The annual Globalization Index produced by A.T. Kearney and ForeignPolicy magazine has consistently evaluated remittances as the prime feature of the Philippines’ performance in the global economy. Index results from 2004 to 2007 reveal that “remittances and personal transfers” are the main strengths of the Philippines’ role and participation in globalization, ranking either first or second in these categories. This is a significant record considering the Philippines remains at the bottom of the standings in other categories, such as foreign direct investments and investment income (A.T. Kearney, 2004, 2005, 2006 2007). It must be noted, however, that such globalization surveys do not provide the end-all indicators of Philippine socio-economic performance.Nevertheless, economic analyses on the Philippines by multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund reached similar conclusions—while there is growth, the sup-posed benefits of job generation and poverty reduction are still not happening. The service industry is the best-performing sector of thePhilippine macro-economy and governance problems still prevail (Bocchi, 2008; Fujita and Seshadri, 2007).In light of the Philippines’ current socio-economic environment it seems that overseas Filipinos and their remittances have made a difference in their home country by driving a consumption-driven economy, buffering financial reserves, filling up domestic employment short falls for the bulging labor force, and easing possible socio-political conflicts(Opiniano, 2004a; International Monetary Fund, 2007; Aldaba, 2007;Opiniano, 2007).It is not surprising, then, that the Philippines has become the globalmodel for managing the exodus of her citizens (International Organization for Migration, 2005:242). But what are the returns to the country?In recent years, business leaders like Doris Magsaysay-Ho have been asking critical questions on how international migration by Filipinos can be calibrated into the general scheme of things in the Philippines (Opiniano, 2006a) In this period of Philippine socio-economic history and of international migration movements by Filipinos, what future besides the exodus awaits the country (Opiniano, 2004:52)? Can this archipelago, a global leader in managing international migration attain a significant diasporic dividend amid continuous overseas mobility (Opiniano, 2007a)?
This paper aims to answer these questions by using an economic- based approach, specifically through the framework of the diasporic dividend. It first contextualizes the discussion by briefly describing the Philippine socio-economic and political situation. In view of continued overseas migration, the authors propose a framework that discusses the various channels in which a Philippine diasporic dividend can be achieved in the medium to long term period. The paper ends by enumerating constraints in achieving such a dividend, as well as presenting the challenges that face various stakeholders, especially overseas Filipinos.
Aldaba, F., & Opiniano, J. (2008). The Philippine 'diasporic dividend': Maximizing the development potentials of international migration. In M. Asis & F. Baggio (Eds.). Moving Out, Back and Up: International Migration and Development Prospects in the Philippines. Quezon City: The Scalabrini Migration Center.