Mobility regimes have for a long time enabled overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to harness new capital and boost development back home. But amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the precarity of these workers’ lives has been made all too clear. Both land-based and sea-based OFWs are among the hardest hit by this tide of unemployment.
While 323,537 OFWs lost their jobs from February to May 2020, this number is estimated to reach over one million by the end of 2021. Over 200,000 OFWs had already returned home by August 2020 — 102,652 land-based repatriates and 101,048 sea-based — and this figure may reach 400,000 by the end of 2020.
The full article can be accessed at https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2020/09/05/saving-the-philippines-overseas-workers/
Published originally on 5 September 2020 at East Asia Forum (EAF). This was also re-posted at Channel NewsAsia at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/commentary/philippines-overseas-worker-ofw-covid-income-unemployment-relief-13101962
EAF is a platform for analysis and research based in the Crawford School of Public Policy within the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University.
Photo by Yannes Kiefer from Unsplash