Thrift comes too late when you find it at the bottom of your purse,” could well describe the resolve of some people to cut back on unnecessary spending, but it is definitely a positive thing that has come out of the global economic meltdown. The crisis as we know has now become a huge unemployment problem. According to the International Labor Organization, unemployment in Asia could surge to 23 million this year as the financial crisis batters the region’s economies. In the Philippines, this is especially worrisome because economic problems impact highly on political stability.

For decades, domestic unemployment has been counterbalanced by huge remittances from overseas Filipino workers estimated at $1 billion a month. A noted economist has said that OFW income has rescued 2 to 3 million Filipinos from poverty. However, this has not translated into significant changes on the lives of the poor, except in terms of consumption. In fact, the same economic expert noted that dependence on dollar or euro remittances has triggered a complacency effect on some family members, who worked less or stopped earning altogether.

As the ill effects of the crisis continue to hit OFW host-countries, the big question is, what happens to families back home if the proverbial goose no longer lays the golden egg? Read on…