Saturday, March 1, 2008

Not Quite The Usual Economic Refugees

In a recent meeting I strayed into, one of the attendees remarked that he personally do not call overseas Filipino workers as OFWs. He posited that they are economic refugees. An economic refugee, as defined here, is a person person who pretends to be a refugee in order to immigrate to improve their standard of living.

I remember thinking to myself that whatever meager economic relief or help our country enjoys from the millions of OFWs come at too great a price. The saddest part is that being an OFW is quickly evolving into being the only solution to economic/financial woes. This country is bleeding out the brains, skills and talents that are ultimately the only hope for development.

The meteoric rise of Filipinos seeking opportunities abroad is really alarming. It does look as if Filipinos are slowly being cornered into a place where there is no way out but to seek refuge elsewhere. They are the OFWs, economic refugees, or whatever one may want to call them. They are the people who deserve respect and support.

So everytime another "economic" refugee is added on the list it is good to remember that they really are sacrificing a lot for this country. A country that could be an extremely better place than what its politicians and bureaucrats are shaping it to be.

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