Hard times for OFWs in Italy

by Jocelyn Ruiz, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Nov 10 2009 02:40 PM | Updated as of Nov 10 2009 10:40 PM

REGGIO CALABRIA, Italy – Filipinos based in Reggio Calabria in Italy are trying to make ends meet with the low incomes they earn due to the global financial crisis.

Overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Elma Aguilar said she tries to tighten her belt to pay her personal expenses, and at the same time, send money back to her family in the Philippines.

"Iyong pambayad ng pagkain, bahay namin, ok lang, at isa pa, nagpapadala pa din sa Pilipinas na pinagkakasya," said Aguilar.

There are about 1,000 OFWs presently working in Reggio Calabria. Most of them are caregivers and domestic helpers.

Caregivers usually get a rate income of 800 Euros or equivalent to P50,000. However, they say this is not enough. Some of them cannot even save money from the pay that they receive.

A person who has a part time job would earn 5 euros or P340 per hour. However, this is still low compared to the income others receive in other parts of Italy.

Also, the arrival of migrants from other countries forces OFWs to endure the low income.

"Iyong mga bagong dating siyempre, nahihirapan pa sila sa paghahanap ng trabaho lalo na sa pagsasalita at sa mga hindi nakakaintindi," said Lilia Valina.