Brain drain


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Brain drain

  1. 1. Maho Tachibana<br />Ms. Clover<br />TSEA: Period 2<br />25 May, 2010<br />Brain Drain in the Philippines: Deprivation of its Development<br />In recent decades, the Philippines have been one of the world’s biggest exporters of professionals such as nurses, pilots and engineers (Harden). Those skilled and educated workers have been encouraged to go overseas, to get a better job and higher salary. This phenomenon, called Brain Drain has been seen all over the world, but there is a reason for Filipinos being more preferred. One great advantage the Philippines have over the other nations is their English language skills, and adding to this is the global demands for their demonstrated talents continuing to grow, and even the government has had a policy to encourage the workers to leave the country (Harden, Llorito). However, Dr. D.N. Misra, adviser to India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research said that this is a definitely paradoxical phenomenon (Iyer). In fact, the Philippines are one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world; it has the greatest need for the professionals to develop the country, though it is true that the Philippine is losing its best-educated people (Iyer). While the current situation of the Philippines somewhat causes good consequences, it is true that the Brain Drain negatively affects the Philippines in terms of development, economy and social indeed.<br />As Dr. Misra insists, the emigration of the engineers and other professionals would decrease the local development of the Philippines consequently. Not only Philippines but in many countries, large numbers of engineers, usually graduated at the bachelor’s level, immigrates to a developed country for employment (Jones). However, such mobility is almost inevitable, due to the lack of challenging jobs in the Philippines and higher compensation which can be received abroad (Jones). More scientists and engineers now work in abroad than domestically, and it correlates with the slow development in the rural area of the country (Llorito). Construction of the roads, buildings, schools and hospitals does not take place enough, thus the rural communities cannot thrive. The Brain Drain of the engineers obviously hinders the country’s development.<br />To a greater degree than any other country, the Philippines are powering its economy with remittances (Harden). Because the salaries of people going abroad are much higher than what they could get in the country, they have taken a large part of sustaining the Philippine economy. For example in U.S., Philippine teachers can earn double or triple what they could earn at home, and a nurse can make 10 times the annual salary of a government doctor in the Philippines (Chan, Harden). The total amount of money sent home was $12.8 billion in 2006, which was more than 10 percent of the country’s gross national product (Harden). Also, it has been found that the remittances are associated with higher local servings rates and decreasing of poverty in some cases (Harbessey). Thus it is understood that the remittance is necessary to retrieve Philippines’ current economic situation.<br />Although the remittances have been greatly influenced the Philippines’ economy, it tends to make the people in the country over dependence on them. The remittances are no match for what people could earn in the country, thus it removes a motivation to improve the nation’s economy. Evidence suggests that those remittances retard local development by “crowding out entrepreneurial initiative” (Henessey). As workers vote with their feet, it even discourages<br />local government from establishing any meaningful reform to improve living standards (Chan). It is said that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has yet to show that the government is committed to improve the country’s infrastructure, nor creating quality jobs for the people (Chan). The fact that the Philippines keeps losing its best workers has dissuaded the government from creating decent jobs in the country, and consequently people becomes more dependent on the remittances consequently.<br />The Philippine people needs to be well-educated to work overseas; since the world at large values education, allowing migration of the professionals may increase the incentive to acquire education (Hennessey). From 1999, the number of nursing schools has almost tripled (Harden). These schools are part of an astonishing spike in nursing education, as rising of global demand subsequently raised the number of enrollment in most schools (Harden, Llorito). It is obvious that this phenomenon encourages people to be keen to study, and the average level of education of the remaining population to rise.<br />As a result of the government footing the bill for the education of more nurses, they now tend to spend the better part of their productive years working abroad and the local health service is declining (Meinardus). A 2002 survey indicated that 170,000 nurses were employed overseas, while only 27,000 were working in the Philippines; and estimated 3,000 nurses went abroad were in fact doctors-turned-nurses (“Brain”). It is because on the outside of the Philippine, to get a certification of a nurse is much easier than of a doctor, and so more and more nursing schools in the Philippines are busy turning doctors into nurses. Although more than 6,000 of them have left the country and about 5,000 more are soon to go, the government has done nothing to control the departure of them (Harden). Due to the lack of doctors and nurses, about 200 hospitals have recently closed across the country, and another 800 hospitals are considered partially closed (Llorito). Jaime Z. Galvez Tan, a physician and professor at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine said that the Philippine is “the only country in Southeast Asia without a national health service requirement” (quoted in Harden). In the local hospital, the doctors left in the country alternate solo shifts and work more than they are supposed to be on duty, though there are limitations to the number of the patients they can treat. This episode of one very sick man, who was “severely malnourished and admitted one afternoon… died while the doctor was examining him” shows that (quoted in Harden). The demands exceed the number of the doctors, and the health service is obviously declining.<br />The departure of the educated, skilled workers from the Philippines has brought some good consequences to its own development. This phenomenon raises the average level of education, motivates more people to go overseas and even powers the country’s economy with the remittances, and it has now become a necessary part of the Philippine’s development and economical stability. On the other hand, it is yet undeniable that it deprives the Philippine’s growth in terms of development, economy and social; its rural areas are not industrialized, people remaining becomes overdependence and the local health services are getting worse. Even though the Philippines have been dramatically developed by sending its best workers abroad, it is obviously not a long-term change. The Philippines should attempt to stop Brain Drain, and so think about more effective way to develop its own country. <br />