by MADELAINE JOY A. GARCIA
MANILA–FILIPINOS are slowly conquering various countries through sheer numbers.
A recently-released report by the World Bank identified Filipinos as among the top 10 foreigners in 16 big and small countries in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America.
The WB’s Migration and Remittances Factbook 2008 cited Filipinos lead the number of foreigners in Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Canada, Cyprus, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Oman, Palau, Saudi Arabia, the Solomon Islands, and the US.
Five of these countries are members of the bloc Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The World Bank report bared data on the estimated number of migrants –or what it calls “immigrants”– based on the 2005 United Nations Population Division report.
The tiny island of Palau, some 800 kilometers east of the Philippines, hosts the most number of Filipinos among 3,036 foreigners. This diving haven is home to some 20,000 people.
Data from the state-run Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) show there are 4,495 Filipinos in Palau. Twenty-one of them are considered permanent residents while some 4,434 are temporary migrant workers. CFO estimates the rest are undocumented.
Manila to Koror, Palau’s capital, is 90 minutes apart. It takes half that time if flying to or from the southern Philippine province of Davao.
Meanwhile, Filipinos are the second biggest foreigner group in Malaysia, Brunei, and the United States, according to the World Bank report and CFO estimates.
The US, the Philippines’s top source country of remittances, has some 38.4 million foreigners, says the WB.
Filipinos are behind US neighbor Mexico as the biggest foreigner group, as CFO estimates that there are now 3.4 million Filipinos in that continent.
The WB report showed that of Malaysia’s 1.6 million foreigners, over a hundred thousand are Filipinos (100,233). The CFO June 2007 data confirms this.
Brunei, for its part, has some 124,193 foreigners; CFO estimates some 22,939 are Filipinos.
Filipinos form the third-biggest number of foreigners in Korea (50,165 of a total 551,193 foreigners) and the Marshall Islands.
The Marshall Islands, located in the western Pacific Ocean, have a thousand Filipinos as the third biggest foreigner group out of its estimated number of 1,667 foreigners: 2.7 percent of its total 65,000 people.
Solomon Islands has some 3,279 foreigners out of some 489,000 people. CFO estimates there are 758 Filipinos there.
Filipinos are also the fourth-biggest group in Italy, which has roughly 2.5 million foreigners. Some 119,083 Filipinos are estimated to be in Italy, says CFO.
Saudi Arabia, the workplace of an estimated 1,016,820 Filipinos according to CFO data, shows that Filipinos are the fifth biggest immigrant group.
The Muslim nation of some 24 million has some 6.36 million immigrants.
Filipinos form also the fifth-largest immigrant group in Japan; the country having some 2.05 million foreigners, according to the World Bank report. There are an estimated 313,291 Filipinos in Japan, CFO data reveals.
Cyprus is estimated to have some 116,137 immigrants and Filipinos are ranked sixth. CFO data show that there are 12,406 Filipinos in Cyprus.
Filipinos are also the sixth-biggest in Oman, which has some 627,571. CFO estimates there are some 33,000 Filipinos.
Filipinos are the seventh-biggest foreigner group in Canada (total of 6,105,722 foreigners) and Iceland (23,097 foreigners). In these countries, CFO estimates there are 789,943 and 1,400 Filipinos in Canada and Iceland, respectively.
The eighth-biggest group of foreigners in Australia’s 4.1 million and Cambodia’s 303,871 immigrant population are Filipinos, which are estimated to number to 232,447 and 1,572, respectively.