Condo Investing: Overseas Filipino Workers in Times of COVID-19

Jan 30, 2022

While over 300,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) lost their jobs in 2020, the number quadrupled and reached over one million by the end of 2021. Over 200,000 OFWs have already returned home by August 2020 and in 2021, the number of OFWs who have returned home and rejoined their families since the onset of the Covid pandemic has breached the 800,000 mark. 

Many Filipino labor migrants who remain abroad suffer from income loss due to the ”no work, no pay” scheme since there were border closures and lockdowns, resulting in restrictions on movements that affect labor schemes. Although it is said that the loss of income due to these restrictions may be temporary, the employment gap can generate further impacts that could remain beyond the pandemic and result in various forms of insecurity.

As we may know, most families and loved ones of OFWs depend on them, thus, a job loss not only affects the OFWs but also their families. Another factor that also causes depression among OFWs especially during this time of crisis is the possibility of returning home to the country with the possibility of contracting the virus. 

There is only a limited number of labor migrants from developing countries equipped with social protection coverage. In fact, research shows that 23 percent of international migrants have either legal status but no access to social protection in their host country or live as undocumented migrants with limited access to social security.

But unlike previous epidemics such as SARS, Ebola, and MERS where the impact was geographically contained, the government is confronted with the challenge of assisting OFWs scattered across the world. There were policies that have been developed to encourage OFWs to undergo retraining and re-skilling. The government also provided livelihood programs to help repatriate OFWs. 

As we may know, OFWs have been recognized as modern-day heroes for their contribution to the Philippine economy despite the social costs they endure abroad. According to experts, effective and swift labor migration policies and programs could be the best demonstration of a renewed appreciation towards these worker heroes. 

This year, the OWWA is expecting another 150,000 to 180,000 OFWs to return to the country within the year.   

According to OWWA, an estimated 50% of the returning OFWs were displaced or have decided to stop working abroad due to the pandemic, while the other half just came home to visit their families and leave again to pursue other opportunities abroad.   

Returning OFWs get assistance from the government in terms of food, transport, and accommodation during their quarantine period, and cash aid under the Bayanihan II Act, the second law passed for the country’s pandemic response.  

Additionally, there has also been a commitment of additional P7-billion funding requested to provide assistance to the OFWs who have been affected by the pandemic.   

It has been said that the OFWs have been an economic lifeline of the country, with their remittances contributing nine percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

For several years, they have supported millions of households and helped improve the Philippine economy, until the pandemic struck. Unfortunately, there have been over 300,000 OFWs who have been sent home in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them have been unemployed, which leaves them without a choice but to use their savings.

One of the programs that have been developed to provide assistance to OFWs is “Helping the Economy Recover thru OFW Enterprise Start-ups” (HEROES), a program of the national government that provides an opportunity for displaced, repatriated, or returning OFWs to rebuild their lives here in the Philippines by helping them establish their start-up businesses.

If you are one of the repatriated and returning OFWs who want to start your own business, there is an available loan under the said program that is amounting from P30,000 up to P10,000, with a grace period of up to 12 months, no collateral required, and no interest. 

All you need to present is the Certificate of Completion of Training issued by the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), a scanned copy of passport, a video presentation (all applicants will be given guidance during the PTTC training), and a business model canvas for loans above P50,000. 

You can apply by attending and completing a free one-day online training with the PTTC. Upon completion of the training, you have to prepare the requirements for your loan application as stated above and proceed with your loan application. 

Vista Residences is the condominium arm of the country’s largest homebuilder, Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc. that offers ready for occupancy and pre-selling condominium projects in Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, Ortigas, Baguio, Cebu, and CDO that are strategically located within major cities, in close proximity to premium universities, transit-oriented locations, and developed business districts.     

At Vista Residences, unit owners can take advantage of the property’s centrality. The properties of Vista Residences are strategically located near the country’s premium universities and CBDs, making them an attractive investment for both local and foreign investors. 

Vista Residences has ready for occupancy condo projects in Manila such as Vista Taft, Vista Heights, Vista GL Taft, 878 Espana, and Crown Tower University Belt. It also has pre selling projects in the said area which include Vista Recto, Plumeria Heights, Tennyson Heights, Bradbury Heights, Sky Arts Manila, and Kizuna Heights. 

Meanwhile, its ready for occupancy projects in Quezon City include Wil Tower, the Symphony Towers, Pine Crest, and Vista 309 Katipunan. It also has pre selling condo projects in the said city such as Hawthorne Heights and Vista Pointe. 

Living in Vista Residences enables you to enjoy convenience, where everything is pretty much within walking distance or a few minutes away from the property; comfort because the project features and amenities are designed to deliver comfort at all times, which makes condo living a worthy investment; security that is 24/7 and CCTV monitoring, which makes the residents safe and secure within the property. 

In line with Vista Residences’ thrust to offer convenience among its residents, it also features an AllDay Convenience Store and Coffee Project in all its projects. 

Vista Residences is part of Vista Land’s roster of vertical housing brands that cater to millennials and young professionals. The other vertical brands include Camella Manors, COHO, and Crown Asia. 

For more information on Vista Residences, email [email protected], follow @VistaResidencesOfficial on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, or call the Marketing Office at 0999 886 4262 / 0917 582 5167.  

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