Overseas foreign employment – Filipinos' pwede-na-yan solution to poverty

I read recently that our honourable presidential candidates are now scrambling to pander to the so-called “heroes” of the flaccid Philippine economy — our overseas foreign workers (OFWs). Various quaint ideas are being thrown around — a provident fund for OFWs, free repatriation services for OFWs in legal binds overseas, and some nebulously-worded measures to ensure “deployment” of OFWs are subject to minimum wage criteria. Sounds good on campaign slogans, don’t they? Trouble is, like many initiatives and “solutions” formulated and approached in that characteristically myopic way that Filipinos do, the usual systemic issues that give rise to OFW-ism to begin with are not addressed.

These systemic issues can be appreciated by considering this simple question:

[The following text was originally-published as “The folly of economic dependence on foreign employment” on GetRealPhilippines.com, 31 January 2003]

Which does more damage to a child during his/her formative years, the lack of cash or the non-presence of one or even both parents because he/she or they are working overseas?

Every example of the humblest of Filipinos being able to extricate themselves from poverty by sheer hard work and discipline within our islands highlights the folly and destructiveness of our easy-way-out approach to national development by lionising OFWs as “heroes”. Let’s not forget that the ancestors of most Filipino Chinese were third class citizens when they first came yet managed to make a life for themselves in the same dysfunctional environment.

Sure. Going off to a foreign land to earn cash to provide for one’s family back home is what any “responsible parent” would do.

Or is it?

Where and when exactly does “responsible parenting” start? Does it start when one already has four kids to feed, clothe, and educate? Or does it start when one first considers having them? It seems Filipinos have forgotten or choose to ignore the latter aspect of being a “responsible parent”.

Having children, then suddenly finding ourselves unable to provide for them is irresponsible. Seeking foreign employment at the expense of sound parenting and labeling it as heroism white-washes this collective irresponsibility and further adds to the counts of this irresponsibility.

It is irresponsible for one to produce offspring without considering one’s long-term ability to provide for them materially as well as emotionally and spiritually. Foreign employment and abortion are sometimes the results of this lack of planning. Leaving one’s young children to seek employment overseas is different from abortion in only one aspect: with abortion, the social problem ends right there and then; with foreign employment involving young children, the problems just begin. OFWs who “sacrifice” family life and the people who lionise them as “heroes” forget that these absentee-parents are turning loose unto an already dysfunctional society a whole generation of absentee-parented youth. Their “sacrifice” is our society’s sacrifice as well in terms of the burden of absorbing this absentee-parented generation. The absentee-parented generation will be no improvement over a generation that already failed dismally at collectively building a strong state.

Foreign employment should therefore be treated as the temporary solution that it is and should not be institutionalised as a key economic activity. Our dependence on foreign employment should be put in its proper perspective in the context of the following principles:

(1) Parents are responsible for the physical, intellectual, and emotional health of their children. This responsibility can be fully fulfilled only by said parents’ being present during their children’s formative years.

(2) Every child not raised optimally presents itself as a cost to society in varying degrees (depending on the extent of its parent/s shortfall in fulfilling their parental responsibilities). The cost may range from, say, wasted public education funds all the way to law enforcement costs resulting from the criminal activities of the truly damaged ones.

(3) OFWs with young children living in the Philippines are not present during their children’s formative years and are less likely to fulfill their responsibilities as parents beyond provision of material needs.

(4) Responsible parenting begins with ensuring one’s capability to assume full long-term responsibility for raising children hands-on before one actually has them.

(5) Parents of young children seeking employment overseas can be considered to be remiss in their parental responsibilities, particularly in the aspect described in Item 4.

Therefore, revisiting the opening statement of this article our society therefore needs to evaluate the situation of dependence on foreign employment that it is in by considering these questions:

(a) Is the cost to society of less-than-optimal parenting compensated by the financial rewards of foreign employment?

(b) Are the financial fruits of foreign employment channeled to sustainable domestic enterprise to fund the long-term social costs of said foreign employment? (Or are these financial fruits sucked in by consumerism that does not contribute to the expansion of the capital base of the domestic economy?)

(c) Does the social cost of absentee-parentism include a resulting collective character in the new generation of Filipinos that is not an improvement on the collective character of our generation and is therefore not compatible with the long-term goals of our efforts to build a strong state?

The nineties had demonstrated that Filipinos are good at attracting wealth but poor at employing it productively much less retaining it domestically. The wealth generated by foreign employment is not immune to this reality about us. Irresponsible export of labour has more far-reaching consequences than the go-go speculative inflows of capital in the 90’s the drying up of which impacted mainly the middle and upper classes of Philippine society. The fruits of foreign employment are just as fleeting as 1990’s speculative capital inflow but its social costs to all Filipinos are long-term.

==========
More excellent references on the real deal as far as the issue of OFWs go:

Filipino lack of substance
Cites the case of OFW Angelo de la Cruz who after being kidnapped by terrorists in Iraq was ransomed by the Philippine Government, in the process undermining the internationally-respected doctrine of non-negotiation with terrorists.

The unoccupied colony
A general treatise on the perverse way Filipinos latch on to OFW-ism as the greatest thing in Pinoy society since sliced bread.

Philippine human capital
Provides some insight into the reality of the utter lack of ability of Philippine society to harvest optimum value from its most abundant resource — warm human bodies.

Substance matters in an economic crisis
Delivers biting reality checks on the risk to total economic catastrophe that our dependence on foreign employment exposes our sad society.

The wasted collective intellect of Philippine society
Takes stock of how much knowledge gained by OFWs as a result of their exposure to progressive foreign societies is applied back in the motherland. Score so far: ZILCH.

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About benign0

benign0 is the Web master of GetRealPhilippines.com
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55 Responses to Overseas foreign employment – Filipinos' pwede-na-yan solution to poverty

  1. ChinoF says:

    Damn, man, I wonder if our politicians have given up on creating a country whose citizens no longer need to seek employment abroad. OFWs are a result and a symptom of both our flawed culture and flawed political system. Just saying that they’ll increase support for OFWs is one step too late by now, since a lot of OFWs have suffered much already. It also seems to be the sign of one thing: the politicians probably even want OFWs to keep leaving the country. Keep going, get out of here, find greener pastures as you want… but send us money. Wow, that’s probably one of the greatest selfishness acts human history has ever known. They really don’t care about our citizens.

  2. The emergence of millions of OFWs is seen as something that contributes much to our GNP. Therefore, they believe that if we have a positive GNP growth, it would suffice the fact that we are improving without actually taking in consideration that the best measurement for development is the Human Development Index.

  3. UP n grad says:

    Overseas Employment is okay because it the phenomenon provides a variety of opportunities and adventure. Australian college graduates and Americans, too, go overseas “to find themselves”. Evidence — Americans as peace corps or Australians going to Hongkong or Mainland China, Thailand and other countries to teach English or to gain the international experience when they then proceed to pursue jobs in their foreign service, school teachers and regular corporate work.

    The problem happens with scale. Thirty-five thousand or even three-hundred fifty thousand Filipinos a year going overseas, no problem. What is happening with Pilipinas, however, is a different story.

  4. benign0 says:

    OFW-ism is just another flavour of our world-renowned Jeepney Syndrome. The Jeepney Syndrome is a component of Da Pinoy Condition where something that is initially put in as a stop-gap solution eventually becomes a permanent solution.

    Pinoy society is built almost ENTIRELY around solutions consistent with the Jeepney Syndrome. The jeepney, for example started as a temporary solution to the lack of public transport shortly after WW2. It then went on to become a cultural icon and the primary backbone of the Philippines’ mass transit system to this day.

    Edsa “revolutions” are another case of our renowned Jeepney Syndrome. They served a purpose, then our moronic politicians, “activists”, and other hare-brained thought leaders came up with the bright idea to institutionalise it as the preferred means of changing presidents. Classy, huh.

    And so here we have OFWs. This condition started, like jeepneys and Edsa “revolutions”, as a short-term measure to alleviate unemployment. Today, unfortunately, they have become the preferred aspiration of the employment-challenged among us.

    Pinoy nga naman talaga.
    Paatras ang asenso
    .

    The real tragedy here is that OFW $$’s go mainly into funding purchases of consumer non-durables (karaoke machines, trendy celphones, barrio fiestas, etc) rather than be used to acquire capital goods (although, to be fair, many OFW families “invest” their $$ savings on jeepneys and tricycles). Some of the earnings go into never-to-be-seen-again property investments.

    Without any of the fruits of OFW-ism contributing to the expansion of the Philippine economy’s capital base, we are pretty much setting up our society for a spiraling addiction to an OFW-propped economy. 😀

    • Parallax says:

      it has just occurred to me: the oligarchy can only be too happy about the spending habits of the pinoys in the philippines enjoying the remittances from their loved ones abroad.

      it makes a lot of sense why oligarchy (media included) wants to keep pinoys “happy” and proud and dumb. they would not want to change a thing. the newest generation of kids fed by ofw-earned money ensures great money to be made by the local oligarchy. every next generation on pinoys seems more aggressive at consumption than the last, but disproportionately less capable of building wealth. so this will keep repeating because da pinoy never learns.

      • ChinoF says:

        No wonder someone said that OFWs should invest more in the Philippines. But since most big businesses here are under the oligarchs, then all this investment will fatten oligarchal coffers…. while the OFW families remain in square one. Then the pattern will be, choose your favorite oligarch whose coffer you’ll fatten, and lick boot. Never a change from the 1500s.

  5. ChinoF says:

    You know, one myth I think abounds about OFWs is that since the Filipino workers are being paid by employers abroad, they are thought to be taking some foreign money and bringing it here. It’s somewhat like pillaging foreign countries. However, it’s a myth because the money actually goes back to those countries; not just through consumer goods, but through the taxes and the daily expenses of the workers themselves in those countries. Even when they come back and spend here, there are some supplies and equipment that are only foreign-supplied. Even if the supplies run through Philippine distributors and retailers, the money still goes back to the countries. Investing in the country’s resources, as a certain blogger wanted, has the risk of being at the mercy of the oligarchic monopolies, and thus returns would be poor, or even nil. Our own businesses are not big enough to be worth investing in. We have farmland for example that is being hogged in haciendas. Thus, the idea that OFWs are transferring foreign money to us is quashed. Thus, many OFWs are not a good setup. The best setup would be to have foreign clients, but you are based here.

    I believe Philippine-based teleworkers or telecommuters through the Internet is one solution to the OFW issue. Instead of sending the workers there, bring the jobs here.

    • UP n grad says:

      you mean more call-centers. Or rather, in addition to call centers, also bring
      architecture design work in addition to data-entry/keyboard transcription.

      Pilipinas can bring in more light-manufacturing (like those car-headlights manufacturing
      in Cavite or even computer-chip manufacturing/assembly) if Pilipinas were to provide
      a big electrical energy percent-discount to businesses and factories similar to what India,
      China, Indonesia and Singapore do. Australia and USA does it, too. Their logic is that
      the discounts given is gotten back on the taxes paid by by workers at those factories,
      and that employment of its citizens is a key ingredient to national welfare.

      • sarcasmgasm says:

        kindof a pity that much of power supply to meet the demands of the industry. I still ponder why people are so afraid of nuclear power when they in fact also double as a water treatment facility. Even people who live in nuclear subs drink reactor water

      • waitwat says:

        The Bataan Nuclear Power plant is has really outdated technology now. It may result failure and catastrophe. It a hell of a huge cost to get a new one now.

      • ChinoF says:

        Yeah, archi CAD here, exactly, less on call centers for me. I also mean writing jobs, like what I do, along with translation, encoding, web page design, programming… you know the gamut. I was hoping for more government support for these kinds of workers. The late Raul Roco said he was aware of this and pushed for supporting this arrangement instead of sending people abroad, so he got my vote for it.

        Manufacturing in the Phils, hell yeah! I miss Fujitsu hard drives made here, they were durable. That’s why I agree with reduction of protectionism and allowing more big companies to set up shop and factories here… no need to send workers abroad and separate them from their families.

    • Dr. José Rizal II says:

      Bring the jobs here… That’s exactly what needs to be done.

      Unfortunately there still are too many “hare-brained” anti-pinoys out there who still think that Foreign Investors are evil.

      Back in the days of FVR when he was busy trying to get more foreign investment, you had all these student activist wannabes all talking about the evils of multinational corporations and the neocolonialism involved in foreign investment. You hear less of it now, but still, it’s still around.

      Worse, you find that this realization of Pinoys that we need foreign investment is a little too late. It would have been better had Pinoys realized how important this was back in the 1990’s, so that we’d have really gotten this totally jumpstarted long ago. Less resistance, less opposition, greater success.

      Now that Pinoys realize we need foreign investments, so many other countries that are CHEAPER than us also realize it.

      We really blew our chances back then because the 1990’s was actually “late” already, but we might have still had a real head-start if we all agreed we needed it. Now Vietnam, Cambodia, and so many others are all scrambling to try to attract it to their shores and they’re still cheap enough to get attention. We’re considered expensive, and not to mention, our population has already grown so much!

      Imagine if we had actually decided that we needed to adopt a foreign-investment centric economic policy like Singapore did (theirs started in the 60’s!) back in the 90’s, those families who might have benefited from the new jobs would probably not have had to send one or two parents abroad and those kids would have grown up in a good family environment. Also, prosperity is sometimes said to be the best population control program. Create a society that is prosperous, and people will decide to have less children as they realize that they can enjoy life more with the money they have.

      Alas, it’s happening a little too late. The only real way to get back on track is for Filipinos to be very disciplined and focused.

  6. J.B. says:

    This issue is anachronistic. Only a handful of countries do not allow immediate family of the main worker included to work overseas.

  7. benign0 says:

    @ Chino/Parallax

    Indeed! OFW $$’s are a bonanza to businesses (local and foreign) that set up shop in the Philippines. This is specially true for foreign business. MNC’s get cheap-ass labour at their country headquarters in the First World and those labourers do them a double-whammy favour by remitting their dough back to their home country where the local subsidiaries of those same MNC’s then persuade the recipients of said dough to buy their “trendy” products (with a big chunk of those proceed then being remitted back to the First World head office).

    Everybody is laughing all the way to the bank — everybody except Pinoy schmoes, that is. 😀

    Every product and service in the Philippines that screams “buy me!” is ultimately foreign in origin. As such the Philippines is just one big money laundering operation, with OFW cash flowing straight through without leaving much of a base of fixed assets to show for (other than a bunch of SMS-crazy, latte-sipping wannabes sporting ill-fitting Tommy Hilfiger knockoffs).

    • ChinoF says:

      What disturbs me is that, despite knowledge that people’s money ultimately goes to MNC’s and oligarchs… especially the latter here… some people don’t think it’s a problem. They even say, “put your hope in the oligarchs!” Probably a cop-out to the sentiment that “it’s no use.” The oligarchs rule, so don’t try to change the system. That’s how it will be… forever. Despite the knowledge that oligarchs contribute heavily to economic inequality in the country, the people prefer not to change it. Of course, the oligarchs do it with their coercive practices. Just look at the killings in Hacienda Luisita. But still, as F. Sionil Jose said, a good solution for country’s problems is to reduce or take down the oligarchs’ influence.

  8. justice league says:

    Benigno,

    I can’t help but remember the time in MLQ3’s blog when you admitted that you were indeed already full of it before we discussed things in Manolo’s blog.

    And you proved it again with an original article having a date of January 2003.

    Yup. You were full of it then as you are still full of it now!

    The deployment of our land based OFW must someday end. But until that time, any extended help to ease their plight that can be afforded must be given.

    But there is a global maritime necessity and with it a global maritime industry. And it requires warm bodies to staff.

    Service in the global maritime industry entails sacrifice and dangers not experienced by others. The treachery of the sea, the cold, the loneliness, the separation from one’s loved ones, ….

    Millions bear that sacrifice around the world. More than 300 thousand of that come from the Philippines .

    But does that sacrifice include the denial of the joy of having a family of their own?

    When will you have them to start a family; when they are already retired?

    They answer a call for a global need. Fulfilling it requires hardships.

    Their sacrifice is hard enough yet you would spit in their face and call them irresponsible.

    You obviously don’t respect them for the vocation they chose, the need they satisfy, and the burden they chose to bear.

    But they do not deserve your insults!

    So swallow back your spit!

    Btw, don’t bother trying to spin anything about Filipino international seafarers willing to work for less. I still remember that Australian plumber that only got a “thank you” from you. ( FV article “Electing someone to public office is like hiring a plumber”)

    • ChinoF says:

      I wonder what the blazes makes you think (if you are thinking) that Benigs is insulting OFWs, when if fact he is showing how marginalized they are? And he’s also saying that the “joys” that the family spend on are actually consumerist methods to fatten up the big business’s coffers, and so the OFWs are in fact the cash cows of the oligarchs. What’s your beef against someone who is stating facts as they are and connecting them to show how the real problem is?

      OFWs are obviously the symptoms of a bigger problem.

      Having children, then suddenly finding ourselves unable to provide for them is irresponsible

      Did he say ALL OFWS are irresponsible and like this? My my, you do force your own interpretation into these words. But certainly there are irresponsible OFWs… like those who flirt with others even when they already have a family in the Philippines.

      What about you… don’t you believe that a truly prosperous and successful country is one that people should not leave for greener pastures? Wanna keep things as they are? 😉

    • Filo says:

      Classic justice league.

      Overreact first. Understand later, if at all.

      Don’t mind him, ChinoF.

  9. Bertrand says:

    There’s this interesting Youtube video recently from an American sports fan, a Caucasian, which appealed to Filipino Pacquiao fans to stop with the racist comments. Check out this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTPNhqDaGM0

    This has got to stop before it gets out of hand…before it becomes an international embarrassment…as if we’re not an embarrassment already.

    • Persona Non Grata says:

      According to Filipinos they are not racist. According to Filipinos they are racist because others are. According to Filipinos since they are racist, therefore, they are.

      Most of this Filipinos are in America. They are employed because of affirmative action. When they are employed because of affirmative action they employ their own brothers and sisters forgetting affirmative action.

      Filipinos are easy to educate but difficult to learn.

      Bertrand, I guess the poster of youtube been talking to Renato Pacifico. Renato is viral. He is not only blogging on Filipino sites. He’s taking it a notch further. Exposing Filipinos to non-Filipino communities.

      Renato Pacifico has to be taken down whle there is still a shred of false pride left on Filipinos

  10. justice league says:

    Chino F,

    What about you… don’t you believe that a truly prosperous and successful country is one that people should not leave for greener pastures? Wanna keep things as they are?

    Well as far as land based OFWs, I did say this “The deployment of our land based OFW must someday end. But until that time, any extended help to ease their plight that can be afforded must be given.” Did you miss that part?

    What’s your beef against someone who is stating facts as they are and connecting them to show how the real problem is?

    I’ve seen Benigno employ a “Filipino is damned if he does this and damned if he does the opposite”.

    I wrote a post in FV regarding that. I can paste the entire post here if you want.

    I wonder what the blazes makes you think (if you are thinking) …

    Yes I do think. And wonder no more as that thinking is based on the principles that Benigno himself stated.

    Did he say ALL OFWS are irresponsible and like this?

    Even if the Philippines was a maritime power with regards to sea vessels; like say the Philippines owned 2,000 ocean vessels like cargo ships, tankers, ….; Filipino seafarers serving on such ships will still work away from the Philippines just like there are American seafarers serving on board about 223 (2003 data) American ocean going vessels who work away from the USA (unless their point of destination is the USA which however also doesn’t mean that they go home to their families when they dock).

    Benigno said the following:

    (4) Responsible parenting begins with ensuring one’s capability to assume full long-term responsibility for raising children ,b> HANDS-ON before one actually has them.

    5) Parents of young children seeking employment overseas can be considered to be REMISS in their parental responsibilities, particularly in the aspect described in Item 4.

    Seafarers serve anywhere from 6 months on board duty – 2 month vacation- then another 6 months on board duty on one contract to having an entire 9-10 month on board duty on ocean going vessels and have a 2-3 month vacation and then depart for another 9-10 month contract.

    Seafarers CANNOT ensure that they can raise their children hands-on for a sizable amount of time because they have to practice their vocation to earn a living. A vocation that can take them a world away from their family. Filipino seafarers do it. American seafarers do it,. Japanese seafarers do it. …. Even if a Filipino seafarer elects for a 6 month vacation; a 9-10 month on-board duty will still be longer than their stay in the Philippines.

    And according to Benigno, such parents can be considered remiss in their parental responsibilities.

    So what does that make our seafarers in Benigno’s eyes?

    So I ask again, when will Benigno have them to start a family; when they are already retired?

    Go ahead. Make your own interpretation based on Benigno’s principles and say whether our seafarers are to be deemed responsible parents or irresponsible parents according to Benigno. Its now your turn to prove if you are thinking.

    Filo,

    Overreact first. Understand later, if at all.

    I understand well and fast enough.

    When you and I were still discussing in the FV article “Draft Quezon for Senator”, you stated But when improvement (like, say, in the last 2 decades plus plus) is marginal, minimal, negligible, imaginary, or just far off-target, then the latter part of “because however bad a Filipino government might be, it can always be improved” means just as much.

    And I understood that immediately.

    Have you finally understood what you said?

    Well now is the perfect time to prove to everyone here that you indeed understand what you stated back then.

    So please do answer the following:

    How can you improve something; when as you imply that “it can always be improved” is imaginary?

    There would be no problem if you stated that “it can always be improved” is REAL.

    But you were the one who referred to anything being imaginary, so prove that you understand what you yourself stated.

    Btw, you can also make your own interpretation based on Benigno’s principles and say whether our seafarers are to be deemed responsible parents or irresponsible parents according to Benigno if you want.

    • ChinoF says:

      It appears you’re focused on the seamen. I assume you’re a supporter or member of a seaman’s group. Don’t worry, seamen are in our thoughts here. But remember, there are a lot more kinds of OFWs to be concerned about than just seamen.

      On Benign0’s saying that OFW parents can be remiss when they seek employment… did he say it’s their fault? I don’t think he did. And he said “can”, not “should”, so he doesn’t instantly say that seaman, or any OFW for that matter, ARE remiss at once.

      Yeah, I agree it’s better if the seamen were single, rather than family men. And should seamen be seamen all their lives? Wouldn’t it depend on the contract they choose? They can make choices if you ask me. And also, some OFW seamen may be good family men, while other OFW seamen drop pants with girls in other countries (and spread that other kind of seamen, hehe). That’s the remiss part. I also wonder if some OFW seamen like getting drunk on their watch, like with local seamen. Now that’s really remiss for me. That’s what we’re talking about when we say remiss. 😉

    • Filo says:

      justice league,

      I see you haven’t gotten over being publicly embarrassed at that goofy blog as to how far off the mark you THOUGHT you understood what you read. Give it up because however way you decide to go postal on this, it really doesn’t change ANYTHING.

      You were miles off then, and you’re still miles off NOW.
      And everybody’s moved on EXCEPT YOU.

      Grow up, buddy.

  11. justice league says:

    Chino F,

    I’m a supporter of our seafarers. You might see that support way back when I was in a discussion on FV’s “Philippines under a positive light” and further back elsewhere.

    On Benign0’s saying that OFW parents can be remiss when they seek employment… did he say it’s their fault? I don’t think he did. And he said “can”, not “should”, so he doesn’t instantly say that seaman, or any OFW for that matter, ARE remiss at once.

    I think you will find the answer to that in Benigno’s statement here- “Having children, then suddenly finding ourselves unable to provide for them is irresponsible. Seeking FOREIGN EMPLOYMENT at the expense of sound parenting and labeling it as heroism white-washes this collective irresponsibility and FURTHER ADDS to the counts of THIS IRRESPONSIBILITY.” and “It is irresponsible for one to produce offspring without considering one’s long-term ability to provide for them materially as well as emotionally and spiritually. … “

    Yeah, I agree it’s better if the seamen were single, rather than family men.

    So as far as you are concerned, their sacrifice does require the denial of the joy of having a family of their own (at least till they are no longer practicing their profession).

    And as far as you are concerned, they really should start having a family when they have already retired as seafarers.

    At least we got that out of the way. All we have to do now is wait for Benigno’s answer since we already have yours.

    And should seamen be seamen all their lives?

    Why? Do you think a college graduate immediately becomes a captain of a ship?

    In the deck department, the rank from lowest to highest is as follows- deck boy, Ordinary seaman, Able bodied seaman, bosun, 3rd mate, 2nd mate, chief mate, then Captain. There is also a different department for engineering.

    Do you know that the college course of the deck boy and the Captain of the ship is only one and the same?

    It is called BSMT or Marine Transportation.

    Wouldn’t it depend on the contract they choose? They can make choices if you ask me.

    Do you think they own the ship?

    You think a seafarer can just say that he just wants a 3 month contract instead of a longer one and the ship principal will accomodate him? There may be vacancies for a number of varied reasons like sickness and emergency leaves etc… but the contract depends on the Ship principal. If the manning agency finds you to be “problematic”, they might just show you the door.

    You have to consider that this ships aren’t actually docked here and seafarers almost always travel by plane to join a vessel in its next port of call. Shorter contracts means the principal has to shoulder more plane rides for the ones going home and the ones going on board.

    … while other OFW seamen drop pants with girls …

    I think Benigno decided not go far on those issues.

    • ilda says:

      The solution is so simple if you do the math. Those who can’t afford to buy birth control pills won’t be able to afford raising a child. Or those who cannot think of long term solutions for their employment status will surely be inept in rearing a child. If people have to go overseas to seek employment, they shouldn’t even have more than one or two kids at the most.

      What’s the point in having kids if you can’t afford to feed them or if you are going to be away from them during their formative years? Filipinos just don’t think of the consequences of their actions. This is why Benign0 keeps emphasizing that we have this “bahala na” mentality.

      Couples in first world countries don’t have as many kids as Filipino couples do. Those who live in first world countries don’t have easy access to yayas and maids to help them and they know for a fact that it is hard and expensive to raise kids. In contrast, couples in the Philippines don’t see a problem having a lot of kids (even though it’s expensive to have them) because they constantly rely on extended families to raise their kids for them in their absence.

      Most Filipinos don’t even realise or want to acknowledge that uncles, aunties or grandparents are not going to be as nurturing as the children’s own parents. It’s just not the same. Filipinos need to change this mentality or else the traditional family network will become a thing of the past.

      • Filo says:

        Pinoys should realize that while it may be a norm to get married and have kids under the notion that God will provide a way for all to be well for the growing family (Bahala Na), we’ve actually deprived ourselves the opportunity to raise the living standards for the next generation if we decide to have children on a compromise on whatever aspect in raising them (Pwede Na Yan) because after all, that’s the way it is for everybody else doing it so why not (Impunity)? It’s The Filipino Cultural Trinity once again. Is there no escaping this trinity?

        Apparently, what’s “best” for the parents seems to outweigh what’s best for the kids, if the decision is made on a compromise.

    • benign0 says:

      Basically that’s is what this sign at a public health center in Malawi is saying:

      Full context of the above photo can be found here.

      Hey, Mr justice league, stidi ka lang dyan. Baka atakihin ka sa puso sa sobrang gigil mo sa akin, chong.

      😀

    • ChinoF says:

      Guess that’s Benign0’s point… the seamen had better not create family burdens that will sooner or later force them to be separated from their families for month or years looking for money to support them. This applies to all OFWs too.

      On “should seamen be seamen all their lives?” I meant quitting the sea and getting another job. Not the rank of seaman.

      Good luck anyway on your seaman support initiatives.

    • BenK says:

      No, Mr. Justice League, I’m sorry, but I have to call b.s. on this one. If you choose a career that does not afford you the opportunity to be a proper parent, then don’t have kids. Or find something else to do. There is an entire generation of latchkey kids growing up in the States because they have mothers (or fathers) who will LOUDLY DEFEND their RIGHT to “have kids AND a career”. It’s not a human failure that’s necessarily unique to the Philippines, and it all boils down to people having an attitude problem, one way or another.

      Children need financial and material support, and they need nurturing and care FROM THEIR PARENTS. If any person of breeding age cannot provide those things, then keep it zipped, cover it up, take a pill, or get it tied off. Any person who doesn’t and has kids he/she can’t raise properly is an irresponsible lout. Any organization that TELLS PEOPLE TO DO IT, and actively tries to stop those who don’t want to do it from being responsible is evil.

  12. Persona Non Grata says:

    It is not a matter of affording family planning services it is a matter of self-control also eliminating taboo. Anal is still taboo. Coming on the mouth and face is considered dirty. Mutual masturbation is also a no!-no!.

    Filipinos needed to be weaned from religious control over human sexuality.

  13. justice league says:

    Ilda,

    If people have to go overseas to seek employment, they shouldn’t even have more than one or two kids at the most.

    Well at least you allowed a 2 child maximum.

    … or if you are going to be away from them during their formative years?

    That’s about the first 5-6 years of a child. Maybe you should ask that to our soldiers. I don’t think they get to stay fulltime with their family for that long a time.

    Benigno,

    Hey, Mr justice league, stidi ka lang dyan. Baka atakihin ka sa puso sa sobrang gigil mo sa akin, chong.

    Obviously the words of someone who has nothing substantial to say.

    Chino F,

    Guess that’s Benign0’s point… the seamen had better not create family burdens that will sooner or later force them to be separated from their families for month or years looking for money to support them. This applies to all OFWs too. … I meant quitting the sea and getting another job. Not the rank of seaman.

    You don’t seem to get it yet.

    It is the seafarer’s profession. Whether there is this so called “created family burdens” or not; it is their profession to board ships and depart on them.

    They even took a college course for this.

    Good luck anyway on your seaman support initiatives.

    Thanks.

    Ben K,

    Children need financial and material support, and they need nurturing and care FROM THEIR PARENTS. If any person of breeding age cannot provide those things, then keep it zipped, cover it up, take a pill, or get it tied off. Any person who doesn’t and has kids he/she can’t raise properly is an irresponsible lout.

    Hey, if you’re trying to tell us that every American soldier/sailor who happens to be a parent is an “irresponsible lout”; very well. I won’t even require proof from you. I’ll take your word for that right now.

    Have you written an article about what you think of the American soldier/sailor parent on this issue and published it on an American blog?

    Filo,

    I see you haven’t gotten over being publicly embarrassed at that goofy blog as to how far off the mark you THOUGHT you understood what you read. Give it up because however way you decide to go postal on this, it really doesn’t change ANYTHING.

    The embarrassment was on you.

    You’re the one who couldn’t explain what you stated.

    You imply that it is imaginary to improve something, then when I called your attention, you tried to turn things around and blame it on me.

    You were miles off then, and you’re still miles off NOW.
    And everybody’s moved on EXCEPT YOU.

    And still trying to turn the blame.

    Grow up, buddy.

    You should follow your own advice.

    • Filo says:

      I know that the involuntary compulsion to ineffectively nitpick all the way to hell is just too great for you mister league despite the full knowledge of how you’ve already humiliated yourself in all your voluminous glory.

      So I’ll make this short:

      Grow up, buddy.
      Reality doesn’t change because you say so.
      Get over it.

      • Filo says:

        By the way, psychologically getting past puberty might be quite a perpetual challenge for you, but please mister league, stay on-topic. This thread is not a place for your personal hang-ups.

    • BongV says:

      jl:

      Hey, if you’re trying to tell us that every American soldier/sailor who happens to be a parent is an “irresponsible lout”; very well. I won’t even require proof from you. I’ll take your word for that right now.

      not really – depends on the specific soldier/sailor. the american soldiers/sailors have programs to keep families together – regular webcams, calls, letters, support groups. it’s not benK’s word you are taking – it’s your interpretation of what BenK is saying – that you are taking.

    • BenK says:

      Yes, as a matter of fact, Mr. Justice League, every soldier who chooses that career ought to set aside any thoughts of having children until that career is over. PARTICULARLY since the entire US military is a VOLUNTEER force.

      If I had meant to qualify my statement with exceptions for certain job descriptions, I would have done so in the first place.

      If that means I have an extremely conservative attitude, so be it. I learned the hard way, and it’s a heartbreaker. And I’ve known military people in every branch of the service, and I can’t think of a single one who hasn’t had some sort of major, long-term problem with their kids and families on account of not being there. There are people like that in my own (extended) family.

      Sorry, pal. Last I heard, no one’s impressing guys on the docks to be seamen like the 18th century any more. Someone chooses a job like that these days, and if they do, then don’t have children. If they’ve already had the children without figuring out first how to take care of them, then don’t compound the problem by not being there for them.

  14. Persona Non Grata says:

    Culturally, Filipinos show their virility thru number of children.

    Civilized world has less children, married later because they treasure their career first and enjoy life.

    In the Philippines, you are teased if you cannot even have a child regardless your protestation that you are planning you life ahead of you and children is not in the scope yet.

    Having children in the Philippines is more pressure regardless if they can afford it or not. Most of all Filipinos in the U.S. has problem with Erictile Dysfunction because sex is so common: sex toys are sold in liquor and cigarette stores; Smut Mags are so common it is even sold in Fry’s Electronics; XXX-Videos can be had free on-line. The reason why they prefer men-on-men and women-on-women to spice up their sex lives. Filipinos here are sexually hyperactive because of sexual repression and plenty of taboos.

    • ChinoF says:

      Wow, Persona, it’s not really sex, but the improper use of it that’s leaving the country in a shambles, eh?

      And it leads to cases like the taxi driver my friend told me about. My friend of course raises the customary kwentuhan with taxi drivers. The taxi driver told my friend that life is hard. My friend asked, why is life hard? The taxi driver replied, because I have two wives and am trying to support them both, with five children with one and three with the other. I’m doing my best to have a family, but it’s hard. I may just have to go abroad, to Saudi, or I’ll apply as a seaman. My friend replied, life is hard because you made your life like that. It’s your own fault. If you will have to go abroad, it’s because you created unnecessary needs. Who told you you need a family? Now you will be forced to separate from your families because of your own decision to have two wives and many children. You created two families only to separate from them in the end.

      Hence, we are a nation of servants.

  15. justice league says:

    Filo,

    … nitpick …

    Quite an issue for those who only have nits for brain.

    … you’ve already humiliated yourself in all your voluminous glory.

    And still trying to turn the blame.

    …but please mister league, stay on-topic.

    Typical Filo tactic.

    You brought up an “understand” thing issue.

    I responded and showed that you are the one with poor understanding skills.

    And then you again try to turn things around and place some sort of fault on me for responding to something you yourself brought up in the first place.

    Your tactic didn’t work on FV but I know why you’ll continue to employ such tactic here. This is after all “antipinoy.com”.

    So I’ll make this short:

    I’ll make one shorter for you.

    Follow your own advice.

    BongV,

    not really – depends on the specific soldier/sailor. the american soldiers/sailors have programs to keep families together – regular webcams, calls, letters, support groups.

    Then the seafarers I’m talking about FIT in your exclusion criteria.

    Though regular webcam is not afforded to all vessels, the least is that they are afforded free email service (which unfortunately I heard to be hard to access if their officer is of a different nationality). For those vessels that do have available webcam, they are priced at $20 for 200 minutes that can be consumed on multiple sittings. Which makes it cheaper than placing a satellite call which is priced at the same $20 for just a 36 minute call.

    They have support groups here for seafarer’s families. One used to be called “Seamen’s Wives Association”. Now its called “Seamen’s Dependent Association”.

    It doesn’t seem Benigno nor Ben K had an exclusion criteria like yours.

    it’s not Ben K’s word you are taking – it’s your interpretation of what Ben K is saying – that you are taking.

    Like I said above, Ben K didn’t state an exclusion criteria like yours. So he can very well state if he agrees with you that programs or ways like you elucidated can make up for whatever shortcomings there are.

    If he doesn’t agree, then my interpretation stands.

    If he does agree, then it isn’t b.s. like he called it to be.

    Chino F,

    What course did that taxi driver finish that he thinks he can be a seaman?

    • Filo says:

      Oh don’t flatter yourself as if an actual tactic would be necessary for your nits for brain, Mister league.
      Turns out you’ve had quite a rather distorted reality and couldn’t get it out any other way. That is so sweet.

      You know what, do whatever blows your skirt up, Mister league.

      If it takes you a lifetime to keep saving face, be my guest, Mister league.
      Changes nothing, really. Haha

      Grow up, buddy.

  16. justice league says:

    Ooops.

    in relation to a post under moderation, its “Seamen’s Dependents Association” (plural).

  17. justice league says:

    Ben K,

    Yes, as a matter of fact, Mr. Justice League, every soldier who chooses that career ought to set aside any thoughts of having children until that career is over.

    So I was right in my interpretation after all.

    If I had meant to qualify my statement with exceptions for certain job descriptions, I would have done so in the first place.

    Yup. I thought of that. I’m the one who got it right, remember?

    If that means I have an extremely conservative attitude, so be it.

    Good for you.

    So I imagine you’re not in favor of divorce either (As should every other person here who disagrees with separation from family).

    You must know that there are things far worse than being separated from one’s spouse or parent/s due to work.

    It’s been a rough month, and I’m not quite done with it yet. I’m not complaining — not really — because things like having too much work to do and a seemingly-endless string of birthdays and school activities to manage (and pay for) is, even at its worst, far more preferable to being unemployed, childless, and unloved. My personal yardstick of success these days, now that I am rapidly approaching an age at which I will have to refer to myself as being in my “mid-40’s”, is that any day in which I do not accidentally get shot by Claudine Longet is acceptable. So, as those wacky kids would say, it’s all good. Or at least most of it is.

    Those buddies of yours in the military and the seafarers definitely have 2 of the 3 things you value. And having problems with family doesn’t necessarily mean the family doesn’t love them.

    If they followed your advice, some of them might just have 1 of the 3.

    Well I did ask if you’ve written an article on this issue and published it in an American blog. Or just maybe even on your view on divorce back in America .

    I think the discussion would have been interesting.

    But simply put, even your own people don’t do as you.

    And latchkey kids isn’t a phenomenon here. You’ve got Ilda and your own experience to somehow attest to that. You were planning “to treat the wife to a quick, Lola-watch-the-kids-we’ll-be-back-Sunday weekend” on Valentines’ day, weren’t you?

    Sorry, pal. Last I heard, no one’s impressing guys on the docks to be seamen like the 18th century any more.

    Whether actually qualified or not to be a seafarer, Chino F’s friend’s taxi driver seems impressed enough.

    Filo,

    … your nits for brain, …

    Nope. That’s actually you. You’re the one anxious about it.

    You know what, do whatever blows your skirt up, Mister league.

    You got the skirt thing entirely wrong but at least you got the “Mister” part right.

    If it takes you a lifetime to keep saving face, be my guest, Mister league.

    And still trying to turn the blame. Well I always expected you to continue with this tactic.

    • ChinoF says:

      Taken long to reply, but about the taxi driver, my friend didn’t ask about the academic achievement, but I would guess high school only, or never even finished.

      I assume you see as a problem the requirement for a college degree in order to be a seaman, but there really shouldn’t be, right? But who requires it? The foreign companies? Or our own employment agencies? I am assuming it’s more like what BongV said before, that Filipino employees get the short end of the stick because of poor negotiators (our own employment agencies, etc). The problem may actually be very multifaceted, so it’s hard to pin down only one party to blame.

      • justice league says:

        Chino F,

        So your friend’s taxi driver wants to apply for a job wherein he has no degree to show whatsoever, no experience, no skills, no training, ….; and he expects to be paid a compensation that will allow him to support 2 wives and 8 children?

        Best you tell your friend to tell that taxi driver to look elsewhere where his driving can better suit him.

      • ChinoF says:

        Exactly. And we have poor information resources to inform people about things like this. Taxi driver wouldn’t know either unless he bothered to look. Guess the problem is so octopussy, isn’t it? Meaning that it just branches out to every other issue.

  18. justice league says:

    Chino F,

    Good luck then as you tell your friend what to tell that taxi driver.

  19. TMM says:

    Since I was young, I have always questioned why the poor tend to have more kids. Does it really take education and rocket science to figure out that less money = less capability to feed hungry mouths? I wonder.

    Or is it the catholic church’s fault again? 😛

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