This was what Duterte said during one of his speeches. He claimed that  Filipinos are lazy and unskilled in construction works. In a swift and painful insult for all the skilled Filipino construction workers whom were even hired by foreign companies to work in high-profile architecture works overseas. I don’t agree with this. I’m sure many OFW’s in Saudi Arabia were choosing Filipino talent over other nationalities because of our extreme tenacity and good work ethics. But we know this is all just lies to cover up what has since been one of the most disadvantageous factor of China’s Build Build Build projects. A large percentage of the project always requires Chinese labor. Thus, the local job market does not benefit out from it.

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China high-interest Build Build Build infra loans usually requires Chinese workers

The Chinese government usually includes in government-to-government deals a provision for the hiring of Chinese workers in its Build Build Build projects in the country. So Duterte’s speeches was largely a misinformation ploy. A propaganda tactic designed to disintegrate Filipino confidence over one’s identity. This is very insulting. Despite Duterte saying that we lack manpower for the proposed Build Build Build projects. It dawned upon us that government statistics show that there is a large pool of Filipino labor not currently employed but capable of doing work in the planned “build, build, build” program. In fact, if Duterte so insist that they are not ready for construction work now, the state-run Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has trainors for this purpose. Don’t you think?

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There are a lot of ways to help the poor and the underemployed. Those people who worked on odd jobs just to get a living. There are so many hardworking and talented Filipino carpenters, foremen and craftsmen. Ready to accept the challenge and the work at hand for the country.

Did Duterte forget that were one of the worlds biggest exporter of Filipino talent?

Its funny that Duterte insults his own kind by calling us unskilled. Especially in the area of constructions works. We are so skilled and experienced in this arena since many people lives barely above the poverty line and some couldn’t get a permanent jobs so many resorted to brick and mortar jobs in far flung provinces in the country. These are people who works on construction works that sometimes lacking safety gear or even rendering unpaid extra hours to earn just enough to put food in the table.

And just as I said. We’ve exported more than  10.5 million Filipino talent overseas (including migrants’ children) in 221 countries and territories across the globe. Official statistics from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration indicate that more than 50,000 OFWs are employed in construction and construction-related work, not including many others who hold managerial or supervisory positions. Skills acquired by OFWs while working abroad can be useful in the implementation of the “build, build, build” projects. Why is Duterte not using this people? Or offering them handsome compensation for their work? I’m sure he can afford it. This is an opportunity for Duterte to restore the trust of these people back to the government and uplift their way of life without having leave their families behind. This Duterte’s perfect opportunity to eradicate or minimize poverty and give these people the chance to earn and improve their lives and their families.

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However, this was not always the case. It was China who demands that majority of those working in these projects needs to be Chinese. This is absolutely disadvantageous to us. When even the interest rates of these loans were in fact 12 times higher than other financial sources.

Why can’t Duterte insist on China to hire local workers instead of exporting their own? I’m sure this has been made possible in some other African countries who at first were forbideen to hire local workers in Chinese funded infrastracture works only then did they yielded from local leaders as they pressured China to give in and allow locals to work in these projects. Perhaps, fearing public backslash from their people.

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Instead of blaming the people and resorting to petty insults. Why can’t Duterte just talk to Xi and give the jobs back to the Filipinos who needs it the most?

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