As part of its commitment to serving overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from all over the world, the Philippine government has made important modifications as to the content of the mandatory seminars provided by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
Last December 18 (Tuesday), Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III shared that the government has strengthened its initiatives on financial literacy for OFWs by integrating finance and investment topics in all OFW pre-departure briefings.
OFW Financial Literacy Initiatives Strengthened by Gov’t
The decision aims to cultivate a culture of saving among whom we consider our “modern-day heroes” and to help them better manage their earnings from abroad, as shared in a report by the Philippine News Agency.
Speaking about the financial contributions of the OFW sector on the economy at the National Forum on Migration and International Migrants’ Day celebration, Philippine Migrants Rights Watch chief Carmelita Nuqui pointed out that the total remittances brought in by the OFW sector in September alone reached USD 1.3 billion.
Citing the above information, Nuqui stated that OFWs have been instrumental to the Philippine economy’s development through their remittances. And while these figures are without a doubt important, there are also plenty of concerns to be addressed because of this.
Nuqui revealed that during the informal interactions they’ve had with various OFW communities overseas, they have learned that since a large portion of the OFW’s earnings are being remitted back home to their respective families, not much is left for them which, as a result, leads to them resorting to loans and incurring debts. This situation worsens over time, and eventually forces the OFW to come back home earlier or stay longer in their host countries than they intended.
Picking from where Nuqui left off, Bello acknowledged that it is part of their department’s duties to oversee the welfare and interests of all OFWs. The assistance by which the labour department offers the OFW community must also cover the education for managing their finances better.
Other than the PDAO-integrated financial literacy initiatives, the government also established an overseas Filipino bank early this year to cater to the special needs of Filipino migrants from all over the world.