ABSTRACT

The Philippines is now recognized as the world’s largest exporter of migrant workers (Star 20 October 2004). Over 800,000 Filipinos are annually deployed overseas (Philippines Overseas Employment Agency 2004). The Philippines economy relies heavily on the repatriated salaries of its overseas workers; at US$8.5 billion (Central Bank 2005a,b), remittances in 2004 accounted for approximately 9 per cent of Gross National Product (GNP) (National Statistical Coordination Board 2005). The government actively encourages overseas employment and has established a number of agencies to facilitate the process, including the Philippine Overseas Employment Association (POEA). In addition, hundreds of independent recruitment agencies are licensed by the government to arrange overseas placements.