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Teacher thinks PH is prepared for ASEAN 2015

Here’s one schoolteacher who, for now, is staying home but admits that if an opportunity presents itself, she might consider working in a foreign country.

Thirty-three-year-old Jenel A. Magana seems to love working in a school environment, not as educator but one who is involved in running a college as liaison between the school and its staff. “I assist the needs of the different departments of the school,” she said.

Magana has been with the Calamba, Laguna branch of the Philippine Women’s University (PWU-CDCEC) since 2006.

She observed that in the last five years, there have been improvements in living conditions. Prices of goods and basic services may still not match the average Filipino take-home pay, but she does notice a level of comfort that wasn’t there before.

When asked if she thinks Filipinos now have better access to social services, her reply was in the positive. “It’s been better compared to five years ago, and many Filipinos have already been exposed to (government) social services.”

Magana knows what’s coming next year, regionalization-wise, and she’s aware that ASEAN integration is inevitable and the government – to some debatable extent – is prepared to participate in a future single market regional economy.

“(We’re) competing among ASEAN countries and many Filipinos have shown their expertise around the world,” she said. “(The) Philippines is a developing country and I do believe in the capability of every Filipino.”

There are an estimated 12 million overseas Filipinos, including migrants as well as professionals and skilled laborers. Part of their foreign currency income, sent home as remittances, enters the financial and social system as much needed foreign exchange which fuels the consumption-driven economy.

Magana discloses that one day she’d want to be part of the overseas Filipino community, formerly referred to officially as overseas Filipino workers.

Right now, she’d give the ASEAN Economic Community a chance, and to stay put and see how it would impact and benefit the education industry in terms of new technology, improved systems, and advanced jobs.

“We (should) be globally competitive (with integration),” commented Magana. “What is good for them will be good for us in terms of knowledge, skills and competencies. We are not behind among other Asian countries.”

“(Also) it will be OK for me to work for a foreign company as long as it is for my growth and development,” she added. She’d likely prefer it more if she’d have to relocate for that – “if there is an opportunity that could bring me to that point (work abroad).”