"Poverty is the absence of CHOICE."--Richard Gordon
We Filipinos are by nature an industrious race. Our ancestors were either fishermen or farmers who used their hands to survive. No work is hard considering the need to fend for the family. Abroad, we Filipinos are the envy of other ethnic (and even indigenous) workers since we do our job well and then some. There is always something extra whenever we do things that foreign employers like hiring us. This trait made overseas contracting as the countries primary export. In other words, our government pimped its own people to compensate for what it cannot provide---EMPLOYMENT! The opportunity to work here in our own country is so limited that many are forced to go to other countries "for greener pastures".
Based on the influx of OCWs, one can surmise that the Philippines is not better off economically in 1997 versus 2008. According to the National Statistics Office (NSO), from 900,000 registered OCWs in 1997, the number has now gone to 2 million in 2008. Now that's a lot!
On a positive note, having this much OCWs infuses life to our economy. However, this has also led to a lot of broken families. Family values are erroded since either the father or mother is out of the country. Children are then left without a father or mother figure to help in their personal development.
In 2009, unemployment is at 7.6% or 2.9 million of our able work force do not have a job. This is 6.3% higher than the 2008 figure. How many president have we had since 1997? Erap and Gloria, right? Reminisce when they were still campaigning, didn't they promise to put down unemployment? They sure did! Now our current crop of candidates are promising the same thing. Are we going to get duped again when it comes to the unemployment issue?
Let's choose the candidate with a solid platform and the game plan with regard to what he plans to do in office. Let's vote for the candidate who has the track record to make this happen. No more BROKEN PROMISES!