Immigration Matters reporting again from the Philippines where, it seems, just about everybody wants to go abroad.
Everywhere you look there are signs advertising opportunities to work or study in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK or the Middle East.
Talk to any taxi driver, waiter or shop assistant and they all say the same thing: “It is my dream to go abroad”.
And who can blame them? With salaries for nurses as low as 6000 Pesos (around £70) per month and just 25,000 Pesos (Around £300) per month newly qualified Doctors in Government hospitals working 36 hour shifts at a time.
They are the lucky ones. With hundreds of thousands of nurses and healthcare professionals unemployed or working in the many call centres in the business districts of Makati and Ortigas, newly qualified nurses are often forced to pay hospitals to do volunteer work in order to gain the experience they need to land a job abroad.
Last month it was announced that 32,000 Filipino’s passed the nursing licensure or ‘board’ (PRC) exam, and most will join the ranks of the estimated 300,000 unemployed qualified nurses in the Philippines.
A total of 76,000 nursing graduate sat the exam, held in June and November, with 44,000 failing to make the grade.
Eduardo, a Manila taxi driver I spoke to on Friday, told me he clears just 600 pesos (around £7) a day after paying for his fuel and hire charges. In between fighting his way through the EDSA traffic in Manila, Eduardo explained that his ‘day’ is in fact the 24 hour shift he works on alternate days, which means he is effectively earning £2 for an eight our day.
In 2008 he was held up by two gunmen and a girl. He said “take my money but don’t kill me, I have family, a one year old Son”. He was not ashamed to admit that he cried.
The 30 year old driver was only spared death because the girl told the two men she only wanted to rob “not kill anyone”. He was hit over the head with the butt of the pistol before the gang fled with his takings of less than £20.
With huge areas of the world steeped in poverty, British people fear their country will be overun with immigrants. In reality, very few of the millions who ‘dream’ of working overseas actually do anything about it.
Low skilled high school graduates like Eduardo would not qualify under the points based system for migration, or even the previous work permit scheme, to work in the UK.
Skilled workers are only allowed in under Tier 2 where the employer can show the post cannot be filled within the EU or the job appears on the shortage occupations list.
MORE IMMIGRATION NEWS THIS WEEK:
The UK Border Agency this week announced proposals requiring would-be-citizens to earn enough points to stay permanently in the UK. The new points based test for citizenship will award migrants points for building up different attributes and skills, much like the Aussie-style points system for immigration.
New figures from the European Union’s statistical agency project that the EU’s population will exceed a half-billion in 2009.
The Sun reports that the judge who criticised Britain’s immigration system was last night facing a disciplinary probe over his outburst.
Immigrants who take part in anti-war demonstrations risk losing their chance of getting British citizenship under new government proposals, a Home Office Minister said this week. Minister Phil Woolas said migrants would have to “earn” their citizenship under plans being unveiled this morning for a new points system for immigrants seeking a British passport.
Home Secretary Alan Johnson, will launch the consultation paper, which proposes that those wanting a passport could earn points for speaking English and doing community work, and lose points for anti-social behaviour, such as protesting against British troops.
In what must be the most embarrassing incident since illegal immigrants were found working in the Home Office, Sky News reports this week that an illegal immigrant is on the run in the UK after smuggling himself into Britain underneath a coach full of Border Agency officials.
A Parliamentary Home Affairs Committee, made up of MP’s, have given a ‘thumbs-up’ to the points based system, introduced last year to control migration levels, but identified some problems.
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