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Manila – Institute for Labor Studies researcher Maria Isabel D. Artajo’s paper titled “‘Should I stay or should I go too?: Understanding the employment aspirations and migration trajectories of left-behind children in the Philippines,” probed into the dynamics why despite high risks and uncertainties, many Filipinos still seek overseas employment.

The research tackled how prevalent overseas migration is in the Philippines, and how such a trend has lasted more than four decades by looking into globalization and its corresponding macro-processes.

The paper delved on the culture of migration its pervasiveness in Philippine society. The study outlines the following points accordingly: first, a great number of Filipinos, including children and youth, have migration aspirations. A survey of children aged 10-12 by Scalabrini Migration Center (2004) indicates that 43.7 per cent of the respondents had plans of working abroad. Furthermore, 60 per cent of the children of OFWs expressed desire to seek overseas employment.

Based on findings, all interviewed children of migrants have internalized the reason behind their parents’ migration. The said children have also recognized that the quality of their lives, to a large extent, depended on the remittances from their parents. These children strove to do well in their studies as their education and career aspirations centered on the sacrifices of their parents.

Artajo’s paper likewise underscored the links between parental migration and the employment aspirations and the migration trajectories of the left-behind children.

The paper will be presented during the 5th DOLE Research Conference, organized by the ILS, which continues to serve as a venue for researchers to highlight their research findings in contribution to evidence-based decision making across the Department.

The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) is the policy research and advocacy arm of the Department of Labor and Employment. For more information on this story, please contact the Advocacy and Publications Division at 527-3490.