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Dec 19 18, 6:15 am

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PH adds financial literacy topics in OFW pre-departure briefings

by | News

Dec. 19, 18 | 6:15 am

The Philippine government has bolstered its financial literacy initiatives for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) by integrating finance and investment topics in all OFW pre-departure briefings, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.

“To help develop a culture of savings among our modern-day heroes, OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) is incorporating topics on financial literacy and investment opportunities in the pre-departure orientation seminars. Doing this will certainly help our OFWs in managing their finances abroad,” Bello said in a statement read by Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Administrator Bernard Olalia in a forum in Pasay City, reported PNA.

During the National Forum on Migration and International Migrants’ Day celebration in Pasay, Philippine Migrants Rights Watch chief Carmelita Nuqui said OFW remittances reached a total of USD21.3 billion in September 2018 alone.

“OFWs have been instrumental to our country’s development by sustaining our economy through remittances. While these figures are considered a welcome development to our country’s economy, there are also concerns regarding this,” Nuqui said.

“As we have been interacting with various OFWs and communities overseas, we learned how they gather funds to send to their loved ones. Most of our OFWs send a large percentage of their living allowances back to their families,” she added.

In most cases, these OFWs resort to loans to provide for their families resulting in debt bondage that forces them to return or even stay longer in their host countries.

Phearl Benong, member of the Ministry of Migrants at the Diocese of Imus, nodded in agreement that OFWs leave few to none of their salary for themselves abroad.

Benong, a former domestic helper abroad, has worked for 13 years abroad in Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

“Ako, lahat ng suweldo ko noon, ipinapadala ko sa pamilya ko (I sent my full salary to my family),” she said.

“Yung iba doon nagpa-part time, para lang may pang-food allowance dahil ang sahod nila para lang sa Pilipinas talaga (Some of the OFWs there even work part time just so they could have food allowance because their salary is already dedicated to their families back home),” she added.

Bello said DOLE acknowledges this issue as the lead government agency tasked to oversee the welfare and interest of OFWs.

“It is our responsibility to provide comprehensive assistance to the Filipino migrants and their families. It is also a moral obligation for the government to help OFWs in managing their finance,” he said.

Aside from the financial literacy initiatives, the government established an overseas Filipino bank to cater to the special needs of Filipino migrants early this year.

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Observatory experts say Shawwal crescent moon might not show today

Observatory experts say Shawwal crescent moon might not show today

Saudi Arabia astronomers have confirmed that the Shawwal crescent moon will not show on May 22 (Ramadan 29), Saudi Gazette reported. Experts at the observatory of Majmaah University in Saudi said that the moon will set before the sun today and will not be...

Pakistan plane crashes with 107 on board

Pakistan plane crashes with 107 on board

An aircraft from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) carrying 99 passengers and eight crew members crashed at a residential area in Karachi on Friday, May 22. Pakistan immediately mobilized paramilitary troops and civil administration authorities to aid and rescue...

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