Wednesday, May 06, 2015


“Employment problems challenge the responsibility of the State, whose duty it is to promote active employment policies… that will encourage employment opportunities within the national territory, providing the production sector with incentives for the purpose.”  So declares the Church in her Social Doctrine under the general heading of “Right to Work”  without in any way undermining the duty to work on the part of man – with the loud and serious reminder that those who do not want to work should neither eat.  Specifically on the matter of the “Promotion of Work”, the following observations come to fore:

The State is funded by the people through their continuous payments of taxes.  Reason then says justice stipulates that the State is in turn bound to provide the common good or public welfare of the people.  One way of doing this on the part of the State is to promote the constant availability of work.  As the State has the right to demand from the State – among other things – the availability of work that gives fair wages plus other benefits.

When the State – represented by incumbent  public officials – is instead either preoccupied with promoting its own interests or directed by an incompetent leadership, it is eventually the citizens who are losers.  This happens when the availability of work is very much less than needed.  It is both the misfortune and even malediction  of the citizens when their public officials are experts in demanding and spending public funds for anything, for everything – except the common good of their constituencies.

The availability of work or employment for the citizens does not only benefit them, their families and local communities but also society in the national level – the State as well included.  All observations about the imperative of work opportunities in a country are too elementary to require profound explanations.  It is the serious and continuous absence of sufficient work for the citizens in their country that readily places the latter among the so-called “Third World Country”.

One way the State should do in order to stimulate and maintain the availability or work for its citizens is to see to it that capital is given proper  incentives precisely to engage in productive ventures therein.  In few words, this means the availability of work for the citizens – as a logical consequence.  In the world of ground realities, capital is not invested unless reasonable profits are somehow guaranteed.  One way of making this happen is for the State to impose less taxes on capital investments.

The infamous reality of OFWs in these supposedly modern times, is one eloquent proof that the countries where they come from, are sadly incapable of providing their citizens with local work.  So it is that workers leave their families behind paradoxically in order to care and provide for their needs.  And the consequences are devastating.  This is no secret – specially for the Philippines that make people its business precisely by making them OFWs.