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OFW remittances hit record $20B

Overseas Filipinos sent home a record $20.12 billion last year, rising 7.2 percent from 2010 and exceeding the government forecast of 7 percent despite a slowing US economy and debt problems in Europe.

Major sources of remittances in 2011 were the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Italy, Germany, and Norway.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Wednesday reported that the growth in remittances came as job orders for Filipino workers from foreign employers last year stood at 58,123.

The BSP likewise credited the effort of banks and non-bank financial institutions to expand their presence in various countries where there are many overseas Filipino workers for the robust remittance inflows.

“[An increase in remittances] developed ow     ing to the diversified destinations and skills of overseas Filipinos, the strategic network of bank and non-bank service providers across the globe, as well as the new financial products and money transfer services offered in the remittance market,” the BSP said in a statement.

For December alone, remittances amounted to $1.8 billion, up 6.2 percent from $1.69 billion in the same month of 2010.

“Remittances remained resilient throughout the year amid the political turmoil in some parts of the Middle East and North Africa, the slowdown in global economic growth and intensified financial strains brought about by the euro area sovereign debt crisis,” the central bank added.

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