Going abroad and becoming an OFW don’t always turn the family’s dreams into realities. Some wind up working for kind and generous employers while others fall victims to cruel and abusive ‘masters’. Others are paid their worth; some end up being overworked yet underpaid; other kabayans don’t get paid even. Some get good bonuses and incentives, some are not paid their salaries on time. Some have lavish villas, luxurious flats and apartelles, some live in impoverished tents and bunkers. Some have flashy cars; others contend themselves hitching a ride in trailer trucks. Some are privileged to have their families with them, some are not even recognized by their own children.
The price for working abroad is indeed very costly!
OFW Families in Crisis: The Offices of the POEA and OWWA and other Advocacy Groups for OFWs’ concerns are alarmed with the growing number of cases of abandonment of families and broken marriages. An OWWA survey conducted 3 years ago revealed that 3 out of 10 OFWs have broken families. That loosely translates to six million Filipino youths whose growing up years are influenced negatively by the pain and sorrow of a broken family.
It is so ironic that the OFW who works abroad to give a better future for his/her family ends up in broken marriages, separation, legal battle for the custody of children, etc. What begins as a family's dream of a better life sometimes turn out to be their nightmare.
The sad truth is that it has no sign of slowing down. The migration pattern of Filipino diaspora is in a way proportional with the rise of broken families.
There is a way to solve this problem.
Thus for this year's theme, PEBA brings into the fore its primary belief that strengthening the OFW families, strengthens the homes and, ultimately, the nation! This season’s theme is timely and timeless.
For 2010, PEBA 3 opens its doors not just to OFWs and Pinoy expatriates but will be enjoining local bloggers who, in one way or the other, have been influenced by OFWs in their lifetime. Its thrust in 2010 PEBA will not just be an award-giving body, but it will proactively act on issues that make a difference in Filipino’s lives, especially the young children, and the OFW’s and their families.
PEBA calls on OFW and Pinoy expat bloggers to write about what they are doing to strengthen their families despite the distance and their absence from home;
PEBA calls on local bloggers to share their insights, ideas, stories, thoughts, etc about their experiences and views on and about OFW families;
PEBA calls on the government to take care and support the OFWs and their families by putting leaders – secretaries, labor attaches, consuls, and embassy officials -- who understand and are sympathetic to the plight of the migrant workers. Appoint new leaders who are mindful of the struggles and harsh realities in the life of OFWs and their families – leaders who have vision for the OFWs and their families.
PEBA calls on the private sectors, who have benefitted from the sweat and blood of the OFWs remittances, to create and promote advocacy programs and projects and to fund social activities and values education workshops that will help strengthen the OFWs families.
PEBA calls on every Filipino to act in strengthening the ties that bind us together: our family. It may be the smallest unit of a society, but it is also the most influential and strongest. In it, we believe, lies the solution to all our woes.
► Read NJ's full article here.
► Click any of the accompanying graphics in this article and it will take you to PEBA 2010 site.