Since the 1970s, Filipinos have departed for overseas. They seek better employment opportunities. Meanwhile, the Marcos government consciously hunted expert labor overseas to ease unemployment in the country and gain from remittances sent back by the Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs).
Now, we do not have OCWs. Instead, we know it as OFW, short for Overseas Filipino Workers. In December 2013, they numbered 4.2 million, according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency. You will get 1.2 million OFWs if you consider the undocumented migrant Filipinos in the equation. This value will increase if you count half of all Overseas Filipinos. Half of them constitute permanent residents of other countries.
In 2015, the Middle East was the highest key OFW destination region. On the other hand, major countries included Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. Asia was the next, having the largest numbers in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Malaysia. More women tended to go abroad. One reason for this was the availability of jobs; another was that these workers came from lower-middle and middle-income families.
The OFWs, who fuel most of the major contributions to the growth and development of the Philippine economy, are perceived as economic heroes of the Philippines. According to the Central Bank of the Philippines, OFW remittances reached US$36.14 billion in 2022.
OFW remittances reach new record highs monthly. To the Filipino economy, they are considered new record highs. This accounts for 75% of the economy. As a result, it helps spur faster economic growth, according to Chief Economist Michael Ricafort.
Don’t forget to take your 9g visa application with you if you plan to work abroad for a while.
Plenty of research indicates that there are negative long-term effects as consequences of parent-child separation. The children left behind may suffer from bullying caused by their mother. As a result of the separation, migrant children tend to undergo more problems and lack supervision and guidance, which can take their toll in serious behavioral consequences. Some are substance abuse and early sexual relations.
Although technological advances have helped and led to more cost-efficient ways to communicate with loved ones, there still lies a challenge to ensure quality communication and maintain positive, resilient relationships among family relationships.
An unfortunate cost, however, of the Filipino OFW diaspora experience is the dependency on the OFW relatives. Family members rely on OFW relatives to give them their needs and wants. Some OFWs are of the sentiment that they can help their relatives and soothe their guilt for being away by spoiling their relatives and providing them with all their wants.
Children who have grown up still depend on their OFW parents to help with their finances. As a result, they have to work extra or double time to get extra income or fall into debt to meet the wants of their family.
However, this kind of cycle is hard to kill. It is a cycle of economic dependence that is continuous till the migrants cannot work anymore. Thus, the workers must face the reality of their mortality and survival. What kind of life can they have upon retirement? Can they still work? Usually, the story for them is that there is still time to ensure their financial conditions can get by for their retirement.
Moreover, there is a new emerging challenge. This challenge is to become financially independent. It has risen from the consumerism propagated by OFWs with higher incomes to buy things they could not afford while earning in the Philippines.
The Filipino Diaspora is an experience many have experienced. However, not all effects are good, and some might result in greater damage. The choice to end the cycle is something that families and workers now face.
William Ross may not be a lawyer by profession, but he’s one of the sharpest writers out there when it comes to corporate, human resource, and other legal services. Armed with considerable knowledge and gifted with impeccable writing skills, he can surely deliver engaging law-related content.