The number of Filipinos leaving the country to work abroad has increased sharply under the Aquino administration, according to research carried out by OFW rights group Migrante International.
Low wages and continued high unemployment rates are the key reasons why the number of Filipinos leaving the country to work abroad has increased significantly in the last five years, according to the organization.
The number of workers leaving the country every day has risen from 2,500 before President Aquino assumed office in 2009, to 4,018 in 2010, and 6,092 by early 2015, according Department of Labor and Employment data quoted by the group.
Further, it said that data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showed that the Aquino government has breached the two-million mark in OFW deployment processing in 2013, the highest record in the history of Philippine labor export.
Migrante International also said that the number of OFWs deployed far outpaced the jobs generated domestically. According to a Philippine Statistics Authority report, the number of locally employed Filipinos was only 1.02 million in 2014, or an average of 2,805 additional employed in the country daily.
It is relatively easy to pinpoint some of the reasons for the problems with the local job market, and one key issue is certainly the lack of foreign investment in the Philippines. To really resolve this particular issue would mean having to amend the Philippine Constitution, a step no politician seems to have been willing to take until now. In contrast, Vietnam very recently relaxed their rules on foreign ownership and investments, a step that has given an immediate boost to the economy and is predicted to start a bit of a “gold rush” for the country.
Migrante International was founded in 1996 and has become an active defender of the rights and welfare of OFWs by raising public awareness on their plight and providing a critical analysis of the Philippine government’s labor export policy program as the main factor responsible for the commodification of Filipino workers.