CIFAL Philippines

DATA SNAPSHOT: Korean Migration to the Philippines

In recent decades, the influx of South Koreans in the Philippines generated a host of questions, most of which remained unanswered. How did the pattern of Korean migration to the Philippines evolve over the last decade? Why did some Koreans choose to stay in the Philippines longer than the others? How did the government adjust its legal and institutional framework to incorporate the foreign migrants effectively?

UP CIFAL Philippines initiated a pilot study on the Korean migration to the Philippines by consolidating current and unpublished data from the different government agencies in the Philippines and South Korea. This pilot study was released in a data snapshot form to communicate the results to different readers (from researchers and development practitioners to the public). The data snapshot outlines the profile of the Korean migrants in the Philippines, the typology and drivers of their migration, their geographical distribution in the country, and some key challenges in migrating to the Philippines.

As the study emphasized the importance of the Philippines as a host country of Korean migrants, it also draws some recommendations particularly on improving the data collection in the country to have “disaggregated data” on Korean immigrants, per Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17.18: “Capacity-building for reliable data availability.” Improving data on internal migration such as the case of Korean migrants will be important in monitoring the SDGs in the Philippines.


UP CIFAL Philippines wishes to thank Bae Kyung Min from the University of the Philippines (UP) Korea Research Center, Park Kidong from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines, Lee Hyun Joo from the United Korean Community Association, and the Korea Chamber of Commerce Philippines, Inc. for their assistance to the development of this report.

Read the full paper here, or download a PDF copy at this link:

Korean Migration to the Philippines