The life of Filipinos working abroad is not at all perfect. Millions of Filipinos come and go out of the country in the hope to sight a greener posture for themselves and their family. Despite the rising number of remittances from OFWs – looking at a bigger picture – still, many of them fail to remit a single dollar to their families back home.
Very often, families of Filipino workers have no jobs back home (as it is hard to find work), and they are dependent solely on the money from remittances. Read on the four reasons why OFWs fail to cash to families.
First and maybe most important reason is the low wages they receive working abroad, even if they’re higher than what companies in the Philippines offer. Filipinos working abroad usually take little salary jobs for low-skilled jobs such as laborers and domestic workers.
However, one of the positives is that Filipino workers are paid more than citizens from Indonesia, India, and Bangladesh. When it comes to salary, it is worth noting how much jobs are usually paid. Some of the typical jobs Filipinos take overseas are domestic helpers (P10,000 to P20,000), factory workers (20,000 to 40,000), waiter or bartenders (10,000 to 30,000), nurse (15,000 to 50,000).
Next factor is the debt workers owe to placement agencies. To leave the country and start working abroad, Filipinos pay placement agencies a fee of thousands of pesos. It takes some time to repay that money, and with low salaries, it is even harder. It takes several months, sometimes even years for Filipinos to clear their debt. Besides placement fees, there are other several fees Filipinos need to pay so that they can get a job with a salary little over 20,000.000 pesos per month.
As mentioned already, the average salary of OFWs usually reaches little below $400. And unlike living in the Philippines, living abroad is more expensive. For starters, Filipinos elsewhere need to pay rent for the place where they are living. Jobs like domestic workers provide a place for living, but that is not the case with other job positions. Filipinos working abroad also need to worry about the cost of living, which is way higher than back home.
And for those who manage to find a respectable job, with a higher salary, greed comes into play. Many workers forget where do they come from, how were they living, and want to experience the luxury and glamour of cities. They start buying new gadgets, and tons of other stuff to show off, while their families back home waiting for remittances.
Other factors may be the lack of access to facilities such as worksites located far from remittance centers such as those working in far-flung areas or seafarers on long missions in high seas. Others may be the inability to tap new methods such as mobile remittance, wages that are not released on time, and perhaps, unwillingness to send money to family due to various reasons.