Per capita income is a good indicator of local wage rates. The disparities are indeed enormous. The case of Spain and Portugal are held up as examples of how tackling the supply side - evening out the income disparities - will do much to ease immigration pressures.
What happened to Spain? Well way back in mid-1980s its US$ per capita income (PPP-adjusted) was 10,435; today it stands at 25,100. That is per capita income rose by a factor of nearly 2.5. That can be done by plodding along at a decent growth rate of about 4.5% per year (in per capita terms). Once your economy is that size, you don't need Tiger economy growth rates (in the rate of 7% and above) to
What about the Philippines? At about US$ 1,000 per capita, even doubling income will still keep us at a poor country level. If we can make our per capita income grow by 3% per year (around the growth rate last year) then in 20 years we can hit US$ 2,500. Pretty impressive, no? That's about Thai standards now. What we need is really fast growth (Tiger - standard). At 7% per capita growth (9.5% in GDP terms), we quadruple income in 20 years. But that's only about Malaysia standard (these days). In fact, the past couple of decades our per capita growth has been lower than Mexican standard!
So we can expect lots of migration from the Philippines over the next several decades. Slow growth and employment generation at home has been a major "push" factor behind all that worker migration. If we can rack up decent growth rates, there will eventually be a slowdown in the rate of growth of overseas remittance - and even a reversal. I do not believe that overseas remittance growth has contributed in a significant way to slowing down our growth rate - my gut feel is that the effect has been positive.