Total Number of OFWs Estimated at 2.2 Million (Results from the 2016 Survey on Overseas Filipinos)

Reference Number: 2017-043
Release Date: April 27, 2017

The number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who worked abroad at anytime during the period April to September 2016 was estimated at 2.2  million. Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs) or those with existing work contract comprised  97.5 percent of the total OFWs during the period April to September 2016.  The rest (2.5 %) worked overseas without contract (Table 1).

There were more females than males among the OFWs, with the female OFWs comprising 53.6 percent of the total OFWs. Female OFWs were generally younger than male OFWs, with more than two-thirds (67.8%) of the female OFWs belonging to the age group 25 to 39 years. In comparison, male OFWs in this age group made up 57.4 percent.  Male OFWs aged 45 years and older accounted for 23.9 percent of all male OFWs while their female counterparts in this age group made up 13.8 percent (Table 1).

Among occupation groups, elementary occupations (34.5%) comprised the largest group followed by those who worked as service and sales workers (19.0%), plant and machine operators and assemblers (12.8%), and craft and related trades workers (11.6%) (Table 2).

CALABARZON reported the biggest share of OFWs with 21.0 percent, followed by National Capital Region and Central Luzon with 12.9 percent and 12.7 percent, respectively. Forty-seven percent of the total OFWs came from these three regions.  Meanwhile, Cordillera Administrative Region reported the least share of OFWs at 1.8 percent (Table 3).

Saudi Arabia continued to be the leading destination of OFWs. About one in every four (23.8%) OFWs worked in this country during the period April to September 2016.  The other preferred destinations were United Arab Emirates (15.9%), Europe (6.6%),Kuwait (6.4%), and Qatar (6.2%) (Table 3).

The total remittance sent by OFWs during the period April to September 2016 was estimated at 203.0 billion pesos. These remittances included cash sent home (146.0 billion pesos), cash brought home (45.7 billion pesos) and remittances in kind (11.1 billion pesos).  The majority of OFWs sent their remittance through banks (60.3%) while the rest through agencies or local offices (2.4%), door-to-door delivery (1.2%), friends or co-workers (0.3%) or through other means (35.8%) (Tables 4 and 5). 

The remittances sent by OFWs to their respective families may just be a part of the total salary received by the OFWs. 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 2016 from a family member who is an OFW and 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 (Tables 4 and 5). 

Of the total cash remittance sent by OFWs, the remittance sent by elementary occupations comprised the biggest share at 21.9 percent or 31.9 billion pesos, or an average remittance of 48 thousand pesos per OFW who is an unskilled worker. The total remittance of OFWs working in Asia, comprising  85.0 percent of all OFWs, accounted for 79.5 percent of the total cash remittances. From other countries, the percentage shares are as follows, Europe (8.8%), North and South Africa (7.3%), Australia (2.2%) and Africa (2.1%) (Tables 4 and 5).

 

LISA GRACE S. BERSALES, Ph.D.
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General

 

TECHNICAL NOTES

The data presented in this press release were taken from the 2016 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, 2016 to September 30, 2016. 

OFWs include overseas contract workers (OCWs) who were presently 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.

In this report, the remittances sent by OFWs to their respective families may just be a part of the total salary received by the OFWs. Data on remittances in this report were 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 2016 from a family member who is an OFW and 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. 

Starting April 2016 round of the Labor Force Survey (LFS), the 2013 Master Sample (MS) Design has been adopted. The number of sample households is around 45,000.  The SOF, being a rider of the LFS, has adopted the 2013 MS starting October 2016. Careful evaluation must be made in comparing the results of the 2016 SOF with the SOF data prior to the implementation of the 2013 MS.

The 2012 Philippine Standard Occupational Classification (PSOC) was adopted starting October 2016.  The 1992 PSOC had been used prior to October 2016.

 

 

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