Institute for Labor Studies ILS (ILS) banner logo
Philippine Standard Time


Time and again, economic crisis proves to be detrimental most to migrant labor. They are often the very first target of massive layoffs and deteriorated working and living conditions as a consequence of the contraction of private companies and collapse of economies in destination countries. Moreover, they usually bear the brunt of discriminatory policies of their host countries and of xenophobic sentiments of native populations most pronounced during economic crisis situations.

This study primarily seeks to contextualize these notions and evidence as illustrated in the experiences of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) during two previous economic crises–the Global Financial Crisis and the Saudi Oil Crisis–and an ongoing, albeit indistinct, economic downturn in UAE. Using qualitative methods, chiefly in-depth interviews with open-ended structure, it specifically attempts to: (1) analyze the experiences of OFWs and their coping strategies and migration prospects amid economic crisis or downturn abroad; (2) examine the indirect impacts of economic crisis or downturn abroad on OFW families; and (3) review government interventions in responding to crises abroad and in managing their effects on OFWs and their families. Anchored on the narratives of OFWs themselves, the results of the study highlight various conclusions and lessons useful for policy and program development processes of the government.

Click Here to Download Full Paper

Title: Vulnerable but unfazed? Revisiting OFW Experiences, Coping Strategies and Migration Prospects Amid Economic Crisis
: Ronell J. Delerio