‘Brain drain’ a threat to PH food security » Manila Bulletin News



By Samuel P. Medenilla

The continuous search of local workers for greener pastures overseas is endangering the country’s agriculture sector and food security, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).


In its latest “Interrelations between Public Policies, Migration and Development in the Philippines” (IPPMD) report, OECD said that the agriculture sector, as well as construction, education and health are adversely affected by the unabated migration of Filipinos.

The IPPMD covered almost 2,000 respondents nationwide. Around 30 percent or 593 of them are from agricultural households.

OECD said the farming households with an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) tend to reduce their workforce in their agriculture activities.

The Paris-based intergovernmental economic organization said the trend is detrimental to the agriculture sector, which is heavily reliant on manual labor.

Furthermore, the OECD also pointed out that there is evidence these households tend to covert their main source of livelihood into “non-agricultural businesses.”

“The danger of the type of transition occurring in the Philippines – from an agricultural to a more diversified economy – is that food security is no longer tied to the rural economy, and is instead heavily dependent on the country’s value chains and ability to import commodities,” OECD said.

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