You are here: Home News OFWs, kin to get lessons on saving, investing, maximizing earnings

OFWs, kin to get lessons on saving, investing, maximizing earnings

11 October 2013 - Inquirer Business, Philippines. It’s the typical story of the overseas Filipino worker (OFW): The breadwinner toils for years overseas to give his or her family a better life but returns home—if at all—with little or no savings. Hoping to break this cycle, international organizations on Thursday launched an initiative that aims to maximize the benefits of OFW remittances in their own home communities by teaching their families the value of saving and growing their loved ones’ hard-earned dollars.

It’s the typical story of the overseas Filipino worker (OFW): The breadwinner toils for years overseas to give his or her family a better life but returns home—if at all—with little or no savings.

Hoping to break this cycle, international organizations on Thursday launched an initiative that aims to maximize the benefits of OFW remittances in their own home communities by teaching their families the value of saving and growing their loved ones’ hard-earned dollars.

Through funding from the European Union and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation, various agencies of the United Nations have partnered with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) for the three-year initiative that aims to change the spending habits of remittance-dependent Filipino families through financial literacy training.

“They have nothing when they come back. That’s why they keep on going back to work [overseas] because they don’t have any savings to live on. That’s why financial literacy is very important,” said Secretary Imelda Nicolas, the CFO chair.

Nicolas noted how OFW families could be “too demanding” in terms of receiving a regular cash allowance and how migrant workers would splurge on their loved ones to make up for their absence.

“So financial education is very important for both the families and the migrants to also do budgeting, financial planning,” Nicolas told reporters after the project launch in Makati City on Thursday.

The Philippines is one of eight migrant source countries selected for the second phase of the $9.5-million (about P410 million) Joint Migration and Development Initiative Project, a global program that “reflects the acceptance of a strong nexus between migration and development.”

“Migration has been a tremendous success story, driving the economy and giving benefits to a country, although there are also some issues that need to be addressed,” said Hans Farnhammer, EU’s top development officer in Manila.

“The Philippines is one of the most suitable countries to upscale this migration and development initiative given its decentralized local governance, where Filipino migrants return to their hometowns when they retire from their work overseas,” said Swiss Ambassador to the Philippines Ivo Sieber.

The first phase of the project, implemented in 16 countries between 2008 and 2012, focused on migration and development initiatives through civil society organizations.

In the second phase, implementing agencies—the UN Development Program, International Organization on Migration, International Labor Organization, UN Women, UN Refugee Agency and UN Population Fund—target local development by funneling remittances to investment, instead of expenses.

Under the program, UN agencies and the CFO will work with local government units to institutionalize financial literacy programs and pass local legislation that would spur local development through migrant workers’ remittances.

Nicolas said experts will first hold a “training of trainors” for local government officials in three migrant-rich regions: Region I (Ilocos), Region IV-A (Calabarzon) and Region XI (Davao). Local governments will then be in charge of passing on the knowledge within their communities to the families of about 10.4 million Filipinos who work abroad.

The capacity-building effort will be provided with up to $1 million (P43 million) in the Philippines. Similar programs are expected to be implemented in other target countries, including Ecuador, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal and Nepal.

Source: http://business.inquirer.net/146909/ofws-kin-to-get-lessons-on-saving-investing-maximizing-earnings

Document Actions
comments powered by Disqus