In 2013, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) estimated that approximately 10.2 million Filipinos worked or resided abroad.In the census year of 2010, about 9.3 percent of Filipinos worked or resided abroad.
More than a million Filipinos every year leave to work abroad through overseas employment agencies, and other programs, including government-sponsored initiatives. Overseas Filipinos often work as doctors, physical therapists, nurses, accountants, IT professionals, engineers, architects, entertainers, technicians, teachers, military servicemen, seafarers, students and fast food workers.Also, many overseas workers are women applying as domestic helpers and caregivers. Others emigrate and become permanent residents of other countries.
The exodus includes a number of skilled workers taking on unskilled work overseas, resulting in what has been referred to as a brain drain, affecting the health and education sectors. For example, doctors have retrained to become nurses.
An Overseas Filipino is a person of Filipino origin who lives outside of the Philippines. This term applies to Filipinos who are both abroad indefinitely as citizens or permanent residents of a different country, and to those Filipino citizens abroad for a limited, definite period, such as on a work contract or a student. It can also include seamen and others who work outside the Philippines but are not residents, either permanent or temporary, of another country. As a result of this migration, many countries have substantial Filipino communities.
They are known by a variety of terms with slightly different and sometimes overlapping meanings. Overseas Filipino Workers, also known as OFWs, are Filipinos working abroad that are expected to return permanently either upon the expiration of a work contract or upon retirement. Balikbayans are Filipinos who have become citizens of another country and return to the Philippines for temporary visits. Global Filipino is a term of more recent vintage that is less widely used. Overseas Filipino Investor or OFI are those Filipino expatriates who contribute to the economy through remittances, buying properties and creating businesses that was coined byGloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the 14th President of the Philippines.