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Social Justice at the Heart of Labor and Migration

Hon. Marianito Roque 4th from left) receives the token of appreciation from (from left) Ambassador Belen Anota, Jess Ferrer (Migrants Program), Nolet Ladrido (STMA),Jimmy & Beth Guray.

 

To work together for social justice. 


This was the gist of the talk given by Hon. Marianito D. Roque, former Overseas Workers Administration Administrator and former Department of Labor and Employment Secretary, during the Joint St. Thomas More and Associates and Migrants Program Breakfast Forum held in Club Filipino last August 5, 2017. 


Roque discussed the social justice component and the the effect of social imbalances brought about by the separation of families. 


“STMA and the Migrants Program are working together so that we can maintain, we can express our feelings, beliefs, and mission, that we are one in upholding social justice for our tenants in the Christian Community as well as our Church,” he expressed. 


Roque also explained the Philippine Labor landscape, the present employment environment in the Philippines and why there would be issues of contractualization, and the retaining of Filipino Migration Program, the most common of it is the growing population of our country. 


He stated that out of the 43 million in labor force, only 63.5 % are going to work; 5.7% are still looking for jobs; and 8.8% are unemployed, based on the historical average of unemployment rate. 


The Filipino Diaspora Continues 

The Economic Contribution of the Philippines in the Migration Program is $27 Billion every year. According to Roque, the Philippines runs 4th or 5th globally in terms of monitored remittances. Add to this the creation of over 87 economic zones. 


Roque stated that there are challenges and issues for the labor perspective, leading Filipino workers to work abroad.  


Population growth rate, reducing the unemployment rate, and applicant to vacancy mismatch or skills mismatch are the major reasons why Filipino workers choose employment outside the country. 


“We Filipinos, especially in the rural area, are too focused on our goals, wanting our children to graduate with a diploma. But the question is, are their skills adoptable to the requirements of the development of the Philippine economy?” he asked. 


Roque said that the most number of graduates come from the HRM and IT programs, but most of them are not absorbable.  


“That’s why others enter BPO companies as an entry level job because of its fast rotation rate and labor mobility. After their contract expires, they transfer to another BPO company, and after it, decide to work outside the country,” he explained. 


According to Roque, Dubai has the highest population migrants’ rate, but most of those who migrated are still looking for a job. 


Roque hopes that events like the breakfast forum would continue in order to get to know and understand the situation of the country, as well as the situation of fellow Filipinos abroad. (Andrelene Veloso)

Added on Tuesday, August 8, 2017


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