The Philippines: Globalization and Migration
By Anny Misa Hefti
Globalization is synonymous to the phenomenon of acceleration. For the past 25 years rapid changes have affected political, economic and social developments. Acceleration is seen in vast technological changes, media revolution, global economic integration and massive changes in production systems and labour markets. All these rapid increases in transnational flow of capital, trade and technology have marked its effects on international migration as well. Global economic restructuring has led not only to disruption in less developed or developing economies, it has also been a factor in unemployment, wage decline or job insecurity in dominant market economies.1Heavily indebted countries, like the Philippines have resorted to labor export to help them afloat. But, I will not delve on this issue here, as this is the expertise of my colleagues, Dr. Bello and Ms. Rodriguez.
What to me has considerable impact on international migration is the globalization of technology especially communications technology. Fax and telephone have replaced what used to be snail-pace letter communication. Relations between immigrant communities abroad and home communities have been facilitated by these new possibilites. The globalization of mass communication including TV, film, video and music has reinforced dreams of easy life abroad. These "imagined lives" reach even to peasants in remote villages. Migration becomes very attractive. Impact of globalization on Migration
Contemporary views on migration depart from the earlier premise of the push-pull theory on migration. According to this theory, people moved either because social and economic forces in the place of destination impelled them to do so, or because they were attracted to places of destination by one or more social and economic factors there. Observers of migration flows have long seen the vast changing nature of migration. What used to be purely economic reasons for migrating no longer hold in many cases. Globalization of communication technology has affected extensively the original impetus of individuals to migrate. Linkages between receiving and sending countries are readily established. Networks connect migrants and non-migrants, where news and information are shared. This sustains the flow of migration. Studying networks particularly those linked with families and households sheds an understanding in the development and encouragement in additional migration. Let us take an example on the issue of the so-called "mail-order brides" - a rather degrading label. I use this term now, so we know what I am talking about. In early 1980, many Filipinas married Western men through contracts with agencies or through newspaper ads. As they settled down in these countries, they "invited" friends and relatives to visit them who either find work or also get married. In the USA, family reunification has been the main source of increased immigration. One study indicated that 41% of pre-arranged employment of Filipinas in Italy was done by a member of the family.3 Chain migration especially in family units is of special interest to migration researches.
On the aspect of direct labour recruitment, where family reunification is oftentimes not possible, increased migration is still evident because of networking. Job opportunities are readily shared. Earlier migrants assist subsequent migrants with accommodations, jobs, and contacts. Individuals from home countries hear of these successes thus encouraging further migration. Migration may continue even after the initial impetus for migration no longer exists.
Impact on countries of origin
Filipinos, being extremely family-centered, would above all remit earnings to the family left behind. The standard of living of these families would improve considerably, and their status in the community elevated commensurate to the remitted green bucks.
It is known that Filipinos abroad remit...
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