More than the remittances they are sending home, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are helping boost the country’s economy with their lavish spending.
The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) said Filipino workers abroad contribute considerably to the national economy through increased direct spending when they come home for vacation.
“Each OFW easily spends money equal to a month or two months’ pay during their vacations because they try to make up for their long absences by spending lavishly for their families,” TUCP secretary general and former senator Ernesto Herrera said.
Herrera also noted that the biggest direct consumption spenders among Filipino workers are Filipino engineers, nurses, sailors and airline staff due to their considerable disposable income and ready access to cheaper consumer credit.
However, unlike the remittances OFWs send back home the spending Filipino workers do when they come home “is largely hidden” and blends with the rest of the country’s domestic consumption spending, Herrera said.
“What is clearly not reflected in the remittances captured by banks is the increasing amount of money being spent here by OFWs, including spending through credit cards that benefit primarily the food, entertainment, leisure and health care industries,” he said.
According to Herrera, US-based Filipino workers — particularly those who have gained permanent resident status in the US — spend mainly via credit cards when they are here.
“An increasing number of Filipino families that depend on remittances from the US are no longer getting their money bank-to-bank. They now simply spend and charge a certain amount every month to a supplementary card and the expense gets paid by the primary card holder in the US,” he said. —-Mayen Jaymalin with AP