Immigrants outnumber OFWs

Not every Filipino who leaves the country is an overseas Filipino worker (OFW). The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) estimates that, as of 2011, 10.44 million Philippine-born Filipinos are residing or working overseas.

 

But the aggregate from data of the CFO, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), shows permanent migrants exceed, by a small but significant margin, OFWs.

 

In 2011, permanent migrants numbering 4.86 million accounted for 47 percent of Filipinos abroad. Temporary migrants, including OFWs, numbered 4.51 million or 43 percent. The stock estimate placed irregular migrants at 1.07 million or 10 percent.

 

Permanent migrants include immigrants, dual citizenship holders or legal permanent residents abroad, whose stay does not depend on work contracts.

 

Temporary migrants are those working abroad and are expected to return to the Philippines at the end of their contracts.  Although most temporary migrants are OFWs, some of them are students, trainees, entrepreneurs, businessmen and their dependents who are overseas for at least six months.

 

The POEA and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) regulate the recruitment of OFWs and provide necessary welfare support to returning workers, including victims of recruitment violations and work-related accidents and others in need of emergency relief assistance.

 

‘TnTs’

 

Filipinos who are not properly documented, without valid residence or work permits, or are overstaying in a foreign country—known as TnTs (tago nang tago)—are irregular migrants.

 

Overseas Filipinos remitted $21.6 billion last year, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and are a constant source of income for the Philippines.

 

The CFO stock estimate provides a good snapshot of the number of Filipinos overseas at any given time, taking into consideration migrant flows.

 

It also clearly shows that, although the Philippines is internationally recognized for its vast and diverse human resources, providing more than 200 countries and territories with Filipino skills and talents, it has gone beyond supplying labor.

 

Many Filipinos leave for reasons other than work. They range from marriage to family reunification, from educational and business opportunities to professional advancement.

 

Permanent residents and dual citizens can petition relatives in the Philippines. And, with countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and most of Europe, promoting family reunification, the number of non-OFWs leaving the country is expected to increase over time.

 

Top destinations

In countries such as Singapore and Saudi Arabia, skilled migrant workers may bring along family members as part of a company’s remuneration package.

 

The top 10 destination countries of Filipinos are the US (33 percent), Saudi Arabia (15 percent), Canada (8 percent), United Arab Emirates (7 percent), Malaysia (5 percent), Australia (4 percent), Qatar (3 percent), Japan (2 percent), United Kingdom (2 percent) and Kuwait (2 percent).

 

An increasing number of OFWs from the Middle East are applying for permanent skilled worker visas in countries such as Canada and Australia.

 

Japan’s policy to issue visas to Nikkei-jins and their families has contributed to the rising number of Filipinos in the country despite the ban on the deployment of entertainers since 2005. Nikkei-jin refers to Japanese emigrants and their descendants who have established families and communities in host countries such as the Philippines.

 

Irregular migrants could be found mainly in the US, Malaysia and Singapore. The large increase in their number in 2011 was due primarily to the 124 percent increase in irregular migrants in Malaysia (200,000 in 2010 to 447,590 in 2011) and the 67 percent increase in the US (156,000 in 2010 to 260,000 in 2011).

 

The number of Filipinos in Japan decreased by 69,476 (24 percent) mainly because of the natural calamities (earthquake and tsunami) in March 2011. There was a 90-percent decrease in the number of Filipinos in Libya, from 27,349 to 2,724, and a 79-percent decrease of temporary migrants in Syria, from 13,869 to 2,890, because of recent upheavals.

 

Understanding the stock estimate of overseas Filipinos will help the government and the private sector choose where to focus their attention.

 

For instance, is the DFA justified in its choice of which 11 foreign consulates to close? Can the government bring home all OFWs in case of another unrest in Algeria?

 

Or, if the European economic crisis continues, how many Filipinos and their families would be affected?

 

The numbers are also important for service providers such as remittance companies and banks and even local governments, which will  have to plan for the return of OFWs.

 

Cherry Joy Veniles has more than 10 years experience in Filipino migration and is the outgoing head of the Policy Planning and Research Division of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.

 

 

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Ohmrey

    Meaning most of the Filipinos are not satisfied with the government’s program for struggling and middle class Filipinos. Therefore they went out the country to find a better place to migrate; and it happened that most of them ended up in the USA.

  • BIGButo

    I wonder what all the anti American leftis think of all the filipino people wanting to go to the United States.

    • riza888

      Offer them Visa to migrate to the USA and 90% of them will line up in front of the US Embassy….

    • Marx Louis Wang

      I myself never heard people here complaining about pinoys. It is just on your mindset that we are inferior.

    • http://www.facebook.com/babu.taza Babu Taza

      Yea, probably celebrating, want everyone to leave, and Tsinoys to assume the entire Philippines as they are doing now. Watch out. Walang ka ng madatnan paq-uwi mo, puro tchikua na lang sa bayan mo.

  • Romy Tabano

    The problem is for every Pilipinos leaving RP. five Foriegners enter the country illegally or legally but nobody is talking. So how can these Goverment solve the growing population via RH Bill.

    • Crazy_horse101010

      five where. i seen a lot more flippinos in america than i have ever seen foreigners here. i have been to the philippines embassies in america and never seen no huge lineups like there is here. nobodies talking because there is nothing to talk about. for business they would rather go to cambodia or vietnam. look on google and see how many foreigners are here then look and see how many flippinos there is in america

    • malek_abdul

      Where did you get your data? Your ratio is 1:5 meaning if there are 10 million Filipinos who left the country 50 million foreigners entered the country. Basing from your comment the country’s population could have been close to 150 million people. Philippine population todate is less than 100 million. You cannot just put your comments here without basis.

    • buttones

      You have no evidence to support such a thesis- we don’t have an immigration problem, why would people come here? For jobs? This is not Southern California, this is not the UK or even Singapore this is the Philippines, we have a emigrant problem- many want to LEAVE, it’s a policy encouraged by government because they haven’t quite figured out over the last 67 year how to create jobs…they haven’t even figured out how to supply water to 20 million people either…

      • txtman

        ARE YOU BLIND?
        A LOT OF CHINESE ARE STAYING IN THE PH
        BAKIT?
        20 BILLION DOLLAR REASONS FROM THE OFW
        THAT IS BILLIONS OF REASONS TO STAY IN THE PH FOR THESE
        FOREIGNERS
        MGA PINOY?
        WALA, THEY HAVE NO REASONS TO STAY IN THE PH
        OTHERWISE, MAMATAY SILANG DILAT ANG KANILANG MGA MATA
        SA GUTOM DAHIL SA CORRUPTION
        PITIFUL

      • buttones

        As I said, you have no actual evidence whatsoever, or statistics to support what you say- it’s just a perception you have, and the article was about Filipinos not Chinese.

        Am I blind, do If find it necessary to type in upper case? No, and if you use it because you are visually impaired I’m sorry about that, if you use it to shout at me boy, that’s another matter because I don’t like little boy’s who shout at me, I do hope I have made myself clear, boy..

      • ARIKUTIK

        You may not be blind but a little boy with dripping saliva wish to offer a magnifying glass so that we may see the ravaging virus all over town. The shopping Malls, recreation joints, restaurants, banks ….etc… are all for scooping the OFW dollars. All those mentioned are owned by the Chinese in PH.

        The OFW’s sends dollars to PH. The Chinese scooped it all and hide it in foreign land.

    • rinom

      for retirement and not to work because their retirement benefit is not enough if they spend it in foreign country. 2000 dollars per month of pension is not enough in the US.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UYCOAGIL35OAIRH2T6QH3IZUMY Ike

    What an Irony!! Manuel L Quezon fought for Philippine Indipendende even commenting its better to have a govt that is run like a hell by the Filipinos than a Govt that is run like heaven by the Americans. Now Phil Govt, is being run like a hell by the Filipinos and majority of the citizenry would rather be somewhere else. Fact is some would even sell their soul to the devil just to get an American Citizenship. What a pity!

    • txtman

      WRONG!
      THEY WANT TO BE MALAYSIAN LAPDOG
      LEAD BY THE NUNO SA PASIG RIVER
      PITIFUL

    • rinom

      words are powerful, the world is frame by the spoken word of God. run like hell is yet to come,,,

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3GHRLDIOQBDNBI54IPJMWFP45A Johnny

    After the Sabah incident along with president Aquino’s reactions, it easy to decide just to leave the country. Di siya nanghihinayang sa buhay ng mga Pilipino at super easy patayin ang mga Pinoy knowing at implied na din sa statements ni Aquino na di maghahabol ang Philippine government. It’s very hard to stay as proud Filipino pag alam mo na pede ka ilaglag or pabayaan ng stupid government mo anytime.

    Mas maganda mag migrate na lang permanently kasi poprotectahan ka ng local laws kesa sa very weak Philippine government. In short, mas risky to stay as Filipino habang namumuhay sa ibang bansa lalo na sa current “weak” image ng government. Madami po ako kakilala na nasa abroad at ganito na mag-isip at ung iba super proud pa habang pinupunit ang Philippine passport.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3NX6SLZAWPDFCZA77EAJ23EYXQ dennis

      Really! Are you an OFW? It seems you have no idea of what you are talking. Don’t you know that even our host country here recognizes our government achievements for the past couple of years? Your last statement sound pathetic and clueless “pinupunit ang passport” extremely ignorant. Please continue with your studies and enhance your knowledge, try to help your country even by being positive.

      • ARIKUTIK

        You mean to clap at pervert songs ? That is encouraging perversion !

        Only retards will do that. Maybe one like you ……. weeeeeee >>>>>>>>>

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    Who wants to stay in this forsaken country of thieves and slaves. Dominated by political dynasties that only serves the businesses/corporations who can give them back lots of cash? There are no chance for ordinary Pinoys to get a well paying jobs and be able to afford to buy a share of PLDT or any blue chips shares.
    Get rid of political dynasties and encourage foreign business competitions. We don’t need to go abroad and get shafted on the receiving end.

  • txtman

    ANONG KALUKUHAN NA NAMAN YAN?
    NA KESO, LUMILIIT NA ANG NUMBERS NG MGA OFW?
    DAHIL SA GOOD ECONOMY NG MGA KKK NI PENOY SA PINAS?
    AHAHAHA
    BOTTOMLINE
    KARAMIHAN SA PINOYS AY MAHIHIRAP PA RIN NA NAKADILAT ANG MGA
    MATA SA GUTOM!
    SAD TO SAY, PINAPAIKOT LANG TAYO NG MGA NUNO SA ILOG PASIG
    PITIFUL

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