OFWs are often thought to earn more because they receive their salaries in dollars. Is this idea rooted in reality or do OFWs also need to manage their money abroad?
It’s time to shed light how our kababayans manage their salaries. Not only do they need to send remittances to their families, but they also need to set aside some money for their expenses abroad.
The Truth About OFWs and Their Earnings
An article that appeared in the December 10 issue of Pilipino Star Ngayon asks the question that has probably crossed our mind at some point. This refers to whether OFWs earn that much since their salary is in dollars.
The main premise is that we cannot determine how much OFWs really earn, since this depends on their occupation or level of expertise. Some careers earn a lot in one country but will not earn as much in another place.
What we can agree on is that their incomes are considerably higher compared to those working in the Philippines. The OFW’s salary has a higher value when they send it home to their families. It also has a higher value, especially when the US dollar has a higher exchange value. Moreover, not all foreign currencies command a higher value. The foreign exchange center or bank is an indicator of the value of the various currencies.
When the foreign currency has a lower value, it follows that the amount of money sent to the family back home may not be that much. The exception is when the OFW has a significant salary, thus ensuring that the family back home will receive a higher remittance.
Cost of Living of OFWs
Even if OFWs send money back home, they still need to set aside some money for their expenses in their host country. Indeed, the foreign currency has higher value when sent back home. However, the OFW still has to set aside some money to cover their basic expenses in their host country.
Some of these expenditures include rent, food, utilities, tax, transportation, loans, and other personal expenses. In this scenario, the value of the money does not hold much. Thus, there is a need for the foreign worker to take on another job just to make ends meet.
Again, we do not know for sure how much the worker spends because their circumstances differ from one place to another. Another factor to consider is the cost of living, since it is expensive to live in some countries. And if their salaries are low to begin with, they will have a difficult time stretching their allowances till the next payday.
The article further quotes a survey from the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism that reveals how Filipinos generally receive a lower salary compared with other nationalities due to discrimination. In most instances, the Caucasian earn more than their Filipino counterparts. Thus, when other nationalities earn from their job, it does not mean that Filipinos receive the same.
But whatever the situation is, Filipinos are still happy to be able to send money to their families back home.
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