• Posted on: 2 October 2015

Contrary to what most people think, study shows migration does not necessarily impede filial duties and ties between migrant children and their parents.

On September 17, 2015, University of the Philippines Population Institute’s very own, Dr. Elma P. Laguna talked about how Filipino migrants give and receive support to and from their parents back home. The lecture, held at the UPPI Conference Room, was an excerpt from Dr. Laguna’s dissertation in Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences where she earned her PhD in Social Sciences under thematic field Life Course and Life Span Dynamics. Her lecture, entitled, Caring from a distance: Exchange of support between migrant children and their Philippines, was about intergenerational exchange of support between migrant children and their parents in the Philippines.

The lecture noted that existing literature on migration focuses on the Filipino migrants’ role as husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, or siblings who send monetary support to their families back home. Dr. Laguna noted that these migrants are also children with filial obligations to their parents. One key finding from the study is that while migrant children provide support to their parents back home, their parents are also important sources of support.

Data show that migrant children show their love and support for their parents mostly through financial and material means; while parents continue to provide care to their children mostly in terms of emotional support and in providing childcare to their grandchildren. Location of migrant children affects the kind of support that they exchange with their parents. While most transnational migrant children provide financial support to their parents, financial support is also provided by older parents to their adult children, especially to those who are living near them.