DMW expects to hit 2-M mark for deployed Pinoy migrant workers this year

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 9) — The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said the number of deployed Filipino workers abroad may hit pre-pandemic levels this year as it has seen an upward trend in the past two years.

"We are foreseeing na we will be approaching the two-million mark this year," DMW Secretary Toots Ople told a briefing on Friday. "Not only because of Saudi but because the demand is really great."

Ople said the country was deploying around two million migrant workers annually but it dropped in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when countries were implementing border closures in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

The Migrant Workers secretary said by the end of 2020, the figure was at 549,841. It continued to rise to 742,792 in 2021 and 1,205,376 in 2022.

Out of the 1.2 million deployed migrant workers, Ople said 820,394 had land-based occupation while the remaining 384,982 were sea-based employees, noting that the latter have "more or less normalized."

For January to April this year, the Philippines recorded a total of 817,759 workers deployed for both land and sea-based jobs.

"In four months and I guess nahigitan na kasi June na eh [it exceeded the number since it's June already], we have reached the entire deployment for land-based workers for the whole of 2022," the DMW chief said.

"'Yong sea-based malaki rin 'yong demand [there's also a big demand] and 'yong [the] foreign shipowners especially those from Europe will be here, they have a conference from June 25 to 27," Ople also said, adding they will invite them to the agency for a possible meeting.