Vice President Jejomar Binay said remittances by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) should contribute to mitigating the social costs of migration as well as to the country’s development and “help build a higher quality of life for the workers.”
“This means that instead of using this money to build shopping malls and import luxury consumer items, it should be invested to upgrade the quality of education, technology and health care. This will ensure that the next generation or the next wave of migrant workers will be better schooled than the last one,” the Vice President noted in his lecture on migration and development at the International Institute of Social Studies (IISS) at The Hague.
“True human development should be the objective of every migrant worker. What they earn should enable them to live truly human lives and to help their fellowmen and their respective communities live the same lives as well,” Binay added.
The Vice President also said migrant-receiving countries, rather than the migrant worker, benefit more from migration.
He pointed out that the concept of the single jobs-market emerged from the global economic turbulence that started in 2008.
“Changes in technology, compounded by the outsourcing of jobs to the emerging markets like China, because of comparative advantage, have led to reduced demands for labor in certain sectors, and increased demands for labor in other sectors,” he said. “Because of these changes, a skilled worker in one sector today becomes an unskilled worker in another sector the next day, simply because the previous sector has disappeared.”
Migrant labor, Binay said, then comes in to address the gap created by the lack of skills and interest on the part of the local labor force.