Next Philippine president should cut Ph dependence on easy OFW money

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) rock. They number in the millions and, collectively, are the bedrock of the Philippine economy. They account for up to 10 percent of the value of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and fuel the massive expansion of the Philippines’ retail and entertainment industries.

ofw_dependence

But the question most often asked about this disturbing dependence on OFWs is, this:

Are OFWs part of the future of a truly prosperous Philippines?

The answer to this question is most likely to be a key issue that will mark the administration of whoever will be winning the presidential elections in 2016 and, most likely, subsequent ones.

It seems, the Philippines’ party days relying on the bonanza of more than $20 billion in remittances that fill the pockets of Filipino islanders to boost consumption and prop up the economy are nearing an end. According to a Bloomberg Business report, the Philippines’ 10 million-strong OFW remittance mill may be badly hurt by crashing global oil prices.

“Before, when the trouble would be concentrated in one of the countries in the Middle East and North Africa, the workers could just simply move to a neighboring country and find employment,” central bank Governor Amando Tetangco said Jan. 25. “Now the trouble is more widespread.”

As well as declining oil prices, a more general slowdown in global trade is affecting the job prospects of Filipino seamen. Many drillers and oil-service companies have suspended operations and shipping companies are also hurting, said Nelson Ramirez, the president of United Filipino Seafarers.

“I have talked to one of the biggest crew suppliers of offshore vessels,” he said in Manila. “They have many laid-up ships. There will be more job losses.”

The OFW industry should be regarded by the Philippine government as a sunset industry that it needs to get rid of. There should be a strategy in place to wean the Philippine economy off the easy money of foreign employment. This will involve implementation of robust measures to lay the foundation for a strong capital-intensive domestic industry that is fuelled by productivity, innovation, and an appetite for entrepreneurial venture.

In short, it’s time Filipinos learn to make money off its own cleverness and industry. That is the challenge for the Philippines as it aspires to takes its place amongst the truly great nations aiming to compete for a big piece of the pie in the 21st Century. It will be a world for the taking — not by passive people but by people who rely on themselves to succeeed.

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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32 Comments on "Next Philippine president should cut Ph dependence on easy OFW money"

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Sasquash
Guest

I respect your dream, but the Philippines never join the world greats. Without a revolution nothing is going change. The people are dumbed down by a very weak education system and brainwashed by moronic TV shows. I am willing to bet OFW is way more than 10% of the GDP.

If you want change open the country to foreign investors, then you will see how noncompetitive the Philippine conglomerates truly are.

Roll on TPP and the associated constitution changes necessary for membership of TPP.

Jerry Lynch
Guest
If you are talking about the TPP being espoused by the USA let me clue you in to a few things. For 1, the American public does not want it but it is being rammed down our throats regardless. I voted for Obama twice but the TPP is a terrible thing for American business. Second, The Philippines is not party to the TPP and 1 reason for that is your totally inept business sector which has only 2 products, babies for shipping abroad and babies to grow into hookers. Even if the TPP does get passed and American factories close… Read more »
Ron
Guest

Best I’ve read here for some time

Cosima47
Guest
Wow…as an American living here in the Philippines for the last 2 years, you’ve hit so many nails on the head here! I’m always questioning why there are so many damn sales clerks to one department at the department stores. It’s a ridiculous waste of money, not to mention nobody here is trained in proper customer service, whether it be retail or working at a restaurant. Everybody is always out of everything…and…they look like they will die of fright if you don’t give them exact change. How many times have I been asked…do you have 2 pesos, ma’am? No…if I… Read more »
Jerry Lynch
Guest
I try to calculate my bills so I am assured I will get coins even if I have a full pocket of them. Coins in correct change is often required in jeepneys in order not to get overcharged. I make it my business to know what the fare is supposed to be and pay exactly that much so I’m not forced with demanding change. I have been known to pay for a loaf of bread with P1000 after seeing another customer try to pay with a large bill and the cashier needs to go get change for that SINGLE bill… Read more »
onie Olman
Guest

Your derogatory pompous remarks about the Filipino people makes you sound ignorant as to the ways and culture of the people. Why are there a number of sales ladies? Jobs ! Secondly, I think it is stupid of you to compare the Philippines to USA , it is like the fight is between Goliath and a midget. Why not compare USA to other countries of same caliber. And why do you live in the Philippines if it is horrible and dissatisfying to you. Go back to your country where you have all your needs.

FACUNDO
Guest

Sad but True..These was our woes to all the past Administrators of the Philippine Government.. All these past and present Presidents don’t Care what will happen to us after their Terms as Admin…As an ex OFW I really agree on what you wrote down…Sometimes I think the biggest Culprit is Religion just like how the Conquistadors use to Brainwash and make the Occupied Country thier Alter Ego…

Lyndonius Maximus
Guest

Yes, but if they were an advanced people the GDP would grow…It would evidently become somewhat expensive to live like say, Japan.

I’m assuming the different sales staff per brand assists in vetting out the possibility of companies giving incentives on sales of purely their products. In some ways this would limit the ability of sales staff to act in a corrupted of bias manner.

Lyndonius Maximus
Guest
As someone whom invested heavily in the Philippines managing an IT company, I view your assumptions as narrow minded. I’ve given hundreds of Pinoys IQ tests as part of the selection process, the vast majority of these IT graduates ( the cream of the crap ) performed dismally. After two years operating we decided to close up and retain Singaporean Chinese staff and Brazilians. One staff member does the work of approximately 10 Pinoys. The biggest issue was a sheer lack of common sense, they can do black and white but seldom grey. Higher order thinking skills and abstract reasoning… Read more »
Aeta
Guest
Dependence on easy OFW money will be very hard to reform since every Failipinos–in the country and abroad–have already been brainwashed into the ‘consumer mentality’by the PH government and Chinese-owned businesses to buy their condominiums and automobiles, shop in their gigantic malls, dine and sleep in their 5 star restaurants and hotels, and vacation in their beach resorts. Failipinos have been spoiled into this aristocratic, regal, and “concrete jungle” lifestyle for far too long; and, it has made life in the Failippines that much harder, and expensive, to live—especially for those who cannot afford to keep up with the trendy… Read more »
Sean Akizuki
Guest
Sean Akizuki
Guest
vagoneto rieles
Guest
We should take a second, more serious look at “Agriculture”; this time, not just as the vehicle for food sufficiency, but also as a way to soften the impact of a reduced OFW generated foreign currency inflow, as well as a solution to Metro-Manila’s squatter problem. Food sufficiency has been a dream since the 1950s with Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Cotabato, (now four provinces), and Iloilo as the top rice producers in the country. While a case might be made that owing to the explosion of the population.. from about 30 million then, to some 103 million now.. rice production could… Read more »
marius
Guest

Big thumbs up to this.

As Aeta often points out, Filipinos want to pretend they live in the First World while ensuring that everything around them is definitively Third World. There are no short cuts to development. Getting agriculture right is the first thing you do, especially if 80% of your population is (theoretically) living on the land.

Get that right – get good food into people’s bellies at the right price – and a lot of other good things follow.

d_forsaken
Guest

Pride is nothing more than false courage without long term solutions.

Poil
Guest
@vagoneto rieles I agree with you, but it is very challenging most especially when these environmentalist interfere. Just look at what happen to BT Talong and the fight against cocolisap infestation. These environmentalist interfere with the research of agricultural scientist, citing GMOs cause harm to our health when they don’t the have strong scientific evidence to prove their claim. What made things worse is that the Supreme Court decided against the BT Talong research siding with environmentalist claim. I have nothing against environmentalist, but why would they blocked the research that would benefit all of us in the long term… Read more »
marius
Guest

Why do you need GMOs Poil? Especially if you have no OFW $$$ to buy them with?

Develop your own landrace crops. Use modern techniques that don’t create pest epidemics. Stop giving away your money to foreign corporations for technology you don’t understand.

880Toro007hyden99999.99
Guest
880Toro007hyden99999.99
It is only in getting us out of Feudalism, and to industrialization, that our reliance on being OFWs can be removed. There is no other way. Aquino and the rest of the Oligarchy class, do not want this to happen. They want the Filipinos, to be OFWs; earn money in foreign countries, and remit the OFW money to the Philippines. The OFW money make the Oligarchy class very rich thru: consumer buying the imported products; consumers living on imported/smuggled rice from Thailand or Vietnam. OFW money buying imported food and basic necessities. The Aquinos’ strengthened the Oligarchy’s stranglehold on the… Read more »
Vagoneto Rieles
Guest
It isn’t that Aquino, his alter-egos, his subalterns and his assorted other flunkies like to perpetually nail the OFWs to their overseas jobs.. separated from their families. It is that way simply. because he and his entourage of hangers-on do not have the foggiest on how to plan, develop and start an alternative to raising and stabilizing dollar reserves.. nor do they have any solution to the unemployment problem. For as long as these leaders remain clueless, so long will our OFW’s be consigned to work away from the motherland. Agriculture and agro-industrial processing… food production.. is one practicable first… Read more »
888Hyden007Toro9999.999
Guest
888Hyden007Toro9999.999

The Aquinos have no program to provide jobs, or create jobs in our country. All they did was, to protect the interests of the Feudal Oligarchs. They strengthened the Oligarchy in our country.

The root cause of this is: their ownership of the Hacienda Luisita, that they scammed from the Philippine government.

They shelved the Land Reform program, that would had made us self sufficient in rice. They have no program creating Jobs, other than dumb the Filipinos with their false propaganda, making themselves, Saints and Heroes. See how they worship themselves?

vagoneto rieles
Guest
Hacienda Luisita wasn’t scammed off of the government. This vast sugar estate was purchased from the Spanish-owned ‘Tabacalera’ in 1958 with a loan from the GSIS and the New York Trust Company. It was, as early as 1950, being eyed for purchase by the Lopez family of Iloilo and Negros but then President Magsaysay wouldn’t allow the sale. The ‘Lopezes’ already had several sugar mills and plantations in Iloilo and Negros, as well as the Meralco, Negros Navigation and the Chronicle corporations. Hacienda Luisita’s seeming immunity from land reform, while puzzling, is no different from the immunity of, say, the… Read more »
Deep Throat
Guest
You are overstating the importance of the OFWs. You are forgetting there are people who actualllly work locally who does the same thing as the OFWs and contributes more. The OFWs contribute I can give you that. You cannot change the OFW phenomenon since nations like China who have been growing 10% have more overseas remittances than the Philippines while 1st nations like France still have OFWs. you are overvaluing the contributions of OFWS and insulting the rest of the Filipinos who actually outcompeted the OFWs for the local jobs. Lastly, all of our politicians are part of the oligarchy.… Read more »
Vagoneto Rieles
Guest
The terms ‘oligarch and oligarchy’, as used in this blog-site by many contributors, could in fact be right on target. From ‘Wikipedia’ and ‘Britanica’, we learn that these terms are rooted on the Greek words ‘Oligos’, (meaning ‘few’), and ‘Arkhos’, (meaning ‘rule’). Considering that less than 100 families own and control nearly 80% of the Philippine economy, (that’s how few); and, either directly or indirectly, influence government policy, (that’s how they rule); these terms seem to be appropriately used. The sheer concentration of so much power and influence in so few, is definitely ‘oligarchy’. On the matter of the OFWs… Read more »
888Hyden007Toro999.99
Guest
888Hyden007Toro999.99

@Vagoneto Rieles:

Exactly. Aquino, Mar Roxas, and the Liberal Party are , “snake oil” salesmen and scammers. They scam people to vote for them.

Ted Bundy
Guest
The Philippines has never grown up like western countries through industrialization and responsible economic management. Instead it has been governed by criminals and corrupt officials. Foreign remittances I think power this economy along side the prostitution/tourism industry. That’s mostly all this economy is really being powered from and if you remove either one the economy will collapse. It’s too late for the Philippines to produce anything for export or even for it’s own consumption. People are too stupid, lazy, dumbed down, controlled and uneducated. I would suggest the Philippines LEGALIZES prostitution and gets better at it, regulates the industry with… Read more »
Father to Humble Pinoys
Guest
Father to Humble Pinoys
This is catastrophically bad thinking. Filipinos work overseas in economies that are not strangled by the stupidity and corruption of their governments. Cutting off this means of training, work experience, and income before you fix the stupidity and corruption in the Philippines will impoverish the people even more than they are now. It is backwards thinking and mirrors the misguided antagonism towards foreign investment. Singapore welcomes foreign investment and gets out of their way. Philippines nearly bans it with the 60/40 rule and asinine regulations, permits, bureaucracy, and corruption. So workers have to go overseas. Where foreign investment is allowed… Read more »
Isopropyl
Guest

In order to make domestic food production match consumption… ban eating. To match electricity production to demand… ban electric appliances and light bulbs.

lol at banning eating…i doubt the majority of those people that comment on these sites are actually willing to get their hands dirty in agriculture..

ban electric appliances? lol…basically sending us back to the stone age..i doubt many people would last a day without it..

Father to Humble Pinoys
Guest
Father to Humble Pinoys
What is the reason for prohibiting more than 40% foreign investment in any company in the Philippines? Bigotry, envy, and stupid greed. Bigotry against and envy of foreigners makes this law a natural for Philippines. Stupid greed is behind dummy companies being set up simply to extort payment for doing nothing except being the Filipino company the law requires. So Singapore has enormous amounts of foreign investment and nearly the highest income in the world. There are nearly 90,000 Filipinos working as domestic helpers there, sending money home. That’s what you get for bigotry, envy, and stupid greed: instead of… Read more »
Lyndonius Maximus
Guest

I’m not sure they have parties at school…However as a manager of an BPO company I can say that they will likely always lack an ability to innovate, think abstractly and function well in a team.

On IQ tests, the vast majority of my staff achieved dull results at best.

cebu_loner
Guest

The next presidency can achieve what you demand of them only by making the average IQ of the country 100 or more.

In other words, it can’t (although you may chose to trust the army of the Franz Boases, and believe that possible).

Lyndonius Maximus
Guest

You nailed it on the head, there average IQ here is 84…In all likelihood that will never reach 100 or above.

Just as the Aussie Aboriginal with an average IQ of 63, will likely never average to 85 or above.

ChinoF
Member

Too many people saying the consumption-based economy is the only way, and any way out of it is stupid. That seems to be either a lack of open-mindedness to consider other solutions, or a deliberate effort to keep the status quo.