What is an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW)?

OFW is an acronym for Overseas Filipino Worker. Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) means Filipino citizens living and working overseas in a foreign country.

Overseas Filipino Worker in tagalog is “Manggagawang Pilipino sa ibang bansa.” OFW are considered modern day heroes or “mga bagong bayani” in tagalog because they demonstrate resiliency, independency, and bravery.

The main reason OFWs work overseas is to provide a better future for their families which means being able to enroll their kids in better schools and buy their dream house.

The main advantages of being an OFW include receiving a higher salary, faster career advancement, better quality of life, and experience of foreign culture. The main disadvantage of being an OFW is living and working far from loved ones, often missing their children’s major milestones.

OFW helps the Philippine Economy by remitting their salary from abroad to their families in the Philippines, which their families use to purchase food, pay for education, and investments.

There are two types of documented OFW which are landbased and seabased. Lanbased OFWs are OFWs who work on land. Seabased OFW are OFW who work as seafarer at maritime industry.

OFWs who are undocumented are often dubbed as TNT or “tago ng tago,” the term refers to OFWs who hide from the immigration authorities of the countries they are residing.
ofw meaning overseas filipino worker

What is the Population of OFW?

The population of OFW (landbased) is estimated at 1.96 million according to the 2022 survey on Overseas Filipinos conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority. The population of Female OFW is 1.13 million and the population of Male OFW is 828000. The largest population of OFWs is in the age group between 30 to 34 years old.

The population of OFW (seabased) is estimated to be over 489000 which comprises ninety-eight percent (98%) Men and two percent (2%) Women.

Which Regions in the Philippines have the highest population of OFWs?

The region in the Philippines with the highest population of OFWs is CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, Rizal) region at 15.3%, followed by Central Luzon region (Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales) at 13.3%, Western Visayas Region (Aklan, Antique, Bacolod, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental) at 11.1%, National Capital Region (NCR) at 10.9%, and Ilocos Region (Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan) at 9.1%.

What are the Common Jobs of OFW Abroad?

The common jobs of OFW abroad are elementary occupations (39.6%), Service and Sales Occupations (18%), Plant and Machine Operators (12.2%), Technicians and Associate Professionals Occupations (8.7%), Professional Occupations (8.5%), and Craft and Trade Occupations (8.1%).

How long is the Employment Contract of OFW?

The employment contract of OFW is between 1 year to 5 years (12 months to 63 months) which starts from departure from the point of origin to the site of employment. The employment contract duration depends on the agreement between the OFW and their foreign employer.

Which Countries are Best for OFWs to get a Job?

The countries best for OFWs to get a job are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Qatar, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, and Australia.

Which Government Agencies take care of OFW?

The government agencies that take care of OFW are the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth), Social Security System (SSS), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), and Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund).

How to Find Jobs Abroad in the Philippines?

To find jobs abroad in the Philippines, visit the DMW website and then search for jobs according to the destination country, job title, and according to recruitment agency. Among the mentioned methods, the easiest is the search for jobs based on destination country.

How to Verify if the Recruitment Agency is Legit in DMW?

To verify if the recruitment agency is legit in DMW, verify the recruitment agency’s license validity, and approve job orders on the DMW website, or by calling the customer service hotline and inquiring about the agency name.  A legit recruitment agency has a valid license, and approved job orders, and is included in the DMW’s database of recruitment agencies.

What is the Best Bugtong for OFW?

The best bugtong for OFW is “Bagong Bayani at ang sandata nila ay lakas ng loob at talino” because Overseas Filipino Workers are courageous to face challenges in foreign country, and use their intelligence to thrive in overseas.

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