More OFWs in Saudi Arabia (Results from the 2010 Survey on Overseas Filipinos)

Reference Number: 2011-051
Release Date: July 8, 2011

The number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who worked abroad at anytime during the period April to September 2010 was estimated at 2.0 million. The Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs) or those with existing work contract abroad comprised 94.9 percent (1.9 million) of the total OFWs during the period April to September 2010. (Table 1)

There were more male OFWs (52.3%) than female OFWs (47.7%). The largest proportion of OFWs belonged to age group 25 to 29 years comprising 25 percent of all OFWs, followed by those aged 30 to 34 years with 23 percent. Female OFWs were younger compared to male OFWs. Twelve percent of female OFWs were in the age group 15 to 24 years and 30 percent were in the age group 25 to 29 years, while the corresponding percentages of male OFWs in these age groups were 7 percent and 21 percent. Female OFWs aged 45 years and over made up 11 percent of all female OFWs. For male OFWs 45 years old and over, the corresponding proportion is much higher at 22 percent. (Table 1)

Almost one-third of the total OFWs in April to September 2010 were laborers and unskilled workers (32.0%). Those who worked as service workers and shop and market sales workers made up 15.1 percent. The trade and related workers (14.9%) and plant and machine operators and assemblers (14.3%) registered similar proportions. (Table 1)

The largest proportion of OFWs came from CALABARZON with 16.0 percent followed by Central Luzon with 14.4 percent and the National Capital Region with 13.8 percent. The number of OFWs from these three regions altogether comprised 44.2 percent of the total number of OFWs. On the other hand, the smallest proportion of OFWs came from Caraga (1.4%). (Table 2)

Saudi Arabia was the most preferred destination of OFWs with 22.1 percent of the total OFWs working in this country during the period April to September 2010. The other preferred destinations of OFWs were: United Arab Emirates (15.1%); Qatar (6.3%); Singapore (5.9%); and Hong Kong (5.7%). (Table 2)

The total remittance sent by OFWs during the period April to September 2010 was estimated at 141.2 billion pesos. These remittances included cash sent home (104.9 billion pesos), cash brought home (30.1 billion pesos) and remittance in kind (6.2 billion pesos). Of the total cash remittance sent by OFWs, the remittance sent by laborers and unskilled workers comprised the biggest share with 20.6 billion pesos or an average remittance of 39 thousand pesos per OFW. OFWs working in Asia, comprising 80 percent of all OFWs, have the biggest share of cash remittance (70.9% of the total cash remittance). The proportions to total cash remittances that came from other countries were: North and South America (11.7%), Europe (11.3%), Africa (3.8%) and Australia (2.3%). The majority of OFWs sent their remittance through bank (73.7%) while the rest through door to door (8.0%), agency or local office (3.1%), through friends or co-workers (0.9%) or through other means (14.4%). (Table 3 and 3A)







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 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, 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.

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 2010 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

Manila, Philippines



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