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Home Opinion Op-Ed Columns From the Philippines to the world, with love

From the Philippines to the world, with love



WITHIN a span of four or five generations from now, the Philippines can conquer the world, not with missiles and bullets, but with the loving presence of its caregivers and health care workers. To achieve this long-term goal, the government must take basic steps now.

By 2050, it is possible that a hectare of land can produce a variety of food items in volumes that are enough to feed entire cities. It is also possible that one capsule of a drug would be enough to provide a week of nourishment for one person. It is also possible, by 2100, that medical science will be able to prolong the average life span of human beings to 150 years; that Earth and Mars are connected by commercial flights; or earthlings may have begun to touch base with other creatures outside of the solar system.

Rapid advances in information and communications technology can pave the way for nations without political and territorial boundaries. Imagine, according to the Illuminati, John Lennon et al., when “the world will live as one.” All spheres of human life are bound to undergo mind-boggling changes, except in two things: desires of the heart and aging.

The desires of the human heart will continue to be as rebellious the way it was during the figurative days of Adam and Eve. Humans will continue to defy their creator, asserting that they have the power, knowledge, resources and money by which to control the world and everything that squats in it — from altering physical appearances to the killing of living creatures and the defiling of the environment.

Money will continue to drive human desires, the worship of which will have few rivals. At any rate, anything that compels attention — from state killings to gender issues — will have the same age-old theme: undermining divine authority by showing how we can do things on our own.

The rise of homosexuality is subtly fulfilling, for it mocks God and attributes to him veritable defects in his creation. Nuclear wars and the irreversible destruction of the environment brought about by global warming and climate change may lead to the end of the world, but the one sure thing that can hasten the close of the age — breaking the interconnectivity of the human soul — is homosexuality.

Then there is aging. For the promise of profit, science can be exploited to damp down its process and make human beings live longer. Except for a boost in longevity, however, aging and death will continue to be dreaded facts of life.

The world’s most affluent countries face uneasy forecasts of demographic weather due to their aging populations and falling birth rates. Poor to middle-income countries with healthy birth rates, like the Philippines, can map their future with an eye for invasion by their geriatric caregivers.

A 2018 study by Persistence Market Research projects that the global aged care services market will hit the $2-trillion mark by 2026. It also estimates that the geriatric population (aged 65 and older) will hit 2 billion by that same period. Japan (27 percent of total population), Italy (23 percent), Portugal (22 percent), Germany (21 percent) and Finland (21 percent) lead all countries with the highest elderly population; in the United States, 19 percent of the projected total population (or 65 million of 345 million) will be 65 years or older by 2025, according to populationpyramid.net.

Governments of well-off countries like the US, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, provide vouchers for qualified beneficiaries of aged-care services. These vouchers are used to pay for services made available by private institutions, who get paid by government upon submission of used vouchers.

Traditional values of respect for elders and close family ties give Filipino caregivers a distinct “competitive advantage” over other exporters of contract workers in this niche; the Filipino caregivers and health workers are widely accepted and preferred worldwide by foreign clients who are under treatment, according to a 2017 joint study by Japan’s Rissho University and Hosei University.

The Philippine government can exploit this niche by developing and implementing a coordinated set of strategies. Components may include incentives for schools, universities or other learning and training institutions that support programs for caregiving and health care professionals. The Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) should take a proactive and a more aggressive entrepreneurial role by building institutional facilities for aged care services, which includes, aside from infrastructure inputs, staffing and human resource development.

Since a large portion of the market is found in well-off countries such as Japan, the US as well as those in Europe, the PRA may solicit proponents through the public-private partnership program who shall build these facilities in all cities where investments of this kind are allowed. These facilities shall be able to provide a complete range of day care services, including care for common geriatric ailments like dementia and arthritis as well as capacity to send professionals for home service. A variety of contractual arrangements can be explored, such as build-and-transfer, build-lease-and-transfer, build-operate-and-transfer, or build-own-and-operate, and pick whatever is feasible.

The next step of the strategy is for the government to be able to send families — not individuals — to these embedded aged-care hubs in batches. Like spies sent on a mission, these families will be expected to blend with local communities, and be weaned from their mother institutions within a span of five to 10 years. Another wave of caregivers and health professionals can then be deployed to these centers as soon as mission spots become vacant.

Four or five generations will be enough to populate the world with seeds spawned from waves upon waves of caregivers and health workers sent by the government to foreign shores. When total conquest is done, the Filipino race of tomorrow will be able to tame countries that rule today by military might, not by threat of destruction, but by the power of caring and love.

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Today’s Front Page January 27, 2020

Today’s Front Page January 27, 2020