September 2, 2016 (12:50 PM)

3 min read


Infographic taken from Facebook

Infographic taken from Facebook

Infographic taken from Facebook

“Leaving for a living.”

This is one of the realities faced by the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) emphasized by Migration Center and Mindanao Migrants Center for Empowering Actions Inc. (MMCEAI) Director Inorisa Elento during her talk for the ANAK OFW Forum, a symposium specifically organized for the university’s students with parents who are OFWs, held at the 8th floor of the Community Center, last Aug. 31.

More than 50 participants from the university’s College and Senior High School departments came to attend the said forum which was spearheaded by the Junior Social Workers’ Association of the Philippines (JSWAP) in partnership with the Ateneo Migration Center and the MMCEAI.

Elento said that regarding international labor migration, the total population of OFWs as of 2015 is 12-15million in 197 countries around the globe, and a 6000+ daily average deployment.

Remittances by the OFWs as of 2015, on the other hand, amounted to $29.7billion or P1.4trillion and during the first quarter of 2016, it already amounted to $7.2billion.

An analysis showed that for every family, 35% of these remittances go to food, 25% for education, 10% for health, 10% for housing, 10% for clothing, 8% for gifts or pasalubong, and only 2% for savings and investments.

Elento also presented the positive side of labor migration, namely: employment and livelihood opportunities, education (for the OFW’s children), savings and investments (cash and non-cash), payment of debts, intermarriages, self-development (new skills, knowledge and technology), assistance for family and may bring development to the community and country.

However, disadvantages of labor migration were also uncovered during the forum.

“There is a rise of social problems,” Elento said before she enumerated the pressing issues faced by the OFWs and their families. Some of these, as Elento presented, are: broken relationships (between the parent and the child), abuses such as rape and incest, health issues due to abuse and/or harassment of the OFWs abroad.

Clair Zunio, a Grade 11-St. Rita of Cascia student, shared her own experience with her mother, an OFW and at the same time a single-parent, who left for work when she was just a year old. Zunio said that the most difficult struggle she faced was when she wasn’t able to recognize her own mother after years of being apart.

Elento, on the other hand, encouraged the ‘Anak OFWs’ to be involved in the MMCEAI’s Policy Advocacy, a program which aimed to inform the OFWs and their families of their rights and the policies created for them to become more involved and empowered.

End the silence of the gagged!

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