OF VICE PRESIDENT NOLI DE CASTRO
International Labor Opportunities Forum
am pleased to welcome you today to this First International Labor
Opportunities Forum organized by the Department of Labor and
is indeed very timely for Secretary Pat Sto. Tomas and the DOLE to
bring together the major players in the international labor market
(such as recruitment agencies, training centers, and overseas
employment allied agencies) in a forum that will tackle new
opportunities for Filipino workers abroad. It is no secret that our
estimated 2 million Filipinos working abroad now constitute a very
important segment of our economy. and perhaps, one of the sectors
responsible for strengthening the peso over the past few weeks. These
workers --- our countrymen --- are not only our new heroes.
They have become the new drivers of economic growth and the new
foundations of economic stability.
Filipino Worker and National Development
we were young, we have been taught that the Philippines is a
resource-rich country, And that the greatest resource of the
Philippines is its people.
can be more accurate today.
From a country
that was once
considered as a supplier of mineral resources in the 50’s, to a
major producer of agricultural commodities in the 60’s and the
70’s, to one that manufactured semi-conductors and garments for
first-world countries in the 80’s and 90’s, the Philippines is
now increasingly seen as a rich source of talented and industrious
workers for companies abroad.
years ago, remittances from overseas Filipinos amounted to a little
over 6 billion dollars. Today, based on the latest estimate of the
bangko sentral ng pilipinas, these remittances totalled 7 billion
dollars in the first eight months of the year, and may even exceed 10
billion by year-end.
decades ago, these
remittances, as reflected in our net factor income from abroad,
accounted for only 1 percent of our Gross National Product or gnp.
Today, these remittances contributes approximately 8 percent to GNP.
inflow of money from overseas filipino workers into the country, our
macroeconomic situation would not be as stable and our country would
probably be in dire need of foreign exchange.
the Social Costs of Development
and gentlemen, I am truly one with you in exploring new opportunities
for Filipino workers abroad.
know the importance of providing employment to our ever-expanding
labor force, even if such employment could be found outside of
many Filipinos, I realize the contribution of our overseas workers
and the sacrifices that they had to endure in order to help their
many instances, I encourage our OFWs to be living examples of the
qualities of true filipino heroes --- service, hard work, sacrifice,
honor, and honesty.
tell them that they represent not just themselves but the entire
filipino people. I remind them that they belong to the select few
who have successfully found jobs outside of the philippines. in a
sense, they are the lucky ones.
as presidential adviser for overseas filipino workers, I am also
equally concerned with the social costs involved. I am concerned with
how the families they leave behind cope with their absence.
probably have a steady source of income while their father or mother
is out of the country. And probably, these families will be
better-off economically compared to their neighbors.
but let us
that these families are also paying a steep social price for their
newfound economic abundance. to the department of labor and
employment, let us not lose sight of this concern. let us work
closely with the stakeholders in the industry to ensure that family
ties and values are likewise protected. in every opportunity i have,
i always remind our ofws and their families not to forget family
Labor Opportunities in the Philippines
friends, as I go over your program for the workshops today, I realize
that you will have sessions dealing with recruitment and new labor
opportunities in Asia, Americas and Oceania, Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia, Europe, and the Cruise Industry.
are indeed lucrative markets for talented Filipinos and I
congratulate the Department of Labor and Employment once again for
focusing on these areas.
I just hope that
in the future, and
in due time, we will also have a session on new labor opportunities in
the Philippines. My dream is that one day, we will be surprised
to find out that the Philippines has become the most attractive labor
market for our own workers. this may not happen soon, but i am
confident that we will eventually get there.
With your support, and
with a strong partnership between government and the private sector,
i am sure that we can improve the lives of our people and give them
hope for a better tomorrow.
more, I welcome you to this activity and i thank our partner
organizations for making this forum happen.
you and good day to all of you.
po kayo at magandang umaga sa inyong lahat!
Office of the Vice President (OVP)
Management Information Services
Division (MISD). All rights reserved.