UNDER a President Rodrigo Duterte administration, Filipinos should look forward to having decent jobs at home, instead of doing dirty work overseas.
Dirty work is synonymous with blue-collar work—whether at home or abroad—meaning the job requires skills in trade, mostly brawn instead of brain—the direct opposite of white collar or knowledge workers.
Digong Duterte came out swearing—and winning—the presidency of the Republic of the Philippines for the next six years starting from this month after he is sworn into office. He may not be required to attend his proclamation as President-elect, but Rodrigo Duterte must be sworn into office, to swear that he will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill his duties as President of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate himself to the service of the Nation. So help him God.
Of course, President-elect Duterte could change the rules and swearing ceremonies.
Pundits and punsters by now are aware that Digong won mainly because he swore to solve criminality in six months after assuming the presidency, vowing to “kill everybody” who will exploit the ordinary people.
Instead of Filipinos continuing to leave the country for overseas jobs, Duterte would lead the exodus of the Filipinos away from the land of criminality and corruption and into a country hospitable to and supportive of the ordinary folks.
To emphasize he is seriously sincere, Duterte repeatedly emphasized during the campaign: “If I make a promise, I’ll do it.” Corruption and poverty are the twin evils that Digong seeks to kill.
“Hihinto talaga ang korupsyon. It must stop. Binigyan ko nga ang sarili ko, 3 months to 6 months. Kasi kung ako ang magpresidente, isa, dalawang buwan, hindi ko mahinto itong kaputahan sa Pilipinas, hindi talaga ito mahinto kahit bigyan mo ako ng 10 taon,” a Rappler report quoted him.
(Corruption will really stop. It should stop. I’ve given myself only 3 to 6 months. Because if I become the President and I cannot stop all these fuck-ups in the Philippines in one or two months, then I cannot end it even if you give me 10 years.)
Digong promised “food on the table that is available and affordable,” emphasizing a promise to give Filipinos “a comfortable life.”
He had said that if he got elected President he would allot the biggest budget to three sectors: education, agriculture, and health services.
The lack of opportunities and infrastructure in these three sectors are among the main reasons why Filipinos seek overseas employment—to give their children a better future by having a good education (which in turn is equated with a college degree) leading to decent jobs and higher income.
Four years after the Daang Matuwid administration took office, those with the lowest grade completed have jobs, but they toiled mostly in agriculture and service industries. A Duterte government promised solutions in less than a year.
Of the 36 million Filipinos employed nationwide in 2010, close to 70 percent had elementary and secondary education. In both levels, only 50 percent were able to complete the grade or graduate.
Statistics reflect the truth that those who have less in education have less in life with a few exceptions.
For example, becoming a congressman, senator or even a candidate for President does not require a college degree. Once in office, the elected official then has more in life, maybe even political dynasty passed along to generations to come.
To ordinary folks who elected Digong Duterte, the prospects of a better, decent paying job and, subsequently, a comfortable life would come only with education and general sense of well-being, including a healthy existence.
Such an improvement in well-being is a factor from within. With an education and healthy ability to compete in the workplace, a person would then be able to pursue a better life.
As for the other, external factors that would prevent an ordinary Filipino from achieving his or her full potential—such as criminals who make the lives of the common folk miserable, drug pushers, rapists and their protectors, corrupt officials who spend and pocket taxpayers money, businesspeople who monopolize services to the detriment of the consuming public (such as telcos, utility companies), illegal recruiters and their unscrupulous employers, foreign nations meddling in the affairs of the country—President Rody Duterte will take care of them—“kill them” if necessary.
The prospects of a comfortable, peaceful life would be a welcome treat to 80 percent of Filipinos employed as common workers, Filipinos who did not benefit from the economic miracle that President B.S. Aquino III is supposed to be leaving behind as his legacy.
Four years after swearing to serve his “bosses,” majority of Filipinos remain glued to menial jobs, a significant number of whom are “contractuals”—those who are fired and rehired before they meet the statutory period of employment that would require regularization.
Taipan-dominated supermarkets, malls, retail establishments, construction and manufacturing firms are said to be the dominant practitioners of contractualization.
President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, speaking before the third and final PiliPinas Debates, vowed to stop the practice of “endo” or labor contractualization in the country if he got elected as President.
Then-candidate Duterte said “the government is spending a lot of money on short-term courses in Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) so that people can get jobs as electricians and carpenters” but are susceptible to being terminated before the sixth month of employment, sparing the employers from paying regular salaries and the benefits of bonuses, including 13th month pay.
President-elect Duterte also pointed out during the campaign that “endo” or end-of-contract workers cannot even get jobs abroad because they need at least three years of experience to get hired.
Now that he is President, the people who elected him—a lot of them “555” victims—now look to Duterte fulfilling his promise to end “endos,” punish those committing these legal but moral crime, killing them personally if necessary?
There are almost 35 million contractual workers who could be “freed from a ‘555’ labor contract system that is good only for 5 months,” according to a workers’ coalition, Nagkaisa, led by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP).
If it is morally wrong it must be a crime.
If in the long term rich criminals are causing the hardship and poverty of ordinary Filipinos, should the latter not feel toward the former the same wrath and fury unleashed upon petty drug pushers, thieves, and low-life criminals that Duterte claimed he has killed in Davao?
Criminals nationwide should now be shaking in fear. And because President-elect Duterte vows to chase them wherever they are in the Philippines, most if not all of them should go abroad.
Great. Instead of exporting skilled workers, the Philippines could deploy trained and skilled criminals.
If the countries where criminal fugitives are would complain, President-elect Duterte could just tell them to “shut up.”
Hopefully, the changes that were promised to be coming would end the country’s manpower export program.
With decent paying jobs available at home, Filipino workers need not leave home and be separated from their families. Hopefully too, the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte would be able to generate an equal amount of foreign exchange that remittances from OFWs generate.
Of course, that could also mean the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration may join the departments and bureaus that President Digong Duterte promised to abolish because these government agencies are main sources of corruption.
That should kill the suspicion that Digong is a “Promiser,” not a “Punisher.”