According to Wikipedia there are about 11 million Filipinos working or living overseas. Some have received Residency in the foreign country. From my limited knowledge, in the USA, if you are in the States with a contract work Visa, after 5 years you can apply for residency. At that point, you can live in the States and do not need to submit a work contract to Immigration.
These OFW’s send home in to form of Remittance money to support their family. In 2008, the amount of remittance that was sent to the Philippines was $15.9 billion dollars and represented about 13.5% of the Philippines GDP in 2005.
Most if not all OFW’s have to register with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and follow the rules. Since most OFW’s are hired through an agency, they are registered. One of the rules is they must send home a percentage of their salary. Actually, it is automatically send home from the agency that pays them. Marine Engineers and Seamen who work on shipping vessels have to send 80% of their salary home to their family. This is not difficult since all their room and board is part of living on the ship.
Many families work hard and save for their children’s education and many look to an education in an area for employment abroad. Also with the Filipino culture of the children, helping to support their family and elders this is a way to improve the family’s life here in the Philippines. Unfortunately, if the OFW is sending 80% of their income home, which leaves them with little to support themselves in the country they are living.
As for the family back home, some use this money to improve their life. They can purchase a better home and save to open a business to increase the family’s income for the future. IF they are able to develop a business that earns a good income, once day the OFW worker can return home and live a better life with their family.
This is not always the case. Many times this income makes the family back home lazy. They see the remittances as a way stay home and live well. Some use this better life to show off to their friends and do nothing with their life. This is bad for the family, the worker and even the country. Instead of using this increased income to help move a family up to a more self-sufficient family unit, it keeps the OFW slaving away so he does not hurt their family.
The use of family members to support their family and improve their life is a wonderful part of the Filipino culture. In the USA and in other countries, parents support their child through their schooling and hope their child will become a well-paid and productive part of society and support itself from then on. After that, in most cases, the parents go on with their life and the adult child goes on with his/hers. At times, the parent will give assistance with the buying of a home or the start of a business, but not the monthly support.
This is a cultural difference here in the Philippines. It is something you need to understand and accept if living here. As I say, it is not our right to change a culture, but to accept it as a fact of living here.