by Jocelyn Ruiz, ABS-CBN Europe News Buerau
ITALY – Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) based in Italy are forced to take a second job aside from their regular work to support the education of their children in the Philippines.
They are obliged to double their remittances based on the needs of payment of tuitions, school materials and uniforms of their children.
Carmen Ilagan risked herself to work abroad for her three children who are all going to study in this school year.
Aside from her regular job as domestic helper, she is forced to get an extra job.
“Nag-doble ako ng trabaho at tumatanggap ako ng extra work at nang madagdagan ang aking kita para doble ang padala ko ngayong enrollment at pasukan na,” she said.
Ilagan feels the pain of being separated from her kids but she knows her sacrifices will bring a better life for her family.
She shared that she calls her children to monitor their situation and give them parental advice.
“Sinasabihan ko sila sa pagpasok sa school magdala ng payong o kapote pati na din dun sa katulong na nagdadala sa anak ko na 4 na taon sa kinder,” stated Ilagan.
Quality college education
OFW couple Benjie and Lita Eclarin have a hard time working together to support the college education of their daughter.
They said that they need to tighten their belt to provide for the needs of their daughter to pursue a college education in Manila.
“Kailangan sa panahon na ito ay tipid at higpit ng sinturon kasi hindi katulad ng ginagawa ng aming pamilya dahil may pinag-aaral pa kami na nasa college,” said Benjie. “Napakahirap magpaaral ng college.”
They also added that parents like them have the responsibility when education is concerned.
“Mahal na ang mga bilihin, ang lahat at obligasyon nating magpaaral ng anak dahil iyon lang ang maipapamana naming sa mga bata,” added Lita.
A grandma’s sacrifice
Meanwhile, a 67-year-old OFW grandmother, Linda de Villa, continues to work abroad for her grandchild’s education in the Philippines.
Lola Linda got emotional while sharing her story to the ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau.
Despite the fact that she is supposed to be enjoying her pension in the Philippines, Lola Linda said she needs to sacrifice to help her family back home.
“Handa na akong makapag-aral sila maski na ako ay walang pinag-aralan. Hindi nakaakyat ng hagdan, basta sila makaakyat,” she said.
Even if she feels sadness and homesickness, Lola Linda said she is still hoping that her grandchild will finish his schooling so that she can go home.
Increase in remittances
Based on the studies of remittance centers here in Italy, the estimated remittances of OFWs in the months of May and June will rise compared to last year because of the double remittances of OFWs for the education of their children.
“May palang nag-iipon na sila for enrollment, ito June for school supplies. Ang matindi lang ngayon ay ang pag-we-weaken ng euro sa dollar kaya mas malaking euro ang kanilang ipapadala compared sa last year,” said Elsa Lim, managing director of Land Bank of the Philippines Rome.
Lim added that OFWs are willing to sacrifice their salary for their families back home.
She also said that the OFWs are brave enough to take on the challenges of working abroad.