There was an American and English Teachers discussing employment possibilities here in Davao. The discussion went to different directions. One was “the Queens English” used in England verses “American English” used in America. Then there was talk about the need for OFW’s (Overseas Foreign Workers) needing to pass English Proficiency tests to work in many countries.
At the start of these discussions was about job opportunities to teach English here in the Philippines. To work here is a subject I am investigating but have not found a complete answer. I have recently received my 13a Visa (permanent residency). Even with this, I think I will need a work permit from the Department of Labor and Employment. Because of the “Philippine First” laws, a foreigner cannot take a job that can be filled by a Filipino. Being an English teacher would probably be accepted.
About the use of English here, I am in conflict and guilty of some of my thinking. Being an American with a poor ability to learn languages I came here because most Filipinos have some knowledge of English. Unfortunately as people get older and do not use English often, their proficiency in English decreases.
One point is, we are visitors here and out of respect to the country we reside, we should learn their language. To be able to be understood in all regions of the Philippines and to watch TV, Tagalog would be the language of choice. If you want to easily converse in Davao and a lot of areas, then Bisaya or Cebuano (which are almost identical) should be learned.
As mentioned, to work abroad in many countries, a test for English proficiency is required. To do this Filipinos will need to learn and practice. Unfortunately English is not taught in public schools until High School and most teachers here are not competent to teach this. I am not sure of my accuracy but I think I heard of teachers teaching English in public schools, 86 failed.
In the Universities where English is required, some teachers allow Bisaya to be substituted. With the heavy course load and the inability to teach proper English, the Filipino student is getting the short end of the deal.
There is another point I find humorous here. Government signage, traffic postings, most business signage and advertising and a lot of newspapers are in English. So what does someone who cannot read English do? That is one of the many contradictions here in the Philippines.
So what do we do, change what we can, help when asked and learn to accept what we cannot change.