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  • Writer's pictureZiggurat Realestatecorp

Compensation top hurdle for OFWs' return to PH

More overseas Filipino professionals are looking to relocate back home within the next five years as they look to care for aging parents and be closer to family, according to a survey by a global recruitment specialist.

Results of a recent poll by Robert Walters showed that 62 percent of overseas Filipino professionals are keen to relocate back home within the next five years due to personal reasons, higher than the 54 percent registered in the 2021 survey.

Robert Walters noted that the disparity in compensation and benefits offered locally and a perceived lower standard of living conditions are however making these professionals think twice about relocating back.

According to the survey, 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.

In addition, 65 percent of overseas Filipinos surveyed said they considered the current economic situation as a factor when deciding whether to relocate back to the Philippines.

Survey results also showed that 46 percent of the respondents who expressed a positive outlook on returning cited confidence in the Philippines’ economic stability, growth prospects, and opportunities for entrepreneurship or business projects as encouraging factors for their desire to return.

In contrast, 30 percent of overseas Filipino professionals expressed no intention of returning to the Philippines.

Survey findings also showed that 38 percent of the respondents expressed 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 this 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),” Robert Walters said.

Survey results also showed that 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 in the Philippines, based on public facilities, security concerns and community resources.

In addition, 33 percent of all respondents said they would only accept a Philippine compensation package that is market-aligned for their experience and the role being offered.

As the number of overseas Filipino professionals returning home continues to grow, Robert Walters Philippines director Alejandro Perez-Higuero said this 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. 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,” Perez-Higuero said.

“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 organisation’s needs,” he added.

Robert Walters said they offer a solution to identify and secure Filipino talent returning from overseas, catering to specific timelines through its Balik Bayan program.

“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,” he added.

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.

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