A report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that deployment of overseas Filipino workers plummeted by 75% during the first year of the Covid19 pandemic.
Based on interviews done on more than 8,000 OFWs who returned home, the agency said that this represented the lowest labor export output in about 30 years.
The report included Philippine government statistics which showed about 800,000 OFWs flew back home by the end of last year. Sixty-seven percent of those they interviewed came home because of the pandemic, while a whopping 83% were unemployed for an average of three months after they arrived. Half of them also experienced a 60% drop in household income.
IOM chief of mission Kristin Dadey said: “Understanding the impacts of COVID-19 on OFWs and their families is critical to identify emerging gaps in migration governance and international cooperation adhering to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. Findings of the report could support key stakeholders in developing migrant-centered policies and programs with the most recent and relevant information.”
As the United Nations Network on Migration in the Philippines’ coordinator and secretariat, the agency conducts various studies on the pandemic’s impact on migration in order to guide policymakers and provide direct help to the government’s repatriation efforts.