By KATRINA MAGTANGGOL
Kabataang Makabayan – Southern Mindanao
Kabataang Makabayan – Southern Mindanao (KM, Patriotic Youth), an underground revolutionary movement of patriotic youth, salutes all the college graduates and their families in the region for passing bourgeois education after bearing the burden of exorbitant tuition fees and other expenditures over the last nearly two decades.
At this moment, the graduates and their parents are filled with hopes and joy with the belief that honeyed lives await them. But the Filipino youth's journey has just begun. While some will have jobs, majority of the graduates will reel from the problem of massive unemployment in the country.
Those who can find jobs mostly end up in jobs mismatched with their degrees. Many of the graduates are left with the options either of having jobs in Business Outsourcing Process (BPO) industries or having to go abroad to become overseas workers — two options offered by the US-Arroyo government to keep our economy afloat.
BPOs are expanding in Davao City because many consider these jobs due to relatively higher salaries. These BPOs are considered 'sunshine industries' beckoning young graduates who are steady sources of cheap labor. Massive turn-overs, however, occur because of the exploitative and health-hazardous conditions of these jobs.
Most of the graduates are also forced to go abroad and leave their loved ones and families. They ready themselves to whatever conditions await them in a foreign land.
The high unemployment rate in our country is to be blamed no less than to the US-Arroyo government's lack of concrete sustainable economic programs that will create our own industries and provide us sustainable jobs.
Last year, the number of unemployed persons has reached to more than 100,000 members according to the data of the GRP's Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) in Southern Mindanao. The figures are grossly understated since the reactionary government has revised their definition of unemployment covering only those who are 'actively searching for jobs' while excluding those who have already stopped looking for jobs because of hopelessness.
In the face of this economic crisis and hopeless state, the Kabataang Makabayan urges the youth to pursue a revolutionary path. The door of serving the people is wide open and we are inviting you. The revolutionary movement is very dynamic and there is a place for you — be a teacher, engineer, writer, scientist, nurse, or an artist. In struggling for the people's liberation against a backward and semi-feudal state, there is a great need for developing intellectuals to become cadres as well as consolidating those who are already making themselves useful in serving the people.
Let us expand our lessons to getting it right from the heart of our country — the basic masses. Let us serve the people and help build a society free from oppression and exploitation. The young Karl Marx once said, "The philosophers have only interpreted the world, the point, however, is to change it."
As the elections of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines draw near, candidates both in the local and national level of the reactionary US-Arroyo regime bombard the youth sector with promises of uplifting the welfare of the youth and addressing the crisis of the Philippine educational system. Let us not be deceived. Let us side with the people. Let us pursue the ideals of Kabataang Makabayan. Let us pursue the revolutionary cause of the Filipino people!