Our OCWs Remitting Dollars, why not Innovative Ideas!

January 9, 2007

While tanny elaborates on the growing services sector, and the holidays usually rallies the peso against the dollar thanks to our relatives’ hard earned kaching that helps subsidizes whatever shortcomings of our economy. Imagine if it suddenly stop? Well don’t worry, the Pinoy culture will not allow that. Blood is definitely thicker in this part of the pacific.

But i’m not going share how-to’s in the remittance industry. For Filipinos its as easy as Short-Messaging-System or SMS or texting. For more tech savvy OCW, there’s the internet for online banking or e-commerce. What i’d like to explore is how to optimize our ‘knowledged workers’ from outside of the country. Whether they’re nurses, seafarers, care givers and it’s better if their in the high techonlogy industry like the semiconductor, telecomunications or software applications. My current job enables me to travel within the apac region. Once in a while i meet with fellow pinoys on weekends, you’d surely have the feeling of community when you get together, eat and visit the embassy for what else, basketball! I bet one time or the other, you may have a relative or a friend’s relative working in the middle east in the ’80s and now either in UK or US. Point is Filipinos have been working more than 2 decades outside of the country where new technologies are available to them. I’ve heard of Filipinos working at NASA or the best hospitals in the world.

DOSTWhy not the DFA and the DOST have a project of setting some sort of an innovation outpost in our embassies. Why not? Or is there such a thing that i don’t know, elevate my mind. Please!

Don’t get me wrong, but my idea is not about corporate espionage. Nor stealing intellectual properties, we have enough in Greenhills or Quiapo. It’s more of brainstorming sessions where our dear OCWs just throw in innovative ideas, document in and have it developed by DOST. There are 10 million OCWs worldwide. There’s definitely a gold mine of great ideas out there, let’s not go far — in the industry of shipping or caregiving itself. Remember Europe and Japan is aging. They will be needing technologies that will get their countries going.

Lets not wait for our scientist kababayans living and working abroad to go back, develop something, invest and grow the business here. We can settle with the obvious industries we can command since we have the workforce to reckon with.

Perhaps our OCW friends can start from this post. Why not? Paolo has a point, unless we sustain our internal services or innovate from it, it will definitely collapse. One solution to this is managing the innovative ideas our OCWs and turn it to products or services.


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