Remittances from overseas Filipinos rose 6 percent to $1.68 billion in February from $1.59 billion a year ago on the back of sustained global demand for Filipino workers and their rising salaries, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported Monday.
For the first two months, total remittances amounted to $3.36 billion, up 7 percent from $3.14 billion in the same period last year.
“The steady deployment of overseas Filipino workers remained a primary contributory factor to the growth in remittance flows,” the BSP said in a statement.
It said that the biggest sources of remittances were the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Japan.
The BSP said there were indications of sustained demand for Filipino workers from employers from various labor markets, making the remittance projection for the year within reach.
The central bank cited a report from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) that in the first quarter, job orders for 219,206 Filipinos were approved mostly for Saudi Arabia, UAE, Taiwan, Qatar and Kuwait.
The BSP said other favorable developments in offshore labor markets also bode well for remittances. These included the lifting by the POEA of the ban on the deployment to Iraq, Yemen and Eretria, the increase in the minimum wage in Taiwan and infrastructure projects in Hong Kong that are seen to eventually lead to higher demand for Filipino labor.
With over 10 million Filipinos estimated to be working overseas, the Philippines is one of the fourth biggest recipients of remittances in the world after China, India, and Mexico. Michelle V. Remo