PHILIPPINES – We may be happy and proud of our $50 billion dollar annual income from overseas Filipino workers in OFW remittances but certainly we are not proud to know that most of these come from our own professionals working abroad as domestic helpers.
It is not only embarrassing, it is a very sad commentary because this is caused by our overall own un-doing , our sad history as colony of foreign countries, our educational system which emphasizes white collar (office) jobs resulting in the monumental mismatches when there are job fairs .
In Dumaguete there was one job fair where there were 4000 vacancies for blue and white collar jobs but only 200 applicants were hired. The rest did not qualify. WHY?
As it turns out, their educational trainings could not match the requirements of the job offered. We hope the K-12 educational system will enable the skilled students/workers to get jobs in the vocational field which incidentally are now having the more high-paying jobs like butchers for cruise liners and luxury hotels abroad to name a few.
Why work as domestic helpers when one can become a housekeeping staff in hotels, hospitals, or cruise ships?
The case of that DH killed in Kuwait is very lamentable and worth empathizing. But really, that girl need not be a DH for P16,000 a month. She could have a better housekeeping job elsewhere abroad.
One final important and practical note:
To protect our OFWs from abuses of bad employers , the DFA should promulgate a duplicate passport policy which they will keep in their embassies so that when the worker gets into trouble, the embassy can easily issue the corresponding duplicate of travel documents and repatriate the workers if bad employers confiscate the OFW’s passport. Simple, practical, fast, and safe for our workers.
Sorry for undocumented, illegal entrants, that is now their own cargo. Better enter legally and be safe than sorry.