Last March 30, three Filipinos were executed in China after being convicted with drug trafficking. Sally Ordinario-Villanueva, 32, Elizabeth Batain, 38 and Ramon Credo, 42 were said to be brought into a “private place” before the death penalty was applied. All of them left their families here and pursued a job overseas just to ensure their family’s livelihood.
While lapses in the recruitment process and security enforcement against drug traffickers are valid concerns, the misfortune that befell to our countrymen in China reverberates a much important problem – unemployment and underemployment in our country. Had there been enough and appropriate jobs in the country that can cater to its citizens, it would no longer need to “sell” the labor force of its citizens abroad. If only the jobs available in the country are well-compensated and not tainted with issues like contractualization and lack of benefits, our work force will no longer entertain the idea of going abroad just to ensure the welfare of their families. Moreover, they would no longer need to take risks by applying under illegal recruiting agencies just to respond to the urgency of working abroad.
The mishap that occurred to our three countrymen last week should be the wake-up call that will show us what our country really needs. We do not need modern-day heroes enslaving themselves abroad for meager pay and for mere economic survival. We need a sustained economy that can generate jobs within the country for our people and will serve the interest of the nation as a whole.
Certainly, we do not want more of our OFWs being executed in a foreign land.
College Editor’s Guild of the Philippines Baguio-Benguet Chapter