While it is true that most overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are earning bigger salaries while they are employed abroad, it is likewise a fact that some of them eventually come home to the country and return to their original economic status.
This is an observation made by Orly Ballesteros, a professor at the University of the Philippines-Institute for Small Scale Industries (UP ISSI).
Actually, official reports also tell us the same thing.
According to a data gathered by the National Statistics Office, which is now known as the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), only 2 out of 10 OFWs were able to save at least half of their remittances in 2013.
The PSA report said:
“Regardless of the amount of the cash remittances sent, for every 10 OFWs, six (61.7 percent) were able to save less than 25 percent of the total amount received, two (21.6 percent) were able to save from 25 percent to 49 percent of it, and about two (16.7 percent) saved 50 percent or more.”
In addition to this, an MoneyMax.ph article shares that 1 out of every 10 OFW is broke. The article cited a 2011 study by Social Enterprise Development Partnerships Inc., which said that 8 out of 10 OFWs return to the country without any savings.
“After their period as OFWs, because it’s not forever, they go back home and there’s nothing to look forward to in staying here because they have no job opportunities (where they are paid higher than what they earned abroad),” Ballesteros pointed out.
As one of the possible solutions, the professor hopes more OFWs will explore entrepreneurship.
“One misnomer is that to start a business you need to create a new business, which is not the case.”
Entrepreneurship opportunities such as franchising or dealership can be excellent alternatives for those hesitant about starting from scratch.
“OFWs have the capacity to be part of the SME sector, if you provide them with a platform,” said Ballesteros.