A LARGE number of applicants rushed to a recruitment agency in Manila after news of about 700 job openings in Dubai.

It is no longer surprising that a lot of Filipinos nowadays choose to leave the country and work abroad. In fact, this has become a trend; a lifestyle.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

The most basic questions we ask ourselves are these: Whatever they're doing there, why not do it here? Why the need to work abroad in the first place? Then we realize, the answer is simple: because things do not work for them here.

In Dubai, the Emirates Petroleum Products Company is looking for potential Pinoy workers for gasoline stations and convenience stores. Target persons are those 20 to 28 years old and with at least one year experience.

Moreover, they need not be college graduates, a high school educational attainment will do. For this job, the owner of the recruitment firm Tita Morales said an P18,000 monthly salary is due.

In the Philippines, even private university teachers including those who took masters abroad earn around P7,000 a month. In this case, it appears as if academic knowledge does not count much in the practical sense.

This is the number one reason why working abroad is an option. There are more job opportunities. And to most Filipinos, more job opportunities mean more probable ways to feed the family.

What's even striking is that upper class citizens gain more financial benefits while those in the lower classes are paid little. For instance, the minimum wage a farmer gets, most likely, would not suffice a family of six.

There are also cases of unfair compensation. What happens now to the workers who are expected to be "breadwinners"? Or those who get so little for all their efforts?

We watch news on TV, hear reporters talk about improvements, progress, perhaps a newly proclaimed act that would help uplift the crisis at hand. But most of the time, we see debates and relentless arguments and discussions in the Senate. They talk about why one thing is right or wrong, instead of talking more about its solution.

Bad politics and a bad economy is what make a nation likely to be left by its occupants. We have good workmen. It's a pity these men show off what they're made of in other places and not in our own grounds.


Sunday Essays are compositions by third year Masscom students of Ateneo de Davao University for their journalism class. (Eva Ces T. Gamalong)