Advocacy, Current Affairs

PH 1B Reintegration Aid for Returning OFWs

By: LodRose

I’m all for that very noble intention, but am afraid as to who’s going to cook up these reintegration programs and the actual content of the financial literacy and management training that will be provided.

This comes from the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) that I attended prior to leaving for my Dubai assignment a couple of years back. No wonder people I knew prefer to do the work-around of Visit/Tourist visa first – session content was pure B.S. – it did hurt more that we (attendees) were the ones paying for it!

The seminar really really sucks as it spreads misinformation on how OFWs should spend their money, what percent of it goes home and how to manage it, and your expected stay to work overseas. I had the following impressions as I left the session:

1. They (OWWA) were just pitching and pushing sponsor banks financial products to these uninformed people/victims/prospects we call OFWs

2. An OFW should send home at least 50% of his/her monthly earnings to the immediate family back home (I really called out their attention on that point as I nearly fell off my seat and was ready to shout at the facilitator.)

3. It was a societal “Level Up” to be an OFW, that if you can manage it, never ever try to go back home to resume your normal Filipino life as it will never financially compare nor compete – so for them money was everything

If 300 Filipinos leave daily for work, you can just imagine how many families are psychologically abandoned for financial gain. In my books, this does not make economic sense.

The government should also factor in educating the OFWs’ family and include them on the literacy process to prevent the culture of OFW dependent freeloaders, to discourage them to get separated as much as possible initially. But if the family is unitedly decided to take that OFW path, to build a support group to sustain each other as they will be physically be apart for extended periods of time to prevent emotional distancing and disconnect between family members. This cost to the Filipino family is not considered on the existing OFW programs.

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http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=636736&publicationSubCategoryId=200

reads:

Gov’t. sets aside 1 billion for returning OFWs
(philstar.com) Updated December 06, 2010 04:05 PM Comments (1)

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) – The Philippine government has set aside 1 billion pesos (22.7 million U.S. dollars) for the “re- integration” of returning overseas Filipinos in their home country, President Benigno S. Aquino III said today.

Dubbed as the “reintegration fund,” Aquino said that the money will be part of a loan program for the Filipinos who have worked abroad and are coming home already.

The loan will be offered at a low interest rate and is meant to create an alternative livelihood opportunity for returning overseas Filipino workers (OFW), Aquino said.

Aquino said the administration will push for the improvement of the skills of OFWs on financial literacy, money management and other seminars that will help them manage their finances.

The Philippine government said around 300 Filipinos leave for abroad daily in the hope of getting better jobs. Currently, money sent home by the overseas Filipinos accounts for a 10th of the country’s gross domestic product.

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1 Comment

  1. I hope they follow through with these plans. Our OFWs need all the assistance they can get, especially since they sacrifice so much for their families (and they’re part of the reasons why our economy is still surviving).

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