Monday, January 01, 2007

Selling Our National Treasures

As the yuletide season winds down, most families will be on the last days of being together. Soon, our OFWs will be leaving for their respective jobs abroad. Children, siblings and parents alike will once again have to part ways and God knows when their next reunion will be. This has been the practice of families divided by the need to survive. Soon, more families will be pulled apart by the lure of a promise of a new beginning.

I can only sympathize with these people whose goal in life is to give their families a little ray of hope for a little comfort in life. It has been a vicious cycle, parents who once left to seek employment abroad are soon replaced by the very children they had hoped will never have to give the sacrifices they gave. As more uncertainty faces our nation today, how many more families must suffer the same fate?

Desperation has grown since GMA took office. Political uncertainty and institutional corruption has pushed away much needed investments. While colleges and universities churn out graduates by the hundreds of thousands every year, few meet the qualities local businesses are looking for. Add the growing number of informally educated individuals, there just isn't many jobs to go around. Most are unqualified and end up doing odd jobs or stay unemployed. Contractual employment is rampant which leads to unstable employment situations. This in turn leads to underemployment and abuse of the labor force. Often times, the locally employed do not enjoy the rights our labor code has promised them.

In a bid to ease the pressure from a disillusioned people, the administration came up with the policy of exporting our people. This would not only lessen the number of rally participants, it would also bring in much needed dollars to prop up our sagging economy. In 2006 alone, more than a million Filipinos left the country to seek employment elsewhere. Out of desperation, our women are forced to work as domestic helpers. Often overworked and underpaid, they choose to slave it out in foreign lands. Many would end up earning only $150 a month. While they toil and care for another's child, their own children are left to fend for themselves. Growing on their own and left wanting in motherly love, these children often end up with a distorted view of society.

To further deflect criticism, the administration has redefined the meaning of unemployed. Surveys were tailor-made to make it appear that unemployment has been going down. Dollar remittances are at a record-high and has injected so much to the economy to make it appear that economic reforms were working. Gloria Arroyo's trips have been a marketing blitz to persuade other countries to take in our unemployed. I wonder how many this year will be joining those who have already gone?

This administration never considered the social cost/impact this policy of human trafficking will have on our future generations. The constitution assures protection for the basic unit of society which is the family. Without the family, society will be in total disarray. We, the people are the true national treasures of this country. But instead of protecting and serving the "national treasures", this administration, in a bid to save its face and skin, chose to sell the "nation's treasures". Time will come when the Philippines will be a nation without a people, those who will be left are the greedy, shameless faces we call "TRAPOS" who will continue to live off the slavery of its people.