Citing the latest Department of Foreign Affairs data, the Asian Development Bank noted that 327,511 overseas Filipino workers were repatriated mostly from the Middle East, the United States, Europe and other Asian countries as of end-2020.
Many low-skilled migrants from Asia were hit hard by the pandemic, forcing them to return home, while high-skilled migrant workers in sectors vital to developed host countries stayed on, according to the ADB.
OFWs in the health-care sector benefited from bigger demand in countries like the United Kingdom, where the work visas of doctors, nurses and paramedics were extended by one more year free of charge. The Philippines is the world’s biggest source of migrant nurses.
The bank estimated a 7.4-percent drop in remittance inflows to Asia to 292 billion dollars in 2020. But remittances would likely remain a relatively stable source of external financing.