Cover Story Excerpt:
Working with the plight of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) for years now has not only opened his eyes but his heart to different stories of love, life, and redemption. As Labor Attaché (representative of the Department of Labor) to the United Arab Emirates from 1983 to 1989, Congressman Roy V. Señeres first started to literally open his door wide for these unfortunate folks.
The Top 10 Most In-Demand Jobs Overseas
Everyday more than 40,000 overseas jobs from POEA-Licensed agencies are posted on Jobstreet. com, the leading online recruitment company presently covering the employment markets in the Philippines and other Asian countries.
According to Eileen Camarillo, Marketing Manager and Communication Services of Jobstreet.com, around 80% to 90% of these jobs are located in the Middle East. “The top eight countries are all in the Middle East in terms of job demand with the exception of Singapore and New Guinea,” she says. “Basically it’s the skilled workers that are needed in other countries but we also have in our top 10 occupational categories such as nurses.
Book Excerpt: Money and Marriage
How do you mix money and marriage – and make it work? This easy-to-read book helps married couples navigate the bumpy path to financial blessedness and peace. Enjoy learning how to make money management work in your married life through the adventures of entrepreneur and best-selling author Ardy Roberto and his partner and wise wife Tingting (who sadly passed away after the book came out).
Book Excerpt: No Nonsense
After some years in the speaking and training arena, writing hundreds of articles, columns and blogs for magazines, newspapers and websites, and quite a number of TV and radio appearances, many assumed that my advocacy of educating Filipinos on financial principles was based on a book I wrote. But when I started my advocacy, I had no book. Thus, it is quite strange that the book you are now holding was made 4 years after I launched my career as an independent personal finance coach.
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Personal Finance for OFWs
My wife and I were recently invited to guest on ANC’s On the Money and one viewer’s question was about whether or not OFWs are able to become financially independent after all the sacrifices they make. We replied that they are most likely not. We always hear stories of OFWs remitting everything they earn to the families they have left behind, only to have that money be squandered.
Yes, it is true that one main driver to our economy’s growth is OFW remittances. This has what kept our country afloat for decades and our now booming economy is due significantly to consumer spending, driven largely by a growing middle class. And where is this new middle class coming from? BPO workers and OFWs.
And yet a Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas survey based on the first quarter of 2013 showed that families of OFWs use the bulk of the money sent to them for food and education. Nothing wrong with that, of course. Almost 60% of OFW’s families use remittances for medical payments. Again, fine. But here’s the clincher: 42% use them to pay off debt. You can say that’s a good thing since at least they are reducing their financial obligations. On the other hand, the fact that they have racked up debt used most likely to finance their improving lifestyle is cause for concern. The survey doesn’t say what percentage of remittances are used for debt payment but this is something to ponder on.
The most alarming part of the survey though is the fact that the percentage of remittance recipients who invest in vehicles such as business capital or stocks is only 5.8%. Although this is an increase from 3.1% from the previous quarter, really, only around 5% of respondents invest the money remitted to them?
So there is basis to our answer during our talk show interview. And what was our advice? We said OFWs should set limits and give directions to their beneficiaries. They have to take charge of their finances by directing where their hard-earned money should go. That means setting up a monthly budget and working with their families back home to make sure the allocations for food, education, medicines, rent, etc. are followed. They should set conditions for discretionary spending, like their children can buy a new gadget if they get good grades, etc.
So there is basis to our answer during our talk show interview. And what was our advice? We said OFWs should set limits and give directions to their beneficiaries. And lastly, we said that OFWs should pay themselves first. How? By investing a portion of their income in financial instruments like pooled funds and stocks. If they have no idea how to go about it, then they need to get a financial education.
There are government, non-profit, and private sector groups that are reaching out to OFWs for financial literacy and I laud their efforts. But I believe there is still so much that needs to be done. For one, this magazine should be reaching out to more Filipinos overseas and their beneficiaries here. And on a personal capacity, my wife and I are launching a financial literacy advocacy program called Money for Tomorrow (www.moneyfortomorrow.org) that will reach out to blue-collar workers and domestic helpers here and Filipinos working abroad. It is a new challenge and we are excited to do our part.
Heinz G. Bulos
Table of Contents
- OFW Missionary by Excel Dyquiangco
- The Top 10 Most In-Demand Jobs Overseas by Excel Dyquiangco
- Book Excerpt: Money and Marriage by Ardy Roberto
- Book Excerpt: No Nonsense by J. Randell Tiongson, RFP®
- The Bottom Line: The Future of the Average Juan by Excel Dyquiangco
- The Bottom Line: Housing Loans by Rienzie Biolena, RFP®
- The Bottom Line: Renting Versus Buying by Kendrick Chua, RFP®
- The Bottom Line: Home Insurance by Edmund Lao, RFP®
- RFP Money Makeover by Kyle Caesar R. Filomeno, RFP®
- Financial Planner: To Sell or Not to Sell by Efren Ll. Cruz, RFP®
- Successtories: Why the Best Success Stories Often Begin With Failure by Alex Araneta
- My Money Story: Ending Music with a High Note by Rayben Maigue as told to Excel V. Dyquiangco
- My Money Story: Starting Small, Dreaming Big by Iris Pulga as told to Ruth Manimtim-Floresca
- The Path to Self-Discovery by Tommy Ng as told to Excel V. Dyquiangco
- Easy Money: Stock Market Indicators by Alijeffty C. Gonzales, CIS, CWM®, RFP®
- How To: Open an Online Stock Brokerage Account by Jesi Bondoc, RFP®
- Easy Money: Step #6 – Taking Care of Your Tenant by Carl Dy
- Forex 500: The Three Stages of Your Forex Trading Career by Mark So
- High-Heeled Trader: 3 Things to Do When Markets Go Wild by Charmel Delos Santos
- The Bottom Line: Cost Averaging Versus Market Timing by Marvin Germo, RFP®
- The Bottom Line: Index Funds vs. Managed Funds by Christopher Lim, CFC®, CIS, CRB®, CWM®, PMP®, RFP®
- Easy Money: Family-Friendly Hotels with Text and Photos by Ruth Manimtim-Floresca
Photos by: Dodie Legaspi