It seems that wherever you go in the globe, you would be liable to find a Filipino community already established or starting to emerge. Filipinos are among the most dedicated workers in the face of the world and have commendable qualities which endear us to other races.
We are able to adapt to different cultures with ease. We are able to assimilate in communities easily and get to know people quick. We tend to work hard, save and send remittances to our loved ones back home. Haven’t you wondered what the top reasons are for Filipinos to choose working abroad?
Top Reasons Why Filipinos Choose to Leave the Philippines and Work Overseas
We have compiled a list of the top reasons why Filipinos choose to sweat it our internationally, away from their families. Take a good look and probably see your own reasons listed:
1. High unemployment in the country – There is an alarming trend that many Filipinos have identified amongst themselves. There is a high level of unemployment in the country and they want to ease the burden for their family by working and earning money abroad. The uncertainty of regular and financially rewarding employment in the country pushes more and more Filipinos to seek greener pastures abroad.
2. Higher salary, income and benefits packages – Let’s face the reality that the prevailing salary structure in the Philippines is one of the lowest in the region. And many Filipinos cannot make ends meet with their salaries in their regular jobs so the lure of getting a higher salary, coupled with better benefits packaged with the job, makes it a no-brainer for some.
3. Family and peer pressure – The pressure of familial responsibility and peer pressure are among the biggest factors that drive Filipinos to work abroad. Seeing their friends get higher salaries and achieve a better life after only a few months abroad would entice several people to try their luck themselves. Being a family-centric society, Filipinos put their family at the center of their lives so their benefit is taken into consideration.
4. Better career opportunities – The country regularly produces great professionals who can excel in their various fields of endeavor. However, with the limited career opportunities presenting themselves to these professionals, they are forced to look for career development opportunities in international locales. Not only will they earn higher valued currency but will have the opportunity to pursue professional development.
5. Economic condition – Seeing that the government is not able to provide basic services to majority of its population and the low rate of economic development, many people become disenchanted and choose to leave the country. They become productive citizens of other countries because they do not like the direction where the economy is heading. So, they choose to leave the Philippines and pursue opportunities abroad.
6. Application discrimination – While the country is becoming more and more open as a society, there are still several sectors which discriminate against workers. Some do not accept applicants unless they have the right credentials and connections. Some do not accept applications unless they pass their physical qualifications rundown. Some qualified but not pleasing to look at applicants get turned down because of this discrimination. So, they pursue chances abroad where a lot of people get to apply based on their credentials and skills alone. It’s embarrassing to say this, but it does happen every once in a while.
7. Job insecurity in the country due to contractual status – When you are on a contractual employee earning minimum wage, wouldn’t it be better to earn a higher pay in a different country? Many employees who are experiencing this tend to look for better paying jobs abroad because they get to save more from their income. So they get the requisite experience from the local industry and then apply for work abroad.
8. Technology makes communication easier – No longer would you have to rely on snail mail to ease the pain of missing your family. Nowadays, just turn on your Facebook or skype and you’ll be able to see them with the aid of technology. It is not the same as getting to spend time with them but it does help a lot. Who remembers voice tapes?
9. High income taxes, high cost of living – The Philippines has high income taxes and although it helps in running the country, it does sting to lose 10% or more of your hard-earned money every month to income taxes. Other countries have low income taxes which enable a lot of employees to save the difference to their bank accounts. The high cost of living in the Philippines also is a major factor since the inflation rate affects a lot of commodity prices. Other countries have reasonably lower cost of living compared to the Philippines.
10. Exploring new opportunities – One of the many justifications we have been hearing,”Magpapaalila ka na rin lang, e dun na sa kumikita ka ng dolyar.” It may sound fatalistic but it is true for most OFWs. If you are really going to have to work for others, why not explore new opportunities with higher pay in other countries? It does help that the other considerations such as communication help to ease the pain of separation.
11. Families are already waiting for them to migrate and work abroad – It is another reality that there are some workers who choose to work abroad because their families are already there. They might have migrated earlier and the worker just needs a little industry seasoning to get better opportunities eventually. So when the time is ripe, they choose to go abroad.
12. They no longer feel safe in the country – The experiences of massive floods and tragedies, the killings and the widespread crime would all make someone afraid. So perhaps it is also one of the reasons why Filipinos would choose to work abroad. In other countries you can walk the streets at night without fear because there are policemen patrolling the streets and CCTVs are around. Here in the Philippines if you walk the streets alone at night, it is an invitation for criminals to grab you.
We are sure there are several more reasons why Filipinos choose to work abroad. Please feel free to voice out your opinions and let us continue the discussion.