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Rethinking the Brain Drain in the Phil. Diaspora

Rethinking the Brain Drain in the Phil. Diaspora Image

Rethinking the Brain Drain in the Philippine Diaspora: With Special Reference to the
Philippine Social Sciences

The dominantly South-to-North direction of international migration in earlier periods gave rise to the common view that cross-border population movements disproportionately benefited the North-receiving countries while undermining the development of South-sending countries. This was deemed particularly the case in the outflow of highly-skilled migrants as this depleted not just the human resource base of sending countries, but robbed them precisely of the kinds of talents, knowledge and skills needed for their own development. For South-sending countries this loss of valuable talents and skills came to be known popularly as the “brain drain”—long considered in the literature to be a major cost of international migration for the developing world. But notwithstanding the political/ideological controversies spawned by international migration between (and within) countries of origin and destination and the restrictive emigration/ immigration measures adopted by both sending and receiving countries at various times, international migration persists and is continuously growing and intensifying. Today,
cross-border migrations are seen as part and parcel of contemporary social and economic life. The forces of globalization e.g., the ease in travel and communications and the liberalization of trade, capital and services flows have increased the volume, complexity and diversity of today’s crossborder movements. In contrast to the limited patterns of earlier migrations which comprised largely of permanent emigrants from the Third World to the developed world for economic reasons, 21st century migrations involve many more people moving to many more places and for reasons both economic and non-economic. The current period thus, is witnessing the emergence of entirely new categories of migrants—temporary
or short-term migrants, multistage migrants, return migrants and circular migrants. Given the
shifting contexts, and causes and consequences of cross-border movements, many now view international migration as a continually evolving
phenomenon.

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