PHL migrant worker deployment slows down in 2010

The country exited from the 2008 global economic crisis, but the numbers of Filipinos deployed for overseas work slowed down in post-crisis 2010.

altManila – Final 2010 deployment data showed that migrant worker deployment dropped to 3.39 percent compared to 15.1 percent in crisis-year 2009.

In actual numbers, 1,470,826 new-hire and re-hired land- and sea-based overseas workers were deployed in 2010, still higher than the 1,422,586 in 2009 (the height of the crisis’ impact).

Growth rates are computed by subtracting the difference between the current and previous years’ totals and by dividing that difference with the total of the previous year.

Actually, the slowdown was already felt in 2009: the growth between 2009 deployment and 2008 deployment (1,236,013) was 14.7 percent.

The growth rate difference between 2008 and 2009 was only 0.4 percent, data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed.

The 2010-versus-2009 growth rate slowdown was felt in both land-based and sea-based workers. For land-based workers, the 2010 deployment (1,123,676) was only 2.89 percent higher than the 2009 figure (1,092,162).

As for seafarers, the 2010 deployment —a historic high of 347,150— is a 5.06 percent growth from 2009 deployment (330,424).

The slowdown in migrant deployment somewhat matches the slowdown of the growth of overseas Filipinos’ remittances between 2009 and 2010.

The US$18.762 billion of total remittances in 2010 was an 8.16 percent growth from 2009 remittances (US$17.384 billion). The 2009 figure is 5.61 percent bigger than 2008 numbers (US$16.426 billion).

Both figures are declines from the 2008-versus-2007 growth for remittances: 13.68 percent.

Remittances from land-based overseas Filipinos in 2010 (US$14.956 billion) is a 7.24 percent growth from 2009 figures (US$13.947 billion). Figures for 2009 are 4.15 percent higher than the US$13.392 billion in 2008.

Seafarers, for their part, sent US$3.806 billion in 2010 or 11.93 higher than the 2009 volumes worth US$3.4 billion. The 2009-versus-2008 growth rate was 12.06 percent, while the 2008-versus-2007 growth rate of seafarers’ remittances was 35.69 percent.

Last Wednesday, First Metro Investment Corp., the investment arm of the Metrobank Group, said overseas Filipinos’ emittances of the overseas Filipino workers may slow down this year due to ‘external uncertainties”.

First Metro president Roberto Juanchito Dispo said that remittance growth rate will be at 5 percent, or lower from the earlier projection of 8 percent.(by: JEREMAIAH M. OPINIANO – OFW Journalism Consortium)