PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is in favor of requiring Filipino workers to serve in the country first after undergoing government-sponsored training in healthcare and information technology (IT) before they will be allowed to work abroad.
Marcos, during the fifth meeting with the Private Sector Advisory Council-Jobs Sector Group (PSAC-Jobs) in Malacañang on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, agreed to the proposal in a bid to address human capital flight in healthcare and IT sectors.
He also raised the issue of brain drain in the said sectors as more and more skilled Filipino workers seek greener pastures abroad, leaving the country with few talents to support those industries.
“It’s fine [because] if they find jobs abroad, that’s good for them. But the problem is tayo dito, we lose the talent that we train… that we took through the certification system,” he said.
“We have to come up with some kind of strategy wherein, let’s say, you provide scholarships and then the scholarship agreement includes that you stay three years. After that then they’re free to go,” he added.
The PSAC official acknowledged the fact that the local labor market for healthcare and IT cannot match the lucrative pay being offered by companies abroad, particularly in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Europe, and in order to sustain the said sectors, the Philippines must focus on continuously training new workers.
The council also raised the need for the government to enforce Marcos’ earlier directive, which is to prioritize the crafting of a coordinated game plan in which the Department of Health, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Migrant Workers, and the Department of Foreign Affairs can negotiate with other countries on hiring Filipino workers.
The plan includes requiring foreign government to adopt a hospital or a school, invest in them so that they can participate in the country’s labor force and afterwards require the graduates to stay in the Philippines for at least two years before they could seek employment overseas. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)