2015 Survey on Overseas Filipinos

Reference Number: 

2016-060

Release Date: 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Overseas Filipino Workers estimated at 2.4 million

The number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who worked abroad at anytime during the period April to September 2015 was estimated at 2.4 million. Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs) or those with existing work contract comprised 97.1 percent of the total OFWs during the period April to September 2015.  The rest (2.9%) worked overseas without contract (Table 1 and Figure 1). 
 
 
 

CALABARZON had the biggest share of OFWs

CALABARZON reported the biggest share of OFWs with 17.9 percent followed by Central Luzon with 15.1 percent and National Capital Region with 11.0 percent. OFWs from these three regions accounted for 44.0 percent of the total OFWs.  Meanwhile, ARMM reported the smallest percent share of total OFWs at 1.5 percent (Table 2 and Figure 2).
 
 

The proportion of female OFWs was higher than male OFWs

The proportion of female OFWs (51.1%) was higher than male OFWs (48.9%). The largest proportion of OFWs belonged to age group 25 to 29 years comprising 25.8 percent of all OFWs, followed by those aged 30 to 34 years with 23.2 percent. Female OFWs were younger compared to male OFWs.  About seven percent of female OFWs were in the age group 15 to 24 years and 29.5 percent were in the age group 25 to 29 years while the corresponding percentages of male OFWs in the age groups were 6.8 percent and 21.9 percent, respectively.  There were more male OFWs (49.3%) than female OFWs (39.4%) in age group 35 and over (Table 3 and Figure 3).
 
 

Saudi Arabia remained the top destination of OFWs

One in every four OFWs (24.7%) worked in Saudi Arabia, which remained to be the top destination of OFWs in April to September 2015. Other countries in Asia which were popular destinations of OFWs are United Arab Emirates (15.5%), Hong Kong (5.9%), Kuwait (5.8%), Singapore (5.7%) and Qatar (5.5%) (Table 4 and Figure 4).
 
 

One in every three OFWs was a laborer or unskilled worker

Among occupation groups, laborers and unskilled workers (33.2%) was the biggest group of OFWs.  One in every three OFWs was a laborer or unskilled worker. About 17.6 percent worked as service workers and shop and market sales workers. OFWs who worked as plant and machine operators and assemblers comprised 12.8 percent, and trades and related workers, 11.8 percent (Table 5 and Figure 5). More than half of the female OFWs were laborers and unskilled workers  (54.5%). Among male OFWs, the largest group were plant and machine operators and assemblers (23.2%) and trades and related workers (23.0%).
 
 

Total remittances reached 180.3 billion pesos

The total remittance sent by OFWs during the period April to September 2015 was estimated at 180.3 billion pesos. These remittances included cash sent home (135.6 billion pesos), cash brought home (37.3 billion pesos) and remittances in kind (7.4 billion pesos) (Table 6 and Figure 6).  The majority of OFWs sent their remittance through banks (62.2%) while the rest through agencies or local offices (4.0%), door-to-door delivery (2.4%), friends or co-workers (0.1%) or through other means (31.4%) (Table 9).  
 
 
 
The remittances sent by OFWs to their respective families may just be a part of the total salary received by the OFWs. Data on remittances in this report are based on the answers given by the survey respondents to the questions on how much cash remittance was received by the family during the period April to September 2015 from a family member who is an OFW and how much cash did this member bring home during the reference period, if any. Further, if the family received during the reference period goods and products sent by this OFW, the imputed value of such goods was included in his/her total remittance.
 
Of the total cash remittance sent by OFWs, 29.2 billion pesos was the total remittance sent by laborers and unskilled workers comprising the biggest share of 21.6 percent. On average,  remittance amounts to 41 thousand pesos per OFW who is an unskilled worker. The total remittance of OFWs working in Asia, comprising 83.9 percent of all OFWs, accounted for 76.1 percent of the total cash remittances. From other countries, the percentage shares are as follows, Europe (10.7%), North and South Africa (9.2%), Australia (2.2%) and Africa (1.7%) (Tables 7 and 8).
 

Two in every five OFWs were able to save from their cash remittances

The total number of OFWs who sent cash remittances to their families from April to September 2015 was about 2.1 million OFWs.  Of this number, 39.1 percent were able to save from their cash remittances (Table 10 and Figure 7).
 
 
 
Regardless of the amount of the cash remittances sent, more than three in every five (65.7%) OFWs were able to set aside less than 25 percent of the total amount received (Table 10).
 
 

TECHNICAL NOTES

 
The data presented in this press release were taken from the 2015 Survey on Overseas Filipinos (SOF). The SOF aims to derive national estimates on the number of Overseas Filipino Workers, their socio-economic characteristics and the amount and mode of remittances, in cash and in kind, received by their families.  
 
The OFWs covered in this report were those aged 15 years old and over and working abroad during the period April 1, 2015 to September 30, 2015.  
 
OFWs include overseas contract workers (OCWs) who were presently out of the country during the reference period to fulfill an overseas contract for a specific length of time or who were presently at home on vacation during the reference period but still had an existing contract to work abroad, and other Filipino workers abroad with valid working visa or work permits. Those who had no working visa or work permits (tourist, visitor, student, medical, and other types of non-immigrant visas) but were presently employed and working full time in other countries were also included.
 
In this report, the remittances sent by OFWs to their respective families may just be a part of the total salary received by the OFWs. Data on remittances in this report were based on the answers given by the survey respondents to the questions on how much cash remittance was received by the family during the period April to September 2015 from a family member who is an OFW and how much cash did this member bring home during the reference period, if any. Further, if the family received during the reference period goods and products sent by this OFW, the imputed value of such goods was included in his/her total remittance.  
 
Starting July 2003 round of the Labor Force Survey (LFS), the 2003 Master Sample (MS) Design has been adopted. The number of sample households is around 50,000.  The SOF, being a rider of the LFS, has adopted the 2003 MS starting October 2003. Careful evaluation must be made in comparing the results of the 2015 SOF with the SOF data prior to the implementation of the 2003 MS.
 
The province of Leyte was not covered in the 2014 SOF.  A new sampling frame for the province of Leyte has to be created.  This is because of the large number of households displaced by typhoon Yolanda.  The old listing of households for Leyte used as sampling frame for the 2003 Master Sample is no longer usable.
 

 

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