Many Filipinos are being recruited by foreign [private military and security companies (PMSCs)] to work abroad, prompting the Philippine government to ban the deployment of Filipino workers to Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Lebanon, and Jordan in December 2007. However, Filipinos continue to be recruited by PMSCs using sub-agents scouting for potential personnel and acting individually to avoid alerting Philippine authorities. They then use Dubai, Bangkok, or Hong Kong as 'jumping points,' where they are flown as tourists and are then 'recruited' there before taking an onward flight to Afghanistan.
The cream of military and police personnel in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National police are being targetted by recruiters from private military contractors.
In the Philippines, the members of the police and the armed forces are on the top of the list when it comes to PMSC recruitment. The resources available to the PNP and the AFP are limited, which translates into low salaries and poor equipment. These factors make members of the PNP and AFP susceptible to PMSC recruitment. A General of the AFP or a Director General of the PNP receives a monthly base pay of Php 37,500 (or around US$806.50), while a private in the AFP or a Police Officer 1 of the PNP gets Php 10,808 (or US$232.43). The lowest position in the AFP is a candidate soldier, with Php 8, 630 (or US$185.591) monthly base pay. Thus, it makes good economic sense for these men to accept offers from PMSCs and work in places, which they may only consider equally dangerous to places of assignment at home. Furthermore, the equipment and weapons they are given as PMSC personnel are often far more reliable and of a higher-grade than those they are issued with their own governments. For instance, Erynis International offers Filipinos a salary of US$3,000 a month to provide security on the perimeters of the Baghdad Green Zone.
That's bad news for a country already renowned for the astounding incompetence of its police force and the flaccid state of its military. But then like Philippine hospitals do today, perhaps the Philippine military and police can benefit from this in the long run. Once becoming a soldier of fortune becomes a mass career aspiration of the average imagination-deficited Filipino, our armed and police forces may find themselves in the happy position of being paid to train and employ soldiers and cops.