putting out at least one article a day on several aspects of the crisis. Then last Thursday, they printed an article which quoted Labor Secretary (Patricia) Sto. Tomas as saying that there is no medical crisis in the country by citing just one (baseless) theory that is solely hers alone: that countless nursing schools are mushrooming. Hence, she concluded, that the number of nurses leaving the country are easily replaced by fresh graduates. Her comment nearly drove me nuts and highlighted how little she truly understands about the problems facing the industry. First, the number of nursing schools is not so much as important as the declining percentage of nursing graduates that are passing the nursing board exams. Second, these graduates will be leaving the country and are not planning to practice in the philippines (if they can help it). And third, the nurses who are leaving (or have already left) are the experienced group, thereby leaving the country with fresh graduates. It is alarming when you consider that those who are leaving include the nursing professors. How can we come up with quality graduates when the teachers are gone?"

I would have to agree with this article also from the Inquirer:

I for one am a beneficiary of the demand-pull factor - they had to find the best professional possible without sinking the budget. So here I am.

The Philippines is losing the capability to train new human resources. Everywhere, the diaspora is a lose-lose situation. We train people, others benefit - in terms of the worker contribution and the hidden discounts in finding trained workers. The knowledge is there for anyone to distill - the problem is building the proper mind-set that produces results. And you get that with Filipinos, whether it's the VIP-room lay or the dedicated nursing care.

A quote from today's front-page story in the Inquirer:

"Due to robust inflows from OFWs and investments, the BSP expects a balance of payment surplus of about $2 billion by the end of 2005, exceeding the government's $853 million surplus target.Relative to the size of the economy, the amount of OFW inflows is now equivalent to about 10.5 percent of gross domestic product. Also, it now accounts for about 20 percent of the value of the country's exports of goods and services and about 1.8 times the value of net electronic exports.

OFW remittances have also exceeded the amount of gross inflows of foreign direct investment since the 1990s. In the past two years, annual OFW inflows also approximated 45 percent of the country's gross international reserves."

Per capita, we are the largest exporter of human resources in the entire world. In a few years, we will also outstrip Mexico and gain the unwanted distinction as the country most dependent on foreign-based workers.

It's crazy. I can hardly talk on this, given that I'm also a beneficiary of an overseas posting, but someone UP THERE at the Philippines control box should wake up. It's our rent-seeking political and business culture that's wrecking our country! As of this point it's beyond unseating Gloria and her ilk (a good start, but still...), there must be important restructuring of our society.

Somebody said line up the lawyers on a wall and shoot them all, but I don't think that's funny (I wouldn't think the lawyers I know would think that's funny, either).

Sometimes, one can't fault why many of our young people resort to escapism. Violence in video games? Pornography on video? Heck, there's a greater evil being wrought, and it's right in our midst everyday. A young man who just got out of college (and soon leaving the country) could only provide perspective: we just try our best to remember and enjoy the things which make living in our country bearable. Soon, there won't be enough, because everyone that matters is either gone or about to go.

Meantime, our leaders see it fit to live it up while the people below languish.

So, the exodus continues.

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