Address stagnant wages, low quality jobs in RP – Magsaysay

Zambales 1st Dist. Rep. Mitos Magsaysay called on the Department of Labor and Employment to heed the latest report of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and address issues of insufficient income and underemployment in the country to avert brain drain in the Philippines.

“Based on the report by ADB in the Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2011, Filipinos are wanting for safe and secure employment in the country as wage growth in the country has lagged behind growth in productivity. This means that their income and compensation they receive does not commensurate the economic development of the country,” she said.

Magsaysay also cited the report as indicating that the underemployment rate remained high at 19.1 percent in 2009. This factor was cited as among the chief reasons why Filipino skilled workers and professionals opt to seek employment abroad where there are better opportunities to grow career-wise.

“The result of the report really comes as no surprise as the Labor sector has long been asking for a reasonable raise in their wages. What they are asking for is really not that unreasonable. The government keeps on citing a growth in our economy but so far, it has not been felt by the regular Filipinos,” she said.

“What they have been asking for is simply a reasonable increase to help them survive the rate of inflation that has been hitting them from all sides, from the rising cost of petroleum products to the basic goods they consume to the cost of their utilities, things that they cannot do without. Adding to the fact the rising cost of education, how can a regular Juan dela Cruz survive their day to day expenses without resorting to 5’6? (interest loan)” she asked.

Magsaysay lamented the need for Filipino professionals to accept jobs that are not within their line of expertise just to secure employment which is a waste of their skills and talents. She added that worse, Filipinos who tire of this system migrate abroad where they are able to practice their profession and are compensated by excellent employment packages which sometimes includes visas for their entire families to live abroad with them.

“It is saddening because here we have a pool of talented Filipinos, who instead of working in the country to help the Philippines grow, are using their skills to uplift another country because we cannot provide the type of environment here that can make them thrive,” she said.