According to a survey done by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on 2014, there is an estimated 2.3 Million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) scattered across the globe. Over the years, many of our countrymen have seek employment in other countries for greener pasture. It’s no secret that you can make so much more working abroad compared to the wage you can get here. A better future for themselves and their family is the primary reason why millions of Filipinos choose to work abroad.
Based on the 2014 data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), remittance from OFWs reached a staggering 24.3 Billion US Dollars. But from which countries do all this money come from? Below are the 10 countries with the most sent OFW remittance.
The US leads the list with 10,374,084,000 or 43% of the total remittance. Since the US and the Philippines has a rich history together, a majority of OFWs choose to work, and at some point, even migrate to the US. Filipinos are the fourth largest number of immigrants according to 2013 data, making up 4.5 percent of the total number of immigrants in the US. Most OFWs in the US work blue collar and skilled jobs related to management, business, and science and arts.
Another top remittance origin, Saudi Arabia became a hot pick for OFWs during the 70’s, especially for those looking for a job in the engineering field. Filipino medical professionals are also common in Saudi Arabia since they announced intentions of hiring nurses and doctors. today, OFWs commonly work in the Saudi Arabia as engineers, construction workers, automotive workers, as well as in petroleum production and processing, transportation, and telecommunications. the remittance from the kingdom reached 2,525,882,000 or 10% of the total.
United Arab Emirates
OFWs working in the United Arab Emirates are usually employed in the tourism, telecommunications, retail, real estate, medical, marketing, information technology, energy, design engineering, cargo shipping, construction, and architecture sectors. many also work as domestic helpers and nannies. Most OFWs in the UAE are based in Dubai, followed by Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Although there was a huge decline of population for OFWs in the UAE during the Global financial crisis of 2008–2009 due to lay-offs and scarce job openings, UAE’s economy has picked up and more job opportunities have opened up for OFWs since 2010. Remittance from the UAE was recorded at 1,714,446,000 or 7% of the total.
With 1,394,706,000 or 6% of the total remittance, the UK is the fourth on the list. there were very little OFWs in the UK before the 1970s before the restriction on employing working from different countries became less strict. Clothing manufacturers, the hotel and catering industry, and the National Health Service (NHS) started taking in Filipino workers. today, OFWs working in the UK primary work in the sectors of healthcare as caregivers and nurses, working in hospitals or private homes. The second highest occupation for OFWs in the UK is for househelps and chambermaids, followed by catering and waitering staff.
As of 2009, there is an estimated population of 163,000 Filipinos living and working in Singapore. Singapore is a common choice for OFWs looking for a job in the fields of information technology. aside for IT, many OFWs also go to Singapore to work as domestic helpers. other jobs of OFWs in Singapore include bank clerks, nurses, department store sales assistants, teachers, and entertainers. Singapore is a top choice for most OFWs since it’s close to home and there are multiple daily flights from Singapore to the Philippines and back. OFWs from Singapore sent back 1,178,262,000 or 5% of the total.
In 2013, the estimated population of Filipinos in Japan is around 305,900, making them the third largest foreign community in the country. During the late 90’s, the population reached about 245,000 individuals but fell to a little over 140,000 OFWs when the Japanese government cracked down on human trafficking. Many OFWs working in Japan are employed in the construction and fabrication industry as construction workers and welders. There was also a demand for entertainers during the 90’s, but this has died down in recent years. Remittance from Japan sums up at 981,882,000 or 4% of the total.
Another common choice for OFWs because of its distance to the Philippines and frequent available flights, there is an estimated population of 140,000 OFWs in Hong Kong, a majority of which are working as domestic workers. Some OFWs work as civil engineers and architects, working on construction and building projects in the city. others are working as information technology professionals or in professional services like music, law, finance, design, culinary, and accounting. OFWs working in Hong Kong sent in 694,095,000 or 3% of the total remittance.
Due to lenient immigration policy, more and more Filipinos are planning to move to Canada to find greener pasture. Like in the US, many OFWs plan to migrate to Canada and file for citizenships. Reeling in 650,910,000 or 3% of the total remittance, OFWs in Canada make a living working in a number of industries, especially in restaurant and hotel service, health care, education, culinary, sales and marketing, and construction.
There are tens of thousands of Filipino workers in Germany working as nurses and care givers in the medical sector, as well as various jobs in the marine-based industry. Mass migration and over-seas employment from the Philippines to Germany started during the late 1960s, when Germany opened its door to thousands of Filipino nurses to work in German hospitals. today, OFWs in Germany send in 490,971,000 or 2% of the total remittance.
Filipino workers from “The Land Down Under” sent in 472,081,000 or 2% of the total remittance. According to the 2006 census, there are a little over 160,370 OFWs in Australia, making them the fourth largest Asian Australian immigrant group. During the Martial Law years, Australia became an attractive destination for Filipino skilled worker. a large population of OFWs in Australia are concentrated in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and in Western Australia.
The rest of the total remittance is sent from different countries all over the globe, showing how resilient we Filipinos can be when it comes to giving ourselves and our families a better future.