Because the commodities are getting higher each year, my husband's salary as a computer salesman is not enough to sustain our daily expenses. So he decided to leave the country to work in another to seek greener pastures. That was May 2015 (almost 5 years as an OFW now). He's currently working as Technical Support Representative at Jarir Bookstore in Saudi Arabia. He left the country when our daughter was only 3 years old. He can have his vacation once every 2 years so you can imagine how we miss him so much. I'm very much thankful that my husband is very patient and can endure the long years of being away from us. He manages to send back a better sum of money to pay our debts and be able to provide a better education and a comfortable life for our daughter.
I'm also planning to work in Japan hopefully when I finish my Japanese language skills training and a short-term caregiver course. We aim to save money to be able to buy a piece of land where we can build our house and save money for the future of our daughter. I do understand that being an OFW is not that easy. I can imagine the hardships in an unfamiliar place that I need to face being away with my daughter while my husband will also work in another country. Being away means missing some of the important things in my daughter's milestones like school plays, recognitions and birthdays. As a mom, I don't want to be out the whole time and miss the entire childhood of my daughter. I'm not planning to have an endless life overseas. I'd love to come back home as soon as possible and of course, I want my husband to have a trip back home as well for good.
Why most of the OFWs end up coming home broke while they work hard for a very long time abroad?
We all know that many OFW, fail to come home in a while not because they did not work hard enough to achieve their goal. It's because they make bad financial decisions that lead to spending more and saving less. A typical Filipino OFW spends more on buying unnecessary things and sending more money to their families.
Financial planning is the key to build dreams with your hard-earned money and make coming home for good easier. Upon hearing that OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) together with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and BDO Foundation launched a financial literacy program for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) that aims to educate OFWs proper handling of personal finances and managing resources, I'm relieved and happy that finally there's a program that will equip an OFW and their family like me to better understand how I should manage my husband's remittances.
The “PiTaKa” program or Pinansyal na Talino at Kaalaman of OWWA together with the BSP and BDO Foundation produced several ofw videos and training guides to be incorporated in Pre-Departure Orientation Seminars (PDOS) and Post-Arrival Orientation Seminars (PAOS) to help more be financially literate educated. The "PiTaKa" video is educational, fun and witty at the same time. Here’s worth your time watching if you are an OFW: https://www.facebook.com/OverseasFilipinoFriendlyWorkers/videos/831328760532889/
I'm attaching another clip fortunate that I got invited as an OFW wife to learn more in handling our family’s financial resources. Click on.
*BDO Foundation President Mario Deriquito and Ms. Ali Sotto discussed their Financial Literacy campaign that will benefit OFW and their families.
BDO Foundation President Mario Deriquito explained on his one on one interview with Ms. Ali Sotto about BDO's program on how to keep and manage our money through financial literacy program materials. As partners are expanding their advocacy from the educational sector, military and now the migrant workers and their families.
Working abroad is a great opportunity to help you and your family meets your goals and make your dreams come true. However, this is not the guarantee of forever. That's why it's important to carefully plan for the future. Catch BDO & its corporate social responsibility arm, BDO Foundation as they will soon come out with a series of webisodes focused on financial education as part of their efforts to support the financial inclusion advocacy of BSP.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”- George Bernard Shaw