Money sent home by overseas Filipino workers (OFW) continues to rise amid the steady demand for Filipino labor across the world, despite weak global economic conditions.
Cash remittances that entered the country through formal channels reached P1.927 billion in July, up 6.6 percent from the level in same month last year. This was also the highest in a single month this year, while the growth was the fastest recorded since January.
“The steady deployment of OFWs remained the key driver of the growth in remittance flows,” the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which tracks the data, said in a statement.
Remittances in July brought the year to date total to $12.627 billion, up by 5.8 percent from year-ago level.
The BSP said preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that job orders since the start of the year reached 495,304. About 37 percent were for posts in companies in the services, production and technical industries.
The job orders were mainly for manpower requirements in Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait.
The United States remained the main source of remittances, followed by Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the UAE, Singapore, Canada and Japan.
Three out of four OFWs were also employed under contracts at least a year long—a measure of the sustainability of remittances.
Remittances are a major supporter of domestic spending, which made up at least 70 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, the BSP said. The Philippine economy expanded by 7.6 percent in the first half of the year, making the country Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing market.
The BSP also attributed the rise in remittances to the increasing efficiency of formal payment channels.
“Efforts of bank and nonbank remittances service providers to expand their international and domestic market coverage and to introduce innovations in their remittance products continue to provide support for the sustained flow of remittances into the country,” the BSP said.