As a way to extend gratitude to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) whom we consider as our modern-day heroes, Senator Cynthia Villar recently announced that Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (Villar SIPAG) will be holding the 10th OFW and Family Summit on Friday, November 19, 2021, via Zoom and Facebook Live.
Villar SIPAG will bring together OFWs and their families in one big virtual expo. The 10th OFW & Family Summit 2021 is an online summit that aims to promote financial literacy and provide business opportunities & insights to OFWs in this time of new normal.
This year’s event theme, “Masiglang Kabuhayan Sa Bagong Panahon”, presents a very timely and relevant event because most of us, if not all, are still struggling to live a normal and happy life amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The said summit will also serve as an avenue where OFWs can learn more ways to grow their money in their home country.
Senator Villar who is known to be an advocate of OFWs is encouraging migrant workers and their families to join the said event to capacitate them on how to protect their hard-earned money and avoid human trafficking, illegal recruitment, and investment scams.
The OFW and Family Summit, through Villar SIPAG, serves as the Villar family’s annual recognition of the
OFWs’ hard work, sacrifices, and efforts in giving their families a more comfortable life and a better future.
Perks of Attending the Virtual Summit
After more than a year of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippines is finally experiencing a continuous drop in cases. In fact, many areas have varying degrees of restrictions, but most are already easing out.
A lot would say that in 2020, the Philippines has experienced its worst economic recession due to the pandemic. This type of situation caused a lot of worries and made people think that it was the worst time to invest in real estate, but that isn’t exactly true.
On November 19, The OFW and Family Summit will encompass the real state of Philippine real estate. With the theme, “Masiglang Kabuhayan Sa Bagong Panahon”, the virtual event will feature real estate professionals and experts to give meaningful insights on various matters concerning the real estate industry and why many experts recommend that now is the best time to invest amid the pandemic.
The Philippine real estate industry proved to be resilient and showed remarkable stability while other industries were greatly affected by the pandemic.
Villar SIPAG recognized the need to promote the importance of making valuable investments amidst changing and even challenging times, which led to the staging of the virtual event that aims to impart useful information in the fields of financial planning, property investment, and home financing for OFWs and their families.
If you are an OFW or know one, then The OFW and Family Summit is perfect for you. We have listed other reasons why you should attend this event.
1. Learn more about real estate investing
Thousands of OFWs and their families are expected to participate in the said virtual event which will give them the opportunity to guide OFWs and their families on how to handle their finances, scout for business & livelihood opportunities in the new normal, get updated on the government’s efforts in helping distressed OFWs and encourage them to avail of the government’s reintegration programs especially now that thousands of OFWs lost their jobs and returned home due to COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Networking opportunity
The virtual summit will give the participants an opportunity to interact with public and private institutions for concerns on access to financial services, social benefits, and legal assistance, among others.
Several business owners, franchise holders, government agencies, and other organizations were also invited to guide and assist the participants through a series of talks on various topics that are relevant to OFWs.
3. Chance to win special prizes
Aside from the learning sessions, participants will also get a chance to take home a house and lot, pangkabuhayan package, and other exciting prizes. For more information about the 10th OFW & Family Summit 2021 happening on November 19, 2021, OFWs and their families may visit the official Facebook page of Sen. Cynthia A.Villar and Villar SIPAG Facebook page.
4. Registration is easy and free
Registration is still open and is FREE, interested OFWs and their families just need to fill out our registration through this link http://ofwsummit2021.villarsipag.org/registration/ with all the necessary information & requirements. Once registered, they will receive a verification/confirmation via email or mobile that will serve as their pass for the online event.
Financial Planning and Investment for OFWs
Working overseas is one of the goals for many Filipinos, with the primary reason of getting higher pay that would enable them to provide a better life for their loved ones, whether in the Philippines or abroad. For OFWs working in developed countries like the USA, the UAE, and Singapore, among others, they are earning in stronger currencies which allow them to save more pesos.
However, a study shows alarming results such as one out of ten OFWs remains financially broke while 80% return to the Philippines without savings. Despite their higher earning power, why are they moving back to their home country without any cash on hand, savings or investments?
You always have to remember that it’s not how much you earn but it’s how much you save. Financial planning is not only about increasing your income, it is about how you manage your finances well. Here are some ideas on how you can plan the use of your money.
Manage Your Earnings
When you are offered a job abroad, don’t be blinded by the X amount of money that you’re being offered. It may seem like a jackpot when you convert it into pesos, but it may be insufficient for your expenses abroad.
Remember, developed countries pay higher wages because the cost of living is much higher there. The home rent, food, utilities, and other necessities are higher in rate. Therefore, before deciding, do a thorough research on how much you expect to spend on essentials such as rent, groceries, transportation, etc. abroad. This will give you an idea if the salary you’re being offered is good to take.
If you have good professional experiences and credentials, don’t be afraid to negotiate for a higher salary if you know you deserve it. If your employment contract and time permits, you can look for freelancing or part-time work from home jobs on weekends.
You can use a budget as a guide to keep you updated on whether you’re overspending on certain items. Who wouldn’t love having a clearly written down and tallied up a list of what is needed versus what is not.
By having this, you’ll develop stronger willpower to say ‘no’ to extra expenses.
With the available technology nowadays, you can easily download an expense tracking app to help you categorize your expenses for a more detailed overview. Also, start with yourself. Build the habit of tracking your expenses on a daily basis. There may be days when you may forget or feel lazy to track your expenses, so it’s important to build the habit so it becomes natural.
After three months of tracking expenses, go over the app to check on the budget you have created and evaluate. With the data, you’d be able to learn about your spending patterns.
OFW remittances have become a major part of a person’s budget, but it should be treated differently from budgeting. Some OFWs send almost half (or more) of their incomes to their loved ones in the country. It is the natural tendency for them to help provide for their needs. But you don’t want to come home only to find out that the money you’ve been sending home was used to buy material things that are not a good investment.
It is a wise thing to know the monthly expenses of your household to balance how much you should remit. You also have to make sure that the money you remit is within your monthly budget unless it’s for an emergency. It would also help if you could find a remittance center that charges fairly.
Saving Your Money
Most OFWs may suddenly be blinded by their higher salaries. Depending on the size of your family, you’re not the only one dependent on your income. It has been a usual practice among Filipino families that even if you’re single and have no responsibilities, their future is still dependent on your income.
That is why you must be able to maximize working overseas by earning and saving as much as you can. Several ways can be done to help you save money effectively.
Writing down your financial goals will help a lot – be it buying a house or retiring permanently in the Philippines. Once you have enlisted your concrete goals, you should know how much or the percentage of your salary you would need to save to reach your goals.
The moment you receive your salary, deposit the money into your savings account then spend what is left or share them with your family.
Most Filipinos are not keen on insurance. If you’re earning in a foreign currency, and you want to make the most of it, do not use it to pay for health insurance you don’t see yourself using. However, insurance is important because it serves as a barrier of protection.
Think about this. The cost of living in developed countries is more expensive than in the Philippines, so if you get into an accident, you’ll shell out much more than you would have if you were back home.
Unfortunately, not all employers provide insurance. If your employer doesn’t provide medical insurance, then, you have to secure one for yourself. It would be better if you would research and compare the different policies and providers.
Before you work overseas, make sure that you apply for life insurance for your dependents. OFWs are mostly the breadwinners of their families, so it’s best to protect their dependents’ life’s risk through insurance.
Real Estate Investments
When it comes to investments, real estate is said to be the most popular among OFWs. Some OFWs even buy real estate without checking out the property first or they entrust the property visit and transaction to their loved ones.
It is a good investment because there are a lot of ways to earn an income in real estate, which include renting, flipping, and long-term investing. Although real estate isn’t the only investment as there are bonds, stocks, and investment funds such as UITFs and mutual funds, it is the most stable and would give you the highest yield depending on the market condition.
Always remember never to invest in something you do not know. Before you invest, educate yourself first. There are a lot of resources available from books, conferences, and seminars that you can use to gain knowledge on your chosen investment.
You also have to know the reason why you are investing. Ask yourself. Is it just because you want to earn money? Why do you want to earn more money? Is it because you’re saving up for a house? Is it because you want to save for retirement? Knowing the reason will guide you on where you should invest your money as an OFW.
BRIA Homes, a subsidiary of GOLDEN MV Holdings, Inc., one of the largest real estate companies in the country is supporting the 10th OFW and Family Summit as a way to recognize their invaluable contribution to the country as well as for being one of the main clients of the company for its various real estate properties.
BRIA Homes is a subsidiary of GOLDEN MV Holdings, Inc., one of the top real estate companies in the country. Acclaimed for its massive footprint of over 50 developments in major Philippine cities and municipalities, BRIA Homes is committed to bring quality and best-value residential communities closer to everyday Filipino families. Through a diverse portfolio of properties such as house-and-lots and condominiums, BRIA Homes promises to provide the right property option for every Filipino’s needs.
To know more, visit their website at www.bria.com.ph, like and follow “Bria Homes, Inc.” on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Spotify, Viber Community, Telegram Channel, Kakao Talk, LINE and WhatsApp, or call 0939-887-9637.
Written by Cheska Castro