Chapter 3. Understanding the methodological framework used in the Philippines

In order to provide an empirical foundation to the analysis of the links between migration and policy, the Interrelations between Public Policies, Migration and Development (IPPMD) project used three evidence-gathering tools: a household survey, a community survey, and interviews with representatives of public, international and local organisations to provide additional qualitative information about the migration context in the Philippines.

This chapter explains how the sampling for the survey was designed, as well as the statistical approaches used in the chapters that follow to analyse the impact of migration, remittances and return on key policy sectors. The chapter includes a brief overview of the survey findings, including differences across regions and between migrant and non-migrant households. It outlines some of the gender differences that emerged among migrants, particularly in terms of the destination country for emigrants, and the reasons for leaving and returning.


The IPPMD project carried out fieldwork in the ten partner countries to provide evidence-based analysis on the interrelationship between migration, development and the various sectors under study. The fieldwork introduced three primary tools developed by the OECD Development Centre: a household survey, a community survey and stakeholder interviews. The generic version of each tool was tailored to the Filipino context in collaboration with the Scalabrini Migration Center (SMC), who conducted the fieldwork:

  1. The household survey covered 1 999 households. The household questionnaire gathered information about individual and household characteristics related to four key development sectors: i) the labour market; ii) agriculture; iii) education and iv) investment and financial services, as well as household members’ experience with emigration, remittances and return migration. It also asked about their experience of specific public policies which may affect their migration and remitting patterns. It collected information from both migrant and non-migrant households, providing a comparative basis for analysis.

  2. The community survey was conducted to complement the household survey. It was carried out in the 37 communities where the household survey took place. Respondents were district and local leaders. The questionnaire documented demographic, social and economic information, policies and development programmes at community-level.

  3. The stakeholder interviews were conducted with 40 representatives of government ministries, public institutions, non-governmental organisations, religious organisations, trade unions, private sector institutions and international organisations to collect qualitative information on trends, policies, opinions and predictions related to the various aspects of migration in the country. The information provided enriches and helps interpret the quantitative household and community surveys by including additional details on specific country contexts.

This chapter describes how the fieldwork was implemented in the Philippines, as well as the analytical approaches used to explore the interrelations between the various dimensions of migration and sectoral public policies. Finally, it presents basic descriptive statistics of the data collected.

How were the households and communities sampled?

A multi-stage stratified sampling strategy was used to select the communities and households to be interviewed (Annex 3.A1 contains more details). First, provinces were selected based on the magnitude and density of international migrants using data from multiple sources: data on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were obtained from the 2012 deployment data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the 2011 Labor Force Survey (LFS) while data on registered emigrants were sourced from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO). This led to the following four provinces being selected for the survey: Laguna and Pangasinan on the island of Luzon, Cebu in the region of the Visayas, and Davao del Sur on the island of Mindanao (Figure 3.1).

Figure 3.1. Provinces and sample sites in the Philippines

The second stage involved selecting municipalities from both rural and urban areas within the four selected provinces. The definition of rural and urban areas is based on the Philippine Standard Geographic Code.1 Within the four selected provinces, the ten cities/municipalities with the largest number of emigrants were listed (using POEA data on new hires which provided information on the top source cities/municipalities of OFWs), from which one urban and two rural municipalities were randomly selected (Table 3.1).2 One initially selected municipality in Laguna was replaced because of safety concerns at the time of sampling.

Table 3.1. Sampled provinces and municipalities/cities


Urban municipalities

Rural municipalities


Binan City




Dagupan City




Mandaue City


Danao City

Davao del Sur

Davao City (urban)

Digos City (urban)

Davao City (rural)

Digos City (rural)

Within each selected municipality, three barangays, the smallest administrative division in the Philippines, were randomly selected with probability proportionate to the size of their population. For each municipality, two additional barangays were put on a reserve list in case a replacement was needed (e.g. if officials did not give permission for the survey). Because there was no existing list identifying households with and without migrants, a household enumeration had to be undertaken to create a sampling framework. The large size of the barangays meant that an enumeration of the whole barangay was neither possible nor necessary; instead, three zones within each barangay (called purok or sitio) were randomly selected.3 In total, 37 barangays or enumeration areas were sampled. Both households with and households without migrants were randomly selected from the enumeration lists (Box 3.1). The target ratio for households with and households without migrants was 50:50. A household could be replaced if the originally selected household refused to participate, could not be interviewed after three visits, or was misclassified in the enumeration list.4 Within the selected households, an adult knowledgeable about household-related information (e.g. remittances, investments and decision making), was selected as the main respondent. A short description of the modules included in the survey is included in Annex 3.A2 .

Box 3.1. Key definitions for the Philippine household survey

A household consists of one or several persons, irrespective of whether they are related or not, who normally live together in the same housing unit or group of housing units and have common cooking and eating arrangements.

A household head is the most respected/responsible member of the household, who provides most of the household needs, makes key decisions and whose authority is recognised by all members of the household.

The main respondent is the person who is most knowledgeable about the household and its members. He or she may be the head, or any other member (aged 18 or over). The main respondent answers the majority of the modules in the questionnaire, with the exception of the return migrant module which was administered directly to the returnee. As it was not possible to interview migrants who were abroad at the time of the survey, questions in the emigrant module were asked of the main respondent.

A migrant household is a household with at least one current international emigrant or return migrant (Table 3.2).

A non-migrant household is a household without any current international emigrant or return migrant.

An international emigrant is an ex-member of the household who has left to live in another country (including seafarers), and has been away for at least three consecutive months without returning.

An international return migrant is a current member of the household who had previously been living in another country (including seafarers) for at least three consecutive months and who returned to the country.a

International remittances are cash or in-kind transfers from international emigrants. In the case of in-kind remittances, the respondent is asked to estimate the value of the goods the household received.

A remittance-receiving household is a household that has received international remittances in the past 12 months prior to the survey. Remittances can be sent by former members of the household as well as by migrants who have never been part of the household.

Table 3.2. Household types, by migration experience

Non-migrant households

Migrant households

Households without any emigrants or return migrants

Households with one or more emigrants but no return migrant

Households with at least one emigrant and one return migrant

Households with one or more return migrants but no emigrant

a. This does not include individuals who are currently in the country on vacation and/or to process their papers to work/go abroad again (including seafarers). However, household members who are in the Philippines for the same reasons and have been in the country for at least a year are considered as return migrants.

Household survey

The survey targeted 2 000 households for interviews. However, during the data processing, it was found that one household had been interviewed twice. The duplicate household was dropped from the sample, and therefore, the actual sample size is 1 999. As shown in Table 3.3, the actual distribution of surveyed households by type of household and by urban-rural residence was in line with the targeted distribution.

Table 3.3. Number of households sampled in the Philippines




Migrant households





1 001

Non-migrant households







1 002


1 999

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

Community survey

In each of the 37 enumeration areas, a community questionnaire was administered by the fieldwork co-ordinator. The target respondents were the barangay captains (or chairpersons), the highest elected official at the barangay level. However, it was not always possible to interview the barangay captain. In their place the respondent could be either the barangay secretary, councillor, or another barangay officer. Of the 37 communities surveyed, the distribution of respondents was as follows: 12 barangay captains; 13 barangay secretaries/treasurers; 6 barangay councillors; and 6 other barangay personnel.5 In 25 cases, the community survey was conducted at the same time as the household interviews; in 12 communities (3 in Laguna and 9 in Davao del Sur), the community survey was conducted after the household survey was completed.

The community survey included questions on the share of households that currently have a family member living in another country and their most common country of residence, as well as the most common occupational activities of those living in the community.

In all cases, the geographical areas covered by the community questionnaires were larger than the enumeration area. The research sites were sampled zones within the selected barangays, not the whole barangay. The interviews were conducted in English and were only translated into local languages in Davao del Sur. The co-ordinators in the three other provinces did not see this as a problem.

Stakeholder interviews

In order to supplement the quantitative data, semi-structured interviews with stakeholders from different backgrounds (Table 3.4) were conducted using an interview guide developed by the OECD Development Centre. The guide was divided into five topics:

  1. general awareness of migration

  2. actions, programmes and policies directly related to migration

  3. main actions, programmes and policies likely to have a link with migration

  4. perceptions of migration-related issues

  5. co-ordination with other stakeholders on migration.

Table 3.4. Summary of interviewees for qualitative interviews, by type of organisation

Type of organisation

Number of interviews

Public institutions


International organisations


Local NGOs / private sector




Questions for each topic were modified according to whether the institution interviewed was working on migration issues directly or indirectly, and its role vis-à-vis migration policy. Fifty stakeholder interviews were planned; 57 stakeholders were contacted, of whom 40 were interviewed. The most common reason for stakeholders to refuse the interview was that migration is not part of their work. The institutions selected included migration-related government agencies, non-migration related government agencies (since the Philippines focused on the following sectors – agriculture, labour market, education, and investments, these were the sectors targeted), civil society organisations (including diaspora organisations), the private sector (e.g. businessmen’s organisations, recruitment agencies, bank association), and international organisations. Most of the interviewees in the government sector were from national government agencies. The team also included interviewees from two regional government agencies and two local government units. The interviews were conducted in English and/or a combination of English and Tagalog (English and Cebuano in the case of the interview in Davao City). All interviews were recorded and transcribed.

How were the data analysed?

Having described the tools used to collect data for the project, this section provides an overview of how the data were analysed. A general overview of migration follows, while the remaining chapters in the report present the results of the analysis on the links between migration and public policies.

Statistical analysis assesses the statistical significance of an estimated relationship, that is, how likely it is that a relationship between two variables is not random. The analyses in this report incorporate both statistical tests and regression analysis. Statistical tests, such as t-tests and chi-squared test, calculate the correlation between two variables, without controlling for other factors. A t-test compares the means of a dependent variable for two independent groups. For example, it is used to test if there is a difference between the average number of workers hired by an agricultural household with emigrants and one without (Chapter 5). A chi-squared test is applied when investigating the relationship between two categorical variables, such as private school attendance (which only has two categories, yes or no) by the children living in two types of households: those receiving remittances and those not (Chapter 6). These statistical tests determine the likelihood that the relationship between two variables is not caused by chance.

Regression analysis is useful to ascertain the quantitative effect of one variable upon another, controlling for other factors that may also influence the outcome. The household and community surveys included rich information about households, their members, and the communities in which they live. This information is used to create control variables that are included in the regression models in order to single out the effect of a variable of interest from other characteristics of the individuals, households and communities that may affect the outcome.

Three basic regression models are used in the report: ordinary least square (OLS), probit and logit models. The choice of which one to use depends on the nature of the outcome variable. OLS regressions are applied when the outcome variable is continuous. Probit models are used when the outcome variable can only take two values, such as owning a business or not.

The analysis of the interrelations between public policies and migration is performed at both household and individual level, depending on the topic and hypothesis investigated. The analysis for each sector-specific chapter is divided into two sections:

  • The impact of a migration dimension on a sector-specific outcome


  • The impact of a sectoral development policy on a migration outcome


The regression analysis rests on four sets of variables:

  • Migration, comprising: i) migration dimensions including emigration (sometimes using the proxy of an intention to emigrate in the future), remittances, and return migration; and ii) migration outcomes, which cover the decision to emigrate, the sending and use of remittances, and the decision and sustainability of return migration.

  • Sectoral development policies: a set of variables representing whether an individual or household took part or benefited from a specific public policy or programme in four key sectors: the labour market, agriculture, education and skills, and investment and financial services.

  • Sector-specific outcomes: a set of variables measuring outcomes in the project’s sectors of interest, such as labour force participation, investment in livestock rearing, school attendance and business ownership.

  • Household and individual-level characteristics: a set of socio-economic and geographical explanatory variables that tend to influence migration and sector-specific outcomes.

What do the surveys tell us about migration in the Philippines?

The migration dimensions of emigration and return were left to chance in the sampling of migrant households, therefore their numbers reflect their relative importance in each province. Figure 3.2 shows the prevalence of emigrants and return migrants by province, based on the household data. It shows that the relative rates of emigrants and return migrants are similar across provinces.

Figure 3.2. Relative emigration and return migration rates differ little across provinces
Relative share of emigrant and return migrant households among migrant households (%), by province

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

Overall, the 1 999 household interviews collected data on 9 455 individuals, as well as another 1 037 former household members who had emigrated. A total of 788 households had former members who had emigrated – 39% of all households in the sample (Figure 3.3, left-hand pie chart). Among the individuals currently living in the country, 361 were return migrants, and specific data about their migration experience were also collected. The 335 households with return migrants formed 17% of all households in the sample (Figure 3.3, right-hand pie chart); 120 households (6% of the sample) have both emigrants (one or more) and return migrants (one or more).

Figure 3.3. Share of households, by migration experience

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

Table 3.5 shows the differences in characteristics between households with different migration experience. Households with emigrants are only marginally smaller than households without migrants. Given that at least one of their members has left the household, this seems to suggest that emigrant households were larger than average before migration. Households with emigrants are slightly more likely to be from urban areas (52% urban), while returnees are more often found in rural areas (56% rural). The dependency ratio is similar across the groups, except for households with returnees, which have a significantly lower ratio. Overall, one in three households has a female head of household, but there are large differences between the groups. Forty-eight percent of the households with emigrants have a female head, whereas among households without migrants this share is only 20%. This comes as a surprise given that the majority of emigrants (56%) are women. The share that has at least one member who has completed post-secondary education is higher among households with migration experience than among those without. For the purposes of this project, a household-level wealth indicator was constructed based on questions in the household survey concerning the number of assets owned by the household. Assets include a range of items, from cell phones to real estate. The wealth indicator is created using principal component analysis. It suggests that households with migration experience tend to be wealthier.

Table 3.5. Migrant households are wealthier on average than non-migrant households
Characteristics of sampled households

Total sample

Households without migrants

Households with emigrants

Households receiving remittances

Households with returnees

Number of households

1 999









Households in rural areas (%)






Household size






Dependency ratio






Households with children (0-14 years, %)






Households with female household heads (%)






Share of households with at least one member having completed post-secondary education (%)






Wealth indicator






Households with members planning to emigrate (%)






Note: The categories are not mutually exclusive, e.g. a household with both an emigrant and a return migrant is included both as a household with an emigrant, and a household with a return migrant. The dependency ratio is the number of children and elderly persons divided by the number of people of working age (15-65). The share of households with a member planning to emigrate is based on a direct question to all adults (15 years or older) whether or not they have plans to live and or work in another country in the future. The wealth indicator is standardised ranging from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating wealthier households.

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

Table 3.6 summarises the characteristics of adults from the sampled households, broken down by whether they are non-migrants, return migrants or current emigrants. Non-migrants are the youngest group, with an average age of 37, compared to current emigrants (38) and return migrants (47). Overall, women account for 52% of the adults sampled. Among return migrants and emigrants the share of women is higher, at 54% and 56% respectively.

Table 3.6. Emigrants are most likely to have completed post-secondary education
Characteristics of adults from the sampled households


Return migrants


Number of individuals

6 182


1 037

Average age




Share of women (%)




Share (25+) having completed post-secondary education (%)




Note: Only adults (15+) are included. The group of non-migrants includes individuals in households with and without migrants. To calculate education status, the analysis only included individuals aged 25 or over – the age by which they would have completed post-secondary level education.

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

Among individuals without migration experience, 34% have finished post-secondary education. The figure is much higher for emigrants, at 70%. The share of return migrants who have finished post-secondary education is 58%. Among those planning to emigrate in the future (not shown), 53% have finished post-secondary education.

Most emigrants choose the Gulf countries as their destination

Data collected on emigrants included their current country of residence, the time since they emigrated and the reason they left. Emigrants’ destination countries vary by gender (Figure 3.4). For both men and women, the largest group migrates to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.6 Fifteen percent of the male emigrants became seafarers, and have no particular country of destination. Women migrate relatively more often than men to North America (22% women versus 14% for men) and East and Southeast Asian countries (29% women versus 14% for men).

Figure 3.4. Most emigrants (men and women) emigrate to Gulf Cooperation Council countries
Share of emigrants’ current country of residence (%), by gender

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

Financial and job related reasons are the main motivators for emigration. Together they account for 70% of the emigrants (Figure 3.5). Among seafarers this is almost 90%, though for those migrating to North America it is much lower, at 37%. The single most important reason for migrating to North America is related to family issues, which accounted for 40% of the emigrants surveyed.

Figure 3.5. Most people emigrated for financial or job related reasons
Relative share of reasons emigrants left (%), by destination country

Note: Respondents were given the chance to provide two reasons for emigrating, but only the first reason was taken into account. Countries are ordered by the size of the Filipino emigrant stock in that country.

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

About 35% of the emigrants left the Philippines less than two years ago, 20% left between two and five years ago, 20% between five and ten years ago, and the remaining 25% left more than ten years ago. Among emigrants currently living in the United States, 42% left more than ten years ago.

Remittances are most likely to be invested in education

Although migration and remittances are closely linked, one does not necessarily imply the other. Eighty-nine percent of emigrants sent remittances, while 97% of households with emigrants receive remittances. Overall, about 45% (903) of the households in the sample receive remittances, 7% (148) receive them from someone who is not a former member of the household (Figure 3.6). Among households without emigrants, 12% have received remittances in the past 12 months.

Figure 3.6. Share of households receiving remittances

Note: The category “households receiving remittances from a former member” does not imply that they solely receive remittances from a former member. This category includes households that receive remittances also from other emigrants.

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

Emigrants who send remittances sent on average around 141 000 Philippine Pesos (PHP) home during the 12 months leading up to the survey (equivalent to USD 3 240). This includes both monetary remittances and in-kind remittances. About 24% of emigrants had sent in-kind remittances during the previous year, with an average estimated value of PHP 18 000 (USD 410).

The amount of remittances an emigrant sends home varies with the destination countries (Figure 3.7). Seafarers stand out for remitting on average PHP 327 000 (USD 7 500), which is more than double the average (PHP 141 000 or USD 3 240). Compared to land-based workers, seafarers tend to earn more, and they are required to remit at least 80% of their monthly salary to their designated allottee in the Philippines.7

Figure 3.7. Seafarers sent twice as much money home
Average amount of remittances, by emigrants’ destination country

Note: Remittance amounts were provided by respondents in PHP, the exchange rate at 1 July 2014 was used to calculate the amount in USD.

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

Information was also collected on financial decisions made by households receiving remittances from a former household member. The most common activity, both for urban and rural households, involved paying for a household member’s schooling (37%; Figure 3.8), especially for households headed by women (41% against 33% for male headed households), which are also more likely to include children. The second most common activity, undertaken by 28% of households receiving remittances from a former member, was to repay a loan or debt. This can be linked to the fact that 21% of emigrants financed their emigration with a loan.

Figure 3.8. Households receiving remittances from a former member are most likely to invest in education
Actions taken by households receiving remittances from a former member

Note: The sample only includes households that receive remittances from a former household member. The figure displays the top seven most common activities reported by households. Households could specify whether they had undertaken activities from the following list: taking a loan from a bank, paying for health treatment or schooling of a household member, accumulating savings, repaying a debt/loan, building or buying a home, investing in agricultural activities, taking out a loan from informal sources, accumulating debt, setting up a business, building a dwelling to sell to others, and buying land.

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

Many return migrants find it hard to find a job on their return

The survey also collected detailed information on return migration. As well as the questions asked to all household members, return migrants were asked additional questions about their experiences as an emigrant; their work status before, during and after emigration; and their reintegration. Figure 3.9 shows return migrants’ former countries of residence. Men return more often from GCC countries, while women who return are most often from the East and Southeast Asian countries. Although East and Southeast Asian countries are not major destination countries, they are overrepresented as the countries where male and female returnees come from. North America and the European countries (EU-28) are underrepresented, indicating that migrants who go there are more likely to stay than return.

Figure 3.9. Migrants often return from East and Southeast Asian countries
Returnees’ prior countries of residence, by gender

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

The reason most returnees gave for having emigrated in the first place was similar to the reason given by current emigrants: to support the family financially or take a job (accounting for 74% of returnees). Most return migrants (38%) returned because they preferred their home country, this includes returning for family reasons, for marriage, to retire or for health reasons (Figure 3.10). The next most common reason for returning was a lack of legal status in the country of destination (34%). Men are slightly more likely to return because of a lack of legal status (39% versus 29% for women), and women are more likely to return because of their preference for the home country (44% versus 32% for men).

Figure 3.10. Most migrants return because they prefer their home country
Reasons for returning (%), by gender

Note: The category “individual preferences” includes returning for family, marriage and health reasons.

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

Return migrants have stayed, on average, 44 months in the country of destination; this is similar for men and women. Return migrants were also asked whether or not they were satisfied to be back in the Philippines. More than three-quarters felt satisfied or very satisfied to be back. Among them, 30% plan to re-migrate in the next 12 months. Among those who are not satisfied to be back, 67% plan to re-migrate in the next 12 months. Half of the returnees have faced challenges after their return, with about 70% of them having found it hard to find a job in the first five years.

This chapter has presented the three tools – household and community surveys and the qualitative stakeholder interviews – used to collect data to analyse the interrelation between migration, public policies and development. The following chapters take a sector-by-sector approach in presenting the results of the data analysis: the labour market (Chapter 4), agriculture (Chapter 5), education (Chapter 6) and finance and investment (Chapter 7).

ANNEX 3.A1. Summary of the sampling design, the Philippines

Number of strata

Two (urban vs. rural residence, and international migrant vs. non-migrant household)

Base data used for sampling

Listing of households in the sample enumeration area (EA)

National coverage (yes/no)

No. However, there was a deliberate attempt to obtain samples in the three major island groupings of the Philippines. The survey included two provinces in Luzon, and a province each in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Estimated percentage of the population covered*

3.11%: population in the sampled cities divided by total population of the Philippines

Total number of EAs in the country**

42 028 barangays

Number of EAs sampled

37 barangays

Average population living in an EA***

2 316.31

Number of households sampled

1 999

Number of households sampled per EA


* This was estimated by summing the population of the sampled cities/municipalities and dividing it by the total population, based on the 2015 census.

** Source: Provincial Summary – Number of Provinces, Cities, Municipalities and Barangays, by Region, as of 31 March 2014,

*** This was estimated by dividing the projected 2013 population by the total number of barangays.

ANNEX 3.A2. Summary of the modules included in the Philippine household survey

Module 1

Household roster

Questions on household characteristics including the number of household members and their relationship to the household head, sex, age, marital status etc. It is worth mentioning that the module asks all household members aged 15 and over about their intentions to migrate internationally.

Module 2

Education and skills

Records information on school attendance of children, child labour, language skills and the educational attainment of all members. It also contains a series of policy questions to gather information on whether a household benefited from certain types of education policies, for example scholarships, conditional cash transfer related to education and distribution of school supplies.

Module 3

Labour market

Collects information about the labour characteristics of household members. This includes employment status, occupation and main sector of activity; and the means of finding jobs which include government employment agencies. It also asks if members of the household participated in public employment programmes and vocational training.

Module 4

Expenditures, assets, income

Questions on household expenditure patterns, asset ownership and various types of income.

Module 5

Investment and financial services

Questions related to household financial inclusion, financial training and information on businesses activities. It also collects information about the main obstacles households face in running any businesses.

Module 6

Agricultural activities

Administered to households involved in agricultural activities including fishery, livestock husbandry and aquaculture. Records information about the plot, such as number, size, crops grown, how the plot was acquired and the market potential, as well as information about the number and type of livestock raised. This module also collects information on whether households benefited from agricultural policies such as subsidies, agricultural related training or crop price insurance.

Module 7


Captures information on all ex-members of the household aged 15 or over who currently live abroad. It covers characteristics of the migrants such as sex, age, marital status, relationship to the household head, language skills and educational attainment. It also collects information on destination countries, the reasons they left the country and their employment status both when they were in the home country and in the destination country.

Module 8

International remittances

Collects information on remittances sent by current emigrants. It records the frequency of receiving remittances and the amount received, the channels they were sent through, and how they were used.

Module 9

Return migration

Collects information on all members of the household aged 15 and over who have previously lived abroad for at least three consecutive months and returned to the country. It records information about the destination and the duration of migration as well as the reasons for emigration and for return.


← 1. “In the Philippines, “urban” areas fall under the following categories:

  1. in their entirety, all municipal jurisdictions which, whether designated chartered cities, provincial capital or not, have a population density of at least 1 000 persons per square kilometre: all barangays

  2. poblaciones or central districts of municipalities and cities which have a population density of at least 500 persons square kilometre

  3. poblaciones or central districts not included in (a) and (b) regardless of the population size which have the following:

    • street pattern or network of streets in either parallel or right angel orientation;

    • at least six establishments (commercial, manufacturing, recreational and/or personal services);

    • at least three of the following:

      • a town hall, church or chapel with religious service at least once a month;

      • a public plaza, park or cemetery;

      • a market place, or building, where trading activities are carried on at least once a week;

      • a public building, like a school, hospital, puericulture and health centre or library.

  4. Barangays having at least 1 000 inhabitants which meet the conditions set forth in (c) above and where the occupation of the inhabitants is predominantly non-farming or fishing.”

    Rural areas are “all poblaciones or central districts and all barrios that do not meet the requirements for classification of urban.” (

← 2. In the province of Laguna, the top ten municipalities/cities with the highest rate of migration are all urban areas, therefore six municipalities which had at least 150 OFWs and which have rural barangays were added to the selection pool. In the provinces of Pangasinan and Cebu, the top ten source communities were all urban or mixed communities. One urban community and two mixed communities were randomly selected, and only the rural barangays were considered from the latter.

← 3. In Danao City (Cebu), two instead of three barangays were taken into account. In Balamban (Cebu) two barangays with two zones each were selected, and in Binalonan (Pangasinan) two barangays with one zone each were included.

← 4. A household was considered misclassified if a household listed as migrant household turned out not to have a migrant, or vice versa.

← 5. Other barangay personnel included health officer, nutrition officer, public relations officer, President of Barangay Health Workers, and Barangay Health Worker.

← 6. A political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

← 7. Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Sec. 8, Memorandum Circular No. 55, Series of 1996.