Total Number of OFWs is Estimated at 2.2 Million (Results from the 2012 Survey on Overseas Filipinos)

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Thursday, July 11, 2013
The number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who worked abroad at anytime during the period April to September 2012 was estimated at 2.2 million. The Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs) or those with existing work contract abroad comprised 95.0 percent (2.1 million) of the total OFWs during the period April to September 2012 (Table 1). 
There were more males than females among the OFWs, with the male OFWs comprising 51.7 percent of the total OFWs.  The largest proportion of OFWs belonged to age group 25 to 29 years comprising 24.1 percent of all OFWs, followed by those aged 30 to 34 years with 22.3 percent.  Female OFWs were younger compared to male OFWs. About ten percent of female OFWs were in the age group 15 to 24 years, 28.2 percent were in the age group 25 to 29 years and 23.7 percent in the age group 30 to 34 years.  The percentages for male OFWs in these age groups were 7.0 percent, 20.3 percent and 20.9 percent, respectively.  More than half (51,8%) of the male OFWs were aged 35 years and over.  By comparison, 38.6 percent of the total female OFWs were in this age group (Table 1). 
Among occupation groups, laborers and unskilled workers (31.3%) comprised the largest group followed by those who worked as service workers and shop and market sales workers (16.2%), plant and machine operators and assemblers (12.9%), professionals (12.4%) and trade and related workers (12.2%) (Table1).
CALABARZON had sent the largest number of OFWs, with 18.1 percent of the total OFWs in the country, followed by Central Luzon with 14.1 percent and the National Capital Region with 12.6 percent.  Forty-five percent of the total OFWs came from these three regions. The smallest number of OFWs came from Caraga, with 1.2 percent (Table 2).
Saudi Arabia continued to be the most preferred destination of OFWs.  One out of five (20.6%) OFWs worked in this country during the period April to September 2012.  The other popular destinations were United Arab Emirates (14.9%); Singapore (7.5%); and Qatar (6.5%) (Table 2).
The total remittance sent by OFWs during the period April to September 2012 was estimated at 165.6 billion pesos. This amount is higher compared to the previous year’s reported remittances (156.3 billion pesos). The amount of the total remittances covered cash sent home (120.1 billion pesos), cash brought home (36.5 billion pesos) and remittances in kind (9.0 billion pesos). The majority of OFWs sent their remittance through banks (70.8%). Other cash remittances were sent through door-to-door (3.7%), agencies or local offices (2.5%), friends or co-workers (0.4%) or through other means (22.6%). The remittances sent by OFWs to their respective families may just be a part of the total salary received by the OFWs (Table 3).
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 2012 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.
Of the total cash remittance sent by OFWs, the remittance sent by professionals comprised the biggest share with 24.8 billion pesos.  Their average remittance was 109 thousand pesos per OFW.  The laborers and unskilled workers who comprised the bulk of the OFWs had remitted, on average, 35 thousand pesos per OFW. Seventy percent of the total cash remittance came from OFWs working in Asia, who comprised 80 percent of all OFWs.  The proportions coming from other countries were as follows: Europe (12.8%), North and South America (10.6%), Australia (3.2%) and Africa (3.1%) (Tables 3 and 3A).


The data presented in this press release were taken from the 2012 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 aged 15 years old and over and working abroad during the period April 1, 2012 to September 30, 2012.  
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 this report 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 50,000 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 2012 SOF with the SOF data prior to the implementation of the new MS design.