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Philippine News Digest 28

July 4, 2002 · 

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Contents:

  • International Criminal Court starts to work
  • 19% of Filipinos want to leave the country
  • One out of three Filipinos either unemployed or underemployed

International Criminal Court starts to work

The International Criminal Court started work July 1 after being ratified by more than 60 states- the minimum number of ratifications required to put it into force- with stiff opposition from the United States, Russia and China. The ICC will have the power to tackle genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Anyone- from a head of state to an ordinary citizen- will be liable to ICC prosecution for human rights violations, including systematic murder, torture, rape and sexual slavery. President Bush of the US says the “court could be used to pursue US forces and officials with politically motivated prosecution undermining our goal of bringing permanent security to the troubled areas of the world”. Washington vetoed on June 30 the renewal of the UN peacekeeping mission in Bosnia to higlight their concerns. The US wants immunity from prosecution for its officials and soldiers who commit atrocities outside the US borders. Source: Reuters in Philippine Daily Inquirer, 29 June 2002; AFP in Philippine Daily Inquirer, 4 July 2002.

19% of Filipinos want to leave the country

Nineteen percent of Filipinos, or nearly one in every five, sees no hope for the country and wants to migrate, according to the latest survey conducted by Pulse Asia, Inc. What is striking is that a bigger percentage, or 31 percent of the upper class wanted to leave the country apparently out of despair compared to the 12 percent of the poorest and least educated class. Residents of Metro Manila (26%) were also among those most likely to leave, together with those who have knowledge of life abroad (29%)- be it first hand or from a family member. Only a small percentage of those living in rural areas (11%) want to leave. Close to 25,000 Filipinos leave the country everyday to seek employment or migrate elsewhere in the world. In 2000, there were about 4.8 million Filipinos deployed overseas. This figure could rise up to 7.4 million if we are to include undocumented Filipino overseas workers. They are a big source of foreign exchange for the country. In 2001 alone, they remitted $6.2 billion. However, the export of Filipino labor has its social costs. The country is losing skilled workers and families have been broken because of the long absence of either parents. Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, 26 June 2002.

One out of three Filipinos either unemployed or underemployed

One out of three Filipinos who should be working is either jobless or underemployed because their work and compensation is way below their qualifications, according to Bukidnon Rep. Juan Miguel Zubiri. The unemployment rate as of April was pegged at 13.9 percent, and another 19.6 percent of the country’s 35.1 million were underemployed. This means that in addition to the 4.86 million unemployed Filipinos, nearly six million more were underemployed, producing a social powder keg that threatens social stability. Source: J. Cadacio, Today, 25 June 2002.

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