2012 Survey on Overseas Filipinos

Reference Number: 

2013-067

Release Date: 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Overseas Filipino Workers is estimated at 2.2 million

 
The total number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who worked abroad at anytime during the period April to September 2012 was estimated at 2.220 million. The estimate for the same period of 2011 was 2.158 million. The Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs) or those with existing work contract abroad comprised 95.0 percent of the total OFWs in 2012 as well as in 2011 (Table 1 and Figure 1).
 
 

CALABARZON has the largest proportion of OFWs

 
CALABARZON had sent the largest number of OFWs, with 18.1 percent of the total OFWs in the country, followed by Central Luzon with 14.1 percent and the National Capital Region with 12.6 percent. Forty-five percent of the total OFWs came from these three regions. The smallest number of OFWs came from Caraga, with 1.2 percent. In 2011, the three biggest regions, namely CALABARZON, Central Luzon and the National Capital Region were also the leading origin of OFWs with 16.5 percent, 14.3 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively, of all OFWs coming from these regions (Table 2 and Figure 2).
 
 

There are more male OFWs than female OFWs

 
There were more male OFWs (51.7% of all OFWs) than female OFWs (48.3%). The OFWs in age group 25 to 29 years comprised the largest group with 24.1 percent of the total OFWs, followed by those aged 30 to 34 years with 22.3 percent. Female OFWs were younger compared to male OFWs. More than half (51.8%) of the male OFWs were aged 35 years and over. By comparison, a smaller percentage, that is, 38.6 percent of total female OFWs, were in this age group. Almost three in every ten female OFWs (28.2%) were aged 25 to 29 years. By comparison, one in every five (20.3%) male OFWs were in this age group (Table 3 and Figure 3).
 
 

Saudi Arabia is the leading destination of OFWs

 
Saudi Arabia continued to be the most preferred destination of OFWs with 20.6 percent of the 2.22 million OFWs who worked abroad at any time from April to September of 2012 reporting it as their place of work. The other countries in Asia which were popular destinations of OFWs were United Arab Emirates (14.9%), Singapore (7.5%), Qatar (6.5%), and Hong Kong (5.5%). Those who worked in Europe accounted for 8.7 percent, while those in North and South America accounted for 7.6 percent (Table 4 and Figure 4).
 
 

One in every three OFWs is a laborer or unskilled worker

 
Among occupation groups, laborers and unskilled workers (31.3%) was the biggest group of OFWs. One in every three OFWs was a laborer or unskilled worker. The other large occupation groups of OFWs were the service workers and shop and market sales workers (16.2%), plant and machine operators and assemblers (12.9%), professionals (12.4%), and trade and related workers (12.2%). More than half of the female OFWs were laborers and unskilled workers (55.0%). Among the male OFWs, the largest groups were the trade and related workers and plant and machine operators and assemblers, each group making up 23.2 percent of all OFWs (Table 5 and Figure 5).
 
 

Total remittances reach 120.1 billion pesos

 
The total remittances sent by OFWs during the period April to September 2012 was estimated at 165.6 billion pesos. This amount is higher compared to the previous year’s reported remittances of 156.3 billion pesos. The total remittances of the OFWs in April to September 2012 covered cash sent home (120.1 billion pesos or 72.5%), cash brought home (36.5 billion pesos or 22.0%), and remittances in kind (9.0 billion pesos or 5.4%). For both reference period (that is, April to September of 2011 and 2012), remittances in cash sent home comprised three-fourths of the total remittances. The amount of remittances sent by male OFWs (112.2 billion pesos) was more than twice that of female OFWs (53.4 billion pesos) (Table 6 and Figure 6).
 
 
OFWs from Asia remitted the highest cash remittances amounting to 84.5 billion pesos or an average of 57 thousand per OFW. OFWs from Europe, remitted an amount of 15.3 billion pesos or an average of 94 thousand pesos per OFW, while OFW from North and South America remitted 12.7 billion pesos or an average of 89 thousand pesos per OFW (Table 7).
 
Among occupation groups, the remittance sent by professionals comprised the largest remittance amounting to 24.8 billion pesos or an average remittance of 109 thousand pesos per OFW. Laborers and unskilled workers, and plant and machine operators and assemblers remitted an amount of 19.6 billion pesos and 19.0 billion pesos, respectively. The male OFWs remitted a total amount of 81.21billion pesos while the female OFWs, 38.94 billion pesos (Table 8).
 
The majority of the OFWs sent their remittances through banks, amounting to 85.1 billion pesos. The total amount of cash remitted thru door-to-door delivery was estimated at 4.4 billion pesos. About 3.0 billion pesos were remitted thru agencies and/or local offices, 486 million pesos thru friends and/or co-workers, and 27.1 billion pesos thru other means (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 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 2012 from its member who is an OFW, 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.
 

Two in every five OFWs are able to save from their cash remittances

 
The total number of OFWs who sent cash remittances to their families from April to September 2012 was 1.9 million OFWs. Of this, 42.2 percent were able to set aside savings from their cash remittances. In 2011, about 46.4 percent OFWs had savings from cash remittances sent to their families (Table 10 and Figure 7).
 
 
Regardless of the amount of the cash remittances sent, for every ten OFWs, six (56.9%) were able to save less than 25 percent of the total amount received, about two (23.5%) were able to save from 25 percent to 49 percent of it, and two (19.6%) saved 50 percent or more (Table 10).

TECHNICAL NOTES

 
The data presented in this press release were taken from the 2012 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, 2012 to September 30, 2012.
 
OFWs include overseas contract workers (OCWs) who were presently and temporarily 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.
 
The SOF did not ask for the total salary received by the OFWs. Hence, the remittances presented in the results 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 2012 from its member who is an OFW, 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 July 2003 round of the Labor Force Survey (LFS), the 2003 Master Sample (MS) Design has been adopted. Using this master sample design, the number of samples increased from 42,000 to around 50,000 sample households. The SOF, being a rider of the LFS, has also adopted the new master sample design starting October 2003. Careful evaluation must be made in comparing the results of the 2012 SOF with other SOF results prior to the implementation of the new MS design.
 
 

 

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