Hongkong OFWs to lose their jobs?
Hongkong’s economy is down. It is now on recession. If the demos continue, foreigner businessmen will be scampering away including the wealthy Hongkong citizens, leaving their Filipino domestic helpers with their bags on the side of the road dazed, not knowing what to do.
For most, they will just come back to the Philippines where there is almost nothing to come back to. It would be good if the OFW had been saving for the rainy day. Many of them, however, did not know what that meant. Many of them were even regular visitors of Macau where they gambled away whatever little they earned in the casinos there.
Others misspent their earnings on useless stuff like gadgets or the latest luxury television and VCR sets, sound systems, and appliances they hardly needed.
So they will get the shock of their lives.
The worst is when they come back and see that their kids they never had the time to see grow up have become spoiled brats who do not even how to do household chores. Then they would be face to face with the irony of braving harsh working conditions abroad in the desire to make a difference on the the economic lot of their families only to find out that the money had instead robbed their children of a future.
For it was and will always be the tendency of OFW parents to be lax in giving money to their kids as a psychological compensation for their absence at a time when the kids needed them most—during their formative years.
It will be a sorry state to see. Of parents who are now more advanced in age but have to go back to scratching for a living the way they had been doing before they went abroad.
The saddest part of the story is the inability of government to do something about the problem. While the OFWs had always been touted as our modern day heroes—indeed, they were and still are as our economy could have sunk to the bottom of the sea without the dollars they had been sending back home—nothing much was accomplished by government to caution their fall or to provide a fallback position when they would have to come home.
The ultimate responsibility, however, was with our OFWs themselves. Surely they did not think that their stay abroad would be until forever, unless they planned to become citizens of their host countries. So what did they do to prepare for the eventuality of their being repatriated?
It might not be too late for some and for OFWs who are not in Hongkong. They might still have time to prepare, which always entails some sacrifice, for the future.**