Number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) registers at 1.75 million
The number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who worked abroad at anytime during the period April to September 2007 was registered at 1.75 million. This represents an increase of 15.3 percent over the estimated 1.52 million OFWs in April to September 2006. Out of the total OFWs during the period April to September 2007, 92.4 percent (1.61 million) were Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs) or those with existing work-contract abroad. The number of OCWs in April to September 2007 went up by 16.6 percent over the 1.38 million OCWs estimated for the same months in 2006.
The regions with at least 10 percent share to the total OFWs as of April 2007 to September 2007 were CALABARZON (17.7%), National Capital Region (NCR) (16.0%), and Central Luzon (14.3%). The combined shares of these regions made up of almost half (48.0%) the total number of OFWs during the period April to September 2007. The same pattern was observed during the period April to September 2006, where these three regions contributed the largest number of OFWs and together, comprised 47.7 percent of the total number of OFWs. On the other hand, Caraga reported the smallest share of OFWs at 1.1 percent and 1.0 percent in 2006 and 2007, respectively, for the months of April to September.
The largest number of OFWs is in age group 25 to 29 years old
There were more male OFWs (50.9) than females (49.1%) during the period April to September 2007. More than half (55.2%) of the OFWs were below 35 years old, the largest number (24.5% of total OFWs) was recorded in age group 25 to 29 years. Female OFWs were generally younger compared to male OFWs. Of the total number of female OFWs, 28.8 percent belonged to age group 25 to 29 years and 21.3 percent were in age group 30 to 34 years. Meanwhile, male OFWs were almost evenly distributed among the age groups 25 to 29 (20.3%), 30 to 34 (20.0%) and 45 years and over (22.8%).
Saudi Arabia remains to be the favorite destination of OFWs
Saudi Arabia remained to be the favorite destination of OFWs comprising 19.8 percent of the total OFWs who worked abroad in April to September 2007. More than one in ten (12.1%) OFWs were in the United Arab Emirates. Those who worked in Europe accounted for 9.2 percent, slightly lower than those in North and South America at 9.3 percent. Other popular destinations included Hong Kong (6.7%), Singapore (6.0%), Japan (5.6%) and Taiwan (5.5%).
Laborer and unskilled workers top major occupation group
One out of three (35.0%) OFWs in April to September 2007 were laborers and unskilled workers, which include domestic helpers, cleaners and manufacturing laborers. During the same months in 2007, those who worked as service workers and shop and market sales workers made up 14.3 percent; trades and related workers, 13.8 percent; and plant and machine operators and assemblers, 13.4 percent.
Remittances in April to September 2007 total to 110 billion pesos
OFWs sent a total remittance of 110 billion pesos for the period April to September 2007, an increase of 8 billion pesos (7.7%) from the estimated remittance of 102 billion pesos for the same months in 2006. Included in the total remittances are cash sent (74.6%), cash brought home (20.7%) and remittances in kind (4.7%). Of the total cash remittance sent for the period April to September 2007, 76.8 percent were sent through bank, 14.0 percent were sent through door-to-door and the rest (9.2%) were sent through the agency and or local office, friends and or co-workers and other means. OFWs working in Asia, comprising 78.1 percent of all OFWs, sent the biggest cash remittance of 57.7 billion pesos. Among occupation groups, OFWs working as laborers or unskilled workers posted the highest cash remittance of 17.6 billion pesos.
The data presented in this special release were taken from the 2007 Survey on Overseas Filipinos (SOF). The SOF aims to derive national estimates on the number of Overseas Filipinos 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 working abroad during the period April 1, 2007 to September 30, 2007. The workers who were at home on vacation from their jobs abroad who left earlier than April 1 of the reference year were also included in this report as long as they worked during the specified reference period.
OFWs include overseas contract workers (OCWs) who were presently and temporarily 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.
The SOF did not ask for the total salary received by the OFWs. Hence, the remittances presented in the results may just be a part of the total salary received by the OFWs.
Starting July 2003 round of the Labor Force Survey (LFS), the 2003 Master Sample (MS) Design has been adopted. Using this new master sample design, the number of samples increased from 41,000 to around 51,000 sample households. The SOF, being a rider of the LFS, has also adopted the new master sample design starting October 2003. Careful evaluation must be made in comparing the results of the 2007 SOF with other SOF results prior to the implementation of the new MS design.
Source: National Statistics Office