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PROBLEM AND ITS SETTING

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Introduction

The Philippine economy stands tall and it is growing in a rapid manner; being tenth among other countries as the fastest growing economy in the world. Statistics shows that the average economic growth of the Philippines is 6.7% for the year 2017 (Mourdoukoutas, 2017). Although the country has a resilient pace in terms of its economic status, price hikes in basic necessities particularly food, beverage and fuel are a nationwide affliction, affecting most Filipino citizens. The consecutive price hike and promulgation of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law (TRAIN Act) are of steering factors as well. Despite the promising job availabilities in the certain locality, Filipinos are still finding alternative solutions to sustain themselves financially.

Because of the aforementioned reasons, family providers seek high-based international job incomes and employment. The April-September 2017 survey showed that an estimated amount of 2.3 Million Filipinos are based abroad. Majority of this number belongs to Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs) comprising 97%, while the remaining (3.0 %) worked as an overseas without contracts. In the whole region; CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) has the largest population of overseas Filipino workers estimated to be 20.7%. Those coming from Central Luzon comprised the (12.9%), the National Capital Region and Western Visayas comprised the (9.5 %) each, and Caraga being last comprised the (1.7 %) (Bersales, 2018).

The common problems of working locally are financial inconsistency and low-income based works, leading to significant increase of employment overseas including parents. International jobs offer a higher monthly salary than local jobs in the Philippines. On September 2017, the compensation of OFWs estimated a total of 205.2 Billion Pesos, significantly higher than a local paid job (“2017 Survey on Overseas Filipinos,” 2018). Another problem stated by OFWs that causes international employment is pressure from the family and peer influence, those people who have relatives abroad are obliged to follow them in promise of a better future while others are influenced by their friends who is already working abroad. Additionally, others reasoned out that working abroad would improve career and professional global market due to a desire to have a bigger career. Filipinos work abroad to have a better experience and compete with other people from other countries while improving their credentials and resume. Some Filipinos consider the reasons of age limit and stereotyping of Filipinos who work locally. Employers tend to employ those who come from a popular university having better recommendations from their respective school. Therefore, those people who came from other academic institutions go abroad for greater opportunity (Natividad, 2012).

The gradual increasing number of OFWs during the past few years, however; have changed significantly regardless of the promising opportunities abroad. During the period of March 31 2016; 88% of the Filipino aspire to obtain local employment instead of going abroad to work. This is according to a nationwide survey conducted by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). Seventy-nine percent of Filipinos are said to be contented for a “simple and comfortable life.” This includes sufficient earnings for necessities, medium-sized housing, a useful vehicle, and college education budget for their children. But regardless of these data, the problems arising from distant parenting is still present (The Philippine Star, 2016).

Working abroad results to distant parenting. The main issue of distant parenting is the parental contact and guidance. Numbered studies have experimented and reported children’s perception in terms of closeness range to the non-present parent specifically the father. Several researches often find that children are perceived to be drawn closer to step-parents compared to the biological parent working abroad (Gilbreth, 2001). Research reports that children who had a consistent contact with their overseas parents are more likely to be closer to them compared with parents having inconsistent contacts (King, 2006). Yuan and Hamilton (2006); however, find no significant relationship between the effects of non-residential parents to parent-child relationship. The “closeness” data are subject to inaccurate measurement which might affect the result of the previous studies as majority of the information gathered are feeling-based (Wolfe, 2000). This study could fortify the conclusions about the effects of distant parenting to parent-child relationship.

The prevalence of Filipino financial supporters working abroad creates different perception and impression among teenagers. With the given respective reasons, the researchers decided to conduct a study and measure the varying opinions and views of Filipino teenagers about their outlook on distant parenting. The research would serve as an awareness to the public about how teenagers perceive the issues of parental absences as their parents become Overseas Filipino Workers abroad. Furthermore, the study would aim to bridge connection and understanding between a parent and child involved having the same condition.

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