April 22, 2024

Historic 2023 OFW deployment moves Philippines’ labor migration forward from pandemic

Migrant worker-sending Philippines has moved forward from the COVID-19 pandemic by posting a 55-year high in the number of deployed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). Fresh data from the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) showed that the Philippines had deployed 2,330,720 land- and sea-based migrant workers in 2023, higher compared to the 2,156,742 OFWs deployed in pre-pandemic 2019. But various countries’ travel restrictions, economic recessions and labor market closures in 2020 plummeted OFW deployment figures in 2020 by 74.5%. Only 549,841 OFWs were deployed that year. From 2020 to 2023, OFW deployments rose by 323.9%. Meanwhile, the government’s first record of deployed OFWs showed that 3,694 overseas contract workers (OCWs) were deployed in 1969. Even the numbers of deployed land-based OFWs (1,752,094) and seafarers (578,626) both reached historic highs, DMW data show. Given that the pandemic shut down worker deployments abroad in 2020, the 2023 numbers for land-based and sea-based migrant workers were 426.7 and 166.3% higher, respectively from pandemic-hit 2020. DMW is now the country’s lead migration agency, it being the merger of seven agencies and bureaus including the former Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) that usually releases OFW deployment data. From the 2023 data, some 1,244,005 OFWs are rehires and 508,089 others are newly-hired migrant workers. DMW data also showed that 49.8% of deployed OFWs were female, as “domestic cleaners and helpers” make up 31.1% (or 157,812) of these deployments.

LINK: https://seafarertimes.com/2020-21/node/8917