Overseas Filipino Workers estimated at 2.2 million
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. Of these total OFW, those with existing work contract comprised 97.5 percent and the rest worked overseas without contract (Table 1 and Figure 1).
CALABARZON had the biggest share of OFWs
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. Meanwhile, Cordillera Administrative Region reported the least share of OFWs at 1.8 percen (Table 2 and Figure 2).
More than half of the OFWs were female
There were more females than males among the OFWs, with the former comprising 53.6 percent of the total OFWs. The female OFWs were generally younger than the male OFWs . More than two-thirds (67.8%) of the female OFWs belonged to the age group 25 to 39 years compared to their male counterparts (57.4 percent). Male OFWs aged 45 years and older accounted for 23.9 percent of all male OFWs while the female OFWs made up of 13.8 percent (Table 3 and Figure 3).
Asian countries were the leading destinations of OFWs
Middle east countries in the Asian continent continued to be the leading destination of OFWs. About one in every four (23.8%) OFWs worked in Saudi Arabia during the period April to September 2016. The other preferred destinations were United Arab Emirates (15.9%), Kuwait (6.4%), and Qatar (6.2%) (Table 4 and Figure 4).
One in every three OFWs worked in elementary occupations
Among the OFWs, those working in 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 5 and Figure 5).
More than half of the female OFWs were in elementary occupations (56.2%). The largest group of the male OFWs worked as plant and machine operators and assemblers (24.7%) (Table 5).
Total remittances reached 203.0 billion pesos
The total remittances sent by OFWs during the period April to September 2016 were 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 remittances 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%) (Table 9).
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 remittances were received by the family from its OFW family member during the period April to September 2016 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 remittances.
Of the total cash remittances sent by OFWs, the remittances sent by those in 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. The total remittances 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 7 and 8).
One in every three OFWs set aside savings from their cash remittances
A total of 1.9 million OFWs sent cash remittances to their families from April to September 2016. Of this number, 36.9 percent were able to set aside savings from their cash remittances.
Regardless of the amount of the cash remittances sent, for every ten OFWs, about seven (69.2%) were able to save less than 25 percent of the total amount received. Around 20 percent saved about 25 to 49 percent of their remittances and one (11.5%) saved 50 percent or more (Table 10 and Figure 7).
It was also noted that for each one of the five OFWs saved about 25 to 49 percent of their remittances/earnings and one out of ten OFWs saved 50 percent or more.
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.