luv & gratitude to overseas family/friends

this month i found so many articles, journals,books and web resources praising and romancing overseas migrants because of their economic and social remittances. there were hundreds of migration researches and conferences and its link to poverty reduction. there were conceptual debates on brain circulation as opposed to brain drain/brain gains. my web harvest is full of migration literature and i thank the web people for allowing us access to such knowledge. i dont have to run to libraries to plow through voluminous literature. but the more i read, i more i have to think of all the people who have made life for academic researchers and scholars better. i have to think of all the migrants who remit billions of dollars to our economy. i want to thank them for doing what many of us (devt professionals, concerned citizens, non-migrants) want to do – reduce poverty in our country and move towards a better society.

stella go, a professor in dela salle university, and maruja asis of scalabrini have been my favorite sources of insights on the impact of international migration on the philippines.i am beginning to have a basic understanding of the diaspora and its effects on our culture and imagination. they have found that from 1990 to 2001 alone, the workers remitted a total of US$ 48.985 billion or an average of US$4.082 billion every year through the
formal banking system.particularly striking is the fact that Saudi Arabia, which accounts for the largest proportion of overseas Filipino workers, has contributed only an average of about 5.4 percent to the total amount of remittances. on the other hand, the United
States, which accounts for less than 1 percent of Filipino migrant workers has contributed an average of 42.5 percent to the total amount of remittances sent to the Philippines. that’s a lot of help to our kababayan and i thank them all.

over the last 25 years, the foreign exchange remittances of overseas Filipinos have played a significant role in propping up the Philippine economy. all the malls that we go to are profitable because of migrant remittances. in the light of the continued economic difficulties in our country and the emigration pressures that still persist, the remittances from our overseas Filipino workers will remain valuable.


i have many classmates and neighbours in lucena who have migrated to the USA and they have been faithfully helping their families and friends in Lucena. in fact, my Maryknoll and Enverga (former Luzonian) Lucena classmates have been holding reunions in the country and in the US regularly to keep abreast of the city and the country devts. they have been busy conducting diaspora philanthropy, holding medical missions and providing scholarships to students who cannot afford college education. what i also have found is the social remittances ( not just money) but the social links, the networks they have provided because of the progress of communication technology.

virtual visits and conversations are now daily in our family – my sister lisa talks to her three sons in the US and UK and she brings her grandchildren andrea and patricia to talk and see their father peter in scotland via webcam and broadband. ten years ago, this would not have been feasible because the cost of acquiring a communications system at home would be beyond my sister’s budget. now we can see and chat with family Melo, Deeda,Cheding,Yen,Yeyi,Minette and many relatives all over the world, from the US to UK, from home to home. of course this resource is not yet available to people who cannot afford a computer and broadband like our lavandera mercy whose father and husband are in the Middle East. i think that the cyberproject of the govt can be focused on servicing all the overseas workers and families. perhaps the equity costs of such a project can be reviewed and re-issued in the name of benefitting our overseas migrant population. let us encourage the policy makers to rethink this option and let us encourage better government service to our active working force, here and abroad. let the virtual community be inclusive and let all our families be welcome in cyberspace. may the electric universe embrace us now. (this will be ed’s next blog).

Explore posts in the same categories: Lifelong learning, Psychology

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