Total Number of OFWs Estimated at 2.3 Million (Results from the 2017 Survey On Overseas Filipinos)

Reference Number: 2018-070
Release Date: April 27, 2018

The number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who worked  abroad at anytime during the period April to September 2017 was estimated at 2.3 million.  Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs) or those with existing work contract comprised 97.0 percent of the total OFWs during the period April to September 2017.  The rest (3.0%)  worked overseas without contract (Table1).

The proportion of female OFWs (53.7%) was higher than male OFWs (46.3%).  The largest proportion of OFWs belonged to age group 30 to 34 years comprising 21.7 percent of all OFWs, followed by those aged 25 to 29 years with 20.4 percent. Female OFWs were younger compared to male OFWs.  Higher percentage (24.1%) of female OFWs were in the age group 25 to 29 years while the male OFWs were reported to have higher percentage (19.8%) in age group 30 to 34 years. There were more male OFWs than female OFWs in age group 35 years and over  (Table 1).

More than one in every three (37.6%) OFWs were employed in elementary occupations.  Around 18.0 percent worked as service and sales workers.  OFWs who worked as plant and machine operators and assemblers comprised 13.7 percent, and craft and related trade workers, 11.4 percent  (Table 2).  

The largest proportion of OFWs were from CALABARZON (20.7% of the total OFWs).  Those coming from Central Luzon comprised 12.9 percent, and those from the National Capital Region and Western Visayas, both were 9.5 percent.  On the other hand, the smallest number of OFWs came from Caraga (1.7% of the total OFWs) (Table 3).

Saudi Arabia was the most preferred country of destination among OFWs (25.4%).  The other countries of destination were United Arab Emirates (15.3%), Kuwait (6.7%) and Hongkong (6.5%)  (Table 3).

The total remittance sent by OFWs during the period April to September 2017 was estimated at 205.2 billion pesos. These remittances included cash sent home (146.8 billion pesos), cash brought home (48.3 billion pesos) and remittances in kind (10.1 billion pesos). The majority of OFWs sent their remittance through banks (62.8%) while the rest through agencies or local offices (3.1%), door-to-door delivery (0.8%), friends or co-workers (0.1%) or through other means (33.1%) (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 2017 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).

 

 

FOR THE NATIONAL STATISTICIAN:

 

(Sgd.) JOSIE B. PEREZ  

Assistant Secretary

(Deputy National Statistician)

Officer-In-Charge

 

 

TECHNICAL NOTES

 

The data presented in this press release were taken from the 2017 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, 2017 to September 30, 2017. 

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 2017 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  2017 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.

 

 

See more at the Survey on Overseas Filipinos (SOF) landing page.

 

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