The Overseas Filipino Worker Phenomenon: Are OFWs Exploited By Their Own Country?
When I think about how the OFW phenomenon began remember in the MARCOS YEARS and the Cory years' continuation was an after-effect, I would really write about the OFW Phenomenon. While in general, they are overseas workers but the term "Overseas Filipino Workers" may have been made to make them look like heroes. The term is also sensationalized as the "bagong bayani" or to generalize them as the new heroes of the Philippines but there is such a ugly history that people may have ignored on purpose.
Here is a picture from the Marcos museum with the OFW phenomenon. The Marcos years were in fact, not the best years and neither are the President Nobita years. I cannot avoid but think of the Marcos cronies every time the Marcos years are mentioned again. His allies got protected errr pampered and thus began the problem of economic restrictions gone wrong. If there's anything else, I think it's best to call Philippine economic protectionism as economic pampering because by restricting foreign investments, competition is lessened and thus giving the big time businessmen all the power to abuse. Oh before you start praising the Cojuangcos, remember that one of the Marcos cronies was a Cojuangco too! Sad to say even with Marcos' administration gone, with him as a frozen corpse and preserved in a Mao-like state, the whole problem is that people just refused to learn from the mistakes of the martial law years.
The 1987 Constitution unfortunately failed to remove the cronyistic policy. By still allowing the 60/40 policy, the same trend continues. Cronyism only continues under different names but it still prevails because of 60/40. Come on, doesn't the geography of the Philippines tell you that an open economy would work better? Sad to say but there's always going to be nitwits who always think that OFW phenomenon means the Filipinos are taking over the world and that foreign investors are foreign invaders. When you think about it, it doesn't require a doctorate in economics or to be Bill Gates to understand these basic principles of economics. I may not be living by the billions but I can understand these basic principles. Most people refuse to understand, it's not that they cannot understand.
I have the gut feeling that the OFW phenomenon and calling them as "bagong bayani" is nothing more than a cover-up to preserve the oligarchy. It discourages fair and healthy competition by its overprotecting the big businesses. While businessmen who are close to politics might be living like kings, at the same time you can see the EXPLOITATION like how electricity and Internet become too expensive because aside from geography, the supply/demand gap has widened. If the government refuses to open up the economy to invite more foreign investors, they would actually pamper their friends in the padrino system. Logic is that how can the oligarchy absorb more unemployed people when they are but a few? The solution that they thought of might be, "Send the rest abroad." and "Make the OFWs are the new heroes mentality."
I don't deny OFWs can be the very unsung heroes but not all of them are unsung heroes. When I look at the OFW remittances, they do hit a billion at times from foreign currency. What might be ignored is that foreign investment is more reliable for the country than OFW remittance. I also thought that becoming an OFW is actually a huge sacrifice when you think about it. You have to be away from your families and that while huge money may come in, what's ignored is that the children grow up without the parents. There is also the tendency for the family to fall apart because of the prevalence of absentee parenting. What's also so stupid is that we have incidents of parents who put money first in their priority then they cry when the children aren't living right.
If the OFWs are being installed with the mentality that they are the new heroes of the Philippines then it's easy to manipulate them. Send them abroad, make them think that they are the new heroes and let the cycle of stupidity begin like how many OFW families tend to remain poor. What is worse is that many Filipinos tend to want easy money because even if OFWs earn higher, they still have to work hard. This in turn may have allowed the Philippines to become a paradise for drug dealerlike how illegal Chinese can get easy protection through money under the table and not to mention, the Commission on Human Rights. I guess Etta Rosales was defending certain crooks because they pay her a good amount of money. If the OFWs are usually ingrained with the mentality that they are the new heroes, I guess anything goes. I guess that's why a lot of OFW related mishaps are happening no thanks to that slogan which in fact, I'm afraid drug mules are already considered as heroes.
When the OFWs are sent abroad, I would believe that there's also a bunch of them who are OFWs with a plan. Realizing that the Philippines lacks employment or they are so poor, they want to go abroad as part of their plan to kick out poverty from their household. What they may not know is that the government is already planning to use them as exploitation tools. When I think of them they become balikbayan Filipinos and they have that huge balikbayan box (not necessarily for relathieves and fiends but maybe, only for the family), the Bureau of Customs errrr Crocodiles start their unjust fees and exploitation of the OFWs while items like drugs and fake goods keep entering. Oh wait, I guess the Bureau of Crocodiles are collecting money under the table from those crooks. Besides, it might be stupid that while luxury cars get pass through without much hassle, the OFW balikbayan boxes are subjected to bullying by the crocodiles.
What is even dumber is that those stupid activists groups just don't see the reality. They want labor export policy to stop, they keep blaming President Nobita but they still are against foreign investors from coming in. You want the labor export to lessen and you want more jobs for more Filipinos then FORGET THAT STUPID SARILING ATIN ONLY MENTALITY! Want more job opportunities thenOPEN UP THE ECONOMY!