The Grey Chronicles


The Mis-education of Filipino Engineers, Part VI

The Engineer as an OFW

OFW Remittances, 1984-2007

OFW Remittances, 1984-2007

DOLE (2008) reported that the remittances of Overseas Filipino Workers [OFWs] have continuously risen each year. In 1995, each OFW contributed $7,463 per year. By 2007, the average per OFW contribution per year increased almost twice to $13,410.

The aftermath of 1997-98 Asian Financial Crises also affected the OFW remittances. Remittances fell from the 1998 high level of US$7.368 Billion to US$6.031 Billion by 2001. Beyond 2001, OFW remittances continued to grow as deployment also increased.

OFW Distribution, 2001-2007

OFW Distribution, 2001-2007

Unfortunately, surveyed data available for OFW distribution by occupation is limited only between April-September and only for the years 2001 to 2007. From 2005, however, DOLE failed to show the exact distribution per major occupations. Thus, the figure shown left is inclusive of all occupations whereby an engineer could hold a position.

The yellow bar with a numeral indicates the number of physical, mathematical and engineering science professionals. There is no available data, however, which specified how many engineers held managerial, supervisory, professional, technicians, or associate positions.

In terms of cross-country engineer equivalence, Pascua–Valenzuela (2005) reports:

“[The Philippine] admission on the APEC Engineer Register [in 2001] have provided engineering professionals with a high degree of mutual exemption from further assessment when practicing in any of the participating economies. . . In October 2003, Philippines has ratified the UNESCO Convention on the Recognition of Degrees, Studies and Diplomas in the Asia Pacific region. The treaty is entered into force last December 2003. This development is perceived to address the requirements of UNESCO member states in the recognition of higher education degrees, diplomas, certificates and studies.”

Regrettably, a generalization based on these sparse data cannot be made. It is a known fact, moreover, that every professional engineers’ association has respective overseas-based chapter, yet these organizations have yet to publish the number of OFW engineers. Also, some OFW engineers may opt not to become a member of these professional associations. For example, there are five foreign IIEE chapters listed in its web site, but only one is accessible and last updated 2005, see Charter No. 69.


This ends the series of posts regarding the The Mis-education of Filipino Engineers. The title itself was loosely based on an article by Raya (2008), who quoted:

“There was a time when the Philippines, along with Sri Lanka, Thailand and South Korea, used to be the top education performers in Asia. Today [2008], the country is among the lowest performers in Asia and the rest of the developing world.”

The previous posts dealt with my own teaching experience on Electrical Engineering students. Maybe, most of the issues tackle herein are also true to other fields of engineering. From my informal interviews with other lecturers, not just in Electrical Engineering, there were intriguing similarities on most parts, if not all.

To this day, the Philippines have not made any progress to curb the rising trend of engineers for export; the deliberate decision of multiple choice in board exams, the vernacular media of instructions in the pre-college levels affecting collegiate learning and the students’ English skills, the dearth of reference books, the course content of the subject and the internet and computer skills of the students.

Ramos, also a Civil Engineer, (2000) in his opening address during the 2000 International Millennial Conference on Engineering Education, he concludes:

“Education is a lifelong process. . . As for schools and teachers, the school of the future must be different from the school of the past, and even from the school of today. Technology will transform the school of tomorrow just as radically as technology will transform the business corporation of tomorrow.”


APEC (2008). The APEC Engineer Manual: The Identification of Substantial Equivalence ver. 6a. Kuala Lumpur: APEC Engineer Coordinating Committee, April 2008. back to text

Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics [BLES] (2008). 2008 Yearly Labor Statistics, Chapter 14. Manila: Department of Labor and Employment, March 2008. back to text

Pascua–Valenzuela, Ethel Agnes (2005). Trends and Issues on Philippine Higher Education. Kunming, China: Eighth Session of the Regional Convention of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific, 24-25 May 2005. back to text

Ramos, Fidel V. (2000). Educating the Global Engineer. Opening Address presented at the The International Millennial Conference on Engineering Education, Manila Midtown Hotel, Manila, Philippines. 27 January 2000, and organized by the Philippine Association for Technological Education (PATE), Inc. Victoria, Australia: Global Journal of Engineering Education 4:1, 2000. pp. 7-12. back to text

Raya, Rene R. (2005). The missed education of the Filipino people. Missed Targets: An alternative MDG midterm report. Manila: Social Watch Philippines, 19 March 2008. pp. 21-28. back to text

Disclaimer: The posts on this site does not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions; and unless otherwise expressly stated, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.


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