Remittances reached a record high in October as global demand for Filipino workers remained strong despite the lingering crisis in the United States and Europe.
Filipinos based overseas sent home $1.93 billion in cash in October, the highest monthly figure so far on record, rising by 8.5 percent from $1.78 billion in the same month last year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported on Monday.
This brought total remittances in the first 10 months of the year to $17.5 billion, up by 5.8 percent from $16.53 billion in the same period a year ago.
Meantime, personal remittances, which combine the value of cash and goods sent home by overseas-based Filipinos, amounted to $19.46 billion in the first 10 months, up year on year by nearly 6 percent from $18.37 billion.
“Remittances remained strong despite fragile economic conditions in advanced economies … Remittance flows were supported by the steady deployment of skilled and professional Filipino manpower abroad,” the BSP said.
Citing data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the central bank said there were 721,338 job orders from foreign employers in January to November.
Of the figure, about 42 percent, or 302,173, had been processed.
Besides boosting remittances earlier in the year, the processed job orders are expected to further boost remittances over the short term.
According to original projections of the BSP, remittances, which amounted to $20.1 billion last year, could grow by 5 percent this year to $21.1 billion and by another 5 percent next year to $22.16 billion.
But according to the World Bank, it is likely that total remittances to the Philippines for this year will hit $24 billion and make the country the third-biggest recipient of money from migrants, next to India and China.
There are at least 10 million registered overseas-based Filipinos, fueling spending of over 10 percent of households in the country.
Economists said robust household spending helped the Philippines grow robustly so far this year despite anemic export earnings caused by the crisis in the eurozone.