Can OFWs and Overseas Filipinos Save the Homeland from Perdition?

by Bobby Reyes

“Filipina migrant workers arrive in Manila | Photo by IOM via Flickr/Creative Commons

Part X of “The Filipino Melting Pot” Series

I started to discuss a nightmare of a world scenario and the Philippines on Facebook in 2012. I repeated it in numerous comments in 2014. And on the radio when I ran for governor of Sorsogon Province in 2016. It was about the coming global famine that would result in economic perdition for many countries. Climate change and pandemics would cause socio-economic crises. It did not come to me as a vision. I just compiled articles like those in the cover story of the May 2014 issue of the National Geographic (NatGeo) Magazine: The New Food Revolution. The lead paragraph says: “By 2050, we’ll need to feed two billion more people.”

I re-posted in the SorsoGold Facebook Group (SFBG) on Apr. 23, 2013, this: “Thoughts for Earth Day 2013: Yesterday I covered a strategy meeting of Fil-Am volunteers for Wendy Greuel, and I decided to take the bus (three rides for the 25-mile trip to LA) instead of driving. Along the way, I reread these articles: Revisiting “The Nightmare of Famine” & “Will There Be Enough? in the July 1975 issue of the National Geographic. The second article mentions our homeland. It said in the article (that in 1972), “Typhoons and drought slashed harvests in the Philippines.” Our country is part of a “tropical swath called the ‘hunger belt.'” But remember that in 1972, the Philippine population was just around 26.3 million. Today, we have more than 100 million Filipinos and counting.’ (It was a re-post of my Jan. 17, 2012, commentary in SFBG.)

On Apr. 18, 2014, I posted this Facebook Note, a compilation of my postings and comments about the coming global famine.

Last Mar. 24, I commented in several OFW/OF/Filipino Nation FBGs: “Hopefully I am wrong about this other prediction, which was based on educated guesses — as interpreted from postings in prestigious magazines and scientific journals. The said Facebook Note has this title: How Sorsogon and the PH Can Mitigate the Coming Worldwide Famine Caused By Climate Change & Pandemics. The famine is forecast to happen in the year 2050. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can happen perhaps in the next 2-to 5 years (2022 to 2026).”

“The current national leadership of the PH has bungled its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only God knows how many Filipinos have succumbed to the pandemic or survived it but with debilitating side effects.”

The current national leadership of the PH has bungled its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only God knows how many Filipinos have succumbed to the pandemic or survived it but with debilitating side effects. By some accounts, complete vaccination of at least 70 percent of the Filipino population nearing 120 National million people may only happen in five years. By that time, the coronavirus would have mutated hundreds, if not thousands, of times, and new and more potent vaccines would have to be discovered, tested, and manufactured. Vaccination, they would become another tragic episode of a “too-late-the-hero” telenovela for the PH and many Third World countries.

In my honest opinion, it may be best to double the present number of OFWs and Overseas Filipinos — from 16 million to 32 million in the next five years. How? The world needs perhaps more than 16 million of the present Filipinos in our homeland; they can go abroad to work in healthcare, medical R&D, engineering, and other skilled occupations. Consider that the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that before the current pandemic started in December 2019, the world would need six million new nurses by 2030. Then the healthcare systems, especially the nursing-home centers, of many developed countries are in dire need of skilled workers, especially those with the proven “tender-loving care” (TLC), as was discussed in Part IV of this series

“In my honest opinion, it may be best to double the present number of OFWs and Overseas Filipinos — from 16 million to 32 million in the next five years. How? The world needs perhaps more than 16 million of the present Filipinos in our homeland; they can go abroad to work in healthcare, medical R&D, engineering, and other skilled occupations.”

The worst scenario is still to happen from the COVID-19 pandemic. Brazil and India may eventually overtake the United States in the number of COVID cases and deaths. And some countries like China, authorities are just hiding the number of COVID-19 casualties as if it were the top state secret.

Complete lockdowns in the Third World cause a massive drop in agricultural output. Developing countries do not have the safety nets to sustain people, especially the poor, infighting and surviving the sickness. Whatever modest budgets for food banks exist are pocketed by crooked politicians.

Eventually, it will be a question of dying either by sickness or by hunger in many developing countries. And when it comes to the protection of law and order, all bets are off. Why? Because even the members of a country’s military and police forces and their families are going hungry and getting sick, also.

“The people will have to protect themselves in the long run. How? They have to choose the upright leaders with visionary and honest-to-goodness traits and track records — by the coming local and national elections in May 2022. That is if they hold elections at all.”

Rich foreign governments and international entities like the United Nations, the WHO, the International Red Cross, and other global charitable foundations will need to save the billions of indigent and suffering people. It may be advisable for the OFWs and Overseas Filipinos to course their aid to these entities. Sending support direct to their families or using a business-based system of providing food and basic supplies may be rendered ineffective by mobs of hungry people, some — if not many — of whom are already sick with the deadly disease.

The financial donations given by the Overseas-Filipinos Melting Pot will increase the international aid to the PH. But it will just mitigate the suffering in the homeland. It may not save the PH from perdition. The people will have to protect themselves in the long run. How? They have to choose the upright leaders with visionary and honest-to-goodness traits and track records — by the coming local and national elections in May 2022. That is if they hold elections at all.

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