Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The next Filipino career fad - mercenaries and soldiers of fortune

Fear not my desperately underpaid compatriots! Even as Filipino nurses pour into the job market in enormous value-crushing volumes as Filipinos tend to do, there is yet another lucrative overseas market emerging for starving Filipino workers. In her paper "Pirates' in the Sea: Private Military and Security Company Activities in Southeast Asia and the Philippines", Katherine Marie G. Hernandez reports that there is a lucrative market for Filipino mercenaries in various war zones all over the world.
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.

7 comments:

  1. Filipino Security Guards are not sought after anymore than Nepalese, Fijians, South Americans and Africans. Labeling guys that Check ID cards and man gates as "mercenaries" is bit of a stretch.

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  2. BTW, Filipino nationals do not provide security in the International Zone, and security wages provided by Third Country Nationals do not go as much as $3000

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  3. On the other hand, given the antics PMCs have gotten themselves into over the past few years (see Blackwater, KBR/Halliburton), maybe they just need a country to outsource their talent to just so they can say "Look, it's not Americans doing it!"

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  4. Pinoys as armed / competent contractors? No freakin way... they're recruited only to drive fuel / supply trucks... clerical crap at the base... laborers at the supply depots... toilet cleaners for real PMCs. Get real... pinoy cops n' grunts are all stupid / uneducated twats from the many useless provinces who joined the criminal factories (PMA-PNPA) with dreams of becoming a Cimatu or Reyes one day.

    Becoming a cop or a soldier for an impoverished pinoy is an escape from poverty... never a desire to serve & contribute to nation building! Get real folks!

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  5. cream of philippine military / police personel?

    whats that? all I see everyday are crooks / criminals in "just for show " uniform... at the end of the day... they will steal from you, car jack you, kidnapp you, extort you & smile while doing it.

    "di na man lahat ng pinoy ganoon! " saying this just states that most are if not all... cry if you want... nothing escapes the truth.

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  6. Why not put up a phil. owned PMC, a business run by filipinos for filipino mercenaries. Find contracts the world over, ensure benefits of mercs be availed by them and their families. Provide better training, upgrade equipment. We ar a country of OFW's thats the truth. So why not export military service. Of course we have to give politicians their cut of the pie or they sabotage the business even before it starts. it should accept filipinos of all political persuasions, Abu's, MILF, NPA, army and so on. Para matapos na ang gulo. May trabaho pa tayong lahat.

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  7. Here are clips of Filipino mercenaries in Afghanistan. This Pinoy ex-Cop trains afghans in weapons and other drills:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/blackwater152939?blend=13&ob=5#p/u/0/8SgBGPB9Ahg

    Filipinos actually peform well if PAID and EQUIPPED well.

    ReplyDelete

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