MANILA, Philippines – More workers have left the country for greener pastures abroad under the administration of Benigno Aquino III, according to Migrante International.
The militant organization cites data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) that indicates that in 2009, 2,500 Filipinos left on average per day to work overseas.
The group compared this to the Department of Labor’s (DOLE) latest information that shows 6,092 workers have left per day, so far. (READ: Aquino: 440,000 OFWs came home, unemployment lower)
It is important to note, however, that the year has not yet ended – and the data is coming from two different government agencies.
Aquino discussed his achievements in his final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 27. He said that the number of overseas Filipino workers had been reduced from 9.51 million in 2011 to 9.07 million in 2014.
This would mean that 440,000 Filipinos have come home and absorbed by the local job market, according to Aquino. The figure represents a 4% reduction in the number of Filipino workers abroad.
Migrante disputes these claims.
The group claimed that the number of OFWs deployed far outpaced the jobs generated domestically. Citing a Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report, it said the number of locally employed Filipinos was only 1.02 million in 2014, or an average of 2,805 additional employed in the country daily.
“If the government is attributing a so-called ‘reverse migration’ due to these factors, then it is right on spot,” Sol Pillas, Migrante International secretary-general said.
Pillas added: “Since 2010, thousands upon thousands of OFWs in distress have been deported or forcibly repatriated back to the country due to civil unrests, calamities, economic instabilities and other similar factors in migrant-receiving countries.”
Pillas cited the continuous repatriation of distressed OFWs from Saudi, Egypt, Syria, and Libya, and the deportation of undocumented OFWs in Europe, Canada, and the United States.
In his last SONA, Aquino also mentioned a global survey that names Filipinos as the most “optimistic” job seekers in the world. – Rappler.com