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In 1974, the Labor Code of the Philippines established the framework for what became the government's overseas employment program.The Philippines' foray into organized international labor migration was supposed to be temporary, lasting only until the country recovered from its economic problems.
The OFW term is commonly used, a further sign of the pervasive role that labor migration occupies in Philippine society. But even so, there was an exception clause: In case of a labor shortage, the governor of Hawaii was authorized to hire Filipino workers.
The Commission on Filipinos Overseas includes the following categories of migrants in its stock estimates: , also migrated to the United States before the 1920s. World War II intervened and further migration to the United States stalled, until the Philippines became independent in July 1946.
More workers, mostly single men, followed; others left Hawaii to work in agriculture in California, Oregon, and Washington, or the salmon canneries of Alaska.
On the mainland, low-wage service work in the cities provided income between agricultural seasons or when other jobs were not available. nationals, Filipinos could enter and leave the country freely, but could not access citizenship.
In the Philippines, a deeply rooted and pervasive culture of migration has made moving abroad common, acceptable—even desirable—as an option or strategy for a better life.
For decades, sizeable numbers of Filipinos have left home in search of permanent settlement or temporary work overseas, trends long attributed to the fragile economy (and exacerbated by frequent natural disasters).
Some 4,000 Filipinos were employed in the merchant marine, but this employment possibility ceased with the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 requiring the crew of U. flag vessels to be at least 90 percent American citizens. Definitions Overseas Filipinos is the term encompassing all Filipino migrants, whether permanent or temporary, legal or unauthorized. colony, the movement of Filipinos to the United States was considered internal migration. It was not until the passage of the 1934 Tydings-Mc Duffie Law, which provided for the granting of Philippine independence within ten years, that the Philippines became subject to immigration quotas, and Filipinos in the United States became aliens.
Overseas Filipino Workers, or OFWs, represent a subset of Overseas Filipinos, and are temporary migrants. Some returned and assumed important positions in Filipino society, while others remained in the United States. The law limited the Philippines to 50 visas per year, and migration dropped off dramatically.
At the same time, the GCC countries needed workers to realize their ambitious infrastructure projects.
With supply and demand converging, the Philippines was ripe for large-scale labor migration, an opportunity the government of Ferdinand Marcos recognized.