TO convince an overseas Filipino worker to stay in the Philippines for good, he needs to have an average savings of P3 million and his own business, a recent study showed.
Philam Life, which commissioned market research provider Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) to do the study, reported 82 percent of OFWs said they need to have their own business so they can stay home permanently, while 63 percent said they’re ready to come home for good when their kids have finished school. Forty-seven percent said that when they have their own car they can return home, and some 24 percent said they will be ready to stay when they have their own house.
According to Philam Life director of agencies Rolan H. Enriquez, in a press conference yesterday, the respondents of the study mostly involved OFWs who are under a two-year contract, with an average tenure of six and a half years of working abroad and earn an average of P50,000 per month. The nationwide study on OFWs was done in April 2015.
The same study showed that of the OFWs surveyed, 82 percent said “they are not yet ready to stay home permanently.”
They reasoned out that they did not enough savings or their children are still studying. Some said they have no house yet, had “more dreams to achieve” and are “not yet stable.”
This means only 18 percent of those surveyed are ready to go home, believing that they are better off staying with their families or already have an established business and have enough savings.
The study reported that 55 percent of the income of these OFWs is sent back home and what remains is for personal use.
Respondents said they save on average P13,000 per month. If they save this amount religiously, Enriquez said this would take one OFW 18 years before he can save P3 million and stay in the Philippines for good.
“Philam Life understands the real life needs of OFWs. It has been committed in providing the right solutions and the right plans to help OFWs achieve their long-term goals,” Enriquez said.
With this, Philam Life created the BalikBayani program, a financial literacy campaign designed to help OFWs secure their financial future so they can be reunited with their families “sooner” and “for good.”
Through the program, OFWs will learn the basics of insurance and financial management. They will also be able to create their personal financial plans and receive continuous advice and guidance for free through Philam Life’s trained Kabalikat financial advisors, said Philam Life OFW business development head Angelo R. Santiago.
The insurance company came up with the Balikbayan Package consisting of products for retirement, children’s education, investment, protection, and health.
According to Enriquez, 10 percent of Philam Life’s policyholders are OFWs. The company aims to grow this number through the Balikbayani program so it can help more OFWs achieve their financial goals.
As of 2014, there are 2.23 million OFWs growing annually at an average rate of 10.4 percent over the past six years, Enriquez said, citing data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 11, 2015.
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