Deployed OFWs top 1.2-M mark


WITH demand for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) rising, deployment figures in the first half of 2023 have breached the 1.2-million mark, according to the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).

DMW Undersecretary Patricia M. Caunan disclosed this in a media forum, adding it is 123.39 percent higher than the deployment figures from January to June last year.

“At the rate we are going, we might reach 2.4 to 2.5 million,” Caunan said.

The total deployment figure for the entire 2022 was 1.2 million.

DMW Secretary Maria Susan V. Ople attributed the surge in deployment to the “reopening of the Saudi market and other new labor markets.”

Most of the vacancies, she said, are for construction, hotel and restaurants, and Information Technology (IT).  “The demand is very huge now because different countries, especially the Gulf Region, are embarking on economic diversification programs,” Ople said.

“And in Europe, they need hotel and restaurant workers because they are really feeling the revenge of tourism,” she explained.

On another matter, Ople said they have yet to resume talks with the Kuwaiti government for the lifting of the suspension on the issuance of entry visas for OFWs.  

“Right now, there is no formal invitation to resume talks,” she added.

Kuwait imposed the suspension in May due to Manila’s alleged violations of its bilateral labor agreement with Kuwaiti authorities—among others, providing shelter for OFWs and searching for runaways without involving state institutions.

Kuwait was one of the top destinations for OFWs together with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Qatar.