Publication: Taliba Canada
Filipinos In Demand
immigrants dream of some day returning to their home country and Filipinos
are no different. What is special about the Filipino situation is that there
are so many who have left over the years.
Filipinos leave for economic reasons and many say they would return when
there are realistic career opportunities available. So the question is this:
Is the economy and government still messed-up or are things getting good
enough to consider returning?
Bustamante is one person who has already made the trip back. She returned to
Philippines from Canada 6 years ago. She now runs one of south-east Asia’s
dominant recruitment organizations focusing solely on senior management
positions for multinational companies.
to Rebecca, “We are seeing a lot of demand for Filipinos with
international professional experience these days. For most of the past 10
years, there was large scale emigration of middle managers. Now that the
economy is growing so strongly, we don’t have enough people for middle and
senior management positions.”
Bustamante’s company, Chalre Associates, is having difficulty finding
people. She is concerned about the future growth of the country unless
explains the extent of the situation, “The BPO sector alone is creating
jobs per month right now. There are lots of good entry level people but we
out of experienced managers. I am worried because young Filipinos won’t
jobs unless they have managers to manage them. The situation is spreading to
growing industries. How can the country grow without experienced leaders?”
return to a place I already left?
There are various reasons people give to return to Philippines beyond the
like being close to your family and it’s less expensive to live.
We asked Ms. Bustamante what people tell her. “Most overseas Filipinos are
in their new country. With international experience, they automatically
part of the elite of Philippines and career options can be greatly enhanced.
If you are
used to managing 3 people in the US, you will manage about 30 in
the value of international experience. We call it the rule-of-ten.”
big improvement for Rebecca was in lifestyle. She says, “I don’t miss
own cooking and cleaning. I have a lot more time for my family in
Philippines and am
not so stressed like I was in Canada. I also have more control over schools
activities for my children.”
Beyond this, many Filipino returnees are motivated by a strong feeling of
make a contribution to their country. Rebecca says, “We Filipinos want to
something to help build the next generation so the country can reach the
has been promised for so long. Most people express this desire and I am
The grass isn’t always greener.
Of course, there are risks in leaving your chosen land to return to a
country that is
perceived to have a lot of problems. About this Rebecca says, “Philippines
but it still has a way to go. Working with multinational companies is better
really understand Filipino companies. Security and healthcare are also
come here if you have personal issues about these.”
As for starting a business, Ms. Bustamante is surprisingly anxious,
“Don’t start your
own business until you have worked here for a while. I was just lucky with
business but most people who start their own business lose money. So, be
Like any country, there is a never a perfect time to return but now might be
time than has existed in a while.
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