Return and Reintegration are two different concepts that are often taken as one and the same. Return may only refer to the physical return of a migrant to their country of origin while reintegration is a process to which the migrant is reintroduced and reinserted to the community under three (3) identified dimensions: Economic stability, Social Networks and Psycho-social. Return may be for everyone, but reintegration may not be ready for all returnees.
The profiles of returning OFWs indicates that majority have a low level of return preparedness in terms of accumulated resources (financial and social). Most returning OFWs are also still in their productive age, especially our returning women household service workers, but to the lower wage and their limited skills upon return, they opt to return to unemployment and continue unpaid care work.
Among the key findings of the study, despite government programs and initiative in promoting business and entrepreneurship to returning OFWs, there is a low level of preparedness and actual engagement to these types of endeavors. We see far fewer OFWs end up on the path to becoming a business owner or entrepreneur.
Based on these major profile and key findings we created a typology of returning OFWs:
M1 – Struggling to be reintegrated
M2 – Disengaged to be reintegrated
M3 – Uncertain to be reintegrated
M4 – Engaged to be reintegrated
*M0 – Undocumented workers
The study therefore, proposes to enrich the discourse on return and reintegration. Also, to strengthen the return preparedness level of the OFWs along with their family, community, and local government units. There is also a need to re-evaluate existing programs for reintegration to validate their relevance, sufficiency, appropriateness and quality.
Title: A Typology of OFWs Returning Home: A Survey Study on the Return and Reintegration of OFWs
Researcher: Jhemarie Chris L. Bernas