Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Toilet Cleaners of the world-Quiroz

Dear Mouse,

I do not know what other degrading names can they call the OFW after they have been labeled "sellouts" and now "toilet cleaners of the world "by the "esteemed" columnist" of Inquirer.

Quiroz wrote:

Well, my apologies for offending sensibilities.I do remember that I used the phrase "toilet cleaners of the world" in reference to the choice made by Elmer Jacinto, the young man who topped the medical board exams only to accept a job as caretaker in a hospital in New York. Jacinto does not belong to the category of Filipinos whom Barry Gutierrez, the UP assistant professor who has studied in the United States and proposes to go back to his teaching job, describes as people who must choose between starvation and survival. He belongs to the category of Filipinos who must choose between, as Gutierrez himself puts it, commuting to work and owning an SUV, living a simple life serving the people and earning dollars while serving, well, that's where the "toilet cleaners of the world," as I put it, comes in.

I respect Quiroz for his opinion, but for a writer, he should be careful in using terms that meant something other than what he wanted to describe certain professions or occupations.

What did he mean by a caretaker in a hospital? If he was referring to a staff that gives direct care to people who are sick or who need personal assistance , then the word is caregiver. But Jacinto, with his nursing degree and a state license to boot in order to practice nursing instead of his medical degree cannot be categorized in the same level as a caregiver.

Caregivers in the US are those untrained and unlicensed people who work as companions of sick and geriatric people and normally are not allowed in the hospital premises. They work in private homes or in small board and care facilities.

If he is not familiar with the health care industry in the US, then he should be told that nursing professions are held by Filipinos and the strongly unionized housekeeping and janitorial jobs are held and controlled by people of other ethnicities.

Indeed, Jacinto is not in the category of Gutierrez whose family can afford to give him education in the US. Why study in the US anyway? There is also the pecuniary consideration. He can command higher pay check when he gets back to the university. From assistant, he may be promoted to Associate Professor or even Full Professor. If the study is on scholarship, then he needs to go home. Conditions on sponsored study is to spend some time in the country of origin as a payback to the sponsoring agency.

He further commented:

Our entire educational system is being refashioned to turn an entire generation into labor fodder for the factories of the world.

True, why not? This is in keeping with the times.

This is but a matching of skills and job requirements.

During the height of the glory of the Silicon Valley,most of the programmers in the US came from universities in China which curricular programs were designed to meet the demand in the USA. Same was true in India.

A Filipina engineer who worked for years in the semi-conductor capital of the world is now in the Philippines,a successful entrepreneur. She brought home with her not only her savings but also her acquired expertise.

He futher opined:

That difference you'll find between us and the other Southeast Asian countries today. They too send their excess labor abroad, but they do not send their doctors and engineers wholesale with them. Lee's and Mahathir's and Thaksin's doctors and engineers do not ask themselves what work they can find in Australia and Canada, they ask themselves what hospitals and steel bridges they can build in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Brunei Palace was built by engineers and architects who came mostly from the Philippines.

Indonesia's multilevel highways were designed and built by Filipino engineers.

For Quiroz' information, the enterprenuerial spirit was also perceived to be lacking from among Singaporean graduates. Only a few years back, the Prime Minister encouraged the overhaul of the educational system that was geared more on passing exams and excelling academically.

Quiroz should be made to understand that the small country of Singapore was and still is economically- dependent on foreign investors . Most of the Chinese-owned businesses in Singapore came from the Hongkong nationals who brought their money in exchange of citizenship before mainland China's takeover of that British protectorate-small island. The PM wanted to improve the economy by tapping the local capital from the savings of locals by encouraging the new graduates to start businesses rather than look for employment.

High rise condominiums in Makati and other prime cities are being bought by overseas Filipinos for their families or for their retirements.

Yes, Mr. Quiroz, the "toilet cleaners of the world are investing their money in their birth country.

I salute those who chose to stayed in the Philippines,but there is also an alternative way of helping the beleaguered country and for that, no one has the right to insult those who chose the other path.

The CA t


At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

no one can force people to stay or leave their country. everyone has the right to do whatever they want even if they become maids from doctors. there is no shame doing blue collar jobs (compared to being a politician). may i also point out that new zealand lacks radio therapists because their radiology graduates opt to work in high paying australia (,1227,266660-1-6,00.html see the related news and videos).

At 9:06 AM, Blogger Dr. Emer said...

Almost 90% of my classmate doctors are in the US. About 1-2% are scattered in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Many of them have remained doctors, some have married and maintained lucrative practices. I used to be one of them until the fates intervened, and I came back. I did not come back because I am nationalistic. I simply came back. Nami-miss ko ang kanin, trapik, bagoong, chicharon, basura, at baha.
For better or for worse, ang Pilipinas ang pnakamagandang bayan para sa akin. :)


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