- Pages: 14
- Word count: 3331
- Category: Immigration Philippines
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Philippines’ Children Gone Bad: Impacts of Labor Migration Everyday there are about more than 3,100 Filipinos temporarily leaving the country in search of jobs (POEA). In the Philippines, many parents believe that labor migration is their only solution to finding more job opportunities in other countries. However, parents have not considered the impact that will be imprinted on their children when they are separated. Statistics have shown a dramatic increase in labor migration in the Philippines since 1970. Thousands of children are growing up apart from either one of their parents because of labor migration. Children were not allowed to follow them because their parents could not take care of them while they are working. Thus, parents have to leave their children behind but send back remittance as a source of income. Even though remittance is good for their children and family by paying for their education in the Philippines, children still suffer emotionally because they are without the care of their parents.
Researchers found an increase in emotional insecurities, anger, abandonment, confusion, and lack of familial support among children with one or no parents, which result in poor performance in school (Parrenas Global). Parental neglect causes this prominent problem of care deficit among many children in the Philippines. This not only affects those families that are separated, but also affects the rest of the Philippines population. Due to the absentee of parents not being by their side, emotionally unstable children are more likely to misbehave and may harm or injure others. This results in children engaging in bad behavior or experiencing psychological trauma. Consequently, the distressed children commit crimes to get attention and this becomes a threat to Philippines society. The persistence of labor migration in the Philippines population has caused many families to be separated.
Due to the economy and growth of population, the Philippines government was not able to provide enough jobs to people for decent wages. This resulted in poverty and a decreasing labor force in the Philippines. Over time, labor migration has emerged and been a support for the Philippines economy. The number of oversea foreign workers has increased since the early 1970s from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of Filipinos migrating to other countries. In December 2004, approximately 8.1 million Filipinos have migrated with working contracts (POEA). Although working abroad helps these families earn a better wage, the length of their work period are typically two-year contracts. In addition, some two-year contracts are extended longer for specific reasons depending on the employers. Within those two years, these migrate workers were not allow to go back home and visit their families. But after the two years, they have to make a decision whether they want to renew their contract and continue to work abroad or leave their job and go home (Asis 45).
Migrant workers are also often separated into different sites across the world. Imagine how many families that will be separated because of the parents migrating to other countries to work. What will happen to their children and family within those two years while they are gone? Children are the ones who suffer the most when their parents leave them for their job. Many children who lack the care and support from both their parents encounter emotional trauma, which results in them living an unhealthy life style. According to a 2003 Children and Families survey conducted by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, 1443 children aged 10-12 years old were sampled. This survey was carried out in seven different areas in the Philippines and the children were randomly selected under different categories. Some of the categories were about migrant mothers, children with migrant fathers, children with both migrant parents, and children with non-migrant parents (Asis 48).
This survey was created to examine how the children who are left-behind are impacted because of their absent parents. Results show that children who were separated from their mothers experienced more emotional problems when measured in response to a statement on happiness, social anxiety, and loneliness (Asis 56). In addition, children had difficulties with academics and problems with their physical health. Family structure in the Philippines is an important factor that can affect many children’s education. If the family structure is broken, for example, when the children are separated from their parents, they are more likely to result in poor performance in school. Despite the migrant parent sending back remittance to help pay for their children’s education, the children have a higher chance of dropping out of school (Arguillas and Williams 301).
The reason that they are doing poorly because they do not feel that education is important to them while their parents are not by their side supporting them. Some even hold grudges against their parents because they feel abandoned and react in ways of emotionally distancing themselves from their parents. This often leads to acting up such as getting involved with gangs, becoming drug addicts, and committing crime in order to get their parents’ attention. All these negative problems arise when children are growing up without their parents. Although they might have a close relative watching over them, it is not the same as when the mother takes care of the child. These problems can also be long term or short term depending on parents’ communication with the child (Graham & Jordan “Migrant” 765-766). The emergence of labor migration has affected many children in the Philippines.
Some questions that relate to these issues are: What should parents do for their children in order to minimize their children from having emotional displacements and problems when they are migrating to other countries? How do the Philippines deal with the issue of parents being separated from their children? Given that children are the ones who suffer emotionally when apart from their parents, what should be done about migration? What are some possible solutions to prevent the lack of care of children when parents migrate to other countries? Is it possible for the parents to work in the Philippines for the same amount that is paid overseas? What are some possible ways that parents can show their children that they still care for them even when they are across the country? For my research I started off using Google search and Google scholars. However, Google did not give me much information about Philippine’s labor migration so I tried out the academic search complete.
The sources I found on the academic search complete were really helpful and credible. I found a lot about labor migration and how it impacts the children’s lives in the Philippines. Another search database I used was the Woman Studies international search engine. I found many useful sources as well and journal articles on my topic. Some key phrases I used are “labor migration”, “Filipino labor migration”, and “impacts on children in the Philippines.” There were two experts that I found were extremely helpful towards my paper, which are Maruia Asis and Rhacel Parrenas. These two experts wrote several books about migration and have done researches in the Philippines. Parrenas wrote “Children of Global Migration: Transnational Families and Gendered Woes” and contributed to The Global Woman: The Care Crisis in the Philippines. Her books has inspired and caught my attention in wanting to learn more about the migration in the Philippines.
I want to get more information from Parrena’s books because she is an expert on this topic. She has a PhD degree in Ethnic studies and she had done many hours of fieldwork in Italy, Japan, Philippines, and the United States. Maruia Asis is the director of research and publication at the Scalabrini migration center in the Philippines. She contributed in the Asian Population Studies and wrote “Living with Migration.” Her main focus in research is on gender, family migration, and migration development. She is definitely a reliable source due to her knowledge in researching about the Philippines family. Therefore, I plan to research further and refer back to her book for more helpful information about the Philippines. My next research steps focuses on the issue and solutions in helping the children who are separated from their parents.
Arguillas, M. J. B. and Williams, L. The Impact of Parents’ Overseas Employment on Educational Outcomes of Filipino Children. International Migration Review. 44: 300–319. Asis, Maruia M. B. Asian Population Studies. Living with Migration. Experiences of Left Behind Children in the Philippines. 2006. 2: 45–67
Graham, E. and Jordan, L. P. (2011), Migrant Parents and the Psychological Well-Being of Left Behind Children in Southeast Asia. Journal of Marriage and Family, 73: 763–787. Parrenas, R. ‘The Care Crisis in the Philippines: Children and Transnational Families in the New Global economy’, in Global Woman: Nannies, Maids and Sex Workers in the New Economy. 2002 Eds B. Ehrenreich & A. R. Hochschild, Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt &Company, LLC, New York. 39–54 Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). 2005. ‘Stock of Overseas Filipinos as of December 2004’
Arguillas, M. J. B. and Williams, L. The Impact of Parents’ Overseas Employment on Educational Outcomes of Filipino Children. International Migration Review. 7 June 2010. 44: 300–319.
Armstrong, Robert. Predictors of Emotional Problems and Physical Aggression
Among Children Of Hong Kong Chinese, Mainland Chinese and Filipino Immigrants to Canada. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology 45. 10 (2010): 1011–1021
Asis, Maruia M. B. Asian Population Studies. Living with Migration. Experiences of Left Behind Children in the Philippines. (2006) 2: 45–67
Battistella, Graziano. Ma. Conaco. “The Impact of Labor Migration on the Children Left Behind: A Study of Elementary School Children in the Philippines.” SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS). 1998. HighBeam Research.
“Convention on the Rights of the Child.” UNICEF- Migration and Children. Web. 21 December 2007
Cortes, Rosalia. Global Report on Migration and Children. “Children and Women Left Behind in Labor Sending Countries: An Appraisal of Social Risks.” October, 2007.
Graham, E. and Jordan, L. P. Migrant Parents and the Psychological Well-Being of Left Behind Children in Southeast Asia. Journal of Marriage and Family. 2011. 73: 763–787. Parrenas, R. ‘The care crisis in the Philippines: children and transnational families in the New global economy’, in Global Woman: Nannies, Maids and Sex Workers in the New Economy, Eds B. Ehrenreich & A. R. Hochschild, Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt &Company, LLC, New York, 2002. 39–54
Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). 2005. ‘Stock of Overseas Filipinos as of December 2004’
Waldfogel, Jane. “What Children Need: Meeting children’s needs when parents work” Harvard University Press. 2006.
Asis, Maruia M. B. Asian Population Studies. Living with Migration.
Experiences of Left Behind Children in the Philippines. 2006. 2: 45–67
Maruja M. B. Asis, a Director of Research and Publications at the Scalabrini Migration Center, Philippines, she provides research knowledge about gender, family migration, migration development and migration governance in the Philippines to her readers. Asis contributed in the Asian Population Studies, a journal hosted by Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore where she wrote Living with Migration. She is also a co-editor of the Asian and Pacific Migration Journal and she been working and researching on international migration in Asia. She presented evidence of her research in her writings. With the knowledge and experience of studying migration in Philippines, Asis have a wide view about labor migration and is helpful for audience who are interested in effects of migration. Annotation:
Parrenas, R. ‘The care crisis in the Philippines: children and transnational families in the New global economy’, in Global Woman: Nannies, Maids and Sex Workers in the New Economy, Eds B. Ehrenreich & A. R. Hochschild, Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt &Company, LLC, New York, 2002. 39–54 Rhacel S. Parrenas, a professor of sociology at the University of Southern California, she is known for her work in the field of women’s labor and migration in economic globalization. Parrenas have done research in several areas throughout Europe, United States and Asia. Her research specialties and main focus are gender, migration, families, intimacy and Asian American studies. Parrenas conduct informative research on the feminization of labor and migration in Italy, Japan, Philippines and the United States. Therefore, with the knowledge and research that Parrenas had done, she educate her readers through different writings, documentaries, as well as teaching students about labor migration and globalization. Evaluation:
Battistella, Graziano. Ma. Conaco. “The Impact of Labor Migration on the Children Left Behind: A Study of Elementary School Children in the Philippines.” SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS). 1998. HighBeam Research. The Journal article is helpful in understanding the impacts of labor migration on children. This article present evidence of the first research conducted in the Philippines which still have similar results as the current decade. Although the year that this research have been conducted is in 1998, but new other researchers have reexamined the case of study in the Philippines and found similar impacts, but there is a slightly new result. Some children in Philippines are now able to cope with their parents leaving them. I find the evidences and research results in this journal useful in understanding the effects on children. Evaluation:
Cortes, Rosalia. Global Report on Migration and Children. “Children and Women Left Behind in Labor Sending Countries: An Appraisal of Social Risks.” October, 2007. This global report analyzes whether international migration will increase or decrease risk of emotional problems in children that are left behind. The evidences and data are based upon secondary research of case studies. It provides statistical evidences and various experts in these fields. This report is very widespread and acknowledges not only Philippines; there are also evidence about international migration in Mexico, Ecuador, and many more. I am using this report as a source for my research proposal because it includes many comparison research cases in describing the increase risk of children who are left behind. The year that this report was published is still accurate and relative to my research. Evaluation:
Graham, E. and Jordan, L. P. Migrant Parents and the Psychological Well-Being of Left Behind Children in Southeast Asia. Journal of Marriage and Family. 2011. 73: 763–787. This journal is relevant to my research proposal because it includes evidence on the psychological children who are left behind in the Southeast Asian countries. It also help the audience have a better understanding between the idea of international migration and mentality of children health that focused on the separation of parents. Since my topic is researching about the affects of children in the Philippines, the research results in this journal is really helpful. There are also statistical facts on comparing the difference between children living with both parents and children living in transnational households away from their parents. This source is still timely enough so that this information is still new and accurate. Evaluation:
Waldfogel, Jane. “What Children Need: Meeting children’s needs when parents work” Harvard University Press. 2006. This book is relevant to my topic because the author Jane Waldfogel guides the audience through researched evidences on what children need when they are growing up and developing. There are plenty of evidences showing how working families can provide the needs to these children in order for them to successfully grow up. The author also presents variety of solutions for parents to support their children even when they are working as well as solutions to improving the quality of care. I think this source will be really helpful when it comes to talking about the historical background of the affects on children who grow up without their parents beside them. This source is credible and citable because Waldfogel received her PhD in public policy at Harvard and have focus comprehensively on the impact of policies on children and family. She has written other books such as Securing the Future: Investing in Children from Birth to College and The Future of Child Protection: How to Break the Cycle of Abuse and Neglect. Evaluation:
“Convention on the Rights of the Child.” UNICEF- Migration and Children. Web. 21 December 2007
This online source is helpful towards my topic because UNICEF (United Nation’s Children Funds) is an organization which focuses on children’s rights as well as working towards improving the lives of children internationally. This source can be one of the possible solutions to help children feel as if they are important to the parents instead of feeling the sense of abandonment. This UNICEF source is relevant to writing my historical background for my paper because it also provides many descriptions on the history of migration which will come in handy when I explain and talk about migration in Philippines and how many families and children dealt with the separation. Although this source does not specifically have a writer, I believe that it is a reliable and academic source because this site explains the goals and descriptions of Children’s right as well as the different partnership that are willing to work together to help improve children lives internationally.
These couple weeks of researching and finding the topic we are most interested about was difficult. However, after reading The Care Crisis in the Philippines from the Global Woman book, I was inspired to do more research in the Philippines and learn about the different problems that these children face growing up without their parents. What really interested me about this topic is that although labor migration connects to many different people lives. Although it is a solution to Philippines families, it can also ruin the families because of separation which links to lack of care towards children. Consequently, children misbehave trying to get their parents’ attention. This chain of connection all begins with labor migration. While doing this research, I tried to imagine myself in the position of those Philippines children. It is hard to believe what kind of person I would be if I did not have the support and care of my parents. I would probably feel like a homeless child and unloved.
Therefore, I feel that this problem in the Philippines should be solved and no one should go through these emotional hardships. I think the strongest part of my paper would be the paragraph about labor migration and what causes labor migration to happen in the Philippines. While the weakest part of my paper would be the section about children going through emotional problems in the body paragraphs. I feel that it is the weakest part of my paper because the information is still too general. What I mean by general is that the problems that I found while researching are too obvious to readers. Thus, if I was to have more time to work on my paper, I would definitely go back and research more about other children problems that are not as obvious to the audience. And I would prioritize my time to find more information about gender role or try focusing on how female migration had impacted children the most in the past.
I feel that gender role is an important factor to consider when learning about the effects on children. I believe that my writing process has definitely improved after writing this research proposal because I tried to input different writing skills onto my paper. For example, learning how to input transitions into my paper as well as integrating quotation from my sources. I never knew that there were different types of ways to integrate quotation until now. According to the rubric, I think my paper will receive a grade between good and competent because I definitely had argue why this is an urgent problem in the Philippines society and I provided evidences from credible sources. However, I am not quite a superior yet because I am not sure how to integrate careful discriminating sources in my paper. In conclusion, my paper definitely needs some extra work on integrating the sources.