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OFWs’ numbers up despite economic boom

By: Vanessa Claire Lucero June 10,2015 - 12:23 PM

The number of Filipinos going overseas to work is projected to continue to increase despite the country’s good economic performance, an official said.

Evelyn Durato, regional director of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), said the number of migrant workers from the region increases 5 to 10 percent yearly.

Their mid-year report for Cebu this year showed 22,724 workers have been deployed overseas. Last year, 42,916 workers left Cebu.

“Our trend in Cebu [for overseas deployment] is always increasing,” Durato said during a forum on Monday, which was celebrated as Migrant Workers Day.

She said she doesn’t see the trend going down in the next five years.

“The pay abroad is still bigger compared to the pay in the country. We have the tendency to want to give the best to our family.

This spurs OFWs to apply for greener pastures,” she said.

The top destinations for overseas workers are Singapore, Canada, US, UAE, Angola, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Hong Kong.

The government has banned deployment to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, South Sudan and Somalia.

Durato said they have not received any report of undocumented workers from Cebu evading security to work in these countries.

She said this means more Filipinos are going overseas legally.

She said illegal recruitment in Cebu is “not that alarming, but is still a major concern.”

“We do not know who are illegal recruiters unless victims come forward and file complaints before the proper court,” she said.

Durato said she knows of only two pending court cases of illegal recruitment in Cebu.

“These are not cases from this year, because the process is very long,” she said. Last year, there were only four cases of illegal recruitment, she added.

Durato said POEA will continue educating workers and encouraging them to go through the legal process instead of the “shortcut method.”

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TAGS: Afghanistan, Canada, Cebu, Cebu City, Hong Kong, Iraq, Libya, POEA, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Syria, UAE, US, Yemen

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