chapter  2
33 Pages

The discontinuities of Philippine migration

With over 700,000 workers deployed annually to over 160 countries and territories, the Philippines is the world’s largest supplier of governmentsponsored contract labor (Table 2.1). This figure, moreover, does not include the estimated 1.9 million Filipinos living abroad with “unauthorized” migration status. Table 2.2 shows the distribution of Filipino workers by region. Spatially and temporally, patterns reflect both changes in the global economy and also internal organizational changes. Whereas in the early 1970s Philippine workers were deployed overwhelmingly to the oil-producing states of the Middle East, by 1997 destinations in Asia were most common. In 1984, for example, Middle Eastern destinations (e.g., Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates) accounted for 83 percent of all deployed land-based Philippine workers, but by 1997 this region accounted for only 40 percent. Conversely, the Asian share increased from 13 percent to over 48 percent during this same period. Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan emerged as the principal destinations. Table 2.3 reflects the top ten destinations of Filipino contract workers between 1975 and 2001.