How Saturated is the Caregivers' Market? (February 2004)

Steady Rise in Caregiver Deployment

There is demand for caregivers but not that much so as to absorb all the outputs of the training institutions. As can be gleaned from the table, deployment statistics of caregivers overseas is rising steadily for the last three years.

2001 2002 2003
465 5,383 18,878

Source: POEA

POEA data showed that of those who passed through the agency for processing, from a mere 465 deployment in 2001, it rose to more than 5 thousand in 2002 and close to 19 thousand in 2003 or an increase of 4,000 percent for the 3 year period. However, the government must find a way to account for those individuals who were employed as caregivers without going through the POEA like direct-hires or those who were employed through their relatives or other informal means.

By country of destination, last year's data pointed out that Taiwan had the most number of deployed caregivers. By sheer number, deployment was registered to be close to 15 thousand equivalent to 78 percent of the total caregivers sent abroad. Canada and Israel followed suit accounting for more than 9 percent each of total deployment figures. The United Kingdom and Ireland were the two European countries that tapped the services of Filipino caregivers. It is however noticeable that demand from these countries is relatively low when compared to the traditional and well publicized Canadian market. (See table)

Caregiver Deployment, 2003

Country Male Female Total %
Bermuda 1 2 3 0.02
Canada 117 1,894 1,811 9.5
Cayman   1 1 0.005
Cyprus   1 1 0.005
Hong Kong   1 1 0.005
Ireland 31 81 112 0.60
Israel 262 1,475 1,737 9.2
Kuwait   3 3 0.02
Oman   2 2 0.01
Taiwan 145 14,571 14,716 78.0
Tajikistan   4 4 0.02
Tanzania   2 2 0.01
Tinian   1 1 0.005
Tonga   1 1 0.005
Transkei   1 1 0.005
UK 64 417 481 2.55
USA   1 1 0.005
Total 620 18,258 18,878 100
% Share 3.3 96.7 100  

For the first quarter of this year, total number of job vacancies for caregivers as tallied by the POEA totaled close to 4 thousand. Israel posted the most number of vacancies, followed by United States, Canada and China.

Caregiver Demand by Country As of February 10, 2004

Country Demand %
Canada 230 6.3
China 150 4.1
Ireland 67 1.8
Israel 2,811 76.8
Taiwan 3 0.08
United Kingdom 40 1.1
United States 358 9.8
Total 3,659 100

How many are being produced by the system?

Caregiver Outputs by Region, 2002-2003

Region No. of Registered Programs % No. of Institutions Graduates %
CAR 21 2.7 21 263 0.48
I 46 5.9 46 1,156 2.1
II 15 1.9 15 1,311 2.4
III 93 11.9 88 4,150 7.6
IV-A 106 13.6 102 4,454 8.2
IV-B 17 2.2 17 287 0.52
V 19 2.4 19 55 0.10
VI 49 6.3 44 169 0.31
VII 24 3.1 24 821 1.5
VIII 21 2.7 21 908 1.7
IX 13 1.7 11 634 1.2
X 25 3.2 22 2,324 4.2
XI 37 4.7 37 700 1.3
XII 23 2.9 23 529 0.97
Caraga 22 2.8 17 1,218 2.2
ARMM 2 0.3 2 2 0.004
NCR 249 31.8 249 35,663 65.3
Total 782 100 758 54,644 100

The table above shows that the bulk of caregiver training institutions can be found in the National Capital Region as 32 percent of the total number are situated in the area. Having the most number of institutions, it naturally followed that majority of the outputs (65%) are being produced in the region. CALABARZON, Regions III, X, II and I also turned out substantial contributions accounting for 8, 7.6, 4, 2.4 and 2.1 percent share of the total outputs.

Demand vs. Supply
While it is acknowledged that there are really existing and even increasing demands for Caregiver services, data would direct us to the stark reality that supply outnumbers demand. This could be attributed to the proliferation of caregiver training institutions nationwide that produced astounding outputs in terms of sheer numbers alone.

As can be seen from the supply situation, the outputs of the National Capital Region are more than enough to fill up the demand requirement. Even if we assumed that last year's deployment figures would be doubled this year, still we would be experiencing surplus leaving caregiver graduates with limited opportunities to find employment. This really posed a problem as reality dictates that those taking up caregiver programs are expecting to be employed overseas. Given that there exists no documented demand for local employment for caregivers, producing graduates way above what can be absorbed by the overseas market would further aggravate the country's unemployment situation.

Japan has always been mentioned to be a potential market . However, its job market remained closed and are not yet employing caregivers.

Matters for Policy Consideration

It is a fact that caregiver training institutions are there to reap profits just like other businesses. Under a free economy, businesses are being driven and relied more on the market forces that operates within their environment. These are the forces that define the extinction or survival of a business.

Policy questions could then be raised:

  1. Shall TESDA allow the market forces to move freely and allow the proliferation of caregiver training institutions as sooner or later, they will outdo themselves and voluntary close their programs if enrolment dwindles?
  2. Shall TESDA issue moratorium or prevent the registration of additional programs but would in effect curtail the notion of free enterprise?
  3. Shall TESDA undertake a massive information campaign to the public for them to be aware of the real situationer for caregivers?

As it would prove difficult for TESDA to prevent institutions from engaging into caregiver training provision, it is the responsibility of TESDA to provide periodic information to the public for their perusal. In so doing, we are not raising false hopes for the citizenry but enabling them to make informed decisions.

This is a publication of the MIS Group, Planning Office on current labor market trends and prospects / information that can be used to progress TVET in the country.

Interested parties may send their contributions to the Executive Director.

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