OVERSEAS Filipino workers (OFWs) called for a re-orientation of family values to cure the chronic dependency of families and immediate relatives on OFWs during a conference on diaspora and philantrophy hosted by UST.

“Let us not allow our families get used to giving them all they want because it just makes them all the more dependent on us,” said Ma. Luisa Tayco, a domestic helper and founder of Pinokyos Welfare in Singapore, said in Tagalog.

“Instead of putting the burden of daily living solely on OFWs, family members should find ways of earning for themselves,” she said.

Tayco said chronic dependency has led to the habit of indolence and reliance.

“OFWs do not work earn a living for the whole barrio,” Tayco said during in “Good News for the poor: A Conference on Filipino Diaspora Philantrophy,” last June 9 and 10 at the Thomas Aquinas Research Center audio-visual room.

Tayco added that their immediate families brand OFWs as self-centered when they fail to grant their material requests.

“They don’t understand the fact that earning money overseas is not easy,” she said.

According to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) records, US$218M while US$7.6B were remitted by OFWs to the country in 2003 and 2004, in the form of gifts and donations and to their families.

Prof. Jeremiah Opiniano, executive director of the Institute for Migration and Development Issues and a family member of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, stressed the need for “reciprocity of compassion” since OFWs are one of the country’s biggest donors for development therefore.

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“The remittances from OFWs should be used as a leverage to help their families,” Opiniano said. “Filipinos here should also look at the needs and issues of overseas workers.”

During the conference, OFW concerns such as the government’s inattention to their families and the lack of opportunities were also raised.

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