Unemployment, low wages push Pinoys to work abroad
Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - July 29, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - More Filipinos are leaving the country to seek employment abroad since the Aquino administration took office in 2010 because of the prevailing high unemployment rate and low wages in the Philippines, a migrants group said yesterday.

According to Migrante International, an average of 6,000 Filipino workers is deployed daily to various countries due to prevailing high unemployment rate and low wages in the Philippines.

Citing data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Migrante International secretary general Sol Pillas said the average daily deployment of Filipino workers rose from 4,018 in 2010 to 4,624 in 2011 and to 4,937 in 2012.

In 2013, the POEA posted an average of 5,031 daily deployment and the figure went up to 5,054 a year ago.

Based on this year’s deployment trend, daily overseas deployment is now pegged at 6,092, which is way above the daily average of 2,500 in 2009 or a year before Aquino assumed the presidency.

“The Aquino administration breached the two million mark in overseas Filipino worker (OFW) deployment processing in 2013, the highest in history of Philippine migration,” Pillas pointed out.

Pillas also noted that the number of OFWs deployed far outpaced the jobs generated domestically as data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) indicated that the number of locally employed Filipinos was only 1.02 million in 2014, or an average of 2,805 additional employed in the country daily.

“While POEA data showed that there had indeed been a slight decrease in OFW deployment, it was only in the fourth quarter of 2014,” she added.

Based on POEA data, 1.7 million OFWs were deployed during the last quarter of 2014, or 4,508 deployed daily. But the number of OFWs leaving daily was pegged at 5,200 nine months prior to September 2014.

“In the past years, there had been a steady increase in the number of new hires and re-hires of land-based and sea-based OFWs deployed. POEA data clearly shows that the number of land-based workers deployed increased by 34.52 percent,” Pillas noted.

“Combined with the growing number of irregular OFWs who leave the country through backdoor means, even the overall government figure of deployment does not in any way support Aquino’s claim that migration has considerably lessened during his presidency,” she added.

Despite ongoing crises in many host countries such as stricter immigration policies and criminalization, the Philippines still recorded an increase in deployment of Filipino workers abroad.

“Since 2010, thousands upon thousands of OFWs in distress have been deported or forcibly repatriated back to the country due to civil unrest, calamities, economic instabilities and other similar factors in migrant-receiving countries. If the government is attributing a so-called ‘reverse migration’ due to these factors, then it is right on spot,” Pillas said.

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