Remittances rose 7.6% to $1.8B in August
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Cash remittances from overseas-based Filipinos sent through banks reached $1.8 billion in August, increasing at a 10-month high of 7.6 percent from $1.67 billion in the same month last year.
Remittances in August eased from $1.81 billion in July, but still higher than the $1.7 billion average for the first seven months of the year.
This brought the inflows for January to August to $13.7 billion, 5.5 percent higher than the $15.3 billion sent in the same period of 2011.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said in a statement that eight-month fund transfers rose following a steady stream from both sea- and land-based workers, who accounted for $3.2 billion and $10.5 billion, respectively.
According to BSP officer-in-charge Juan D. de Zuñiga, growth in remittances was sustained by higher transfers—including non-cash items—from land-based OFWs with work contracts of at least one year as well as all OFWs with contracts of less than a year.
The BSP also measures “personal remittances,” which cover cash and goods carried into the country as well as travel expenses in countries where the senders work.
In terms of territories from where the funds were sent through banks, the top source was the United States with 43 percent of the total for the eight months. Other key sources were Canada, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, Japan, United Arab Emirates and Singapore.
Citing preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the BSP said there was continued demand for skilled Filipino workers, with 231,316 job orders for the nine months to September. These workers are needed in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Taiwan.
“With expectations of sustained demand for skilled Filipino workers overseas, remittances are projected to continue to boost economic activity and provide a steady supply of foreign exchange,” Zuñiga said.
“Moreover, the increasing use of financial channels for transfers and the continued introduction of innovations in remittance products are expected to contribute to the steady flow of remittances into the country,” he added.—Ronnel W. Domingo
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