More people seen leaving Mindanao due to drought, brownouts

Published by rudy Date posted on March 25, 2010

BAGUIO CITY—Drought equals brownouts equals bad economy equals migration.

Government officials said the pummeling that Mindanao was suffering from drought and its effects on the island’s economy was likely to trigger a new wave of migrants headed for Luzon and add pressure to its local economies.

The government has been studying the impact of the El Niño phenomenon on the Mindanao economy after noting that the drought could disrupt multinational contract farming operations there and cause the withdrawal of businesses due to the power outages, said Education Undersecretary for Muslim Affairs Manaros Boransing.

Mindanao hosts huge banana and pineapple plantations run by multinational firms Dole and Del Monte.

“With the Lanao area hurting from the low water levels of the Agus River, which supplies 70 percent of Mindanao power, we could see its impact on what little manufacturing we have [there],” he said.

Jobs for displaced

Boransing said the government’s response is to proceed with a vocational education project that would allow displaced workers and migrants to get jobs elsewhere in the country or in the Middle East, one of the most favored destinations of Filipino job seekers.

Boransing and Rogelio Peyuan, deputy director general of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), attended here on Saturday a roundtable conference on the Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education (Alive) program, which services out-of-school Muslim youths who have settled outside Mindanao.

Peyuan, whose designation as Tesda chief in place of resigned chief Augusto Syjuco Jr. was taken away as swiftly as it was given, said Alive, which was launched in 2008, was revived late last year to provide migrants new skills that would allow them to work in the country or abroad by June.

Estrada’s war

Boransing said many of these settlers were displaced by the government’s all-out-war under plunder convict Joseph Estrada’s tenure as president.

Citing a Tesda survey in 2008, Boransing said about two million migrants now live in Luzon and the Visayas as a result of the conflict in Mindanao.

The same survey discovered that there were 17,000 unschooled Muslims, between 15 and 35 years old, among the migrants in 26 cities and towns in Luzon and the Visayas, Peyuan said.

He said Alive was tested on 1,000 youths from six Metro Manila cities, Angeles City and Dasmariñas in Cavite.

“Arabic is taught [as a 22-day crash course] to help them assimilate with their host communities abroad, although we did not embark on training them as overseas Filipino workers,” he said.

Alive offered an array of skills training, Peyuan said. –Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

Month – Workers’ month

“Hot for workers rights!”


Solidarity with CTU Myanmar,
trade unions around the world,
for democracy in Myanmar,
with the daily protests of
people in Myanmar against
the military coup and
continuing oppression.


Accept National Unity Government
(NUG) of Myanmar.
Reject Military!

#WearMask #WashHands

Time to support & empower survivors.
Time to spark a global conversation.
Time for #GenerationEquality to #orangetheworld!
Trade Union Solidarity Campaigns
Get Email from NTUC
Article Categories