Saturday, January 2, 2010

UST researchers enter global tilt finals

THOMASIAN researchers were named finalists in the Global Development Awards and Medals Competition 2009 for a research proposal dealing with the impact of the economic crisis on overseas Filipino workers.

The proposal titled “Crisis-generated Socio-economic Coping Mechanisms by Overseas Filipinos” by Alvin Ang, director of Research Cluster for Culture, Education and Social Issues, and Faculty of Arts and Letters professor Jeremaiah Opiniano, bested over 140 participants across the globe to become one of the three finalists in the competition together with researchers from Brazil and Uruguay.

This marks the first time in 10 years that Filipinos made it to the final round of the contest.

Ang and Opiniano were nominated for the Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development category, with the theme “International Migration: Crossing Borders, Changing Lives?” The merit is given to “exceptional, on-going development projects that have given maximum benefit to local communities and need further financial assistance to scale-up the project.”

“Our research aims to determine how overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are coping with the impact of the global economic crisis on their jobs, income, and family welfare conditions,” Ang said.

The study will discuss how OFWs in Taiwan and United Arab Emirates (UAE) were dealing with the economic meltdown. Taiwan and UAE are countries which have the highest number of displaced workers in the electronics sector.

Ang said the study would focus on how the government could provide medium- to long- term responses to the prevailing economic crisis.

“In a situation where the Philippines remains dependent on overseas employment and remittances, the crisis will still see no end until the government responds,” Ang said.

Just last September, OFW remittances reached $12.8 billion, a year-on-year increase of 8.6 percent, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed.

The final round will be held at the Global Development Network's Annual Conference in Czech Republic from Jan. 16 to 18, 2010, where finalists will present their proposals before a jury.

Joining Ang and Opiniano in the finals were “Regional Impacts of the Global Economic Slowdown in Trade Flows: the case of Brazilian states” by Gilberto Libanio (Brazil), and “Survival of Uruguayan Manufacturing Firms in a Trade Openness Process” by Dayna Zaclicever (Uruguay).

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