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The Philippines is one of the rare countries in the world where a significant proportion of the country’s GDP comes from remittances from citizens living and working abroad. Many Filipinos have managed to obtain an education, and raise their families – all thanks to the power of remittances.
Impact of remittances on families
Remittances from abroad have a larger impact on Filipino society than we think. One dollar can pay for only a quarter of a small cup of coffee in the States, that same dollar can buy half a pound of organic coffee in the Philippines when converted to Filipino Pesos. As you can see, remittances, which may only comprise a miniscule component of the sender’s monthly income, mean a lot to their families back in the Philippines. Many Filipinos’ lives have been greatly improved because of remittances that their loved ones have sent back from overseas.
Impact of remittances on societies
Due in large part to remittances from Filipinos working overseas, social conditions in the Philippines have been largely improved. The rate of child labor has decreased greatly, accompanied by an increase in child schooling.
Remittances also reduce the burden on Filipinos who might otherwise have to work long hours in order to support their families, freeing up time for them to pursue education and spend time with their loved ones. This has a beneficial effect on society in general by improving the well-being and literacy rates of the population. It also leads to a better-educated workforce that contributes more to the economy and the country as a whole.
Impact of remittances on the economy
The Philippines has a high percentage of its population living and/or working overseas. A whopping 17% of Filipino families receive money from overseas remittances. The Filipino economy owes a great deal to remittances from Filipinos working abroad. 10% of the GDP is derived from remittances, which is a greater percentage than almost any other country in the world.
As a result of these remittances, the purchasing power of Filipinos has been greatly increased, enabling them to enjoy improved living conditions. Some entrepreneurial Filipinos have also set up businesses with money from remittances, providing a much-needed stimulus to the economy.
Filams are a powerhouse
Currently, there are 1.7 million Filipinos living or working in the United States, and many more Americans of Filipino descent who still retain strong ties to the Philippines. Compared to many other immigrant groups in the USA, Filams (Filipino Americans) tend to be better educated, and earn more in general. A significant proportion of these people who remit money back to the Philippines also manage to save while sending money too.
Remittances have played a crucial role in shaping the society and economy of the Philippines. For many Filipinos living abroad who remit money home on a regular basis, they are modern heroes to their families. Without their heartfelt contributions, the Philippines of today would be a vastly different place.
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