SWS: 7% of Filipino households have OFWs; 7% of Pinoys seeking work abroad

Kaycee Valmonte - Philstar.com
SWS: 7% of Filipino households have OFWs; 7% of Pinoys seeking work abroad
Passengers queue at the various gates of the NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City on October 29, 2022.
STAR / Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — Seven percent of Filipino households are home to overseas Filipino workers but this number may double as 7% of adult Filipinos say they are currently looking for work abroad. 

The Social Weather Stations conducted a survey from December 10 to 14, asking in-person 1,200 Filipinos aged 18 years old if they have family living at home currently working abroad or if they themselves are seeking to follow their steps. 

In December 2022, the Philippine Statistics Authority said it tallied 1.83 million OFWs around the world in the April to September period of 2021. These numbers may be higher as the Department of Migrant Workers reported that around 800,000 were deployed in 2022.

The SWS survey noted that 75% of their household OFWs send money back home, while a small portion of 3% never do. In February, migrant workers sent $2.57 billion back home.

Remittances are considered a cornerstone of the country’s consumer-dependent domestic economy, with money sent back home totalling $5.33 billion since the year began. Record remittances were collected in 2022 at $32.14 billion. 

RELATED: Cash remittances up in February, but moderation expected as global economy churns slower

Overseas aspirations

Meanwhile, 17% or two out of 10 Filipinos are hoping to live abroad. This is apart from the 7% who are looking for work overseas.

For those looking for work, here are the top seven countries mentioned by survey respondents:

  • Canada (16%)
  • Saudi Arabia (12%)
  • Kuwait (9%)
  • United Arab Emirates (9%)
  • Japan (7%)
  • Qatar (6%)
  • USA (6%) 

RELATED: Canada needs 1 million workers over next 5 years | Saskatchewan wants Philippine health workers | As demand for Filipino workers rise, DMW eyes OFW Japan desk

As more countries eased travel polices amid the pandemic, more opportunities have opened for Filipino workers. However, some groups and sectors — such as nurses and those in healthcare — warn that the exodus may lead to consequences on local industries.

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