An Overseas Filipino is a person of Philippine origin who lives outside of the Philippines. This term applies both to people of Filipino ancestry who now live and reside as citizens of a different country, and those who continue to be Filipino citizens and those supporting their families back in the Philippines. It may also extend to Filipinos having extended holidays abroad, however, common usage does not usually include this group.
The term Global Filipino is now also being used to refer to a Filipino citizen who lives and works abroad. The performance of the Philippine economy over recent decades, combined with a widespread knowledge of English, a legacy of the Philippines' position as a former United States colony, have made Filipinos one of the most internationally mobile nationalities. Filipino workers greatly contribute to this, as they need to support their families back at home. As a result, many countries around the world have a substantial Filipino community.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recently coined the term Overseas Filipino Investor or OFI for Filipino expatriates. This is due to the direct economic contributions of Overseas Filipinos in means of remittances, buying property back in the Philippines, and creating businesses that would help job creation back home
Population in Diaspora
Each year, the Philippines sends out more than a million of its nationals to work abroad through its overseas employment program. Others leave to become permanent residents of their country of destination. Overseas Filipinos are typically known to be as doctors, nurses, accountants, IT professionals, engineers & architects, entertainers, technicians, teachers, military servicemen, students, and domestic helpers.
According to estimates by the Central Bank of the Philippines, overseas
Filipinos are expected to send back $14.7 billion in remittances to their
ancestral homeland in 2007, up from the $13 billion in 2006
An Overseas Filipino Worker (often abbreviated as OFW) is a Filipino who is employed in work outside the Philippines. Some eight million Filipinos, out of a population of 80 million, have left the country to seek work abroad, attracted by jobs with salaries that far exceed those of jobs available in the Philippines. These jobs often include nursing, technology, fishing, and teaching, although a third are composed of unskilled workers. Money sent by OFWs back to the Philippines is a major factor in the country's economy, amounting to more than US$10 billion in 2005. This makes the country the fourth largest recipient of foreign remittances behind India, China and Mexico. The amount represents 13.5% of the Philippines' GDP, the largest in proportion to the domestic economy among the four countries mentioned.
However, the exodus of workers from the country includes an increasing number of skilled workers taking on unskilled work overseas, resulting in what has been referred to as "brain drain," particularly in the health and education sectors. Also, the exodus can result in underemployment, for example, in cases where doctors undergo retraining to become nurses.
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