Rural communities of origin play an important role in harnessing the development potential of overseas remittances. This role is to enable and ensure an economically competitive locality for all entrepreneurs and investors (including town mates working and residing abroad). This qualitative case study research illustrates the local economic competitiveness conditions of two rural municipalities in the Philippines. Assessing local economic competitiveness will help ascertain the roles being played by local communities and their authorities. Findings here can also provide indications on how overseas town mates’ remittances have changed in response to prevailing local competitiveness conditions.
Qualitative findings here were part of a mixed methods tool, called the Remittance Investment Climate Analysis in Rural Hometowns (RICART), which employed the rapid rural appraisal (RRA) method. A global framework and a nationally applied index on local economic competitiveness were used as guides to analyze RRA findings. It was found that these municipalities have prevailing bottlenecks that limit the economic competitiveness of the locality—and the situation may deter prospective migrant town mates abroad from investing and doing business in their hometowns. Not surprisingly, interventions of local governments to improve their local investment conditions matter.
Keywords: Overseas remittances; hometown investing; local economic competitiveness; local investment climate; Remittance Investment Climate Analysis in Rural Hometowns (RICART)