Fate of ‘migration orphans’ alarms bishop

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BALANGA City, Bataan, April 23, 2015—While it is nothing new, a Catholic prelate has stated anew that the exodus of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW)s’ negative impact on what he dubbed today’s “migration orphans,” noting some of whom will become the future leaders and shapers of  the country.

Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos (Photo: Apple Corachea)

“There are times these children [of OFWs] are not guided properly. No wonder, they often find themselves in bad company. They look up to people who are not really the most qualified to set good examples as role models,” lamented Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas.

Parental guidance lacking

“What happens is that they are deprived of the proper guidance only their fathers and mothers can provide. This results in a ‘relationship absence’ between them and their OFW parents. Unfortunately, they will carry this over well into adulthood, causing them to diminish, even lose, respect and obedience to their fathers and mothers,” he explained.

Santos, who also chairs the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI), noted that eventually the situation devolves into a “blame game,” with OFW children asking their parents uncomfortable questions like: “Why did you leave us behind? Why did you not raise us? Why did you not take care of us?”

Grudge vs. parents

He pointed out many migrant orphans grow up with lasting grudge against their parents, with some becoming “rebels” in the process.

The prelate expressed dismay that the need of Filipinos to flee the country to seek employment elsewhere leads to the breakdown of many families, especially when both parents are not around to look after their kids. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News with reports from Roxanne dela Rosa)

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