Overseas Filipino Workers is estimated at 2.3 million
The number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who worked abroad at anytime during the period April to September 2013 was estimated at 2.3 million. The Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs) or those with existing work contract abroad comprised 96.2 percent (2.2 million) of the total OFWs during the period April to September 2013 (Table 1 and Figure 1).
The largest number of OFWs comes from CALABARZON
The largest number of OFWs came from CALABARZON, comprising 18.4 percent of the total OFWs. Those coming from Central Luzon comprised 13.9 percent, and those from the National Capital Region, 12.8 percent. The number of OFWs from these three regions made up 45.1 percent of the total number of OFWs. On the other hand, the smallest number of OFWs came from Caraga (1.5% of the total OFWs) (Table 2 and Figure 2).
There are more male OFWs than female OFWs
There were more males than females among the OFWs, with the male OFWs comprising 50.3 percent of the total OFWs. Female OFWs were generally younger than male OFWs, with more than half (53.8%) of the female OFWs belonging to the age group 25 to 34 years. In comparison, male OFWs in this age group made up 42.1 percent. Male OFWs aged 45 years and older accounted for 22.0 percent of all male OFWs while their female counterparts in this age group made up 10.8 percent (Table 3 and Figure 3).
Saudi Arabia is the leading destination of OFWs
Saudi Arabia continued to be the leading destination of OFWs. One in every five (22.1%) OFWs worked in this country during the period April to September 2013. The other preferred destinations were United Arab Emirates (15.4%); Singapore (7.3%); Qatar (5.8%); Hong Kong (5.1%) and other countries in Western Asia (5.0%) (Table 4 and Figure 4).
One in every three OFWs is a laborer or unskilled worker
Among occupation groups, laborers and unskilled workers (30.8%) was the biggest group of OFWs. One in every three OFWs was a laborer or unskilled worker. The other large occupation groups of OFWs were the service workers and shop and market sales workers (16.7%), trades and related workers (12.9%), plant and machine operators and assemblers (11.7%), and professionals (11.6%). More than half of the female OFWs were unskilled workers (51.4%) like household helpers, cleaners, launderers and related workers. Among the male OFWs, the largest groups were the trades and related workers (25.1%), and plant and machine operators and assemblers (21.5%) (Table 5 and Figure 5).
Total remittances reach 163.2 billion pesos
The total remittance sent by OFWs during the period April to September 2013 was estimated at 163.2 billion pesos. These remittances included cash sent home (118.7 billion pesos), cash brought home (35.3 billion pesos) and remittances in kind (9.1 billion pesos). The majority of OFWs sent their remittance through banks (67.4%) while the rest through agencies or local offices (3.1%), door-to-door delivery (2.3%), friends or co-workers (0.5%) or through other means (26.8%) (Table 6 and Figure 6).
OFWs from Asia had remitted the largest amount at 87.6 billion pesos, or an average of 56 thousand pesos per OFW. OFWs from North and South America remitted an average of 86 thousand pesos per OFW and OFWs from Europe remitted an average of 78 thousand pesos per OFW (Table 7).
Of the total cash remittance sent by OFWs, the remittance sent by laborers and unskilled workers comprised the biggest share at 19.2 percent or 22.9 billion pesos, or an average remittance of 38 thousand pesos per OFW who is an unskilled worker. The total remittance of OFWs working in Asia, comprising 81.2 percent of all OFWs, accounted for 73.8 percent of the total cash remittances. From other countries, the percentage shares are as follows: North and South America, and Europe (9.9%), Australia (3.9%) and Africa (2.5%) (Tables 7 and 8).
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 2013 from its member who is an OFW, 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.
Two in every five OFWs are able to save from their cash remittances
A total of 1.9 million OFWs sent cash remittances to their families from April to September 2013. Of this number, 40.7 percent were able to set aside savings from their cash remittances. In 2012, about 42.2 percent OFWs who had remitted cash to their families had savings from cash remittances sent (Table 10 and Figure 7).
Regardless of the amount of the cash remittances sent, for every ten OFWs, six (61.7%) were able to save less than 25 percent of the total amount received, two (21.6%) were able to save from 25 percent to 49 percent of it, and about two (16.7%) saved 50 percent or more (Table 10).
The data presented in this special release were taken from the 2013 Survey on Overseas Filipinos (SOF). The SOF aims to derive Philippine 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, 2013 to September 30, 2013.
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.
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.
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 2013 from its member who is an OFW, 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 samples is around 50,000 sample households. 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 2013 SOF with other SOF results prior to the implementation of the new MS design.