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Saudi Arabia was top destination for Filipino workers in 2009 | Immigration Matters

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The government agency which regulates the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFW’s), reports that the number one destination for workers is still Saudi Arabia.

The deployment of Filipino workers was up 11.7% in 2009 on the previous year, with Saudi Arabia again topping the list of land-based OFW destination, according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) still topped the list of land-based OFW destinations, up 8.2% in terms of the number of OFWs deployed as of October 2009.

The POEA said 900,127 OFWs were deployed in the oil-rich Middle Eastern country as of October 2009 compared to the 831,968 deployed last year.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) which includes crisis-stricken Dubai, still came in second with 160,242 OFWs deployed down 1.4% on last year. The Middle East is also a leading destination for Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi workers.

Hong Kong was the third top OFW destination with 75,742 OFWs deployed; followed by Qatar (72,176); Kuwait (38,729); Singapore (34,914); Taiwan (26,991); Italy (20,944); Canada (15,131); and Bahrain (12,800). Other countries, including the UK, shared for the 190,575 land-based OFWs deployed as of October this year.

The UK was not featured in the major destinations unlike previous years when many thousands of nurses and senior carers were employed by British hospitals and care homes.

Deployments to Taiwan were down 22.1% as a result of last year’s global economic crisis.

Earlier this year, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said Taiwan recorded the highest number of Filipino workers displaced by the global financial crisis.

Roque said at least 4,197 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were laid-off in Taiwan from October 2008 to February 2009.

But the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office had assured that Taiwan’s economy would pick up in 2010 as well as its need for foreign workers for its manufacturing and computer parts industries.

$14 billion in OFW remittances

OFWs, particularly skilled and higher-paid workers, sent home US$14.3 billion in remittances during the first 10 months of the year, representing a year-on-year growth of 4.5%.

Land-based OFWs contributed $11.5 billion while the sea-based sector remitted $2.8 billion, giving a huge boost to the Philippine economy which benefited from a rise in consumer spending in 2009.

The POEA reported that as of November this year, 1, 284,133 OFWs were been deployed – 134,704 more than the total of 1, 149, 429 OFWs deployed for the same time last year.

The number of land-based OFWs deployed, grew from 906,680 during the same period last year to 986,666 this year.

The number of new hires for land-based OFWs dipped by 7.6 percent – 346,871 last year to 320,508 this year.

However, the number of re-hires for land-based workers improved by 19 percent – from 559,809 last year to 666,158 this year.

The number of sea-based OFWs also improved this year 297,467 compared to the 242, 749 deployed last year. Source: Manila Bulletin

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