Overseas Filipino Workers register at 1.9 million
The number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who worked abroad during the period April to September 2009 was estimated at 1.9 million. Of this total, 98.8 percent were overseas contract workers (OCWs) or with existing work contracts abroad.
CALABARZON reports the biggest share of OFWs
Forty-five percent of the total OFWs came from the three largest regions in the country. CALABARZON had the biggest share with 16.4 percent, Central Luzon and the National Capital Region (NCR) followed with 14.7 percent and 13.9 percent, respectively. The same pattern was observed during the period April to September 2008 with OFWs from these three regions comprising 46.9 percent of the total number of OFWs. Meanwhile, OFWs from Caraga comprised the smallest proportion at 1.2 percent and 1.3 percent in 2008 and 2009, respectively.
More than half of the female OFWs belong to age group 25 to 34
In 2009, there were more male OFWs than female OFWs; 53 in every 100 OFWs were males. Female OFWs were generally younger than male OFWs, with half of the female OFWs belonging to ages 25 to 34. Male OFWs have lesser proportion (42.8%) in that same age category. There were more male OFWs (20.9%) than female OFWs (10.9%) in age group 45 and over.
Saudi Arabia remains to be the top destination of OFWs
One out of five (21.6%) OFWs in April to September 2009 worked in Saudi Arabia, which remained to be the top destination of OFWs. OFWs who worked in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) comprised 15.4 percent. Hongkong and Singapore, both with 6.0 percent share, were the other popular destinations of OFWs. Those who worked in Europe accounted for 8.3 percent, while those in North and South America accounted for 7.9 percent.
Laborers and unskilled workers top major occupation group
OFWs who were laborers or unskilled workers (for example sales and services, elementary workers, laborers in mining, construction, manufacturing, transport, agri- cultural, forestry, fishery and related laborers), comprised 32.3 percent of the total OFWs during the period April to September 2009. Those who worked as trade and related workers made up 14.9 percent; service workers and shop and market sales workers, 14.8 percent; and plant and machine operators and assemblers, 13.9 percent.
More than half (56.1%) of female OFWs in April to September 2009 worked as laborers and unskilled workers. On the other hand, male OFWs mostly worked either as trade and related workers (26.7%) or as plant and machine operators and assemblers (24.9%).
Remittances in April to September 2009 amount to 138.5 billion pesos
The total remittance sent by OFWs during the period April to September 2009 was estimated at 138.5 billion pesos. These remittances included cash sent home (102.5 billion pesos), cash brought home (31.4 billion pesos) and remittance in kind (4.5 billion pesos). Of the total cash remittance sent for the period April to September 2009, about 78.0 billion pesos were sent through banks, 12.4 billion pesos were sent through other means, 8.6 billion pesos were sent through door-to-door and 3.5 billion pesos were sent through agency or local office and friends or co-workers.
OFWs working in Asia, comprising 79.3 percent of all OFWs, sent the biggest cash remittance of 71.2 billion pesos. Among occupation groups, OFWs working as laborers or unskilled workers posted the highest cash remittance of 18.0 billion pesos.
The data presented in this special release were taken from the 2009 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 working abroad during the period April 1, 2009 to September 30, 2009 and whose ages were 15 years old and over.
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 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 2009 SOF with other SOF results prior to the implementation of the new MS design.
Source: National Statistics Office