Janice S. Zamora-Morales, Dakila Yee, Eddie Balunso, & Glenn Cabradilla
Untapped Remittances for Local Economic Development
Migration plays a big part in the Philippine economy. In fact, the Philippines belongs to the top labor sending countries and recipient of remittances. The number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in 2012 reached 2,083,223. With the increasing number of OFWs, no wonder that experts argued that remittances able to surpass foreign direct investments (FDI) and official development aids (ODA), as a viable source of financial capital. With the capacity of remittance as a stable source of financial capital, this study examined contributory factors why remittances remain untapped for local economic development. The main objective of this research is to examine why remittances remain untapped in local (town) economic development. Through a multi-stakeholder analysis, the study looked into the various factors that contributed for untapped remittances for local economic development. Key informant interviews of various stakeholders such as academicians, representatives of civil society organizations and government agencies were conducted and secondary data on remittances were reviewed. With Quezon City as a sample case, the study identified three factors that contributed to the inability to tap remittances and these are: 1) Lack of education of OFWs on various financial investment tools, 2) Lack of mechanisms to channel remittances, & 3) existing political environment. Part of the recommendation is to create a multi-stakeholder council that will integrate migration in crafting local economic development initiatives.
Janice S. Zamora-Morales