13 April 2015, The Philippine Star
More Filipinos are seeking employment overseas due to age discrimination in the country, according to a migrant workers’ rights advocate.
Susan Ople, head of the Ople Policy Center, said many companies are reluctant to hire “older” job applicants.
“The reason they keep on leaving is because of age discrimination,” she said. “No matter how skilled they are, regardless of their work ethic, many (overseas Filipino workers or OFWs) find themselves unable to land a job simply because they are above 30 years old.”
Ople asked the Senate to include age discrimination in its impending review of the country’s migration policies.
“The broad review must include the implications of age discrimination in the workplace on returning OFWs,” she said.
Ople said 40 years have passed since the Philippine overseas labor program was initiated.
“The world has vastly changed since then, and our workers overseas face multiple risks due to political, economic, and security issues as well as climate and technology changes beyond their control,” she said.
“Are our laws, policies and bureaucratic structures for overseas employment still relevant and effective today as they were 40 years ago? It would take several committee hearings to arrive at the right answer,” Ople added.