There are about ten million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who have left the country with various reasons like earning money, augmenting income, sending children to school, and helping save for a future business. Most of them leave for financial considerations. After several years of working, how many OFWs have really achieved their objectives of financial security?
This dissertation sought to answer the question, sustainability of the savings plan of Filipino OFWs in Hong Kong. By mobilizing OFWs and Filipino families towards sustainable financial system, can the study be transformational for the millions of OFWs? The critical point is the implementation of the savings plan and the transformational outcomes it can produce.
Arrow Employment Services and Jubilee International Filipino Fellowship are agencies working to assist OFWs to fulfill their dreams and goals of working overseas. The paper addresses the questions and various services AES and JIFF provides, and the kind of financial management training and savings program the company uses to help the OFWs.
The crucial participation of the OFW is highlighted: the OFWs motivations and realizations for working overseas and their plans for the future; strategies identified for the realization of their goals and implementation of savings plan. The factors ascertained affecting the success or failure in the implementation of the savings plan.
With an initial assumption of the family also affecting the sustainability of the savings plan of the OFWs, the research looked deeper into the family factors from the perspective of the OFW in order to develop programs that would mobilize the OFW families to make their savings plan sustainable. With time limitation, the research on the OFW families’ perspectives was not included in the research. Significant principles in the discussions include financial planning for the OFWs; their monthly allocation of salaries and implementation thereof. The realities and limitations of the OFWs are identified that affect in one way or another, their plans of savings and plans for the future of the family. Training in financial management, relationship with God, family, employers, co-workers, and the community to which they
belong contributes a lot to the success of the OFW.
The OFWs who are successful in implementing their savings plan have good financial management skills, family cooperation, and faith in God. Those OFWs who are not successful attribute their failure to sick member of the family, education of their children, debts, financial mismanagement of family in the Philippines, lack of wisdom, family breakdown and endless wants and requests of the family. It is also because of the higher purpose of OFW to witness to their employers and the countries to where they are scattered that transformations can occur. The potential of the Christian OFWs being scattered in the homes of employers cannot be underestimated. When, OFWs have settled economic lives, have peace of mind, less stress, and have some level of comfort, they can think better. They have the character and skills, adaptability and language to penetrate and impact individuals, peoples and nations where they are deployed to work.
Every one of the OFWs wants to contribute well being and quality of life to their families and countries. They will need the support of the family, the church, nongovernment agencies, and the governments that send them.
‘The role of the OFWs in family building and transformation of societies is a relevant contribution. The higher purpose – Christian witness can be incorporated. It gives them meaning and joy to counter the mundane and the loneliness of being uprooted and a life spent in a foreign setting away from loved ones and familiar surroundings. Each of these points has been supported through the literature, research, and
interviews. God cares for the OFWs and the ‘diaspora’ of peoples.