International labor migration has been a part of Filipino family life. The 2018 National Migration Survey (NMS) found that 12 percent of Filipino households had a member who was or had been an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW).
ARMM tops the rest of the regions in terms of highest percentage (24%) of households with current or former OFW member, followed by Cagayan Valley (22%) and the Ilocos Region (18%). In contrast, Caraga (5%), MIMAROPA (7%) and Central Luzon (7%) had the lowest percentage of households with current or former OFW member (Figure 1).
One-fourth or 25 percent of the households belonging to the highest wealth quintile have at least one current or former OFW member compared to only four percent of the households belonging to the lowest wealth quintile (Table 1).
The NMS also collected information of Filipinos currently overseas at the time of the study. In all, nine percent of households have at least one member currently overseas. Meanwhile, only one percent of households had emigrant in the last five years; i.e., those who used to live in the household but were already living permanently abroad.
Figure 1. Percentage of Households with OFW (current or before) by Region, Philippines, 2018
CLAIRE DENNIS S. MAPA, Ph.D.
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General