OFWs Counted At 1.9 Million (Results from the 2009 SURVEY ON OVERSEAS FILIPINOS)

Reference Number: 2010-103
Release Date: June 4, 2010


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 (Table 1).

In 2009, the proportion of male OFWs (52.8%) remained higher than female OFWs (47.2%). 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 (42.7%) in that same age category. There were more male OFWs (20.9%) than female OFWs (10.8%) in age group 45 and over (Table 1).

OFWs who were laborers or unskilled workers comprised 32.3 percent of the total OFWs during the period April to September 2009. Those who worked as trades and related workers made up 14.9 percent; service workers and shop and market sales workers, 14.7 percent; and plant and machine operators and assemblers, 13.8 percent (Table 1).

CALABARZON reported the biggest share of OFWs with 16.4 percent, Central Luzon and NCR followed with 14.7 percent and 13.9 percent OFWs, respectively. Forty-five percent of the total OFWs came from these three regions. Meanwhile, Caraga reported the least share of OFWs at 1.3% (Table 2).

One out of five (21.6%) OFWs worked in Saudi Arabia, which remained to be the top destination of OFWs in April to September 2009. OFWs who worked in United Arab Emirates comprised 15.4 percent. Hongkong and Singapore both with 6.0 percent share were the other popular destinations of OFWs (Table 2).

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 thru other means, 8.6 billion pesos were sent through door-to-door and 3.5 billion pesos were sent through agency/local office and friends/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 (Table 3).


                           CARMELITA N. ERICTA





The data presented in this press release were taken from the 2009 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, 2009 to September 30, 2009.

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.



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