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Monday, June 24, 2024

62% of OFWs plan to return home in five years

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About 62 percent of overseas Filipino professionals plan to relocate back home within the next five years, due to personal reasons such as to take care of aging parents and be closer to family.

This represents an increase from 2021, which saw 54 percent of respondents consider coming home, according to a recent poll by recruiter Robert Walters.

However, the disparity in compensation and benefits offered locally and a perceived lower standard of living conditions are making these professionals think twice about relocating back, it says.

The poll was conducted among over 120 overseas Filipino professionals across various industries, including banking and financial Services, information and communication technology, consumer and retail, manufacturing, digital and e-commerce.

“As the number of overseas Filipino professionals returning home continues to grow, it presents a valuable opportunity for local employers. These returning professionals often possess enhanced technical skills and a more adaptable mindset, honed through their experiences in diverse international environments,” says Alejandro Perez-Higuero, director of Robert Walters Philippines.

“Their agility in responding to the changing business landscape can provide a significant advantage to organizations as they are able to come up with innovative strategies to help achieve business objectives,” says Higuero.

The survey reveals that 56 percent of those who are willing to come back cited the desire to take care of their aging parents and family as the top reason for wanting to return to the Philippines. This was followed by those (44 percent) who retained a strong emotional, social and cultural connection to the country.

About 65 percent of overseas Filipinos surveyed say they considered the current economic situation as a factor when deciding whether to relocate back to the Philippines. About 46 percent of respondents with a positive outlook on returning mentioned confidence in the Philippines’ economic stability, growth prospects, and opportunities for entrepreneurship or business projects as encouraging factors for their desire to return.

Only one in three (30 percent) of overseas Filipinos have no intention of returning to the Philippines.

Respondents show low confidence in the country’s economic stability, with 38 percent expressing reluctance to return due to economic concerns. A significant majority of them (80 percent) believe that the economy is more stable overseas.

Other factors contributing to the hesitancy included a more favorable salary-to-cost-of-living ratio abroad (60 percent) and better government initiatives and incentives in foreign countries that are provided (47 percent).

Salaries in the Philippines continue to be a significant concern with 75 percent of respondents hesitant to return, emphasizing the differences in compensation and benefits as a major issue, and 56 percent of them highlighting a lower standard of living conditions in the Philippines, based on public facilities, security concerns and community resources.

About 33 percent of respondents say they would only accept a Philippines compensation package that is market-aligned for their experience and the role being offered.

“As business priorities undergo continuous transformations, it becomes imperative to address the ongoing shortage of highly skilled talent in the country. Hiring managers should explore creative strategies to secure talent that aligns with their organization’s needs,” says Higuero.

“Through our Balik Bayan program, we offer a solution to identify and secure Filipino talent returning from overseas, catering to specific timelines. We also provide support in managing candidate expectations, ensuring a seamless recruitment from start to finish. This program serves as a valuable resource connecting returning Filipino professionals with suitable job opportunities, aligning their skills with the needs of local businesses,” says Higuero.

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