11% of highly-skilled Filipinos want to leave PH -- Unesco

November 23, 2018

Eleven percent of the highly skilled Filipinos emigrate to another country, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 2019 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report said.

The report also hailed the Philippines for developing policies for returnees and their needs abroad.   

UNESCO said the Philippines stands out in the report for its proactive policies to help returnees to ease their reintegration into the labor market.

The Philippines is one of the biggest senders of skilled migrants in the world.

UNESCO cited the Philippines’ Technical Education and Skills Development Authority that has been working with Gulf states and Hong Kong, China, to develop mutual qualification recognition agreements for emigrant workers and has been carrying out testing and certification of expatriates.

“The Philippines even provides training for emigrants about to go abroad: it combined job-related and pre-departure vocational training with longer compulsory programmes,” it stressed.

UNESCO said one positive result of migration on education in the Philippines is in the form of remittances.

It is the third largest receiver of remittances, receiving $33 billion in 2017, the report said.

“The report shows the extent to which remittances are spent by receiving families on education, which likely explains why, as opposed to other countries, in the Philippines, school attendance increased and child labour decreased in households with international migrants (An estimated 1.5 million to 3 million children in the Philippines, one of the largest sources of international migrant workers, have a parent living abroad.),” the report said.

In South Korea, Families of Filipino workers tripled their health and education spending.

Overall, the report shows that a 10% increase in international remittances increased attendance by more than 10% in the country and reduced child labour by more than three hours per week.

The 2019 GEM Report also contained new calculations on the extent of global brain drain, that showed globally, 1/4 of countries see 1/5 of their highly skilled migrate.

The report explained however oNe of the factors that can mitigate the effects of brain drain is return migration, a phenomenon that is typically neglected because of the perception that migrants leave with no intention to come back.