POP GOES THE WORLD By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 7 August 2014, Thursday
Anywhere else than here
“Better in Libya than in PH” was the banner headline of another major daily the other day, as it proclaimed that Filipinos would rather risk rape or death in war-churned Libya than return to the Philippines and be unemployed.
The Department of Foreign Affairs says that of around 13,000 Filipinos in Libya, only 1,700 have accepted the government’s offer of repatriation. The rest are said to prefer to stay where they have jobs.
Some Filipinos working in Libya, especially in the healthcare profession, have been offered higher wages just to stay.
That headline spoke volumes about how deeply the average Filipino has been let down by government, not just this administration but also by those in past, because the phenomenon of the diaspora built up over decades, not overnight.
The Philippines is now known all over the world for being a source of cheap but quality labor. It is estimated that of Sept. 2013, Filipino OFWs worldwide number 2.3 million.
DFA has issued numerous warnings to Filipinos in Libya and arranged for their transport back to the Philippines.
Better dead than unfed, is what our kababayan are saying.