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close this bookEmigration Pressures and Structural Change. Case Study of the Philippines (International Labour Organization, 1997, 56 p.)
close this folder8. A strategy of selective interventions
View the document(introduction...)
View the document8.1. Short-term steps
Open this folder and view contents8.2. Medium-term strategic realignments
View the document8.3. The long-term: Structural reforms and macro-economic re-orientation

8.1. Short-term steps

While a generalized ban on labour exports could only be self-destructive, considerable negotiating leverage could skillfully be exploited through the enforcement of more narrowly focused prohibitions. Two such possibilities suggest themselves. The first could involve intervening to stop labour outflows to specific countries with bad records with respect to the treatment of overseas workers. Leaving aside Saudi Arabia, the next most important labour-importing countries account for approximately 10 per cent of the total annual outflows of deployed workers. This implies that the economic consequences for the Philippine economy could be marginal. The second possibility could be a total ban on specific most-vulnerable occupations, e.g. domestic help and “entertainers.” In 1994, the total number of deployed “entertainers” was 10,491, or just 1.86 per cent of total deployments for the year; for domestic helpers, the percentage was substantially higher, at 13.58 per cent, but still a small fraction of the total. (Or there could be more targeted bans based on occupation-country combinations, or conditional ones, where workers below a certain age might be stopped.) The Philippine government has in the past successfully utilized this tactical form of diplomacy to extract concessions and commitments for labour-receiving countries.