REPATRIATED OFWs. Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) amnesty availees from Kuwait strike President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s signature pose as they return to the country. Duterte welcomed the returning OFWs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City on Feb. 12, 2018. (Alfred Frias/Presidential Photo)

A SURVEY by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) released earlier this summer showed that an estimated number of 2.3 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) worked abroad at anytime during the period April to September 2018.

Of the 2.3 million, female OFWs comprised 55.8 percent of the total number.

Additionally, female OFWs were generally younger than male OFWs, with about 47.5 percent of the female OFWs belonging to the age group 25 to 34 years. Male OFWs in the same age group, on the other hand, made up 38.9 percent.

Male OFWs aged 45 years and older comprised 21.2 percent of all male OFWs while the female OFWs in this age group accounted for 14.5 percent.

The survey also revealed an increase in the number of OFWs in elementary occupations, rising to 37.1 percent and making it the biggest among occupation groups of OFWs.

Other large occupation groups included the service and sales workers (18.8 percent) and plant and machine operators and assemblers (13.8 percent). 

According to PSA, 58.7 percent of female OFWs were in elementary occupations.

Cause-oriented group Lilac Center for Public Interest (Lilac) noted that the rising number of young female workers in elementary occupations, many of them were not able to finish their elementary or high school education, had led to abuse and maltreatment.

“The data on women domestic workers falling into distress and becoming victims of abuse is alarming, given that Filipino migrant labor is now steadily being feminized,” said Nicon Fameronag, Lilac president.

He called for the revival of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority’s (Tesda) training regulations for the Domestic Work National Certificate (NC) 2, to reinforce the educational attainment requirement for domestic work trainees, and to stop the deployment of those with knowledge, language and skills deficiency.

According to Fameronag, this requirement and must go hand-in-hand with Tesda’s strict implementation of training before assessment, particularly for those who are first-time domestic workers, including the enforcement of the rule that a domestic worker trainee must present a training certificate before assessment.

“Tesda’s implementation of the Domestic Work NC 2 training regulations has become lax to the point that instead of a full, no nonsense two-week training, many domestic workers now receive the so-called ‘one-day enhancement training’ package in assessment centers, where they are given a 100-percent assurance that they can receive a National Certificate 2 on domestic work the next day,” Lilac said. (Ritchel Mendiola/APress)

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