What is an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW)?
An Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) is a term used for Filipino migrants and individuals with Filipino citizenship who have lived and worked outside the Philippines for a limited period of employment.
As OFWs have a big contribution to the growing economy of the Philippines, December was declared a Month of Overseas Filipinos through the proclamation of the late President Cory Aquino, signed in 1988.
Which country has the most OFWs?
Based on the latest Survey on Overseas Filipinos by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Saudi Arabia is the most popular destination for OFWs, with one out of four having worked in the country in 2019.
Other countries with the most OFWs during this period include United Arab Emirates (13.2%), Hongkong (7.5%), and Taiwan (6.7%).
Reasons why Filipinos work overseas
Here are some of the reasons why Filipinos want to work overseas.
Better career opportunities
Greener pastures, as they say, are one of the top reasons Filipinos want to work overseas. They find more career opportunities abroad where they can practice their specialties. They can also enhance their skills and knowledge that can make them grow and achieve milestones.
In line with better career opportunities, the higher pay makes most Filipinos want to work abroad. By contrast, in the Philippines, people with more years of experience still receive low compensation, which prompts them to reject job offers.
No strict qualifications for some jobs
Another reason why Filipinos want to work overseas is that companies in the Philippines require employees to have certain skills, years of experience, and educational background. If you don’t have these qualifications, it will be hard for you to look for a well-paying job.
Permanent residency plan
The longer Filipinos stay and work abroad, the more chance they will earn a permanent resident permit. This is one of the greatest appeals of being a long-term OFW — workers strive for better living conditions in other countries through residency.
Taking families abroad
Many Filipinos work overseas to support their families back home. As they seek better work and lifestyle abroad, being family-oriented, Filipinos would want to take their families with them too. It makes it easier when they’ve established employment and residency abroad.