By Randy David
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:19:00 07/18/2009
Filed Under: Overseas Employment , Remittances , Migration ,Family
The business pages of both the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Philippine Star carried almost identical headlines the other day. ?Remittances surged to $1.48B in May,? said the Inquirer. ?OFW remittances hit record high in May,? said The Star. One cannot miss the celebratory tone in which Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. shared this piece of good news with reporters. ?The stream of remittances from overseas Filipinos continued to show signs of strength despite lingering global economic fragilities,? he announced. The loss of OFW jobs in some countries at the beginning of the financial crisis appears to have been successfully offset by the deployment of new workers to other destinations. Tetangco pointed to new hiring agreements recently forged by the Arroyo administration with host countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Australia and Japan. The Star report highlighted this development by giving it context: ?Labor export has been a cause for embarrassment for past administrations but the Arroyo administration has made a policy of aggressive marketing of Filipinoworkers whose earnings boost the country?s dollar reserves.? One can hardly fault the country?s financial managers for looking at the OFW phenomenon solely in terms of remittances. That is what their function directs them to do. But, the deployment of large numbers of Filipinoworkers for overseas employment produces various other effects to which the BSP would be systematically blind. How families and communities cope with the departure of huge numbers of individuals is certainly worth knowing. How young children adjust to the reality of absentee parents, or what spouses do to keep marital bonds strong despite prolonged separation, are long-term effects that no nation that has been sucked in a big way into the global diaspora can possibly ignore. But such are not the concerns of economic managers. Unfortunately, because of the dire economic situation of the country and the persistence of mass poverty among our people, the national appreciation of overseas employment has been dominated by a fixation with remittances. Even the economic view has been narrowly focused on issues like effects on the nation?s credit standing, dollar reserves and consumer spending. Little attention, if any, is paid to the proportion of OFW remittances that is set aside for investments in productive capacity. Nor is the government creating meaningful opportunities for OFWs to invest a good part of their earnings in entrepreneurial activity. Is it possible that while these remittances are big in aggregate terms, they are really minuscule and just enough to cover subsistence when reckoned at the household level? One wonders too if there are any government studies on the impact of steady OFW remittances on the recipient family?s motivation to find additional sources of income. My suspicion is that money sent regularly by OFWs tends to foster a vicious dependence on the part of the relatives left behind. Some academic studies have shown that the latter are effectively prompted to place their lives on hold until they themselves can leave for abroad. This mind-set is consistent with the promotion at the societal level of an infectious culture of migration. Sociological analysis allows us to view the effects of the massive deployment of people for overseas work at various levels and from the standpoint of different institutional systems. The picture that emerges shows that while the OFW phenomenon has brought untold economic benefits to many households, it has also created injurious social outcomes for the Filipinofamily and the community. Though originally conceived as a stop-gap solution to the problem of unemployment, it has led to the entrenchment of an economic strategy based on labor export that tends to preclude planning for the long-term development of the national economy. OFW remittances have funded the education of millions of Filipino children who, because of poverty, would have been excluded from the circuits of higher education. But, on the other hand, because OFW families have turned increasingly to private schools for quality learning, the government has found it easy to relieve itself of the basic obligation to educate its citizens. Thus, the deterioration of our public schools has come hand in hand with the improvement of private education. Countless Filipino women have found personal liberation through overseas work, but many others have found themselves trapped in intolerable working conditions abroad where foreign laws do not provide them protection. Their global experience has given them a chance to step out of the skin of their culture and view their society through the prism of modern values. They have, as a result, become a singular force for change, yet their absence severely constrains their participation in the shaping of Philippine society. They have reconstituted fragments of the Filipinonation in the remotest corners of the world using their creative genius, but the gap between the nation at home and the nation they try to re-create abroad persists. It troubles them. The task at hand is how to harness this latent commitment to nation and culture so that, beyond the remittances and the balikbayan boxes, their engagement with our society can begin with the rebuilding of our local communities as repositories of our common heritage. One cannot imagine how the recuperation of national pride can start from something as simple as this. * * *
http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view/20090718-215995/Overseas-employment-and-its-effects Overseas Filipino Workers sacrifice a lot to provide a better life for their families in the Philippines. They spent holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, New Year and other important occasions away from their families.
It has an effect of the children of Ofw's. No money can replace the hug of a father or mother, no toy or balikbayan box can take the place of the quality time spent together with ones family.
Children will feel that they are missing the love of their father and or mother but it doesn't have to be that way. The Internet has tools to can bring families together for free. These tools can provide ways for families to see and hear each other for free. It gives them the chance to connect and spent quality time even if they are hundreds of miles away. You can visit www.globalofw.com for those ofw tools so that you and your family can be close again.
Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/The_effects_of_overseas_filipino_workers_in_their_children#ixzz1lQW1ZTrY
OFW families brace for effects of economic meltdown
Posted at 10/09/2008 11:49 PM | Updated as of 10/09/2008 11:49 PM Families of overseas Filipino workers are now preparing themselves for the possible effects of the global economic meltdown and the possibility that their breadwinners -- hailed by President Arroyo as modern-day heroes -- may one day lose their jobs abroad. In the village of San Patricio in Mexico, Pampanga, evidence of how OFW money has been invested can be seen in large homes built from remittances. However, the economic crunch that started from US financial institutions and has already affected other countries, including the Philippines, could result in a halt to the construction and repairs of these houses.
One such homeowner is Liza Ocampo, who said that she has temporarily shelved plans for a paint job to save money sent by her husband from Milan, Italy. “Huwag muna masyadong gumastos just in case na magka-problema mayroon kaming naitabi,” Ocampo said. Ocampo’s husband has been working as a factory worker in Milan for eight years.
Recently, the factory was sold by its owner. Luckily, her husband was not among those who were retrenched. “Hanggang kailan kaya trabaho ng asawa ko? Worried na din kami kasi baka maapektuhan. Hindi naman sa lahat ng panahon stable ang buhay namin,” Ocampo said.” Meanwhile, Rosie and Boy Guinto’s son is employed as a teacher in the US.
They received a call from their son informing them that the school is laying off employees. The couple could only hope that their son would be able to hold on to his job. With a report from Niña Corpuz, ABS-CBN News http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/pinoy-migration/10/09/08/ofw-families-brace-effects-economic-meltdown
The Effect of Parent's Migration on the Rights of Children Left Behind Author(s): R. Edillon
This study focuses on children left behind by their parent(s) working overseas and how their rights are addressed in the absence of one or both parents. The study finds mixed effects of having an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) parent on meeting the rights of the child, using proxy measures. In terms of survival, the economic advantage resulting from the presence of an OFW parent does not seem to have altered health-seeking behaviour, which remains poor. The number of visits to medical personnel decreases as the older children are considered. There are also indications of a high incidence of hygiene-related health problems. Furthermore, an overwhelming majority of OFW children are not protected against economic shocks. Very few of the families have liquid assets, since they prefer to invest in new houses and only a few have private insurance coverage. They also appear to be more vulnerable to psycho-social shocks brought about by the splitting-up of families. Moreover, most children of OFWs do not feel that they have active participation in family decision-making. Compared to children of non-OFW parents, participation in community and civic organizations is lower. Summarizing the extent to which the rights are met into a "utility" measure, the study finds that an increase in money and/or adult attention does appear to increase the degree to which children feel "satisfied." The values that parents/guardians ascribe to money and adult attention inputs vary according to the conditions facing the household. Families with OFW parent ascribe higher value to money while families with no OFW parent ascribe higher value to adult attention inputs. With respect to families with OFW parent, parents/guardians value money and adult attention inputs differently from their children. http://www.childmigration.net/Edillon_08