(Total number of Filipinos abroad in 2007)
(Number of temporary Filipino workers in 2007)
(Number of irregular Filipino workers in 2007)
(OFWs deployed in 2008)
(OFWs deployed in the first two months of 2009)
(Total OFW remittances in 2008)
- Data from the POEA, DOLE, BSP, and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas If the current trend in remittances of overseas Filipinos continue, the total for this year could reach, if not surpass, a record $17 billion in 2009, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has said.
Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said the projection is based on a report of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) that showed remittances by Filipinos abroad through banks reached $6.98 billion in the first five months of 2009.
Roque said the five-month figure, averaging almost $1.4 billion per month, represents a growth rate of almost 2.8 percent compared to the same period in 2008.
In 2008, remittances hit $16.43 billion, representing a growth rate of 13.7 percent compared to the figure in 2007.
In a press statement, Roque said the continued increase in remittances by overseas Filipinos amid the global financial crisis is largely due to the distinctive global preference for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
He said the effect of the crisis on the country’s labor export were "counterweighed" by the DOLE’s bilateral missions, which he said assured "continuing opportunities" for Filipinos overseas.
Although remittances by overseas Filipinos include those sent home by migrant Filipinos or foreign spouses of Filipino nationals, a press statement by the BSP also acknowledged that the increasing amount had something to do with the rise in number of OFWs, or the contract workers.
Said BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr., "remittance flows continued to be underpinned by the steady demand for Filipino workers abroad, specifically professional and skilled workers, as well as the expanded access of overseas Filipinos and their beneficiaries to a wide range of financial products and services offered by banks and other financial institutions."
OFW deployment attained a new record level reaching 1,376,823 (+27.8 percent) in 2008, compared to 1,077,623 in 2007, the statement said.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration also claimed that the growth trend had indeed been sustained, as OFW deployment grew by another 27.3 percent to 283,348 in the first two months of 2009, compared to the same period in 2008.
He said such bilateral efforts gave the Philippines "favorable" agreements, including those forged between the Philippines and OFW-host nations like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Canada, and Japan.
At the same time, Roque confirmed that the Memorandum of Understanding entered into by the DOLE and its counterpart in South Korea last May would allow the hiring of up to 5,000 OFWs. [See: Korea seen hiring 5,000 OFWs in next 10 months]
The department has also previously projected that almost 16,000 Filipinos will hopefully be hired in the construction, hospitality, medical, and other services sectors of Libya through their bilateral efforts. [See: Pinoys eyed to fill up 15,000 job vacancies in Guam]
Roque added that while they continue to find job opportunities abroad, they are also simultaneously ensuring the necessary welfare protection for them.
In her previous pronouncements, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has said that while her government continues to tap available foreign markets for professional and skilled labor, she longs for the day when overseas employment would be just an option for Filipinos. [See: OFWs on Arroyo SONA: We've heard that before] - GMANews.TV