Why are better educated Filipinos among the lowest paid workers in Canada? - Filipino
WEB - Canadian Filipino Net - Vancouver, 26/05/2020 - EDITORIAL, English
Image Source: Canadian Filipino Net
Summary: Maria Veronica Caparas - Many Filipino women who come to Canada to work as caregivers are highly educated in their native country. A number of Filipinos in Canada answer to the title of “caregivers” and/or “nannies” to the extent that long-time Canadian immigrants from Europe and England think that any highly skilled Filipinos move to Canada to work as nannies. Training in caregiving counts as one of the skillset programs that the Philippine government’s labour export policy made accessible to Filipinos in the early 2000s. Caregiving skills matched the needs of Canada’s graying population, and opened wide Canada’s gate to highly skilled Filipinos or those educated in professional degrees such as commerce, education, nursing, or physical therapy. Despite their home-earned professional degrees that Canada has yet to recognize, many Filipinos remain nannies for a number of reasons. First, Filipinos find it hard to start from scratch. Earning another degree, taking courses, or writing exams for better paying jobs requires a lot of time and money. Second, Filipinos take pride in their skills as caregivers. Such skills expand their social capital, i.e., they bring their families, relatives, and friends to Canada and establish a wide social-cum-political network for timely appropriations and interventions. This social capital likewise translates into financial capital not only for their next-of-kin but also for the Philippine coffers. It appears that Filipinos, consciously or unconsciously, are complicit in the making of abusive, exploitative, and unjust European-Canadian employers. It also appears that some European-Canadian employers milk their Filipino caregivers dry, silence them through exhaustion in manual labour, and perpetuate the colonizer stance toward the once colonized and subdued. This case extends to the larger political spaces where Canada and the Philippines wield their wares to the advantage of the powerful and the detriment of the powerless.
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