February remittances up 5.8% at $1.59B

Continued rise seen as more Filipinos get jobs abroad

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Filipino domestic helpers line up to send money at a remittance center in the central district of Hong Kong in this file photo. Remittances sent home by overseas Filipino workers grew 5.8 percent in February 2012 as global demand for Filipino workers remained robust, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Monday, April 16, 2012. They sent back $1.59 billion during the month, while the total for the first two months of the year reached $3.14 billion, up 5.6 percent from $2.98 billion in the same period last year. AFP PHOTO/TED ALJIBE

Remittances grew at a slightly faster pace in February as global demand for Filipino workers remained robust, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported Monday.

Money sent home by Filipinos based offshore amounted to $1.59 billion in February, up 5.8 percent from $1.5 billion in the same month last year, documents from the BSP showed.

The year-on-year increase in remittances in February accelerated from the 5.4 percent recorded in January.

Remittances in February brought the total for the first two months of the year to $3.14 billion, up 5.6 percent from $2.98 billion in the same period last year.

“The continued inflow of remittances is supported by the sustained demand for Filipino manpower in various foreign labor markets,” BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said in a statement.

The BSP said the top 10 sources of remittances for February were the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Germany and Hong Kong.

Citing data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), job orders for Filipino professional, technical, service and production workers reached 200,010 in the first quarter of this year, up year on year by 24.6 percent.

The job orders came from employers mostly from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Taiwan, Kuwait, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Tetangco said the job orders in the first quarter indicated that remittances in the months ahead could further increase.

The move of the POEA to lift the deployment ban to Nigeria, Libya and South Sudan is also expected to boost total deployment, thus supporting a further increase in remittances in the future.

The POEA said the lifting of the ban was made following an assessment that security conditions in those countries have already improved significantly.

Meantime, the BSP said the move of banks to further expand their presence in countries where there are many Filipino workers also aided in the continued growth in remittances.

The central bank said the increase in the number of remittance centers catering to the needs of Filipino workers encouraged them to send more money to their beneficiaries in the Philippines.

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