Labor, Learning
Brain Drain

The passage of the 1965 immigration act by the U.S. Congress triggered the “third wave”, the largest number of Filipino immigration to this country. The act abolished the discriminatory national origins quota system that had unfairly restricted the entrance of non-Western European immigrants to the U.S. since 1924.

The Philippines thus experienced a "brain drain" phenomenon with the migration of highly skilled physicians, teachers, seamen, mechanics, engineers, and others from the country.  In the 1980s, the exodus of those in the medical profession continued although mid-level professionals like nurses, medical technicians as well as paramedics increasingly dominated the flows.  In the 1990s, advances in information technology triggered new waves of skilled labor migration consisting of engineers, computer programmers, designers and allied skills workers. The primary reason Filipino workers leave their country is that the Philippines is not able to absorb their skills into their own local economy. 

Florian A. Alburo & Danilo I. Abella, "Skilled Labour Migration from Developing Countries: Study on the Philippines," International Migration Papers, #51, International Migration Programme, International Labour Office, Geneva, 2002; and Dean T. Alegado, "The Political Economy of International Labor Migration from the Philippines," University of Hawaii, 1992.