MANILA, Philippines – Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have helped keep the Philippine economy afloat in the past decades.
According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, in 2014 alone, personal remittances from OFWs hit almost $24 billion. In March 2016, OFW cash remittances reached $2.7 billion.
Though widely touted as “modern-day heroes” because of their contribution to the economy, many OFWs face financial problems. (READ: TIMELINE: Aquino’s love-hate relationship with OFWs)
It’s a common story heard across many migrant homes – OFWs facing neck-deep loans, and not being able to save for their own retirement, just to send money to their families back home. Many fall victim to loan sharks while some are forced to run away. Some end up using their passport as a collateral so they end up overstaying their visa and forced to go home. Some even end up in prison.
A change of perspective needs to happen and OFWs need to be taught better financial management to ensure that they will become financially independent.
Rappler talks to Vince Rapisura, president and CEO of Social Enterprise Development Partnerships Inc (SEDPI), to discuss OFW spending habits and emotions, and to give tips on how migrant workers can become financially independent.
SEDPI provides training, research and consulting services in microfinance, social entrepreneurship, and financial literacy for OFWs and local organizations in 27 countries.
Watch Rappler Talk on Monday, July 4, at 2 pm. Send in your questions using #Balikbayan. – Rappler.com