Overseas Filipino Worker, where are you?
Many times I have heard that “only” Filipinos working in Asia and the Middle East are considered Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). If you work as a domestic helper, driver, mechanic, laborer, you are considered an Overseas Filipino Worker.
How about those that are hired in North American countries (USA and Canada) or Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) or countries in Europe and the island countries? Filipinos working and living overseas, if they do not have immigrant Visa or any Visa stating otherwise, are still considered Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
I have been asked many times too, after Kuwait where will you go? What will you do? Sadly sometimes too, even before I could answer, the person asking will answer his / her own question like – you don’t have anything to do anymore, you can’t find a better job elsewhere because you came from the Middle East, you came from Kuwait.
I beg to disagree. All Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) work by way of a work Visa, a work permit. They are under contract too – one year, 2 years, 3 years, the most. That simply means wherever you are in the world, if your contract will not be renewed and you do not have another legal option, the next stage is to go home – to the Philippines.
So next time you talk to an OFW from the Middle East, do not think of them as inferior to those who work in non-Middle East countries because we are all on the same situation. We work by permit, by Visa and by contract that has expiration date.
God bless you.