Sep 21, 2004
Why Do Filipinos Want to Go Abroad?
Asking this question here in the Philippines will produce a barrage of opinionated answers. Each one reflecting a different angle representing a social class’ stand on the matter.
Almost every person I know has a relative or is related to someone who works overseas. According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency’s (POEA) 2003 annual report, more than 800,000 Filipinos have left the country to work overseas. 33% of our fellow Filipinos leaves to work as professional and technical workers and 35% as service workers.
Professionals leaving the country and pursue their careers abroad. This situation has been coined as “brain drain”. It’s visible everywhere. Doctors enrolling in nursing schools, nurses leaving the country as soon as they are eligible abroad, IT specialist pursuing a brighter career abroad, etc.
What pushes a common Filipino to work abroad and leave his family and loved ones? Is it total lack optimism in the Philippine economy or just to advance their career? A survey done by a local newspaper has produced realistic and convincing answers from the respondents.
98% wanted to leave the country and work abroad. Reasons cited for leaving the Philippines were financial, career growth/opportunity job security and political stability. These main facts alone have given us an overview of what drives Filipinos.
Financial reasons are a common reason. Many Overseas Filipino Workers have pointed out that they are practically earning lots more for doing the same thing back in the Philippines. I personally learned this fact to some relatives and friends. One particular friend was earning a measly amount for 2 years and when she got fed up, she packed her bags and found a new job in Dubai. She is now earning more than she ever thought she could.
Saving up is another financial reason to be considered. They are going to sacrifice a few years abroad and after the contract come back here in the Philippines and start a business.