I have heard this from many sources not just foreigners but OFWs and locals alike but is it really the relatives fault in many cases? Culturally people will generally try to employ family first when work needs doing, for example in our construction projects while I was back in the UK the end result though with the “let’s eat” culture with relatives is that when my wife’s parents were eating the construction workers also stopped working to sit and eat at every opportunity. End result my wife’s mother was tired from having to cook all the time as well as do the daily work and the workers end up doing about 50% of their daily work quota. There is also the obsession people don’t like to be seen as thrifty where me personally I really don’t care what people think. If they think they can freeload then call me thrifty when I want a days work that’s fine as simply they can go elsewhere for work I don’t want lazy people and I don’t want people you have to physically sit and watch over. Problem is here in the Philippines its common practice and something that isn’t going to change overnight. The other issue with that is with relatives working for relatives its unlikely they will want to correct people for being slow or not working at all as they worry about offending people.
So what is the answer? simply don’t employ relatives where possible at the same time if your looking to help relatives out get them motivated. In most cases I find motivation is difficult to get going here but it seems like a 50/50 split on those that will work and those that won’t. If they wont work don’t waste your time or money on them as they are expecting to be carried through life on your back. Personally I would advise cutting off all money as they will never change and its not your responsibility. They may tell you it is but it isn’t lazy people are all over the world and its something that sickens me in the UK with the fact as taxpayers we are stuck paying for these wasters but as an OFW you have the choice and I advise cutting off the cash. May not have to permanently as they will either sulk and have tampo or they will realise your not joking and get motivated to find work or develop a business. Either way you have to make a stand. Currently the Philippines relies on this blackmail technique to keep people in their place but as an OFW you have already gained many freedoms people back home haven’t got so its important you use them for your advantage and hopefully to the advantage of your entire family.
The other thing is looking at businesses your relatives have an understanding of and are capable of doing. No point having a net-cafe if nobody knows how to repair computers or run the thing, you will be wasting money on staff when you should be sitting family in there to make you money. Same goes for restaurants, sari-sari’s etc. People need to understand economics and how to make a business viable otherwise you might as well get your wallet out with a box of matches and burn that money.
The same goes for education as the Philippines is now still training nurses yet there is no demand for them due to the economic down turn. What is the point of spending all that money on training if it goes nowhere? can you make a farm viable instead with the same investment? Nobody wants to work a farm these days but the truth is the Philippines relies on imports heavily, locally produced goods are going to become more viable in the future especially organics. The reason being people are becoming better educated and with that will change people’s eating habits. Permaculture is also a good type of farming that allows people to use whatever space they have to produce their own foods which may not need to be large scale but the ability to subsidise your relatives daily needs which would reduce the amount of money you need to send.
Either way all I can say is don’t give money easily, its hard to earn and disappears easily, take your time on projects and not only to see if its viable but also are your relatives viable and trustworthy. If you can’t trust them to manage the projects don’t waste your money or at least look to people that can be trusted to oversee things.