|Workforce in General
Filipinos typically seek the skills necessary to attain upward social mobility. Therefore, the Philippines has one of the most highly educated citizenries in south-east Asia. The nation claims a literacy rate of nearly 90 percent. College graduates supply a steady source of highly trained manpower for managerial and technical positions. Filipino workers are fast at learning new skills. Job training and retraining is heavily promoted, and both public agencies and private firms offer continuing programs.
Filipino workers are ranked as one of the best in terms of quality, availability and cost in comparison with other Asian economies. The other Asian countries who ranked at par with the Philippines in terms of quality were ranked low in terms of availability and cost.
The World Health Organization has cited the Philippines as the largest exporter of Registered Nurses to foreign countries. Filipino nurses can be found everywhere around the world -- in the big cities of United States and England, in urbanized centers of Europe and Asia, in the far corners of Africa and South America, in remote desert clinics in the Middle East, in offshore rigs on the China Sea. The latest statistics show that about 250,000 Filipino nurses are working all over the world. This phenomenon was noted in 1985 and still continues today.
Philippine nursing schools, 175 of them in 1998, graduate more than 9,000 students per year, of whom 5,000 to 7,000 will eventually become licensed registered nurses. In 1997, there were 36,000 students enrolled in nursing schools. The training of Filipino nurses is based largely on the American system and features apprenticeship, laboratory work, experiments, residency, and community-based projects.
On a per capita basis, the Philippines has more nurses than any other country. With a population of 70 million, the nursing sector has a surplus of expert manpower.
The Filipino nurse speaks English, and is predisposed to working outside of her country. By the time a Filipino nurse finishes her nursing degree, she would have spent at least 10 years in school, being taught most of her subjects in the English language, instead of the local language. The fluency in English results in adaptability and shorter training period. Overseas employment for a Filipino Registered Nurse is not considered unusual, and is regarded as an enrichment of professional experience