SUMMARY: “Labor is just like capital in a free market place. Investors will take their money to where it will get the best return. Workers will take their skill to where it will get the greatest reward… Thus the proposal that government ought to ban or in any way restrict the migration of aviators and aircraft mechanics is simply absurd and ridiculous,” says former Senator Ernesto Herrera. Please read the entire post.
It’s nice to know former senator Ernesto Herrera has taken the cudgels for overseas Filipino workers who are likely to be hit by the proposed travel ban or moratorium on skilled Filipino workers. In the recent employment summit, the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration are contemplating of said measures supposedly in the name of “national interest” and “public welfare.” Senator Herrera calls these proposed policy “ridiculous” stressing that government “cannot effectively prevent Filipino pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers from leaving the country, should they decide to seek greener pastures abroad.”
Could the government restrict or control workers deployment overseas? The government thinks it could. Could the government prevent Henry Sy or Lucio Tan from bringing out their money for some investments in
Would the migration of labor not kill the local companies that need these skills? Of course not.
Take the case of the International Container Terminal Services, Inc (ICTSI), a Filipino global ports management company. ICTSI operates a lot of ports here in the
Dubai World Ports, one of the largest port operators in the world based in the
A thousand ways to retain staff
There are a thousand and one ways to retain staff without resorting to coercive measures. The fear that only journalists will remain in this country if we open the floodgates to overseas jobs is understandable. The latest statistics say the current number mining engineers, geologists, and geodetic engineers would not be enough meet the demand for these skills in the next four years. The Dole blamed low labor supply on few tertiary schools offering said discipline and even fewer students who passed the board examinations. The reason for this trend is that in the last several decades, mining (prior to the Mining Act of 1995) were stagnant for lack of fresh investments. It’s only after the Supreme Court declared the constitutionality of the Mining Act that allows 100 foreign equity ownership (through the financial and technical assistance agreement) when the mining industry has started to hire more skilled professionals. Give it a few more years and soon smart kids will flock into this profession.
Filipino worker as No. 1
Ask Professor Eduardo Morato of the Asian Institute of Management about skilled labor migration and he will tell you that the real problem lies with local capitalists. Citing a recent survey by AIM in tandem with the Switzerland-based
Moral lesson? Local employers and the government should change their mindsets. They should stop looking at the skilled Filipino working class as “surplus” to be employed at the lowest price. They should start looking at the Filipino working class as an asset to the country, people whose skills are appreciated and valued for the good of the country.