Overseas Filipino remittances up by 5% to P10 B in 1st half
$1.8B inflow brings 6-month total to $10.13BBy Michelle Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Remittances from overseas Filipinos posted a new monthly record high of $1.8 billion in June, aided by the strong global demand for Filipino workers even as the world economy continues to struggle with the dampening effects of the eurozone crisis.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Wednesday reported that cash sent by overseas-based Filipinos in June increasee by 4 percent from $1.7 billion in the same month last year. This also brought total remittances for the first half to $10.13 billion, up 5.1 percent from $9.64 billion in the same period a year ago.
“The sustained growth in the deployment of OFWs [overseas Filipino workers] was the key contributory factor to the upswing seen in remittance flows,” the BSP said in a statement.
Remittances in the first half came mostly from workers based in the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.
Citing documents from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the central bank reported that Filipinos who were deployed to work abroad in 2011 reached 1.69 million. This was higher by 15 percent from the 1.47 million deployed the previous year.
Filipinos who were sent for overseas employment last year helped drive growth in remittances this year, the central bank said.
Countries hosting the bulk of Filipino workers last year were Saudi Arabia, UAE, Singapore, Hong Kong and Qatar, the central bank added.
The BSP expressed confidence that remittances in the short term would remain robust because the number of Filipinos who got their overseas job orders approved from January to July this year remained significant at 472,261. The approved job orders included those for services, professional, technical and production.
Besides the actual growth in remittances driven by deployment of more Filipino workers, the BSP said growth in the remittance figure was also partly aided by better data capture. This was because Philippine banks have been expanding their presence abroad mainly through partnerships with foreign money transfer units. Their move has encouraged more Filipinos abroad to send money through banks instead of informal channels.
Remittances from at least 10 million overseas-based Filipinos largely fuel household consumption and plays a crucial role in the economy’s growth. The Philippines is the fourth-biggest recipient of remittances in the world after China, India and Mexico.
The BSP expects total remittances for 2011 to grow at least 5 percent from last year’s $20.1 billion.
Originally posted at 03:52 pm | Wednesday, August 15, 2012
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