FTA warns of a crisis in labor outflow

“WE are facing a silent crisis in the unchecked and unregulated outflow of Filipino workers,” former senator and lead convenor of the nongovernmental Fair Trade Alliance (FTA) Wigberto E. Tañada said.

According to Tañada, the viability, sustainability, stability and future of a number of vital domestic industries in the country, such as aviation, electronics, shipping, steel, petrochemical, telecommunications and other strategic industries are faced in a problematic situation due to acute shortages of skilled and professional personnel. This acute shortage of skilled and professional personnel the country is confronted with is attributed to and is perceived to be the consequence of the unchecked outward migration of many of the country’s skilled and professional personnel in the abovementioned industries.

“We at the Fair Trade Alliance, respect the right of our workers, especially the more talented among them, in seeking greener pastures here or overseas. This includes the right to mobility and the right to choose job or occupation of his or her liking. At the same time, however, let me state that it is also the sovereign right of every country to assert its national interest by protecting its own critical industries,” Tañada stressed.

FTA said that what is needed in addressing the issue of labor migration is how to come up with the right balance – in safeguarding the interests of critical domestic industries and insuring its survival and sustainability, on one hand, and in respecting the desires of workers to go overseas and earn more, on the other.

Furthermore, FTA said that the long-term and win-win solution to the problem of labor migration is to have an economy with a strong agro-industrial base able to provide decent jobs for all.

“While we need to be forward-looking, we also ought to be inwardly interested. Let us keep what we have, enrich the nation with brilliance, talents and skills because our country deserve the best. Our intellectual heritage and skills are urgently needed for the progress of this nation,” Tañada stressed.

Fair Trade Alliance (FTA) is a broad multisectoral coalition of formal and informal labor, agriculture, industry, NGOs and youth pushing for trade and economic reforms.

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  • Founded in 2001, the Fair Trade Alliance (FairTrade) of the Philippines is a broad multisectoral coalition of formal and informal labor, industry, agriculture, NGOs and youth pushing for trade and economic reforms.
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