29 February 2024

MANILA — Filipinos would no longer need to seek employment abroad once the economy opens up, according to House Deputy Majority Leader Janette Garin.

The lady solon emphasized that broader opportunities within the country would emerge once the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution are amended.

During the session on Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 7 of the Committee of the Whole on Wednesday (28 Feb 2024), Garin queried one of the resource persons, CoRRECT Movement Principal Co-founder Orion Perez Dumdum, whether economic Charter Change would address the issue of limited opportunities for Filipinos domestically.

“Yes, your honor. This will be answered partially. As a first enabling step, this will be addressed by economic constitutional reform,” Dumdum stated, highlighting that many Filipinos with significant potential opt to work in Singapore, Europe, and America.

Garin also observed that some Filipinos were lured by overseas companies due to the lack of quality jobs in the country, despite being separated from their families.

“Masakit mang sabihin, napakaraming Pilipino ang nasa Vietnam na dati rati dito ay sila ay mga managers and some of them are even company owners pero hindi nila kaya ang malaking kapital, sila ay kinukuha at pina-pirate ng mga dahuyang kompanya at napipilitan silang umalis ng ating bansa para paglingkuran ang bansang hindi nila kinagisnan,” the lawmaker said.

“Ang pamilyang naiiwan nila rito ay napipilitang tiisin ang lungkot lalo na ang mga asawa’t anak dahil walang oportunidad sa Pilipinas,” she added.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), an estimated 1.96 million Filipinos worked abroad from April to September 2022. This marked a 7.6 percent increase from the 1.83 million OFWs in the same period in 2021.

Garin, a doctor and former health secretary, has highlighted that many medical professionals choose to work outside the Philippines due to the lack of opportunities in the medical industry that are on par with those abroad.

“If we open up opportunities, even for research and other fields, wouldn’t our talented scientists, engineers, and professionals return to work in the Philippines?” the lady lawmaker questioned.

“Doesn’t RBH 7 imply that the Philippines will be opened up so that companies can afford higher salaries, leading to a better life for every Filipino family?” Garin concluded.