We are going to discuss overseas Filipino workers or OFWs in this article. They can be classified as a group of workers. They work abroad, but their families still live generally in the Philippines.
OFWs usually send remittances homeward periodically. When they send their income to their families, it will provide a stable earning source, just like the exports that we sell to other countries for earning dollars.
The presence of OFWs can be beneficial for the country and the economy in this country because they bring some dollars into this country.
What Is OFW?
What is the OFWs meaning? OFWs are part of the overseas Filipinos who are living around the world today. They can be a large part of the Filipino diaspora. According to the Commission on Overseas Filipinos, more than 10.4 million ethnic Filipinos are living abroad today.
According to the Philippine Statistical Authority in 2013, a survey estimated about 2.3 million workers are working abroad. This number represents a total of 22 percent of one-fifth of the overseas Filipinos.
Among OFWs, 96.2 percent of them are overseas contract workers. These overseas contract workers or OCWs are workers who work abroad on a certain form of a formal contract of work.
Sean Martin D. Plantado, head of the customer service at Digido.ph, notes that the OFWs of 2.3 Million include people of different capacities from housemaids to high-profile professionals. Check out the Digido OFW loan in the Philippines.
Who Are OFWs?
When we learn more about overseas Filipino workers or OFWs, we need to know who they are. Most of these overseas Filipino workers come from Luzon. The largest part of OFWs comes from the Calabarzon provinces.
They represent about 18.4 percent of the total number of the Philippines OFW. About 13.9 percent of the OFWs come from Central Luzon provinces. Then, about 12.8 percent of them come from the National Capital Region.
Overall, about 45.1 percent of the total number of OFWs come from Luzon. It means that the majority of the OFWs come from Luzon.
Some OFWs also come from other parts of the Philippines, such as the Visayan Islands and Mindanao. The eastern Visayas (which are dominated by Samar and Leyte) can provide up to 9.4 percent of the total OFWs.
The Western Visayas (from Negros and Panay) can provide up to 6.5 percent of the total OFWs from the Philippines.
Where Do OFWs Come From?
Only a few OFWs come from Mindanao. Mindanao itself is a migration land from the northern provinces of the country.
People from Mindanao identify themselves as ethnics from their Visayan and Luzon origins, but they live in the Mindanao region.
All the Mindanao regions can provide up to 13.2 percent of the total OFWs from the Philippines. In 2013, there were more women and men among the OFWs. In terms of age, women OFWs tend to be much younger than men.
It means, at a younger age, they leave the country. On average, 26.7 percent of men are 30 years old or less and 36.2 percent of women are 30 years old or less.
When we take a look at the age range of 30 to 34, about 26.2 percent of female OFWs are within this range, while men in this same group are about 22.4 percent only. Women tend to go to work abroad at a younger age.
They tend to have less education and work experience. They also tend to earn less income than men.
Where Do They Work?
Saudi Arabia is one of the most popular destinations for most OFW work(which is about 22.1 percent of the total OFWs).
The United Arab Emirates comes as the second most popular working destination representing up to 15.4 percent of OFWs.
The research paper about OFWs shows that Kuwait and Qatar are about 11.4 percent of all OFWs. East Asia is the destination of about 16 percent of the total OFWs. Southeast Asia (especially Malaysia and Singapore) is the destination of 12.2 percent of OFWs.
The three big continents from America, Europe, and Australia only account for 13.1 percent of the total OFWs from the Philippines.
Africa will be the least popular destination for most OFWs. Africa is the destination of about 1.7 percent of all OFWs. In Hong Kong, Singapore, and UAE Kuwait, there is a lot of plurality of female workers.
There are more female workers than men in the percentage distribution. The difference is about 6 percentage points. In these areas, many women OFWs are working as house helpers.
What Do They Do?
OFWs can come from many different occupational groups. Most of them are workers that have varying levels of skills.
About 11.6 percent are working as professionals, 3.5 percent as managers or supervisors, 7.6 percent as technicians and also associate professionals, and about 11.7 percent as plant and machine operators.
Some other OFWs are also classified as other working groups as laborers, unskilled workers, shop assistants, clerks, etc.
Different groups of workers have different skills. Skills are highly correlated to the total income of the OFWs. The remittances that they send back home can provide a good indication of their income levels.
OFWs from the last mentioned groups tend to send lower remittances per OFWs than the other groups that require higher skills.
Many unskilled laborers can send remittances which account for 43 percent of the total amount of remittances from skillful professionals.
In contrast, many OFWs working as clerks send home remittances which are about 71 percent of the average remittances from OFWs working as professionals.
Wrapping It Up!
All of the information details above are tracked well by the Philippine Statistical Authority. Since 2008, the effort to survey all OFWs has already been done in more detail.
The survey is taken to get more information on the phenomenon of OFWs from the Philippines. There are also some surveys that are taken as a part of the Labor Force Surveys or LFS.
These surveys are taken by adding some more comprehensive questionnaires about the Filipinos who are working abroad. Surveys are very useful to create a good understanding of the OFWs and how they can bring benefits to their family members and the country.
It is not possible to cover up everything about OFWs, if you want to know more, you can ask by commenting below.