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Subsequent events suggest otherwise. In particular, the 1974 Labor Code, and the attendant presidential decrees, combined to favor foreign investors, selective members of the landed oligarchy, and Marcos personally, to the detriment of the Philippine masses. , a cheap and docile workforce prevented from unionizing or striking. Consequently, for a fiveyear period (1974–9), the Labor Code made unfair labor practices such as “union busting” administrative offenses rather than criminal offenses; the upshot of this, Villegas (1988: 66) argues, was to further weaken workers’ stance against management.

Beset with a balance of payments deficit and a mounting external debt, the Philippine government during the 1960s experienced increased intervention by external institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank (Villegas 1988). Citing the “South Korean Miracle” and the “Brazilian Miracle,” IMF and World Bank officials concluded that rapid industrial growth could only materialize through a strategy of export-oriented industrialization (EOI) (Gonzalez 1998: 60). Export-oriented industrialization was heavily promoted under the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos during the late 1960s and early 1970s, as manifest in the passage of the Investment Incentives Act of 1967 (RA 5186) and the Export Incentives Act of 1970 (RA 6135).

My intent in this present work, consequently, is not to trace the nearly four centuries of Philippine “migration”; this has been thoroughly discussed in the literature. Antonio Pido (1986) and Joaquin Gonzalez (1998), among others, provide excellent surveys of the centuries of Philippine mobility, from the colonial movements associated with the Spanish occupation (1565–1898) to the student and labor movements during the American colonial period (1898–1946). In contrast, my argument focuses upon the ways in which contemporary population movements are produced by Philippine governmental institutions.

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