The child is one of the most important assets of the nation. Every effort should be exerted to promote his welfare and enhance his opportunities for a useful and happy life. The child is not a mere creature of the State. Hence, his individual traits and aptitudes should be cultivated to the utmost insofar as they do not conflict with the general welfare. (PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 603 article 1) Responsible parenthood is vital in rearing every child. However, not all children are fortunate to have this kind of parents.
Nowadays, being responsible is sometimes measured by providing needs for the children. As a result, parents come up with the decision to find a better job abroad, thinking that it would give them better opportunities in providing the needs of their family. Furthermore, most Filipino migrant parents like to believe that the intimacy of relationship is not essentially fixed by physical proximity but is determined by the willingness of the parents to fulfill their duties and, therefore, migration is part of how parents’ duties are fulfilled for their children.
It is not easy to the parents to leave and to make sacrifices in order to provide all the needs of their children. Therefore, it is important to note, that Philippine households view overseas work as a method of attaining economic goals because of the money transfer that the left behind family receives (Iso, 2017). However, there are several studies that show how migration of parents is indeed heart-breaking for children. To live far from their parents, making them long for parental care, get confused over gender roles, be vulnerable to abuse, and even develop consumerist attitudes. In contrast the money that gave by the migrant parents to their children could bring them in a good school and have a possibility to increase the levels of educational attainment (Cabrillas, 2012). This study focused on what are the experiences of the students and how they survive from being left behind by their migrant parents despite knowing that separation is very difficult for both party (children and parent). It will explain how children suffered from the consequences of not having their parent on their side as they pursued to work across the country for them to provide the basic needs of their children, support their education and give them better life in the future. It will also discuss how they deal with it; did they blame their parent, or simply accept the responsibility of fulfilling their needs alone for them to survive without the presence of their parent?Indeed, most of the left behind children are in the responsibility of their trusted second family that they need to obey whatever rules their guardians imposed. Most of them are being exposed to rigid household duties coupled with educational pressures. They even suffer from not having enough allowance despite knowing that their parents always send money to their guardians for their daily needs. Children are able to survive without the presence of their parent, despite the emotional and physical coping and accepting the inevitable reality that there, exist a needy gnawing being which have to be satisfied. However, according to GMA News, various government agencies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that aims to provide full protection for children of OFWs who are in the care of guardians while their parents are overseas. The MOU was signed at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) office to address “tall-tale” reports of children of OFWs who were abused while their parents work abroad. Further, there is particular case noted by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is the death of a two-year-old boy who died from the abuse inflicted on him by his guardians while his mother worked in Hong Kong.In addition, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac said that the MOU will ensure that OFWs parents can provide the needs of their children without worrying for their safety in the hands of people they entrusted them to. Cacdac said “Hopefully, thru this MOU among our partners, we will be able to realize a zero-victim/casualty of any form of abuse to children of OFWs. After all, we do not wish to see a double-whammy situation; an absent parent and an abused child.” However, the signing of MOU is attended by the officials from OWWA, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Justice (DOJ). Moreover, under the agreement, OWWA will strengthen the child protection campaigns on violence against children especially to the children of OFW; to conduct regular consultations through family welfare officers; and to disseminate information on child abuse through OFW Family Circles (OFCs) and OFW Help Desks. In addition, suspected child abuse cases discovered during the implementation of pre-departure Orientation Seminar, community organizing and orientation, family counseling, and other programs shall be reported to the DOJ immediately. Also, legal help will be provided by the DOJ while assistance, shelter and protection will be given to children of OFW who suffer abuse.On the other hand, the MOU complements Republic Act No. 7610, An Act Providing Stronger Deterrence and Special Protection Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination, and Republic Act No. 9262, An Act on Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC).Apart from the rumor of the abused two-year-old, the MOU was also created to address a study by the Council for the Welfare of Children and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) pointing at migration as one of the reasons for physical, sexual, or psychological violence to children. (Rie Takumi, 2017) Background of the StudyFamily is the basic foundation of every society in this world. This micro environment molds every person in the society. Family is where we first learned how to give love and to be loved. Family is where we learn the basic rules and values before we enter the wider world, the reality. Family is also the one who teach us to be strong and independent and to be a responsible one.But nowadays, because of the poverty that many Filipinos experience and the demand of jobs does not meet the number of employee that needed to be hired. That’s the reason why many Filipinos decided to leave and work abroad. According to the International Labor Organization, worldwide the number of unemployed rose by 5 million to 202 million in 2013, the global unemployment ratio of youth to adults has reached a new high 13.1 percent or 74.5 million in 2013, nearly three times the adult rate. UNICEF also shown that there are about three to six million Filipino children left behind as parents pursue to work abroad. And to the 2017 survey of Philippine Statistic Authority (PSA), many Filipinos leave their family to find a job abroad and it’s about 2.3 million estimated Filipinos is Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW). In addition, CALABARZON has the largest proportion of OFWs among the regions, the largest proportion of OFWs were from CALABARZON (20.7% of the total OFWs). Those coming from Central Luzon comprised 12.9 percent, and those from the National Capital Region and Western Visayas, comprised 9.5 percent each. On the other hand, the smallest number of OFWs came from Caraga (1.7% of the total OFWs). Furthermore, the Philippines were known as one of the largest labor-sending countries, accounts for 27% of the overall Filipino youth population left behind. In the Philippine National Statistics survey of 2016 that Negros Island Region shares 13.5% of Overseas Filipino Workers. And according to the immigration escalates, the number of left behind children were increased and OFW parents often leave their kids in the care of their grandparents, aunts and uncles, relatives, friends, or no one at all for the significant periods of time.On the other hand, when economic resources constrain parents’ capacity to perform this role, parents may turn to migration to realize their dreams for their children. The aspiration to provide a better future for their children via education plays a crucial role in the decision of Filipinos to work abroad (ECMI/AOS-Manila et al., 2004; Aguilar et al., 2009; Asis et al., 2005). However, public perceptions about the impact of parental migration on children’s well-being see migration as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, remittances are seen as enhancing the children’s material well-being, but on the other hand, parental absence is perceived to deprive children of emotional support and care that are detrimental to the children’s welfare. With respect to children’s education, it is not uncommon to hear opinions that parents went abroad to further their children’s education, but their efforts were for naught because their children either stopped schooling or encountered problems in school. Theoretical Framework Learning is a remarkably complex process that is influenced by a wide variety of factors. And parents are should be probably very much aware, observation can play a critical role in determining how and what children learn. As the saying goes, kids are very much like sponges, soaking up the experiences they have each and every day. Because learning is so complex, there are many different psychological theories to explain how and why people learn. And according to a psychologist named Albert Bandura, a social learning theory suggests observation, imitation, and modeling play a primary role in this process. Also, social learning theory explains how people learn new behaviors, values, and attitudes. For example, a teenager might learn slang by observing peers. Social learning requires attention to the person(s) observed, remembering the observed behavior, the ability to replicate the behavior, and a motivation to act the same way. Being parents is not only by giving their needs but also to give what makes them happy. And according to the Social Learning Theory of Bandura he noted that external environmental reinforcement was not the only factor to influence learning and behavior. Also this reinforcement can be external or internal and can be positive or negative. If a child wants approval from parents or peers, this approval is an external reinforcement, but feeling happy about being approved of is an internal reinforcement. He also described intrinsic reinforcement as a form of internal reward, such as pride, satisfaction, and a sense of accomplishment. This emphasis on internal thoughts and cognitions helps connect learning theories to cognitive developmental theories. According to the Behavior Modification of B.F. Skinner, positive reinforcement (reward) is the most powerful tool that parents can use to shape children’s behavior. Behavior modification emphases the role of rewards or reinforces that are associated with particular acts and to be effective, a positive reinforce should immediately follow the desired behavior of the child we can give them positive rewards like stickers, or even a “good job” comment. HINDI PA EDIT What Psychologists SayClinical psychologists theorize that children, especially school-aged children, need more attention from parents, since this is when fundamental psychological development begins. While it is important to give a child his/her basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter and education, it is equally important to give love, a sense of belonging, freedom, fun and immediate acknowledgement of achievement.What we’re seeing in the OFW familial culture is that, whether out of guilt or not, OFWs are inclined to gift their children the latest models of cellphones, toys and other unnecessary material options. The expression, buying love, is bandied about secretly. Although children enjoy these presents, they have more pressing need for a complete family. They would prefer to have both parents present at special occasions; or a father to talk to about an intimidating classmate; a mother’s shoulder to cry on whenever a teacher has been unusually frightening; someone to help choose a dress to wear during the prom and someone to ask tips from when the recent crush’s attention is not forthcoming.Children of OFWs are prone to emotional, psychological, and behavioral problems. It has also been observed that many OFW children are becoming self-doubting and drug dependents. In addition, most of the OFW children have become so materialistic and spend their parent’s money on gadgets and internet gaming from lack of guidance. The remittance is being wasted on self-absorption.Basically, migration of one parent or both is a very agonizing time for children and can trigger destructive emotions. In the case of an absentee father, children may develop gender identity problems which become more apparent as they mature.The following is a short list of issues that OFW children share:1. Values are twisted towards materialistic goals2. Are much more likely to use drugs or alcohol and/or commit delinquent behavior than children with two active at-home parents.3. Are much more likely to have gender identity issues4. Have an increased risk of divorce5. Are more likely to be physically or sexually abused6. Are more likely to show rebellious activity towards one or both parents