OVERSEAS Filipinos are now in 239 countries around the globe and have sent more than P340 billion in remittances, but unemployment remains high, data from a new publication by UST researchers showed.

The Philippine Migration and Development Statistical Almanac launched last month revealed a number of trends and showed the relationships between “overseas migration and demography, overseas migration and domestic employment conditions, and migration, poverty, and income.”

Also included are data on the influence of socio-economic development on Filipino migration to a particular country, and on the provinces where they came from.

It also gave a rough estimate of remittances per province to show which among the 79 provinces have been receiving the bulk of remittances

Data from the almanac revealed the following overseas migration trends:

•While the number of migrants and their remittances increase, the number of live births here in the Philippines also increases.

•Even with international migration, the unemployment rate has not declined significantly.

•Filipinos go to countries with decreasing birth rates and increasing number of elderly.

•Overseas migration benefits rich people more than the poor, although remittances have reduced poverty.

•Most overseas Filipinos and migrant households are in regions and provinces near the National Capital Region.

•Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, and Cebu have received the highest remittances.

•In 2006, families receiving assistance from abroad got a total of P348 billion.

•On the average, males remit more money than females.

•The United States is the biggest destination for permanent migrants, while Saudi Arabia is the biggest for temporary migrants.

Social Research Center (SRC) director Alvin Ang and Jeremaiah Opiniano, SRC researcher and executive director of the Institute for Migration and Development Issues, spearheaded the launching of the first statistical almanac on Philippine migration last Jan. 12 at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex.

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Opiniano, a journalism professor, said the almanac aimed to provide government officials, businessmen, non-profit organizations, researchers, and media practitioners a tool for policymaking, marketing, program development, and research studies, as well as source of information.

“(We hope) that this almanac could provide quality information to the general public in its highest form, for public service and for the public good,” Opiniano said during the launching of the statistical almanac.

Lina Castro, director of the Social Statistics Division in National Statistical Coordination Board, and Milwida Guevara, chief executive officer of Synergia Foundation commended the publications of the almanac, saying it provides valuable information regarding Filipino migration to the local and national governments and as well as other stakeholders.

Ildefonso Bagasao, executive director of the Economic Resource Center for Overseas Filipinos (Ercof), hoped that the almanac would “help and supplement the national statistics” on international migration.

The statistical almanac was produced in collaboration with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, the Philippine Overseas and Employment Administration, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and the SRC, in partnership with the Peace and Equity Foundation, Philippine Migrant’ Rights Watch, US-based Feed the Hungry-Philippines and Save-a-Tahanan, Inc., and the Ercof.

Graduating students from the Asian Studies, Economics, Sociology, Communication Arts, and Journalism programs of the Faculty of Arts and Letters volunteered in the publication of the almanac.

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