Irregular Migration from the Philippines
Filipino workers who are given work permits in receiving countries, but are not registered as overseas workers in the Philippines are considered undocumented Filipino emigrants. Official estimates show that between 2000 and 2011 the number of Filipino emigrants in irregular status declined by 42 percent. From a high 1.8 million irregular migrant population from the Philippines in 2000, the number settled at 0.6 to 0.7 million between 2005 and 2010, then spiking to 1.1 million in 2011. The recent increase probably reflects the rise in the number of emigrant workers who lost their regular status by losing employment as a result of the recent world economic crisis, but decided to stay in their host country. Estimates show that in 2011 irregular migrants from the Philippines were largely confined in Southeast Asia, especially in Malaysia, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, and in the US.
Illegal recruitment and human trafficking are important issues related to irregular migration from the Philippines, to which the government has provided remedies against.
The island of Mindanao appears to be a major source of irregular migrants, especially in Malaysia and in the Middle East. Weak implementation of overseas employment regulations in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, compounded with strong historical and geo-political ties with destination countries, as well as internal conflict and poverty, has contributed to the situation. Immigration policies of receiving countries likewise play an important role in the flow of irregular migrants.
Irregular Migration to the Philippines
The flow of irregular migrants to the Philippines is not as well documented. The Bureau of Immigration estimates that about 250,000 illegal aliens resided in the Philippines in 1995.