Filipinos Who Changed Citizenship Still Have a Say on their Homeland

The OFW phenomenon has yielded some complicated situations. For example, there are Filipinos who have renounced their citizenship and become citizens of other countries. Yet they share some views and criticisms about their home countries. Other Filipinos brand them as traitors, because they have left their country for a better life and supposedly abandoning their country to its fate. Thus, they are condemned to have no right to say anything about the country, even if their criticism of its ills are true.

Here’s the catch: what if they are still sending money back to the country or doing other help?

Yes, for sure there are arrangements wherein a Filipino, despite having renounced their Philippine citizenship, still sends home money because they are the ATM for the family or others. Simply because, they’re family.

Sacrifices-our-fathers-make-to-give-us-a-good-life-pinaydotcom-OFW-700x325

Then they do have the right to say something about the country. Because it is their money that keeps their family and the country afloat!

It makes me wonder: are the remittances that help float our country understated? Could it be that remittances from Filipinos who are now non-Filipinos are not being counted? Could there be a deliberate effort to make OFW contributions look smaller for propaganda purposes? I’ll just leave these questions though for another time.

This represents the complex situations Filipinos abroad are into. While there are OFWs that maintain their Filipino citizenship, and some who maintain multiple citizenship (so they’re still Filipinos), it is even possible that they don’t send money home. If you ask, why some would change their citizenship, it is because some countries offer better paying jobs for citizens. In the Arabic countries, I have heard that conversion to Islam rewards Filipinos with bigger salaries. You may also note the rising levels of anti-immigrant sentiment in many countries, and so the countries are setting greater limits on non-citizen workers, including Filipinos. So the Filipinos change their citizenship and even their religion in order to avail of higher pay and benefits. Those who came earlier and already became citizens have this advantage too.

One may ask, “why can’t Filipinos stay here and just be content with their low pay?” But their pay here is not enough for supporting their families’ needs. What if they’re supporting someone who’s ill and needs thousands of pesos to support? Surely P80,000 a month abroad will do better than P20,000 at home. “Why should it be all about money?” Because they need money to support their families. You can’t support your families with just your presence. Money helps keep the stomach from being empty. “Why don’t they just stay anyway and just leave their family members to rot?” But I thought it was a Filipino value to support your family, wasn’t it? “Make them find jobs!” Are there really enough of those to go about? “Come back here and set up a business!” Read this to learn of the many traps laid to keep smaller businesses from succeeding.

Well, that’s one issue that the OFW situation highlights: the moocher state of Philippine society. Filipino families tend to be very high-maintenance. Some members of an OFW’s family can be irresponsible. They may have children, niblings or other relatives who have children but can’t afford to raise them or the parents themselves have died. There may also be distant relatives, like cousins or so, who hear about their relative having a high salary abroad and thus want to mooch on it. But then again, you may have relatives who are sick or need special care, including those who are mentally disabled as well as physically.

Also, these relatives at home are bombarded with advertising and marketing that tells them, if they don’t have the latest or trendiest products, they will be treated like trash (such as the skin whitening products). Thus, they pester their ATM abroad to send more money or goods, to they can “keep up with the Joneses.” And if you assume that money stays in the country, guess again; a lot of products have something like royalties that go back to the headquarters abroad. The people selling the products would even like it that the breadwinner is abroad, since they are not physically there to prevent their family members from spending impulsively. Thus, our society is a captive market where families are turned into money pumps for businesses, but become dysfunctional as a side effect. It’s as if there is a deliberate effort to keep Filipinos poor, or make the can-afford ones poorer.

Of course, there are Filipinos who have decided to fully burn their bridges and not send anything home; perhaps those you can judge as you see fit. Of course, look at what they say or do; that should tell you enough about whether they are helpful or not. However, renounced Filipinos who still send help home prove that they still care, and want to make sure that the help they send is well-used. They even send help when a disaster like Yolanda happens. So when something happens like the funds or goods meant for that help going missing, they have a right to be concerned.

And the question is, why the need to shut up people who may be right? The simple answer, it’s part of propaganda efforts to block people from offering opinions and giving facts (and thus, speaking the truth) about the situation of the country. There are people who seem to benefit from Filipinos being in dire straits, and they want to keep it that way. Sadly, this includes not only politicos and people in high places, but even ordinary people who decide to be “part of the system” in order to benefit from it.

Filipinos have to learn to stop biting the hands that feed them. Instead of attacking or shunning these “Filipino foreigners,” we should give more room for their voices to be heard. Of course, that is a problem with our OFWs as well. OFWs are perhaps the true saviors of our economy, and something should be done to ascertain the real figures of their benefits to our country. Yet, there is widespread disrespect and disregard for our OFWs, since many Filipinos are content with being moochers and want their OFW ATMs to remain as such. And of course, this points to the issues of transitioning from an OFW-dependent economy and mooching culture, all of which require deeper and more long-term approaches to solutions. Such approaches may even oppose our own cherished beliefs about our society, such as Pinoy Pride, following traditions without question, pretending to be happy and just following the bandwagon. Indeed, we should be willing to attack the very beliefs we hold dear, because these may actually be the things holding us back.

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About ChinoF

I stick with this blog because I believe, as my cohorts here do, that many things Filipino embrace as part of their culture, the "Filipino Way," are pulling them down. And I blog freely to show that in a truly decent society, with true freedom of speech, even nobodies have a voice.

39 Comments on “Filipinos Who Changed Citizenship Still Have a Say on their Homeland”

  1. How about Marcial Bonifacio Malaysian Citizenship(AKA NINOY AQUINO)? Which the Philippine Government is honouring Ring as the Hero of MADpnoy kulangkulang99 third world status creator of the Philippines. The citizenship of Malaysia who brought down the Philippines from Great nation building Philippines, to a third world country, which was planned and hatched by the Economic Hitmen of Marcos Destruction.

  2. Let’s keep it simple, shall we? When war breaks against our dear Motherland, Filipinos, whom some few pretenders as patriotic, esp. the rich and landed few will be the first to board the plane out of the country, and those Filipinos who have lost their citizenship will be the first to board the planes and defend our Motherland. There are even a lot of foreigners, without any affiliation or birth rights, could argue and debate about the ills of the government, what more if they are foreign-born or natural Filipinos who are concerned for their country. Everyone has the right to air their view, grievances or elation unless of course you live in a communist country where your freedom of expression will surely be curtailed by all cost esp. if it’s against the lone party system.

    1. Its about time filipinos stop being so one dimensional and realise its the 21st century.
      Nationalistic pride really is an infintile disease.
      It does not matter where so eone is born, or where so eone works.
      Everyone has a right to an opinion and Everyone has a right to criticize governments.
      Filipinos being one of the most xenophobic nations i have lived in( other than communist and islamic nations) for such a multi mational nation.
      Think about it.
      Yet your fear of foreigners( while stemming from historical roots) makes very little sense in these era.
      Foreigners, their opinions, they are not the filipino enemy
      Your enemy is internal.
      So many foreigners live here, work here, have families here, have kids here yet it seems if u r not filipino not only do u not have the same rights afforded to its citizens( yet filipinos abroad in most countries demand these equal rights).
      Everytime there is a disaster here the international community bends over backwards to help the filipino people.
      Start realizing you are not filipino.
      Your ate humans, living on earth.
      Clining to a subset of ideas that you are loyal to the piece of rock you were born on is the whole reason this world has problems.

      1. I agree with you both. Nationalism is easy to fake. It’s easy to pay lip service, then when the shooting starts, switch to the other side. And yes, nationalism is more a dividing than uniting principle. It’s better indeed to realize we are all human.

    2. yes, we do have the karapatan to criticize and establish the truth about the current Philippine government in Power, specially the truth of what Apo lakay Marcos had foretold Imelda Maganda Romualdez Marcos, with his last words that goes this way” The Sun will will Tomorrow, The Truth will set us free”

  3. I love what you wrote ChinoF. Hurts but it is true. And there IS a deliberate attempt to keep Filipinos illiterate and poor. And i believe what you said R. Atencia.

    WE leave because there are just no jobs in the Philippines. You try to start a small scale business at home and laws (taxes) are just restrictive.

    When i read the thread on Lea Salonga’s twitter question as to why they think BBM won in the OAV, a lot of opinions were insulting and demeaning to OFWs. I just hope those who opined stupidly will research.

    Here’s what i found regarding remittances to the Philippines:

    Transferwise.com 2013 said
    In 2013, they received the following (in USD)

    India: $69.97 billion
    China: $54.9 billion
    Philippines: $26.7 billion
    France: $23.34 billion
    Mexico: $23.02 billion
    In terms of continents, Asia is the biggest recipient by far – in 2012, migrants from China and India sent home a staggering $130 billion.

    Worldbank.org
    WASHINGTON, April 13, 2016 said
    India retained its top spot in 2015, attracting about $69 billion in remittances, down from $70 billion in 2014. Other large recipients in 2015 were China, with $64 billion, the Philippines ($28 billion), Mexico ($25 billion), and Nigeria ($21 billion).

  4. SDK,
    I wonder what will happen when the host government will issue a law (rule or regulation), stating that money earned in this country, must be spend in this country? And when it is transmitted, the OFW (or OChinaW) will be deported back to its home country. Such a law seems pretty fair to me.

  5. I have so many questions to ask. Why do Filipinos seems to be so materialistic? Based on this article it seems that many family wants money based prestige. Although I won’t dare say that this doesn’t happen in other countries heck the US of A is even more used to this mindset. But considering the conditions, what is the sense of this perception?

    Many people don’t have the financial capability to acquire such luxury. But people seems to be so content of a temporary bliss that material possession provide.

    Also why is that there is this high degree of so many level, a dire need and desire to show off?

    Lastly, now there is certainly nothing wrong to dream a luxurious life to a certain level. But to do such extremes, sending off family members to work for them, professionally becoming moochers, freeloaders and they still have guts to shut people up. Why they still think they have the right to demand the very Life of their family members?

    1. Dusk,
      tell me what to do when an income exceeds more than the cost of all basic needs, like rent/mortgage, food, beverages, education tuition/fees etc etc. What must I do with the surplus?

      1. Well it’s entirely depends on the person. It can be put into good used like putting up a business employing people, invest it somewhere to grow for acquiring future items or assets but it’s entirely up to you, you own it. As long as people put value on money then you can do entirely anything that money can buy.

        1. Dusk,
          The major part of it will be transfered to a savings account (for a rainy day and for unforseen expenses).

        2. Robert,

          Sorry about that I didn’t quite understand the surplus that your talking about. The way I understand it is that basically you don’t know what to do with the money since the income exceeded all expenses and well, you have a lot of money.

          But I guess were talking about the Philippine setting here so yes, you want to build up as much cushion as possible. Emergency fund will be a great help in case of inevitable accidents.

    2. Benign0 described Filipinos this way: “culturally hobbled by a compulsion to asert class dominance over the other.” And it seems the race is to achieve this without working, that is, relying on a breadwinner. With how prevalent this is, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone suggested the Philippines is one big moocher country trying to mooch on other countries.

      1. staser,

        Fliptards, in spite of their claim to social sophistication after two centuries of westernization by the Spanish and Americans, still think and behave like their tribal ancestors; they will continue to fight–and destroy one another–for petty reasons. This country-destructive nature will never change, regardless of how much Fliptards claim to have outgrown their primitiveness, and will prevent the Failippines from becoming a “world class” nation that the whole world will recognized and respect.

        Aeta

      2. I have another article coming up about that. Filipinos believing blood has an effect or importance in their lives. I disagree very much.

        1. Not sure how you will address blood in your article, but if the Philippines had more Spaniard blood in its population like other former Spanish colonies like Chile, Argentina, or Uruguay, it would certainly be a better run country and take on a more Western modern outlook. Genetics mean everything. Why do you think Malaysia and Singapore are doing better than the Philippines? They have more Chinese blood in their populations and therefore genetically inherit the effective networking behaviors of Chinese people. As long as Filipinos continue to breed with each other they will continue to inherit the blood of their incompetent Filipino ancestors and their primitive tribal islander ways.

        2. We already have more Spaniard blood. Many “leaders” have a lot of Spaniard blood. That itself disproves the notion that blood, race and genetics determines the fate of people. What I will say in effect is, the belief that race and genetics determines fate is bullshit.

        3. ChinoF,

          “We already have more Spaniard blood. Many ‘leaders’ have a lot of Spaniard blood. That itself disproves the notion that blood, race and genetics determines the fate of people. What I will say in effect is, the belief that race and genetics determines fate is bullshit.”

          I wish you’d share that belief with your fellow GRP writer zaxx, who think that mix breeding our people with Chekwa blood–and creating a “super-human” race in the process–will improve the way our “fucked up” Fliptards think and behave.

          We already have Spanish, American, and Chekwa blood in our people but it hasn’t done anything to improve our “fucked up” ways. Therefore, it’s our culture, not our ethnicity, that is “fucked up” and in dire need of an overhaul.

          Aeta

          Aeta

          Aeta

  6. I am a Filipino OFW, working in the U.S. I have a U.S. Green card, but I’m still a Filipino citizen. I pay my taxes in the Philippine Embassy. I send money to relatives, who needs help. But, I refuse to be a walking ATM.

    I left the Philippines, to pursue higher studies in my chosen field. I earn a moderately good income, which I cannot earn in the Philippines.

    To shut me out, because, I am an OFW is stupid. I am one of those Filipino OFWs, who float the Philippine economy. Preventing the Philippines, from becoming bankrupt…

    Those Aquino YellowTards/KALIBAPIs, should be ashame of themselves. They are parasites !

    1. Hyden,
      I am lost now.

      What kind of taxes do you pay at the PH embassy? Only if I live abroad and still own property (house, apartment or any other real estate) in my home country, I have to pay taxes. But those taxes are paid for by a bank transfer (not in cash and not by cheque). And I will get an official notification of the actual tax assessment on my doorstep or by e-mail.

      1. @Robert Haighton:
        I pay income taxes. I have no properties in the Philippines. I do it, to help the Philippines.They demand it, if I renew my passport…to visit my relatives…I remit help also to my relatives, who need help. You know, I am still a Filipino; the Filipino culture has not left me..

        These YellowTard people want my Money . But, they want me not to talk about the ills of my country.

        1. Hyden,
          I am NOT familair with the USA (income) tax laws, but I assume(d) one pays income taxes where the income has taken place (USA). To avoid double (income) taxation, the Dutch government has agreements with many others countries to avoid/prevent this. In short: I only pay (income) taxes once (per year) and only to/in that country where the income originated (in your case USA). This seems very fair to me.

          Renewing a passport and/or DL (driver’s license) I dont consider that as a hidden form of tax paying.

          If I were the USA government I would issue a law stating that people like you must spend your income in the USA. Sending it back home, is a form of money-drain (and is a loss for the USA economy, loss of VAT).

    2. I could be wrong, but I think you’re being cheated here: there are so many treaties and agreements between countries that prohibit you from paying income taxes to a place you aren’t a resident of or even employed in. That’s even if you’re still a Filipino citizen. That’s why there are places that are tax havens: if a country can impose taxes on someone not even living in said country, tax havens don’t make a lot of sense.

      That you say that the embassy “demands” it says a lot, unfortunately.

  7. @Robert Haighton:

    These Filipinos employees who are in the Philippine Embassies, want our money. If we want to renew our passports; and visit our relatives, pay taxes or bribe,or whatever it may be. No pay (taxes), no passports renewal. It is like the “Lag lag/Tanim Bala” done by Aquino and Abaya in the international airport. Pay or be jailed !

    1. we have something similar here in the ME, though not blatantly advertised and passport renewal is like 3-4 times of that if you renewed it in the ph. i understand if it would be shipping/handling fees like purchasing from amazon, but yes, it does seem like overkill to charge that much for a 10g booklet.

  8. An idiotic essay, to say the least. The ‘FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION’ clause in most countries that are worth living in make it obvious that the title of this essay is not really an issue.
    and ,BTW, talk is cheep…its actions that matter.

    1. Chinof is one of the better and most socially evolved of the bloogers of thos site.
      He is writing about a country who’s culture that is ill to the point of death.
      Imagine how hard it is for someone from here to realize it and make an effort to write about how things could be changed.
      Baby steps.
      imagine being one of the few who can see in a sea of sheep that can not.
      Though i do agree the title is not right for this piece.

  9. Question shouldn’t the law be equal for all? I remember not to long ago Filipinos were attacking Grace Poe for living in the USA and giving up her citizenship. It the USA, if you give it up you might not get it back and you loose all your rights that come with it. Yes, i think there should be a balance both the rules should be the same for OFW’s foreigners living in the Phils, and Filipinos born in other countries. 1 law one rule makes life easier and makes everything equal.

  10. @Robert Haighton,

    Graduated 92. Two years after some batch left for (i believe) Libya. There was a cap on how much they could send back home. I think 40% should be spent/banked in Libya. It worked out well for my friends because they had money when their contracts ended after 2 years. They bought properties. One even started a franchise of a convenience store. They had money to use to come here in the USA. Contrast that to non-Libyan countries, it could be so easy for OFWs to remit most, if not all, of one’s net income after tax and cost of living expenditures.

    As a Filipino, it can be hard to save or limit how much one sends home (because: YEARLY DISASTERS. Too expensive to get sick in the PI. No, PhilHealth is not enough. No jobs. PI Gov’t does not really support persons with special needs, disabled, elderly, homeless, Cancer, etc. Medicines are so expensive. Not enough government hospitals. Etc. And yes, Moochers too).

    Oh but it’s not fair to deport OFWs just because they remit money back home. As an immigrant (and now naturalized), it was to Uncle Sam that i paid taxes (not in the PI Embassy).

    1. SDK,
      My idea is fair no matter what but unfortunately it cant be enforced. You can transfer money from your bank account to who ever’s account. I – as government official – cant look into your account. Unless you do something criminal with your money. However, I can stop you at any airport bec a person cant take more money than € 10,000 cash with him. The question now is, is an OFW able to get that cash amount from his/her income? Personally I dont think so. But who knows.

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