OFW remittances up 6.9%

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Personal remittances by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) reached $2.46 billion in October, higher than the $2.33 billion recorded in September and up 6.9 percent from $2.3 billion in October last year, the central bank said yesterday.

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Cumulative remittances in the 10 months to October rose 6.7 percent to $22.02 billion from $20.64 billion in the same period in 2013, data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.

Personal remittances consist of the net compensation for land-based overseas workers with short-term (one year or less) contracts and all sea-based workers; personal transfers in cash or in kind between overseas Filipinos or longer-term overseas workers and their families in the Philippines; and capital transfers between households, such as funds for home construction.

Cash remittances, or those coursed through banks, grew 7 percent year-on-year to $2.22 billion in October from $2.08 billion a year earlier.

A breakdown of remittances during the 10-month period shows funds coursed through banks increased to $19.87 billion, or 6.2 percent over the amount sent in the same period last year.

The central bank noted that cash remittances during the period from land-based and sea-based reached $15.2 billion and $4.7 billion, respectively.

“The continued efforts of bank and non-bank remittance service providers to expand their international and domestic market coverage, and introduce innovations in financial products and services in the remittance market contributed to the sustained inflow of remittances,” the BSP said in a statement released along with the figures.

The United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Canada were the major sources of the cash remittances for the 10-month period.

In terms of overseas jobs, the BSP cited the latest data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration which showed that in the first 10 months of 2014, there were 768,741 approved job orders.

“The steady demand for skilled and professional Filipino manpower supported the growth in remittances inflows,” the central bank said.

Of the total job orders, 39.8 percent were processed intended for service, production, and professional, technical and related employment in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Taiwan, and Qatar.

In 2013, personal remittances totaled $23.35 billion, while cash remittances reached $22.97 billion. This year, the BSP expects cash remittances to rose by 5 percent from the previous year’s level.

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