We’ve been hit by earthquakes, volcano eruptions and super typhoons. We’ve been invaded by the Spaniards and the Japanese conquerors in the past. Natural disasters and wars have shaken our nation over the years, but these are not the calamities I’m talking about.
During storms, flood and earthquakes, Filipinos are evacuated to safer places and relief centers. During wars, families can hide at the places where invaders or terrorists can’t reach them. But these kinds of tragedies are not capable of driving Filipinos away from the country. They can always return to their home after the storm and flood subside; they can always rebuild their homes after the earthquake is over.
But nowadays, millions of Filipinos are evacuating, not only away from their province or city, but totally away from our nation. There are millions of Filipinos who become evacuees – they leave our country for some reasons. It’s not because of earthquakes, volcano eruptions, super typhoons, and even wars.
My close friends are among of these evacuees. And when I ask them why they chose to leave our nation, the following are some of their reasons:
1. Salaries and wages in our country cannot sustain their family’s needs
2. There are no great career opportunities waiting for them in the Philippines
3. They want to escape poverty in the Philippines
4. They are losing hope with our corrupt government leaders and officials
5. They can’t give their children a bright future if they will only work here in our country
6. The government lacks financial support for Filipinos who want to start a business in the Philippines
7. Living abroad is way safer and better than living in the Philippines
There are many other reasons why many Filipinos are leaving our country. Our Overseas Filipino Workers or OFWs take a lot of risks and sacrifices just to achieve their goals. They have left their children, family and loved ones, and endure loneliness and homesickness just to achieve their dream – a dream of having a brighter future, not only for themselves, but also for their loved ones.
They all hope that someday… they can return to their homeland and live a good and sustainable life with their families, children and loved ones.
I hope that these serious calamities and catastrophes that keep our fellow Filipinos from evacuating will end soon. These calamities are worse than typhoons, earthquakes, and wars because they drive Filipinos away outside our nation. These disasters include the following:
2. Lack of free quality and competitive education for the poor – parents work abroad to earn money so that their children can enroll in private schools to have a brighter future. I’m not telling that public teachers are incompetent, but the public school facilities like classrooms and chairs are just pathetic.
3. Lack of free access to health care – public hospitals are crowded, and when it comes to quality service and facilities, I’m not sure if they can compete with private hospitals.
4. Lack of financial support for small entrepreneurs – many OFWs work abroad to earn and save money they can use as a capital for their business.
5. Street crimes are not going down – in Singapore, you can walk confidently on the streets while using your smart phone, iPad or Galaxy Note, but try to do that on the Philippines streets, and you will see what I mean.
6. High unemployment rate – Okay, there are news that our economy is booming. But how is the unemployment rate in the Philippines going? Is it decreasing? High unemployment rate could also mean lower wages for employees because the supply of workers is high. There are many applicants for a few job positions. That’s why many Filipinos choose to work abroad.
The Philippines is suffering from those serious calamities – calamities that cannot be solved by our country’s disaster coordinators. These kinds of disasters can only be solved by our government leaders, with the support from the people.
I hope that those calamities will subside as soon as possible so that our loved ones, who have evacuated away from our country, can now return to our home and enjoy a good life with us.
I don’t like to see more and more Filipino evacuees. I just wish them all to return and be reunited with us again.
That is why in this coming election and all the future elections, I will only vote for leaders who can provide solutions to stop or at least lessen significantly those calamities that are destroying our country and causing more evacuations.
I hope you’re with me.