Sunday, 3 March 2013

EXTRA: OFW money helps boost business activity in hometowns

MANILA: The money remitted by overseas Filipino workers could translate into potential investments for them and their loved ones in their rural hometown.

In a study done by professors Alvin Ang and Jeremaiah Opiniano, of the University of Santo Tomas, they found that the amount of remittances, the length of time sending money and the percent of remittances to a household’s income are factors that may induce entrepreneurship and hometown investing.

Titled, “Remittance Investment Climate Analysis in Rural Hometowns” (RICART), the study surveyed overseas migrants from Magarao, CamSur and Maribojoc, Bohol.

Meanwhile, after surveying also migrant families from the same low-income municipalities, researchers found that the larger the remittances that families receive and the longer the length of time receiving these incomes “could possibly influence the likelihood of having a business in the hometown”.

These factors to induce investing and doing business in the two rural hometowns were results of statistical tools that RICART employed to determine the relationship between remittances and investing and doing business in rural hometowns. This is while some 40 percent of both the 69 remitters and 158 migrant families surveyed from the two hometowns were found to be investing and doing business already in Magarao and Maribojoc.

The fifth-class income municipality has an estimate P43.874 million in remittances from aboard from some 300 overseas Magaraoenos.

Maribojoc, on the other hand, has an estimated P40.548 million of overseas remittances from nearly 900 migrant Maribojocanons.

Overseas earnings are the leading income sources in both municipalities.

The study said that if harnessed through hometown programs, policies and incentives that help overseas migrant entrepreneurs and investors, these have a potential for local economic development.

“While there is no general link between owing a business and investing in hometowns with overseas remittances… the entrepreneurial potential of these incomes are fitting for poverty-stricken rural communities and the country as a whole,” Ang and Opiniano wrote. - PIA

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