Foreign Service Insider

A frank and open forum on the Philippine Foreign Service and how it affects the lives of millions of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Low Morale

It's no secret that the career corps of the DFA is suffering from low morale. We are supposed to protect OFWs from cruel and abusive employers, but who will protect us? We have to constantly deal with so many stakeholders, pressure groups and vested interests.

1. Of course the cruel and abusive employers themselves
2. The laws of the host government
3. Politicians back in the Philippines
4. The OFWs themselves
5. The Next-of-kin (NOKs) of the OFWs
6. Philippine media
7. NGOs
8. In the home office, there are hidden undercurrents to swim against; co-workers lying in wait for us to fail
9. Embassy/consulate intrigues

We, ourselves are just like everybody else. Working to make a living. Like the new "heroes", the OFWs, we also need protection and security. Are we OFWs? Shouldn't the foreign service personnel also institutionalize a means of securing itself from being easy prey to these pressure groups? We need to be able to defend ourselves from opportunistic forces that might undermine our capacity to effectively discharge our duties.


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