MANILA - Nearly every Filipino is expecting a loved one, a relative, or even a friend working abroad to come home this Christmas.
This is hardly surprising as the Christmas season serves as reunion for close-knit Filipino families.
The Commission on Overseas Filipinos has pegged the number of Filipinos working or living permanently abroad at more than 10 million, as of end 2013. That translates to 12 to15 million, including the undocumented OFWs, according to Migrante International, a militant labor organization.
Because of their sheer size, the OFWs have, through their dollar remittances, helped buoy the Philippine economy and contributed significantly in making the economy resilient from external shocks, according to analysts.
In 2014, the OFWs remitted some $24 billion.
To celebrate the role of the migrants and the contribution that migration brings to development, the United Nations has declared the 18th of December as International Migrants' Day.
The UN observes the day by disseminating information on the human rights of migrants, and promoting international labor standards.
In 1988, President Corazon Aquino declared December as the month of Overseas Filipinos by virtue of Proclamation No. 276, honoring them as modern-day heroes.
As the country celebrates the International Migrants' Day, here’s a look at some facts and figures about the OFWs: