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Friday, October 7, 2011

Are OFW's Rich?

(Sourced) By Kuya Ronie
"Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are not rich. We have this notion that when someone is an OFW or based abroad, he or she is loaded. Not true. An OFW might earn from P50K-P300K a month, depending on the location. Those in Saudi Arabia or the United States might earn in the high range. But to say that they're 'rich' is a fallacy (amen!).There's no place like home - Living Abroad:

For some OFW's the notion maybe true but for most it's a fallacy like what the author of the article where I got the excerpt said. I have seen the plight of some unfortunate Filipinos working here in Qatar and even heard of some earning as low as QR 700.00 that is roughly Php 8,360.00. Imagine the hardships and the sacrifices it takes just to earn that meagre amount so they can send money home. I just can't imagine how they are surviving with that salary as the cost of living here is relatively higher compare to Saudi Arabia. My food allowance here ranges from QR 500 to 700 depending on what I prepare for my meal. I don't even want to know what he or she may be eating on every meal. Just the thought makes me feel bad but for the sake of their love ones back in the Philippines they are willing to take and bear everything.

On my way home for my vacation last March an older man whom I curiously asked about his age, he answered me with a naughty smile on his face saying "65 na ako pero 55 lang ang nakalagay sa passport ko." (I am 65 years old but on my passport it shows that I am only 55). My curiosity was evoked further, I asked him "paano nangyari yon kuya?" He answered in details but I won't divulge that as token of my respect for him and gratitude for trusting a stranger like me. Then I nodded but my curiosity is at its peak by now. I can't help but ask him why at his age he is still working abroad, he simply replied "pinapaaral ko pa mga apo ko eh". Twenty years Overseas and have lived more than a half century of his life yet he cannot retire. He is one example of OFW's that are working outside of the country almost half of their lives and still cannot afford to have a good life back home.

I guess only few OFW's really retire rich, with enough money to sustain and support them in living their remaining biological lives. For different and various reasons Filipinos abroad cannot even save ample amount upon their retirement to enjoy. Their investments are with their children, children's children and the rest of the clan for their education.

But I don't want to end this article on a sad note. I do have friends who are stock-filing Land Titles and have established thriving businesses in the Philippines. Sometimes it really depends on the individual. Others know how to save for their future and others just know how to spend their earnings. Now if I may ask my fellow OFW's."Are you one of the great spenders or one of the few who knows how to value money earned through sweat, blood and river of tears?

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