I see many requests for information in different online venues about working in the Philippines or building and owning businesses by foreigners who wish to live here. Sorry, no can do! In comparing the labor situation between our two countries, it’s obvious to me that the colonization of the Philippines by the U.S. has produced as system that excels at exporting Filipino labor, but has not offered any protection for U.S. citizens abroad. Or for that matter, any western nation is treated the same way in the Philippines. Did you know that immigrant workers rights are protected, both by law and supported by labor unions?
As a result of such a labor imbalance, Overseas Foreign Worker (OFW’s) remittances back to the Philippines in the form of earnings abroad is estimated to be about 1/10th of the entire country’s GDP.
So the question should be this: if over half of the worlds countries allow Filipino immigrants to come work in their country, they why is it that the Philippines can get away with the practice of such in-your-face protectionism, that it borders on discrimination and human rights violations.
How Labor Relations Developed.
Below is an interesting video I found that outlines how the American-Filipino immigration relationship began… in this “one-way” exchange of labor.
And today, it is still a one-sided proposition. Maybe the U.S. (and other western governments) should start taxing outgoing remittances? Some say this is a good idea. I mean our countries needs money too, right?
I see many foreigners come here and make a go at building businesses to ensure for their own and their families survival, but because business ownership is severely restricted here, in almost every sense of the word, the risks are overwhelming against the foreigner. Either a business entity (corporation) must be majority Filipino owned or, in the case of sole proprietorships, the business MUST be registered in the Filipina spouses name. A foreigner simply cannot come to the Philippines to live and work or start a business… even under a legal immigrant status (with the exception of a provisional work permit). And if a foreigner is determined enough to create a business and becomes successful, they literally have little protection from the laws should things go bad.
There are few legal ways for business ownership in the Philippines and the costs are prohibitive and the risks remain high for the average “Joe.” You can look into it thoroughly, but you will consistently find there are many obstructions to owning your own business, specifically sole proprietorships.
My thoughts have always been, one should come to the Philippines to live and enjoy life’s more simple pleasures. And if you still have to work to survive, you might just be better off staying put.
It’s a one-sided affair, it’s discriminatory, and it’s just not fair… IMO of course.