Unskilled OFWs top money-senders

Published by rudy Date posted on July 4, 2009

THE National Statistics Office (NSO) said laborers or unskilled overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were the biggest source of cash remittances, belying claims by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) that highly-skilled Filipino workers were responsible for the bulk of money sent home.

The BSP had maintained that highly-skilled OFWs such as those in the health professions were propping up remittances despite a global economic slowdown.

In a statement on Friday, the NSO however said laborers or unskilled workers posted the highest cash remittance of P19.5 billion among the different occupation groups.

The total remittances sent by OFWs stood at P141.9 billion from April to September last year, an increase of P32.1 billion from P110.0 billion in the same period in 2007.

Cash sent represented 73.2 percent, cash brought home, 21.5 percent, and remittances in kind, 5.2 percent. Of the total cash remittances sent, 76.1 percent was coursed through banks, 11.8 percent through door-to-door service, 7.5 percent through other means, and 4.6 percent through recruitment agencies or their local offices, as well as friends or co-workers.

The NSO said domestic helpers, cleaners and manufacturing laborers comprised the bulk of OFWs at 32.4 percent. They include domestic helpers, cleaners and manufacturing laborers. Those who worked as trades and related workers comprised 15.7 percent; service workers and shop and market sales workers, 14.3 percent; and plant and machine operators and assemblers, 13 percent.

The statistics agency said the number of OFWs at anytime between April and September last year reached 2 million as reported by their families. This was 14.6 percent higher than the 1.7 million OFWs estimated for the period April to September 2007.

Overseas contract workers (OCWs) or those with existing work contract abroad comprised 94 percent, or 1.9 million of the total OFWs last year. This was 16.6 percent more than the 1.6 million OCWs for the same period in 2007.

Males comprised 51.7 percent while females, 48.3 percent. More than a fourth of the OFWs or 25.7 percent were in age group 25 to 29 years. Female OFWs were generally younger compared with male OFWs. Of the total number of female OFWs, 28.8 percent belonged to age group 25 to 29 years and 20.3 percent were in age group 30 to 34 years.

Meanwhile, male OFWs were almost evenly distributed among the age groups 25 to 29, 30 to 34 and 45 and over.

OFWs mostly came from CALA­BARZON at 18.4 percent, Central Luzon, 14.5 percent and the National Capital Region, 14 percent. The three made up almost half of the total number of OFWs. Caraga reported the smallest share of OFWs at 1.2 percent.

One out of five, or 20.4 percent of OFWs worked in Saudi Arabia. One in every seven worked in United Arab Emirates. Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Qatar and Taiwan were also popular destinations of OFWs. Those who worked in Europe comprised 9.4 percent while those in North and South America accounted for 8.4 percent.

OFWs working in Asia comprised 78.2 percent and sent the biggest cash remittance of P69.9 billion. –Darwin G. Amojelar, Senior Reporter, Manila Times

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