No, sir, the Filipino workers are not really lazy
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B Jimenez (The Freeman) - March 15, 2019 - 12:00am

Mr. Ramon Tulfo, who is supposed to be the Philippines' special envoy to China, was reported to have said the Filipinos are lazy and slowpokes, or some things to that effect. If that is true, then he should not be in the field of diplomacy as his words are derogatory to the people of the country that he represents in the international community of nations. He is in fact a very good candidate to be recalled from his post and be declared a persona non grata. He loses his moral right to represent the people of his country if he looks at our workers in a bad light and in such a very negative projection. I thought that diplomats are supposed to portray our people and our country in the most positive ways. If he has this bad impression of Filipinos, then he should come home and continue to write in the same manner he had been always writing, the Tulfo way.


The Honorable Secretary of Labor, Silvestre H. Bello III, who knows his constituents perhaps a hundred times more accurately than Mon Tulfo, was quick to retort that he definitely and strongly disagrees with Tulfo's assessment of our OFWs and other workers. And we, the people, should believe Bello more than such a diplomat. This writer does not agree with Tulfo’s evaluation, and I do have personal knowledge about the truth on the matter. I was a Labor attaché to at least three countries in Asia, namely Malaysia, where we have six hundred thousand documented and more than a million undocumented Filipinos; Kuwait, where we have no less than two hundred fifty thousand; and Taiwan, where we have more than two hundred thousand OFWs.


 I have been working as a diplomat for more than nine years, and I have been sent to many international conventions and conferences like in Geneva, San Francisco, New York, Paris, London, Tokyo, Singapore, and Beijing, and have had many and long associations with the Filipino communities in such countries. Based on my own first-hand knowledge, I can say, even under oath, that Filipinos are not lazy. In fact, many of them work for as long as 18 hours a day to earn more and send home more dollars to their families. My impressions of the OFWs are mostly positive, save only for a few wayward workers who were involved in some remote and isolated cases. But these are the rare exceptions.

When Dr. Jose P Rizal wrote about “The Indolence of the Filipinos,”' the word indolence was, in effect, enclosed in quotation marks. The failure of the early Filipinos to work really hard was explained by the cruelty, injustice, and harsh treatment that they received from the Spanish oppressors, exploiters, and manipulators. How could the Pinoy “Indios” strive harder when they were considered subjects and not free men? The land and the factories were owned by the Spanish colonizers. The managers and supervisors were all foreigners who were ignorant of the culture and psychology of the Filipino working man. I am sad that Mr. Tulfo looks at our workers in the same light that Capitan Tiago and Padre Damaso looked at and treated Crispin, Basilio, and Sisa. They were Rizal's character depiction of Pinoys under foreign subjugation.

No, sir, the Filipinos are not lazy. They work very hard, on the contrary. I am challenging anyone to a debate on the proposition that our workers are lazy. I will stand firmly on the side that says that Filipinos are, in fact, one of the most industrious, reliable, and passionate human capital that we can all be proud of.

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