It is very common for our Overseas Filipino workers being away from their families for a number of years before they could return home. They strive hard to earn an adequate income even if it cost them missing a lot of precious moments with their families. They really don’t mind if it requires them a tremendous sacrifice, as long as they can provide the life that they desire for their families.
Based from my observation, initially, a typical Filipino works abroad just to be able to acquire a house and lot of their own. The usual objective is to barely lay aside for their down payment if they will not be able to pay the property in full. Then, either the plan didn’t materialize within the initial 2-3 years contract or they simply want to pursue another plan—save for some capital to set-up their own business. But I guess, most of us are aware that most of them were unable to stick from their original plan. After the previous survey conducted by Philam Life regarding their goals, 82% of OFWs admit that they can’t go home yet–not until their goals have been realized, got enough savings and/or another need arises: send their kids to decent schools and sad to say, stay overseas until at least one child finishes college.
The recent study also reveals that an OFW wants to collect an average of three million pesos to feel he is ready to arrive back for good; and that it would require the average OFW up to 18 years to save up that total. Savings are predominantly for emergencies, likewise reflecting their worry of getting sick, losing one’s job, being struck by calamities, and not being able to provide for the family.
“The need for more knowledge and understanding of financial management is our main concern with OFWs,” said Philam Life Chief Marketing Officer Jaime Jose M. Javier, Jr. “Majority of OFWs view properties, jewelry, and cars as investments. While these are all good, in times of emergencies these investments will have to be liquidated and usually at a loss. There are other instruments that can be explored to address their needs and concerns, and ensure that their time spent abroad doesn’t go to waste,” said Javier.
Given this need to promote financial literacy among OFWs, Philam Life has put the “BalikBayani Program,” a nationwide financial literacy program designed to help OFWs secure their financial future so they can be reunited with their families sooner, and for good. Through the BalikBayani program, OFWs will learn the basics of insurance and financial management. They will also be able to create their personal financial plans, and will receive continuous advice and guidance for free through Philam Life’s trained Kabalikat financial advisors.
“OFWs have sacrificed a lot of time away from their children. We want to make all those years of labor and sacrifices count,” said Philam Life Director of Agencies Cary C. Casipit. “Through the BalikBayani Program, we will help them better understand how they could use the money they’ve earned to live a comfortable future in the Philippines,” he continued.
In conjunction with the study, Philam Life also produced an OFW video, with the aim to have a deeper understanding of the plight of OFW families. The video reveals how children truly feel about having their parents away for so long. While the pasalubong is very much appreciated, what really matters to them is the presence of their parents. The video will be shown to the public through client forums and will also be posted online via Youtube.
For the OFWs, a part of expressing love is to make necessary sacrifices to be able to achieve their ultimate goals. It is to do what they can and what needs to be done to provide a better life for their families.
“These real life circumstances will only count if the sacrifices will materialize into a secured future. Philam Life understands the real life situations and needs of OFWs. Through the BalikBayani program, Philam Life provides the right plans and the right solutions to enable OFWs to achieve their long term goals, address their fears, and finally come home to their families for good,” Javier concluded.
For more information on the Philam Life BalikBayani Program, please visit http://www.philamlife.com/en/individuals/products-and-services/ofws/.