Deciding to become an overseas Filipino worker likely points in the right direction. Bigger salary, secured future, it’s all in the plan. But wait, it’s also wrong to be an OFW in many ways.
We leave our families behind
As OFWs, the first most significant decision to make is to leave our family as we head somewhere faraway in exchange for something better in the future. Although we call it sacrifice, others may call our exodus abandonment. It’s because our decision to go abroad leads to the separation of members of the family, a basic unit of the society, and puts it at risk of breaking up.
We spoil our children
Showing off with expensive shoes that sometimes can’t even be found in stores in the Philippines puts gratitude on the faces of our children in school. But for others, such material blessings can become instruments for bragging rights and attitude of materialism. Some people may suspect that showing our love and compromising for the extended period of our absence by their side is spoiling them. Worse, our children could find other sources of influence and guidance in our absence, which may not align with our principles as parents.
We fuel brain drain
Our presence in our workplaces benefits the host country. As laborers, architects, or nurses, our services are geared towards the people and places where they are located. Many of us may have availed of government scholarships and grants only to use them for our benefit, instead of returning the favor by serving the country.
Our well-documented life abroad could also inspire others to join us in forming the chronic problem of brain drain. It has left the Philippines bereft of qualified professionals supposed to build the nation from its present state.
Our views change
Having left the Philippines and been exposed to a new society and new culture, we have suddenly changed our ways. Although this is mostly for the better, some of us could give up bad habits and old values taught as children as we embrace “open-mindedness.”
Our views on contraception or same-sex marriage might clash with our longstanding views of the family. It becomes easy to judge those policies we see abroad that work should work if applied in the Philippines.
We contribute to the progress of our host country more than the Philippines
In many states, OFWs are required to pay taxes. The more skilled you are, the higher your wage is, the higher the tax you pay. Since you do not work in the Philippines, you don’t pay tax there anymore. We always take pride in our dollar remittances that sustain the economy of the Philippines.
However, the fact that we don’t pay taxes deprives the country of funds used for social services and public infrastructure. The government’s inability to effectively collect taxes and apparent misuse of government funds is another story.