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FALSE: EDSA Revolution ‘removed’ regularization, led to ‘increase’ in OFWs

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FALSE: EDSA Revolution ‘removed’ regularization, led to ‘increase’ in OFWs
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show that the number of overseas Filipino workers rose even before 1986
Claim: The number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) supposedly increased because job regularization was removed after the EDSA People Power Revolution of 1986.  Facebook user Dioven Venoza posted the claim on his Facebook account on June 3 at 6:51 pm along with a video link.  The caption of his post reads, “Dahil sa EDSA natanggal ang regularisation. Kaya dumami ang OFW.” (Because of EDSA, [job] regularization was removed. That’s why there was an increase in OFWs.) He also posted the claim on the public Facebook group President Rody Duterte-Federal Movement International on the same date at 7:01 pm. The link, which he posted along with the claim, is a YouTube video which also contained claims about the supposed general negative impact of People Power. The claim was spotted through CrowdTangle, a tool which is used for monitoring public Facebook groups and pages. Four other Facebook pages and groups also posted the claim, with a combined 800 shares, 2,556 reactions, and 540 comments. The President Rody Duterte-Federal Movement International page can potentially amplify the post, having over one million members. 

Rating: FALSE

The facts: Contracting and subcontracting existed, and the number of OFWs rose, even before the EDSA Revolution in 1986.

It is also wrong to say that job regularization was removed because of the EDSA Revolution. The Labor Code of 1974, which allowed contracting and subcontracting, was signed during the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ time. That means that contractualization already existed before 1986. (READ: MISLEADING: Duterte should not be ‘blamed’ for contractualization)

Moreover, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the number of OFWs rose even before 1986, then continued to increase in the succeeding years – though not as a result of the EDSA Revolution.

Former National Statistical Coordination Board secretary-general and current Philippine Institute for Development Studies senior fellow Jose Ramon Albert explained to Rappler that there is an annual growth rate of 10.7% among deployed Filipino workers.

The following data shows the number of Filipinos working abroad from 1975 to 2018. 


Using the Annual Average Growth Rate (AAGR), Albert broke down the rates by periods of presidents from Marcos to former president Benigno Aquino III.

“We find that the highest AAGR was during the time of Marcos [with 23.7%].  High growth rates of over 25% were observed from 1976 to 1980,” he said.  

The labor migration in the 1970s was used to address unemployment issues at the time. However, because new labor markets opened in other regions, Filipinos continued to find work abroad. (READ: What you need to know about overseas Filipino workers)  

“There is no evidence to suggest an upsurge during the time of Cory’s (former president Corazon Aquino) administration or a result of the EDSA Revolution,” Albert said.

The AAGR during the Corazon Aquino administration, according to the statistician, was lower than that of Marcos administration at 9.9%. This is despite high growth rates in 1987 and 1991. – Glenda Marie Castro/

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