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Globalization and Filipino Migration


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Globalization and Filipino Migration

  1. 1. GLOBALIZATION AND FILIPINO MIGRATION By Janice Chin Yen Ni A paper presented to Dr Bryant Myers and the School of Intercultural Studies FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree M. A. in Inter-Cultural Studies March 2010
  2. 2. MD500 Globalization, the poor and the Church Winter 2010 Bryant L. Myers, Professor of International Development Pasadena campus TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 3 1 WORKING DEFINITION OF TERMS USED 4 1.1. Globalization 4 1.2. Migrant 4 2 A BRIEF GLANCE AT FILIPINO MIGRATION HISTORY 5 2.1. Migration in Southeast Asia 5 2.2. The First Wave 5 2.3. The Second Wave 6 2.4. The Third Wave 6 3 ISSUES RELATED TO FILIPINO MIGRATION 8 3.1. Challenges and Risks 8 3.2. Migration Management and Poverty Alleviation 10 4 MISSIOLOGICAL REFLECTION ON MIGRATION AND MIGRANTS 13 4.1. Humility: Pilgrimage with Migrants 13 4.2. Hospitality: Embracing Migrants 13 4.3. Hope and Justice: Advocating for Migrants 14 SUMMARY – BEYOND BORDERS: MIGRATION AND MISSION 16 REFERENCES CITED 17 G10184090 Final Paper 2
  3. 3. MD500 Globalization, the poor and the Church Winter 2010 Bryant L. Myers, Professor of International Development Pasadena campus INTRODUCTION Some say we are living in “the age of migration” (Castles 1998), as international migration reaches unprecedented levels today (Hanciles 2003:146). This movement of people is as much a defining attribute of globalization as movement of goods, services, and capital (Khatri 2007:4; Cruz 2008:357). Human migration may have had its beginnings since the earliest times, but at no time has it been at such magnitude, “significantly [altering] demographic, economic and social structures” (Hanciles 2003:146; Chanda 2007:147). And such alteration is inevitable. In 2005, the United Nations (UN) recorded an estimate of 200 million international migrants, from 120 million in 1990 (Chanda 2007:309; Cruz 2008:360). Recognizing this as top global policy agenda, the UN established the Global Commission on International Migration (the Philippines was one of thirty-two in the Core Group of States) to provide a framework for formulating a “coherent, comprehensive and a global response” (Khatri 2007:5; GCIM 2005:vii). The Commission’s 2005 report states: although globalization provides millions of women, men and children with better opportunities in life, it has brought about disparities in the standard of living and level of human security available to people in different parts of the world (Khatri 2007:5). The international community has failed to “capitalize on opportunities and meet the challenges associated with international migration” (Khatri 2007:5). The Church is no exception. If “Christianity is a migratory religion, and migration movements have been a functional element in its expansion” (Hanciles 2003:149), the Church cannot afford to neglect issues pertaining to the migrant, whose wellbeing and identity are and will continue to be interwoven with the mission of God in this world, through the witness of the Church community (Nissen 2004:5). This is what we will be looking at, as we explore Filipino migration, issues related to Filipino migrants, and how these issues can inform our missiological reflection so that the Church may respond effectively, in lieu of these global(-izing) contexts for mission. G10184090 Final Paper 3
  4. 4. MD500 Globalization, the poor and the Church Winter 2010 Bryant L. Myers, Professor of International Development Pasadena campus CHAPTER 1 WORKING DEFINITION OF TERMS USED GLOBALIZATION The term ‘globalization’ has been used indiscriminately to describe “a process, a condition, a system, a force, and an age” (Steger 2009:7). Clearly, a distinction between the process of globalization and the condition of globality needs to be made, otherwise such indiscriminate use will lead to obscurity in understanding and lack in operational meaning (David L. Richards 2001:219-220; Keohane 2002:15). Typically, variations aside, globalization refers to both “a process of change and a resulting set of conditions”: it is a process by which barriers to exchange are drastically reduced by technological, economic, and political innovations…resulting in increasing transnational flows and increasingly thick networks of interdependence (Law 2008). MIGRANT The term ‘migrant’ includes a wide range of types and experiences. Van Hear highlights that transient people can be grouped according to a spectrum of categories such as students, cross-border commuters, refugees, asylum seekers, temporary workers, permanent residents, etc., and they tend to move from one category to another over a period of time (Van Hear 1998:41, as quoted in; Hanciles 2008:182). We must take into account that how a migrant is defined has been and still is a politically-loaded issue, and can suggest the legality or illegality of status (Hanciles 2008:182). For this paper, we shall define a migrant as “a person who has stayed outside of his or her homeland for one year or more” (The Longest Journey: A Survey of Migration 2002:5). The phrase ‘Overseas Filipino Workers’ – OFW from here onwards – will be used to refer to Filipinos who are employed outside of the Philippines, whether on contract basis or within an unspecified period of time. Also, the words ‘origin’ and ‘destination’ will be employed to refer to migrants’ home countries and host countries, e.g. ‘country of origin’. G10184090 Final Paper 4
  5. 5. MD500 Globalization, the poor and the Church Winter 2010 Bryant L. Myers, Professor of International Development Pasadena campus CHAPTER 2 A BRIEF GLANCE AT FILIPINO MIGRATION HISTORY Since the 1970s, the Philippines has participated in international migration (Asis 2008:97). Filipino workers go not only to other Asian countries, but also to all other regions (Asis 2004:21). To better understand their migration experiences, we need to take a look at the regional context in which it is situated (Asis 2008:97). Obviously, we will not cover this history in much breadth or depth, but hopefully it is adequate to align us for the chapters to follow. MIGRATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA1 Southeast Asia’s migration profile is extremely diverse, with intra-regional migration being “very intense,” and labor often circulating “within the sub-region” (Asis 2004:21). In the last 30 years, labor migration “has been a constant in the Asian landscape,” as changes such as the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act in the United States led to tremendous migration movements from Asia (Asis 2004:23; 2008:98). This is one of many similar markers, all of which contribute to the phenomenon of Filipino migration today. THE FIRST WAVE In the early nineteenth-century, existing ties between European colonizing countries and their former colonies facilitated the flow of people (Cruz 2008:359). With the advent of independence following the end of World War II (AD1935-1945), newly-independent countries in the region focused their energies on nation-building (Asis 2008:97-97). Migration was primarily internal (rural-to-urban), until “economic and political changes unleashed processes promoting international migration in all the world’s regions” (Asis 2008:98). With the Gulf countries demanding huge numbers of workers, workers were recruited with petro dollars 1 Countries included under “Southeast Asia” are: Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore. G10184090 Final Paper 5
  6. 6. MD500 Globalization, the poor and the Church Winter 2010 Bryant L. Myers, Professor of International Development Pasadena campus from Asia, and recruitment agencies were formed to be the intermediary between the workers and employers. These agencies and related businesses grew to become the migration industry, which helped sustain migration in the region (Asis 2008:99). THE SECOND WAVE When the infrastructure for the oil industry was nearing completed around the 1980s, the demand for workers shifted to more service-oriented workers, leading to “a marked feminization of migrant labor flows” (Castles 2009; see also Asis 2008:99). Since then, rapid economic growth and lower fertility rates within Southeast Asia led to stronger demand for labor in the new industrial economies, causing labor migration to grow exponentially from the mid-1980s to the first half of the 1990s (Castles 2009). The Asian financial crisis which hit during 1997 to 1999 brought some migrants home, but very quickly, migration resumed (Castles 2009). Comparatively, Filipinos are more occupationally-diverse, and are thus widely distributed all across the world in niches they have carved out, e.g. domestic work, seafaring, and nursing (Asis 2008:97). Around this time, while migration flows from Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines continued, new countries of origin emerged, such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar (Castles 2009). In this second phase, the Philippine government privatized migration recruitment, playing a regulatory role while the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) helped manage migration (see Battistella 1999, under 'Managing Labour Migration'). THE THIRD WAVE At the onset of the 21st century, dependence on migrant workers increased due to the slowing-down of labor force growth in industrializing countries and local workers’ reluctance to take up menial jobs – hence the term ‘3D’, used to refer to ‘dirty, dangerous and difficult jobs’ (Castles 2009). Women tend to be more easily acquired for these jobs, contributing to more females migrating both legally and illegally (Cruz 2008:367). Like Indonesia and Sri Lanka, women G10184090 Final Paper 6
  7. 7. MD500 Globalization, the poor and the Church Winter 2010 Bryant L. Myers, Professor of International Development Pasadena campus make up 60 to 80% of legal migrant workers from the Philippines each year (Asis 2004:20; Hanciles 2008:201-2). By 2003, there were 7.7 million Filipinos living abroad, both temporarily or permanently (GCIM 2005:17). In 2004, the total in remittances sent home hit at least $8.5 billion, making the Philippines third in rank as the top three remittance-receiving country, after Mexico and India (GCIM 2005:17; 85). Today, an estimate of eight million make up the Filipino diaspora, comprising ten percent of the country’s population of 88 million (Asis 2008:97). Following a March 15 report by Bangko Sentral ng Philippines (BSP), there has been an 8.5% surge in remittances to $1.372 billion, a $107 million more than last year’s total (Agcaoili 2010). At this point, it is necessary to ask: what makes the Philippines a major country of origin? Secondly, what role do Filipino migrants play in regard to its national development? (Asis 2008:97) One thing is for certain: as labor migration becomes increasingly globalized, migration is changing (Chanda 2007:172). In the following chapter, we will focus on issues pertaining to Filipino migrants, which include the challenges they face and in turn opportunities that arise as a result of their migration activity, while bearing in mind that this discussion is necessarily limited in length and detail. G10184090 Final Paper 7
  8. 8. MD500 Globalization, the poor and the Church Winter 2010 Bryant L. Myers, Professor of International Development Pasadena campus CHAPTER 3 ISSUES RELATED TO FILIPINO MIGRATION Some propose that migration flows reflect “movement of labor from low income and more populous countries to high income and less populous countries” (Asis 2004:20), whereas others feel strongly that there should be broader considerations (Massey 1998). Indeed, the complexities of today’s international migration need to be understood with “the multiplicity of theoretical accounts” rather than applying a monocausal explanation (Hanciles 2008:186). CHALLENGES AND RISKS Economic interdependence of countries, resulting not only in the exchange of goods but also exchange of services in the form of migrant workers, is a major force to be conceded (Gorospe 2007:369). Labor shortage in some industries of destination countries makes import of migrant workers a necessity, greatly affecting repatriation plans of these countries. Often, these employers cannot fill vacancies created when migrant workers are repatriated, even though domestic unemployment rate is high (Asis 2004:23). For the Filipinos, migration provides an alternative to being unemployed or underemployed (Gorospe 2007:369). Unemployment highs and balance of payment problems force them to migrate, or in some cases, prefer it (Asis 2004:23). It means lost investment in human capital and a shrinking of the pool of expertise on home ground, but because of the migrants’ contribution to economy, export of Filipinos as OFWs has become part of national policy (Battistella 1999:32-34). The migration industry is not short of exploitative practices when it comes to recruiting migrant workers. Although the Philippines regulates the activity of migration agents and labor brokers, smuggling and trafficking of workers continue because of inadequate legal and civil rights to protect them from being exploited (Gorospe 2007:370; Castles 2009). Malaysia is a very good example: when the authorities seek help to bring in irregular immigrants, who are not G10184090 Final Paper 8
  9. 9. MD500 Globalization, the poor and the Church Winter 2010 Bryant L. Myers, Professor of International Development Pasadena campus only blamed for unemployment but also crime and disease, the support of vigilante groups have led to cases of violence (Castles 2009). A recent measure is the introduction of amendments to the Immigration Act in 2002 in an effort to restrict unauthorized migration. Those who enter Malaysia illegally would be fined MYR10,000, sentenced to at least six months in jail (up to five years) as well as being subject to caning (Asis 2004:21). Not surprisingly though, despite such measures by destination countries, illegal immigration continues to grow rapidly, for which two likely factors are: (1) governments are not able to effectively manage migration; and (2) employers have access to “easily available and exploitable workers” (Castles 2009). In addition to the risk of illegal immigration, there is the ‘feminization of migration’. Other than domestic work, female workers within Southeast Asia take up ‘typically female’ jobs, which often offer “poor pay, conditions, and status, and are associated with patriarchal stereotypes of female docility, obedience, and willingness to give personal service”, resulting in ill-treatment and abuse (Castles 2009:213; Chanda 2007). With that, there has been a significant rise in the number of women exploited in the prostitution and entertainment industries (Hanciles 2008:202). However, although the high number of female migrants from the Philippines may suggest that labor migration is not male-dominated, this is not without “dilemmas and concerns” when protection issues for women are raised, because this then leads to negative connotations concerning the female worker (Asis 2004:20 - see note 4 by Piper). Giddens reminds us that globalization does not just concern “the big systems”, but also the “intimate and personal aspects of our lives” (Giddens 2003:12). Women migrants who become pregnant are repatriated (Asis 2004:24). Most Filipino migrants are not allowed to bring over their families; family reunification is one of the prohibitions set by destination countries in order to keep migration temporary (Asis 2004:24). Conflicts arise due to tension between financial security and wellbeing of the family (Gorospe 2007:370). As such, Filipino family systems are undergoing profound change or encountering a heightened level of risk, be it G10184090 Final Paper 9
  10. 10. MD500 Globalization, the poor and the Church Winter 2010 Bryant L. Myers, Professor of International Development Pasadena campus manufactured or external risk, “particularly as women stake claim to greater equality” (Giddens 2003:12; 26-27). Besides family fragmentation, OFWs also experience marginalization, social dislocation, and downward social mobility (Gorospe 2007:370). Generally speaking, the purpose of nation- state borders serve not to exclude immigrants but to define them and give them an identity (Cavanaugh 2008:5). Unfortunately, Filipino migrants often experience marginalization because they are not given the “full identity as the bearer of rights”; the existence of such a person, whom Agamben refers to as ‘bare life’, will remain in question, even though he or she may receive humanitarian aid (Cavanaugh 2008:6; Agamben 1998:121, 127). Until and unless citizen status is conferred on migrants and refugees, “[their] identity is a liminal identity, an identity that straddles the border and defines the person as being neither fully here nor fully there” (Cavanaugh 2008:5-6). This is to say that Filipino migrants are marginalized in two ways: (1) they are socially and structurally invisible in regard to their employers’ society; (2) they have a subaltern existence, objects of advancement to serve the interests of both the country of origin and the country of destination (Gorospe 2007:370). MIGRATION MANAGEMENT AND POVERTY ALLEVIATION On a positive note, a commendable initiative by the Philippines is a provision in its Migrant workers and Overseas Filipinos Act 1995, which requires the government to set up a Resource Center within the sphere of the Philippine Embassy. This center not only offers advisory programs to fresh migrant laborers, but also provides counseling and legal services, and welfare assistance (Khatri 2007:29-30). The decision of the Philippine government to conduct bilateral talks with destination countries that continue to open up employment opportunities for OFWs is considered be a factor for growth in remittances (Agcaoili 2010). Also, the government intends to facilitate the hiring of displaced workers affected by the global economic G10184090 Final Paper 10
  11. 11. MD500 Globalization, the poor and the Church Winter 2010 Bryant L. Myers, Professor of International Development Pasadena campus downturn (Agcaoili 2010). These are all commendable government efforts to support Filipino migrants. But in terms of development and poverty alleviation for the Philippines, it is the monitoring mechanisms for remittances that prove to be of key importance. Remittances sent by family members who are working overseas can significantly ease financial burdens of a household (Gorospe 2007:369). This is the main source of income for a large portion of Filipino families (Opiniano 2002:4; Bagasao 2003); it also contributes significantly for the country’s survival (Cruz 2008:361). The remittances Filipino migrants worldwide sent to the Philippines in 2006 totaled 22 billion dollars, 125% of the country’s budget for that year (Cruz 2008:361)! But these inflows of remittances spawn a culture of dependence on remittances, which can cause delay in necessary reforms in governance and income distribution through direct equity measures (Bagasao 2003:5). Quoting Go, president of the Philippine Migration Research Network (PMRN), on findings from Surveys on Overseas Filipinos (SOF) by the National Statistics Office, Opiniano writes that the economic benefits of international labor migration “have not trickled down to the poor and less developed regions in the country” (Opiniano 2002). In fact, the poorer segment of Philippine society are not participating in migration opportunities, whereas “regions with the lowest poverty incidence” have the highest number of migrant outflows (Opiniano 2002). Here is one of many examples from the SOF findings: 12.3% of the country’s total OFWs come from Mindanao, which has a 44.6% poverty incidence rate, but 53.2% of OFWs come from the provinces of Luzon, which has a 30.1% poverty incidence rate (Opiniano 2002). One of the practices in the Philippines is to enlist the help of the government and recruitment agencies to facilitate workers’ search for employment in higher-income economies to encourage remittances (Collier 2007:61). Following that, we then need to ask whether the benefits of migration compensate for the costs to the Philippines’ national development, e.g. family and/or marriage fragmentation. Migration can help those who leave, but the ones left G10184090 Final Paper 11
  12. 12. MD500 Globalization, the poor and the Church Winter 2010 Bryant L. Myers, Professor of International Development Pasadena campus behind suffer the perverse effects because the educated ones are absent (Collier 2007:94). With savings and investment decisions being made mostly on an individual basis by the absentee migrant, “these usually result in a large number of small enterprises run by migrant family members that fail or have little significant impact on productivity” (Bagasao 2003:6). Bagasao speaks of “economies of scale” and “critical mass”, suggesting that the government play a part in helping migrants organize and manage their savings and investments so that their earnings can improve productivity and fund local entrepreneurship. A curious question would be: can microfinancing play a part in leveraging remittances for development? Perhaps programs that link migrants or their families to microfinancing institutions that “provides migrant families the business mentoring and access to capital” can be developed (Bagasao 2003:7), which may help migrants ensure that money remitted is utilized for improving living standards at home. This is especially important, as it is often the families at the lower end of the income groups that rely more heavily on income from abroad. With migrants more likely to demand stronger legal rights and recognition than previous waves of migrants, their contribution goes beyond sending remittances (Cruz 2008:362). Now, migrants are learning to invest to help build infrastructure, especially for the rural regions (Cruz 2008:362). Poverty incidence rates may vary for different areas, but most of the migrants originate from outside the major cities. As resources get channeled toward local development, the home provinces of the OFWs can have better infrastructure and new opportunities for employment. G10184090 Final Paper 12
  13. 13. MD500 Globalization, the poor and the Church Winter 2010 Bryant L. Myers, Professor of International Development Pasadena campus CHAPTER 4 MISSIOLOGICAL REFLECTION ON MIGRATION AND MIGRANTS The phenomenon of migration has been, and is still, highlighting new missiological implications. As global Christianity’s center of gravity shifts southwards (Cavanaugh 2008:351; Hanciles 2003:149), where intraregional migration is happening at unprecedented levels, the Church too must redefine its understanding of mission. Cruz tells us that “support from religious institutions has become an important resource for prospective migrants”, as contemporary migration increasingly changes the way people identify with religious communities and the value they place on religion (Cruz 2008:364). These contemporary matters must be taken seriously, and thus as the Church, the bearers of Christian witness (Nissen 2004:5), we are compelled to consider the migrant. HUMILITY: PILGRIMAGE WITH MIGRANTS How does the history of pilgrimage in Christianity provide clues for how the church is to respond toward migrants in our globalizing world (Cavanaugh 2008:351)? The English word ‘pilgrim’ was derived from the Latin word peregrinus, the meaning of which includes ‘foreigner’, ‘wanderer’, ‘exile’, ‘alien’, ‘traveler’, ‘newcomer’, and ‘stranger’ (Wikipedia 2010). From biblical narrative, migration is a key theme, e.g. the Israelites, as seen in Deuteronomy 10:17-19 and 24:17-22 (Cavanaugh 2008:352; Groody 2005:99). This is what explains the Israelites’ attitude as one of “openness and hospitality toward the foreign immigrant because they themselves had experienced that same situation” (Burghardt 2004:39). As people of faith, we remember the exodus, Israel in the wilderness, a journey of hope to the promised land; as Tomasi says, “migration is a symbol that reveals the underlying reality of the church as a pilgrim people…[transforming] the church when its [migrants] embrace their poverty as wayfarers in a passing world” (Cruz 2008:368-9; Tomasi 1996:40). If we were to G10184090 Final Paper 13
  14. 14. MD500 Globalization, the poor and the Church Winter 2010 Bryant L. Myers, Professor of International Development Pasadena campus embrace the identity of pilgrim as the church, we are embracing the sense of mobility and instability within the context of globalization. By acknowledging our status as pilgrims, we remind ourselves that our primary identity is not defined by borders or citizenship (Cavanaugh 2008:351-2), and our primary citizenship is not of this world, e.g. Philippians 3:20. This interface between pilgrimage and divine purposes as found in the biblical narrative is compelling, to say the least, for we see how the migrant movement is linked with missio Dei as evidence of God’s direct involvement in human affairs and cultural experiences (Hanciles 2008:140; 150). HOSPITALITY: EMBRACING MIGRANTS In a time of high mobility and global travel, the value of hospitality has not been preserved well. For so many reasons, people are becoming much more individualistic and insulated as movement from rural to urban spaces increases; we live in separation and isolation because our society is dominated by a fear of the ‘other’. Sadly, sometimes migrants encounter outright hostility, as they try to assimilate or integrate into their host society (Cruz 2008:365). The word ‘hospitality’ derives from the Latin word hospes, originally meaning ‘stranger’, but can also be translated into both ‘host’ and ‘guest’ (Hershberger 1999:19; see also Wikipedia 2010); Matthew 25:31-45 gives us the injunction to treat the “least of [Jesus’] brethren” as we would treat him, and Hebrews 13:2 exhorts us to entertain strangers, “for in so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels”. What’s more, the Greek word used in the New Testament for hospitality is philoxenia, meaning ‘a love of the guest or stranger’, from the root word xenos. One way we can translate philoxenia is ‘a love of the whole atmosphere of hospitality and the whole activity of guesting and hosting’ (Pineda 1997:33-34). Such is the basis for mutuality between guest and host – both derive from the word hospes. The church can create more inclusive and effective communities (3 John 1:8; 1 Peter 4:9; Romans 12:13), if we would engage in hospitality by welcoming the migrants and treating them G10184090 Final Paper 14
  15. 15. MD500 Globalization, the poor and the Church Winter 2010 Bryant L. Myers, Professor of International Development Pasadena campus well, seeing them as equals who “may teach us something out of the richness of experience different from our own” (Pineda 1997:38). Thus, we honor the particularity of each person in the universality of Christ (Cavanaugh 2008:354), seeing the migrant as not merely “[an] instrument to be exploited at low cost…but a sharer…equally invited by God” (Burghardt 2004:184-5). We cultivate the “practice of providing a space where the [migrant] is taken in and known as one who bears gifts” (Pineda 1997); the gift that the migrant brings to the host society becomes highlighted, along with the need to extend hospitality (Gorospe 2007:372; Baggio 2005). “The presence of God in the foreigner is the foundation for the duty of hospitality” (Baggio 2005:19); it is Christ whom we welcome when we welcome the migrant. HOPE: ADVOCATING FOR MIGRANTS By relating in humility to migrants as fellow pilgrims and practicing mutuality with them through hospitality, we do not forget issues like illegal immigration or policy reforms need to be addressed. Rather than encouraging hopelessness or dependency, migrants can and should be empowered to make decisions for their own lives. Groody writes, “Meeting the demands of the common good and the requirements of distributive justice challenges the lifestyles, policies, and social institutions that negatively influence the poor” (Groody 2007:108). And it is the poor and marginalized – even the outcast woman – that constitute an important feature of the Gospel tradition (Nissen 2004:5-6). As the messenger of this Gospel, the Church is to create a vision of inclusive community, “critically engaged in action, questioning the inequality of access to resources” (Nissen 2004:7-8), and demonstrating diversity and mutuality through its community life and praxis. It may not be possible to completely eliminate their sense of liminal identity, for the reality of their marginalized status might remain to some extent, and total assimilation into their ‘host society’ is not the top goal for the Church. What the Church is ultimately responsible for is to exercise its prophetic role in calling both the country of origin and country of destination “to policies that would reflect the values of God’s Kingdom” (Gorospe 2007:375). G10184090 Final Paper 15
  16. 16. MD500 Globalization, the poor and the Church Winter 2010 Bryant L. Myers, Professor of International Development Pasadena campus SUMMARY BEYOND BORDERS: MIGRATION AND MISSION Migration has been a complex matter, and the conditions brought about by the dramatic rate of increase due to processes of globalization gets more complicated. Take the weakness of migration management and combine it with the dominant Asian model of migration, and we will realize that the challenges are far from being resolved: strict control of foreign workers, prohibition of settlement and family reunification, and denial of worker rights (Castles 2009). Overseas employment has become such “a vital part of the economy” in the Philippines (GCIM 2005:17), yet World Bank country director Bert Hofman remarks, “The remarkable economic growth in the Philippines in recent years has not reduced poverty, implying that the growth is not “inclusive growth”, because the poor do not benefit from it” (WB 2010). This definite correlation between poverty and migration needs both “individual and collective efforts” to empower the migrants and “give recognition to their contributions to the development not only of their countries of destination, but also to their countries of origin (Bagasao 2003:8). If it is true that migration has contributed to the problem of inequality in Philippine society, this is certainly a disconcerting conclusion for Filipinos worldwide. As for other countries of origin, the knowledge of those engaged in formulating or revising policies such as those in the Philippines can be drawn upon, because of the wealth of experience in providing the global labor market with a significant number of migrants (GCIM 2005:18). As mentioned, we are living in “the age of migration” (Castles 1998). The challenges and opportunities faced by Filipino migrants, or any migrant groups for that matter, is not theirs alone to experience. As we are compelled to consider the migrant, the Christian mission is recast, touching on critical themes of love, solidarity and justice (Cruz 2008:375). Beyond political boundaries, we are called to share humility, hospitality and hope in our global(-izing) world: the distance between the Church and the migrant is not that far after all. G10184090 Final Paper 16
  17. 17. MD500 Globalization, the poor and the Church Winter 2010 Bryant L. Myers, Professor of International Development Pasadena campus REFERENCES CITED Agamben, Giorgio. 1998. Homo sacer. Sovereign power and bare life, Meridian; Variation: Meridian (Stanford, Calif.). Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press. Agcaoili, Lawrence. 2010. OFW inflows up 8.5% to $1.372 billion in January. The Philippine Star, March 15, 2010. Asis, Maruja M. B. 2004. Not Here for Good? International Migration Realities and Prospects in Asia. The Japanese Journal of Population 2 (1):18-28. ———. 2008. How International Migration Can Support Development: A Challenge for the Philippines. In Migration and development perspectives from the South, edited by S. a. W. Castles, Raúl Delgado. Geneva: IOM International Organization for Migration. Bagasao, I. F. 2003. Migration and Development: The Philippine Experience. In International Conference on Migrant Remittances: Development Impact, Opportunities for the Financial Sector, Future Prospects. London, UK. Baggio, Fabio. 2005. Theology of Migration. In Exodus series : a resource guide for the migrant ministry in Asia, edited by F. Baggio. Quezon City, Philippines: Scalabrini Migration Center. Battistella, Graziano. 1999. Philippine Migration Policy: Dilemmas of a Crisis. Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia 14 (April 1999):pp. 229-48. Burghardt, Walter J. 2004. Justice : a global adventure. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books. Castles, Stephen and Miller, Mark J. 2009. Migration in the Asia-Pacific Region. Migration Information Source. Castles, Stephen Miller Mark J. 1998. The age of migration : international population movements in the modern world. 2nd ed. New York: Guilford Press. Cavanaugh, William T. 2008. Migrant, tourist, pilgrim, monk: mobility and identity in a global age. Theological Studies 69 (2):340-356. Chanda, Nayan. 2007. Bound together : how traders, preachers, adventurers, and warriors shaped globalization. New Haven: Yale University Press. Collier, Paul. 2007. The bottom billion : why the poorest countries are failing and what can be done about it. Oxford: New York. Cruz, Gemma Tulud. 2008. Between identity and security: theological implications of migration in the context of globalization. Theological Studies 69 (2):357-375. David L. Richards, Ronald Gelleny, David Sacko. 2001. Money with a Mean Streak? Foreign Economic Penetration and Government Respect for Human Rights in Developing Countries. International Studies Quarterly 45 (2):219-239. GCIM. 2005. Migration in an Interconnected World: New Directions for Action - Report of the Global Commission on International Migration. In Population and Development Review. Giddens, Anthony. 2003. Runaway world : how globalization is reshaping our lives. [2nd ]. ed. New York: Routledge. Gorospe, Athena E. 2007. Overseas Filipino workers. Evangelical Review of Theology 31 (4):369-375. Groody, Daniel. 2005. A Socio-theological hermeneutics of migration. In Humanities and option for the poor, edited by M. a. S. Holztrattner, Clemens. Wien : Lit: Piscataway, NJ. G10184090 Final Paper 17
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