Villar: OFWs should be shielded from 'recessionary racism'
DOLE, OWWA, and embassies should be ready to extend help or advice
29 March 2009
Nacionalista Party President Senator Manny Villar expresses concern over reports that there is growing public hostility towards migrants and foreign workers in various countries worldwide and there is increasing incidents of so-called ‘recessionary racism’.
“Protectionism has become a buzz word amidst the ongoing global financial crisis. Although many are against the protectionist policies that some nations want to implement, it is a reality that many now have a tendency towards protecting their own economies and people,” cites Villar.
“The scarcity of job opportunities is causing desperation and anxiety among people. It has also led to growing resentment that foreigners are getting jobs in other nationalities’ home countries. This has given rise to recessionary racism. With millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) worldwide, we should ensure that they are protected from this,” further cites Villar. As one of the world's leading sources for skilled and unskilled workers, there are up to nine million Filipinos or about 10 percent of the population, living and working in 140 countries.
In the United Kingdom for instance, a spate of protest rallies have been taking place. The protesters were holding placards that read “British jobs for British people”. Moreover, a poll by Financial Times show that 78 percent of British adults believe that immigrants should be asked to leave the country if they do not have a job.
Even in some Middle East countries, there are reports that local citizens are harboring resentments towards foreign workers who are employed and are still getting employed when many of them are having difficulties landing jobs.
According to Villar, “These resentments and other sentiments against foreign workers are knee-jerk reactions to the economic hardships brought about by the global recession. But it does not mean that it should be tolerated or encouraged.”
Villar adds, “We need to prepare our OFWs about the possibility that they may be subjected to such attitude or treatment that can be described as recessionary racism and those who have experienced such should inform our labor offices. OFWs though should have a healthy attitude and peaceful approach when such incidents occur.”
In 2008 alone, the total global deployment of OFWs surged to more than 1.376 million in more than 190 host destinations worldwide. According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), a total of 1,376,823 OFWs were deployed worldwide last year, representing a growth of 27.8 percent compared to the 1,077,623 OFWs deployed in 2007. On a daily basis, some 3,772 documented OFWs were deployed globally last year.
(Visit Sen. Manny Villar's Page here)
What is Recessionary Racism?
Recessionary, from the root word recession, meaning:
1. The act or action of receding
2. A departing procession
3. A period of reduced economic activity
(from Merriam Webster)
Racism (don't you all hate this word!)
1. A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce inherent superiority of a particular race.
2. Racial prejudice or discrimination.
( from Merriam Webster)
If you try to combine both words (in my opinion) that the citizens of a nation are becoming hostile towards migrant workers (I.E. British jobs for British People).
For this action though, I believe this should be applied all over the world and not just for our OFW's but for all migrant workers making a decent living and working themselves out in various countries. (It is not new to hear about migrant workers, being treated worse than animals and deprived of their Human rights." hindi porket ofw o migrant ang isang tao, walang karapatan and ibang tao na nagmula sa ibang nation na maglait and cause harm onto migrant workers. Then they'll be going to such forums and ask why are blah against blah.. ")
As I see it, we can't blame the people who were given a chance to work abroad. For the simple reasons that they applied for that certain job and met the requirements of the company. Is it their fault that they were able to get the job (nope nope nope)? Every one knows that all countries are struggling right now and a lot of jobs are scarce,yet (damn) the people that you are acting "ILL (slang...)" with are giving their best, their 100% on their jobs to help out their beloved back in the Philippines.
Instead of fretting over spilled milk, why don't you get a new glass of milk?
Work Hard, Part Harder.... Sink or Swim?