2010 Survey on Overseas Filipinos

Reference Number: 2012-670
Release Date: February 1, 2012

Overseas Filipino Workers register at 2.0 million

The 2010 Survey on Overseas Filipinos (SOF) revealed that there were about 2.0 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who worked abroad anytime during the period April to September 2010 (Table 1). Of this number, the overseas contract workers (OCWs) or those with existing work contract abroad accounted for 1.9 million or 94.9 percent.

The largest percentage of OFWs comes from CALABARZON

The majority of the OFWs came from the three largest regions in the country; 16.0 percent were from CALABARZON, 14.4 percent from Central Luzon and 13.8 percent from the National Capital Region (NCR). The OFWs from these regions comprised 44.2 percent of total OFWs nationwide. Caraga had the smallest proportion of OFWs at 1.4 percent.

Female OFWs are younger than male OFWs

There were more male OFWs (52.3%) than female OFWs (47.7%) (Table 2). For both sexes, the largest proportion, which was about 25 percent, belonged to age group 25 to 29 years followed by age group 30 to 34 years with 22.9 percent.

Female OFWs were younger compared to male OFWs (Table 3). Female OFWs in age group 15 to 24 years accounted for 11.6 percent of all female OFWs and those in age group 25 to 29 years, 29.5 percent. Among male OFWs, the largest proportion was in the age group 45 and over with 21.8 percent.

Saudi Arabia is the favorite destination of OFWs

Saudi Arabia remained to be the top destination of OFWs in April to September 2010 (Table 4). One in every five (22.1%) OFWs in April to September 2010 worked in that country. Other popular destinations of OFWs were United Arab Emirates (15.1%), Qatar (6.3%), Singapore (5.9%) and Hong Kong (5.7%).

For the male OFWs, Saudi Arabia (30.0%) was the leading destination, followed by United Arab Emirates (12.2%) and Qatar (7.9%). For female OFWs, the popular destinations were the United Arab Emirates (18.4%), Saudi Arabia (13.5%) and Hong Kong (11.4%).

More than half of female OFWs are laborers and unskilled workers

Almost one-third of the total OFWs in April to September 2010 were laborers and unskilled workers (32.0%) (Table 5). Laborers and unskilled workers are those working in sales and services, elementary workers, laborers in mining, construction, manufacturing, transport, agricultural, forestry, fishery and related workers. Among female OFWs, the unskilled workers comprised 55.6 percent. Among male OFWs, laborers and unskilled workers accounted for 10.4 percent.

Total Cash Remittances amount to 141.2 billion pesos

The total remittance sent by OFWs during the period April to September 2010 was estimated at 141.2 billion pesos (Table 6). These remittances included cash sent home (104.9 billion pesos), cash brought home (30.1 billion pesos) and remittances in kind (6.2 billion pesos). During the reference period, the average remittance by male OFWs was about twice that of female OFWs (100 thousand pesos per male OFW versus 54 thousand pesos per female OFW).

About 74.4 billion pesos, or an average remittance of 54 thousand pesos per OFW, was remitted by the OFWs from Asia (Table 7). For OFWs working elsewhere, an average remittance of 91 thousand pesos was recorded for an OFW from North and South America, 82 thousand pesos from Europe, 125 thousand pesos from Africa and 76 thousand pesos from Australia. The average cash remittance of OFWs working in Asia was the lowest.

Among male OFWs, those engaged in trade and related works and those working in plant and machine operation and assembling had the largest total cash remittance (Table 8). Among female OFWs, the laborers and unskilled workers had the largest total cash remittance. However, the average cash remittance by female OFWs who were unskilled workers was the smallest. A female OFW who is an unskilled worker remitted on the average 36,000 pesos for the reference period, that is from April to September 2010.

Remittances were made mainly through banks

In 2010, around 77.3 billion pesos or 73.7 percent of total cash remittances was sent through banks (Table 9). The rest was sent through door-to-door (8.4 billion pesos), agency/local offices (3.2 billion pesos), friends/co-workers (902 thousand pesos) and other means (15.1 billion pesos).

Fifty percent of the OFWs are able to save from their cash remittances

The number of OFWs who were able to save out of their cash remittances was estimated at 812 thousand or 47.4 percent of the 1.7 million OFWs who made cash remittances from April to September 2010 (Table 10). In 2009, there were 851 thousand OFWs or 53.2 percent of these OFWs who were able to do so.

Irrespective of the amount sent, the largest percentage of them were able to save less than 25 percent of the amount sent



The data presented in this press release were taken from the 2010 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, 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, 2010 to September 30, 2010. 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.

The respondent is asked how the family usually spent the remittance received during the sixmonth period. The choices are four: for consumption, investments, savings and others. Savings refers to cash on hand or money deposited to banks.

Starting July 2003 round of the Labor Force Survey (LFS), the 2003 Master Sample (MS) for household surveys has been adopted. The SOF, being a rider of the LFS, has also adopted the new master sample design starting October 2003. The sample size is about 51,000 sample households. Careful evaluation must be made in comparing the results of the 2010 SOF with results conducted prior to the implementation of the 2003 MS design.

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