The OFW diaspora: Boon or bane? | Inquirer Opinion

The OFW diaspora: Boon or bane?

/ 04:10 AM June 17, 2024

I totally agree with the former Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) secretary Susan Ople when she stated that “Diaspora is not a long-term solution to unemployment. While labor export may not be the most ideal policy to solve the country’s perennial unemployment problem and must be considered only as a panacea or stop-gap measure, it has proven to be hugely popular among those looking to earn much more than local wages in foreign shores.”

Remittances from overseas Filipino workers accounted for about 8.5 percent and 7.7 percent of the country’s gross national product and gross national income, respectively.

Migration has also contributed to the stabilization of the country’s dollar reserves. Among others, outsourcing companies can do more business and expand operations by hiring more people in the Philippines.

Conversely, the diaspora has also resulted in some negative consequences such as “brain drain” where there is the emigration of highly trained and intelligent people from our country.


Another outcome is the resultant cases of family disunity or broken homes due to physical isolation, and separation of spouses or family members.

Relative to our quest for long-term employment of Filipinos, the government should consider, among others, the following strategies/programs:

Attract more foreign investors to invest or put up business operations in our country via additional Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) zones and BOI operations;Entice multinational companies (SMC, Ayala, Robinsons, SMs, etc.) to continuously extend operations in various regions, cities, etc.;

Revitalize operations of other industries (agriculture, fishery, farming, livelihood, cooperatives);


Strengthen our hospitality industry (hotels, resorts, etc.);

Establish Tesda offices region-wide;


Reactivate the “One Town, One Product” program.

The government should resolve to maintain the current levels of migration of Filipinos to foreign countries while strengthening the planning or implementation of the aforesaid strategic plans and programs to address the country’s economic and social goals in the long term.

Hopefully, President Marcos should seriously consider this proposal by forming a special body composed of heads of the Department of Trade and Industry, Board of Investments, Peza, DMW, the Department of Foreign Affairs, among others, to formulate a strategic plan. Public-private partnerships are encouraged for projects that will provide business opportunities and address unemployment among Filipinos.

It is never too late for the Philippines to generate economic prosperity while addressing the evils emanating from the excessive and continuing diaspora.

Emiliano M. Manahan Jr.,

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

[email protected]

TAGS: OFW, opinion

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.