December 8, 2023

For decades now, “brain drain” has been wreaking havoc on our beautiful archipelago as droves of its very best and brightest continue to leave its shores for the proverbial greener pastures abroad.
The main reason usually given for this “hemorrhaging” is the much better pay and other attractive incentives offered by other countries for our English-speaking and hard-working professionals, especially those in the health sector like nurses.
A recent Philippine Star editorial stated, “The problem requires less affluent and developing economies to innovate and exert more effort to hang on to their health professionals, particularly nurses.” We fully agree.
I could be wrong, but it seems to me that this continued exodus of our countrymen (and women) represents a collective “slap” (metaphorically speaking, that is) at the faces of many (not all) of our “honorable” leaders, past and present, for the way they have governed (or the lack of it) and continue to lead, if what they are doing could be described as leading, our beloved country.
Again, I could be mistaken but it seems that good governance has rarely been seriously considered by many of our officials as part of leadership.
Of course, the blame also falls on the electorate who continue to vote into office so-called leaders based only on popularity and other shallow reasons. Truly, we deserve the leaders we elect into office. What has this gotten us so far? We can only blame ourselves for the continuous rot our country finds itself stuck into.
Anyway, this near-sighted Ibaloy writer would opine that although higher pay is the main reason for most of our people seeking overseas employment, some reasons would also have to be the dream of living in a country where as they say “the trains run on time”; where corruption is non-existent or at least less rampant than here; where people are paid living wages; where one is hired or promoted based on “what you know” (merit) and not “who you know” (kapit); where good education is affordable to all; where there is justice for all and not one for the rich and another for the poor; where our hard-earned taxes are used properly; where it is easy to put up a business; where crime is at a minimum; where there is an abundance of opportunities and not the lack of it; where political dynasties are non-existent or at least not as numerous as what we have here; and more.
As I have claimed in past columns, most Filipinos, if given the chance and opportunity, would rather work and live in other countries that could offer them and their loved ones better futures.
Mind you, this does not mean they are unpatriotic or do not love our beloved Philippines, they just want more opportunities and chances for advancement and lead decent lives with their families. That’s basic human nature, I guess. I’m afraid that so long as our beloved nation continues to be ruled by members of greedy political dynasties, then the dreaded “brain drain” of our best and brightest leaving our native shores for better opportunities abroad will continue. I hope to be proven wrong.
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.