Losing Hope for My Country

I am one of the millions of Filipino OFW or Overseas Filipino Worker.

So what is an OFW? We are Filipino citizens living and working outside of the Philippines. Our remittances make up a bulk of the economy of the country. In short, one of the Philippines’ top commodity is selling her own citizens – it’s a legal form of Human Trafficking.

It is with utter regret to admit that I am losing hope for my country.

As an OFW with more than 10 years of experience abroad, my ultimate goal is to go back home and stay there with my family and friends for good. The progress made by the previous administration gave me hope to the point that I decided to be an absentee voter so that I can participate in the 2016 Presidential Elections and to help keep the momentum going.

Unfortunately, my candidate lost. Mar Roxas lost to the current president – Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte used the issue on drugs as his main campaign agenda. He never once talked about the economy of the country. I guess, he is relying on OFWs to keep on just sending remittances and to stay away from our families until we die in another country.

So now we are in 2017. More than a year into Duterte’s presidency. Where is the Philippines now?

Well, the Philippines is now nowhere. Instead of moving forward everything is either on a stand still or going backward. Based on what I’ve seen so far, I am hoping it remains on the stand still but looks like the movement that the president wants is to go back to the stone age.

What has Duterte’s presidency done so far? Honestly, it made the Philippines look like a country of drug addicts and nothing more. My Indian colleagues come to me and ask me “Do all Filipinos take drugs?” Wow!!!

So congratulations to President Duterte for making me look like a drug addict in front of my non-Filipino colleagues. Good job Mr. President!!!

The goal of the previous administration was to improve the economy in order to also improve the lives of ALL Filipinos – most especially the poor. Don’t get me wrong, the previous administration was not perfect. It is controlled by a political party of your usual type of politicians – corrupt, fat, and evil – but that administration made strides in terms of improving the economy and to bring the Philippine Peso back to respectable levels.

All that progress is gone now. The peso is now back at the P50 to US$1 range. And instead of helping to provide more jobs to the citizens this same government has just taken the livelihood of thousands of Filipinos by suspending Uber. This includes my brother whose main source of income WAS his Uber business.

Instead of helping the country, this administration’s main objective is to put “friends” in government positions regardless of their lack of qualifications. Okay, this may not be a fact but this is my opinion based on what I see.

Imagine, putting lawyers to head the transportation department of the country. What do lawyers know about improving the transport situation of a country? I believe engineers should be handling this department.

Check out the list of cabinet members here. Tell me what is common in their background?

I just hope the country can last the next five years of this administration. More over, I hope President Duterte can prove me wrong. I hope my cousins from Davao can prove me wrong. I hope I am wrong!!!