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Top Reasons Why Filipino UK Nurses Send Remittance Back Home

Filipino nurses play a vital role in global healthcare, bringing dedication, expertise, and compassion to diverse healthcare settings worldwide, enriching patient care, and contributing to improved health outcomes on a global scale. Their proficiency, resilience, and cultural competency enhance the quality of care and promote inclusivity in healthcare systems worldwide

Beyond their professional duties, they embody the cultural practice of remitting money back home, a lifeline that connects her with her family in the Philippines and reflects the broader experiences of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) worldwide.

As of my last update in January 2022, the Philippines is one of the top recipients of remittances globally. According to data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the country received approximately $30 billion in remittances from overseas Filipinos in 2021. Remittances play a significant role in the Philippine economy, contributing to household consumption, savings, and investments, as well as supporting the country's balance of payments. These remittances are crucial for many Filipino families, providing financial stability and contributing to poverty reduction efforts.

Balancing Duty and Family

An OFW nurse's journey is not without challenges, even before deployment and setting foot on foreign soil, the hoops and hurdles they have to go through: such as completing the various tests, and paperwork requirements to the destination country of their choosing and the frightful thought of leaving their family behind. They embark on this mission to fulfill their dreams of supporting the loved ones they are leaving behind. Despite the distance, they remain deeply connected to their family's well-being, and the act of remitting money has become an essential symbol of this connection.

Remittances: A Symbol of Love and Responsibility

To most OFWs, upholding the deeply ingrained value of close family ties, sending money back home is more than a financial transaction; whether to support a brother who is finishing college, or pay for their sick family member's medication and maintenance, or just purely provide for the financial needs of the family as the breadwinner; it's an expression of love and responsibility ingrained in Filipino culture. Each remittance represents its devotion to their family, ensuring they have the resources they need to thrive. The act of giving back is a source of pride for most, reflecting the values instilled in them. It is even though most of the time they have very little left for themselves from the salary they receive each month to cover their daily expenses.

Cultural Impact: Strengthening Bonds and Building Communities

Most of the stories of Pinoy working abroad mirror that of countless OFWs around the world. The practice of remitting money serves as a pillar of support for Filipino families, nurturing bonds across borders and sustaining communities. It has been a common practice back home that when someone from a member of the family went for a greener pasture it gives the family a sense of hope that they will also be part of whatever that family member is sowing. Beyond meeting material needs, remittances foster a sense of belonging and unity among OFWs. While they share their experiences on how their journey started in coming to the foreign country to work, no conversation escapes the topic of how they send part of their hard-earned money to their loved ones back home. They would ask each other what remittance service they use, which is the best money remittance that gives the best service and competitive rate, and how fast their relatives can receive it. Through reinforcement of their shared experiences about sending money connected with every family member's stories of life back home like someone could be sick, or someone supporting a sibling for college or university, or someone paying off debts and so many different stories that define their cultural identity, which makes their relationships stronger.

Challenges and Resilience: Financial Strain

Despite the joys of supporting their family, OFW nurses face challenges and sacrifices along the way. Balancing their financial responsibilities abroad with their obligations to their loved ones requires careful planning and sacrifice. With one-off payment type of monthly salary here in the UK compared to the "kinsenas katapusan" type of salary pay (sahod) in the Philippines, budgeting their wage from their own house rent, food and groceries, household utilities for electricity and gas usage, Wifi and other subscriptions, transportation and many other more. OFWs often find themselves stretching their finances thin, as remittances can sometimes strain their budget, impacting their own financial stability and savings goals.

OFW Nurses' journey exemplifies the profound impact of remittances on the lives of OFWs and their families. Through her dedication and sacrifice, they embody the spirit of resilience and generosity that define the Filipino diaspora. As UK Nurses continue to make a difference in the UK healthcare system, their story serves as a testament to the enduring bonds of family, community, and culture that unite OFWs worldwide, even in the face of financial challenges.

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