Rise in unemployment will push PH to intensify labor export, says group

Global alliance of overseas Filipinos and families Migrante International today said that the rise in local unemployment will push the Philippine government to further intensify and implement a more aggressive labor export policy.

According to the 2011 Social Weather Survey, unemployment rose to 24 percent, or an estimated 9.7 million, signifying an additional 1.5 million jobless Filipinos by the fourth quarter of 2011.

“This figure is still expected to rise as graduation season sets in and more new graduates will be joining the work force,” said Garry Martinez, Migrate International chairperson.

There are already some 12 million overseas Filipino workers around the world. An estimated 4,500 OFWs leave daily to work abroad.

“For as long as no domestic jobs are available, the government’s main recourse is to once again seek markets abroad despite the ongoing global economic crisis that continues to displace thousands of OFWs or place them in imminent danger or war. It’s a never-ending vicious cycle that will only end if fundamental reforms are in place,” Martinez said.

The migrant leader also criticized the government’s so-called reintegration program characterized by loan packages that do nothing to address unemployment and job generation.

“Nothing short of the reversal of the present system will put an end to forced migration. Past and present experiences have revealed the bankruptcy of the labor export policy. What we need to address unemployment is genuine land reform and national industrialization so that Filipinos do not have to leave their families and homeland at great risks and difficulties abroad,” Martinez said.###