MANILA - More than 1.2 million Filipinos have been repatriated or have returned home to the Philippines since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March of last year.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a taped briefing on Monday that a total of 1,237,186 Filipinos have gone back to the country.
Of the total, 1,005,885 are migrant workers.
Lorenzana also said 3,168 have returned from Sabah while 4,683 more will be traveling from the region to the Philippines.
Remittances of Filipino migrants —who number at least 10 million—serve as a lifeline to the Philippine economy.
Earlier, the UN's migration agency said in a report that almost half, or 48% of the surveyed OFWs reported over 60% drop in their household income upon return.
More than 19% of interviewed OFWs also revealed their contracts were terminated early.
Due to the apparent slow economic recovery of the Philippines, with many businesses and establishments struggling to regain losses they incurred due to COVID-19 restrictions, nearly half or 48% of OFWs said they want to move overseas again.