the Philippines


Manila, Luzon




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Filipino's working abroad


Every year many Filipinos work for several month or even the whole year through in a foreign country.  A big part of them work even for a longer period abroad.

Because of the geographical position of the country, most of the Filipinos who are successful in arranging a labor-contract abroad, work in one of the countries in Pacific Asia. Every year more than 1.2 million Filipinos work abroad.


Pacific Asia   click the map to enlarge

Pacific Asia

Which kind of work?


Especially Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia make use of foreign laborers. The industrial companies, the construction industry and house-keeping offer a lot of possibilities for Filipinos to work abroad. Filipinos work also in many European countries, the United States and countries in the Middle East.



Statistics and estimates of 'working abroad'

Because of the difficulty in finding a job in their own country, every year many Filipinos find a way to work abroad, with or without an official labor-contract.  Many Filipinos will try to lengthen their stay in a foreign country after their official labor-contract has ended. That's one of the main reasons that thousands of Filipinos are not officially registered and stay illegal abroad. The total of 1.2 million officially registered  workers are exclusive these illegal workers.

Problems for Illegal workers abroad

In August 2002 more than 1500 Filipinos had to return to the Philippines after they were deported from Malaysia. Not only adults, but also children had to return, after the Malaysian government had decided not to tolerate their illegal stay any longer. In the period February - September 2002 more than 64.000 Filipinos were deported from Malaysia.  In the last period of 2002 more deportations  were organized by the Malaysian government.

More than 300.000 illegal workers returned in 2002 from Indonesia. The fear for punishment and a stay in jail in Indonesia, after the Indonesian government had announced  new laws, was the main reason for their return to the Philippines.


Source among others: Malaysiakini , August 2002

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