After the rise in world fears of a new war between the United States and Iran, following the US drone killing of Iran top general Qasem Soleimani, the fears have considerably subsided in the wake of recent events.
With that drone killing, US President Trump demonstrated the US ability to dispose of its enemies anywhere in the world. Iran could not just submit to it, and it fired rockets at a US base in Iraq in retaliation. As no one was killed in the rocket attack, President Trump said the US would take no further action.
Then came the totally unexpected downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane preparing to land in Teheran. After a few days during which the world wondered who did it, the Iran government admitted it was responsible. It was an unintentional downing of the plane by military forces, an “unforgiveable mistake,” it said.
The world appreciates Iran’s readiness to admit its mistake. It no longer seems bent on carrying out any war with the US. The killing of so many civilian plane passenger s, many of then Canadians, who had nothing to do with the conflict, may have persuaded Iran’s leaders that their military is in no position to fight a war against the US. It might be better to leave the matter to an international investigation at some future date.
The world has responded with hope to these developments. After the Soleimani incident, world oil prices had surged to their highest in four months, but now they have slumped back to their former levels. “The possibility of the war between the United States and Iran has disappeared,” an analyst on world investments and market prices said.
At the start of the conflict, with the exchange of war threats by the US and Iran, the Philippines was quick to act on the danger our Overseas Filipino Workers(OFWs) would face in case of such a conflict in the region. We thus prepared to bring them home.
But the latest developments have considerably lowered the danger of war and, consequently, the need to bring the OFWs home to safety. The danger may have sufficiently subsided, so that many of our OFWs may have decided to stay there.
At the height of the mobilization of resources to bring them home, the problem of finding jobs for them was raised and the government was considering redeploying them in Japan, Canada, Gemany, China, and Russia, or helping them find local employment in the ongoing infrastructure programs or n possibly starting their own businesses.
The danger to our OFWS in the Middle East may have subsided, along with the need to bring them home, but the planning for domestic employment programs should continue. We take pride in our OFWs, whose remittances have boosted the national economy, but at the cost of social dislocations affecting so many families. We look forward to the day when foreign employment will be an option, not an urgent need, for our Filipino workers.
Tags: Roni Santiago