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 number represents an increase of 15.3 percent over the estimated 1.52 million OFWs in April to September 2006. 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 (Table 1).
There were more male (50.9%) OFWs than females (49.1%) during the period April to September 2007. More than half of the OFWs (55.2%) were below 35 years old, the largest number was observed 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, 30 to 34 and 45 and over (Table 1).
One out of three (35.0%) OFWs were laborers and unskilled workers, which include domestic helpers, cleaners and manufacturing laborers. 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 (Table 1).
Saudi Arabia remained to be the top destination of OFWs accounting for 19.8 percent of the total OFWs who worked abroad in April to September 2007. One in 10 (12.1%) OFWs worked in United Arab Emirates. OFWs who worked in Europe accounted for 9.2 percent while 9.3 percent worked in North and South America. Hong Kong (6.7%), Singapore (6.0%), Japan (5.6%) and Taiwan (5.5%) were also popular destinations of OFWs (Table 2).
OFWs from CALABARZON (17.7%), National Capital Region (16.0%) and Central Luzon (14.3%) made up almost half of the total number of OFWs. On the other hand, Caraga reported the smallest share of OFWs at 1.0 percent (Table 2).
OFWs sent a total remittance of 110 billion pesos for the period April to September 2007, an increase of eight 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 banks, 14.0 percent were sent through door to door and the rest (9.2%) were sent through agency/local office, friends/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 (Table 3).
CARMELITA N. ERICTA
The data presented in this press 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 aged 15 years old and over and 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 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: Income and Employment Statistics Division
Household Statistics Department
National Statistics Office