Place of Work of Overseas Filipino Workers (Results from the 2007 Survey on Overseas Filipino)

Reference Number: 530
Release Date: September 2, 2010


One out of five OFWs works in Saudi Arabia

One out of five or 19.8 percent of the total Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) worked in Saudi Arabia during the period April to September 2007. More than one in every ten OFWs (12.1%) worked in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). OFWs who worked in Europe accounted for 9.2 percent while those who worked in North and South America recorded a percent share of 9.3 percent. Hongkong (6.7%), Singapore (6.0%), Japan (5.6%) and Taiwan (5.5%) were also the favorite destinations of OFWs in Asia.

The most common destination of male OFWs was Saudi Arabia (27.1%) while United Arab Emirates (13.9%) for female OFWs.

Hongkong is the favorite destination of laborers and unskilled workers

Out of 1.7 million OFWs in April to September 2007, laborers and unskilled workers or those who worked as domestic helpers, cleaners or manufacturing laborers comprised more than one-third of the OFWs (612 thousand or 35.0%). The highest proportion of laborers or unskilled workers was observed in Hongkong (16.4 %) followed by those in Saudi Arabia (12.0%) and United Arab Emirates (11.4%). The destination of most of the OFWs who worked as trades and related workers (43.2%), plant and machine operators and assemblers (18.6%) and all other occupations (22.2%) was Saudi Arabia.

Majority of the OFWs are in Asia

Asia was the favorite destination of OFWs in all age groups. The Western part of Asia comprising Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and other countries in Western Asia absorbed a large proportion of OFWs, particularly those in age group 15 to 24 (50.8%) and age group 35 to 39 (49.5%). The most preferred destination of OFWs with age group 45 and over in Western Asia was Saudi Arabia (28.4%).

More than one half of the OFWs from Luzon work in Saudi Arabia

More than half (52.3%) of the total OFWs came from Luzon. Most of these OFWs were in Saudi Arabia (19.2%), United Arab Emirates (13.0%) and Europe (10.4%). OFWs from Mindanao and NCR shared almost the same number of OFWs with 280 thousand (16.0%) and 279 thousand (16.0%), respectively.

OFWs working in Asia has the largest share of remittance

OFWs in Asia had the largest share of remittance amounting to 57.7 million pesos or 70.4 percent of the total remittance from April to September 2007. OFWs working in Europe, and North and South America contributed almost equal share of remittance, 10.0 million pesos (12.3%) and 9.7 million pesos (11.9%), respectively. In terms of average cash remittance, the highest share came from other countries with 103 thousand pesos followed by Australia with 101 thousand pesos.



The data presented in this special 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 MS design, the number of samples increased from 41,000 to around 51,000 households. The SOF, being a rider of the LFS, has also adopted the 2003 MS design starting October 2003. Careful evaluation must be made in comparing the results of the 2007 SOF with other SOF results that made use of an MS design prior to the implementation of the 2003 MS design.



Source:   National Statistics Office
                 Manila, Philippines

SOF Reports by Year Published


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Income and Employment Statistics Division 
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