- Filipino banana experts are getting offers from other Southeast Asian countries, who are aiming to boost their own banana industry
- A banana growers and exporters group fears that the Philippines may suffer if we lose our skilled banana experts
- The Filipino experts are being offered three to four times higher than what they earn locally
Is the Philippines losing its banana experts to other neighboring countries?
For a banana growers and exporters group, the country is indeed on the verge of losing its banana experts to other Southeast Asian competitors, who are offering better opportunities for the homegrown workers in order to boost their own banana industry.
In a report, Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) expressed fear that as neighboring countries hire Filipino banana experts for a higher salary, the Philippines will run out of experts to works on its banana farms.
According to PBGEA Executive Director Stephen Antig, the Southeast Asian competitors’ move to offer Filipino banana experts a job, where they can earn more than what they earn here, is alarming; noting that a lot of technical people are being offered three to four times higher than what they are earning locally.
“It is possible there is brain drain in the Philippine banana industry because as they say money is still the best motivating factor,” Antig said in the report. “We are really worried about that. We cannot afford to lose our good technical people who are very experienced in terms of banana growing.”
The success of the Philippine banana industry, Antig said, can be largely attributed to skilled Filipino banana experts.
“Humility aside, I believe we grow one of the best, if not the best, bananas in the world, even outperforming the production of Latin American competitors,” he added.
With this, Antig, called on banana stakeholders and the government to “get our act together” in order to maintain the country’s banana industry’s global competitiveness. He noted that the Philippines remains to be the biggest producer of bananas in Asia.