OFW remittances breach $2-billion mark in May

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Personal remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFW) breached the $2-billion mark in May 2013, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) announced on Monday.

OFW remittances rose to $2.1 billion, or a 6.2 percent year-on-year increment. It brought the cumulative remittances for the first five months of the year to $9.7 billion.

The January to May figure was higher by 6.4 percent than the level registered in the same period last year.

The BSP said that the steady increase in personal remittances during the five-month period was driven largely by remittance flows from by land-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with work contracts of one year or more. Remittances of OFWs with long-term contracts reached $7.2 billion


Meanwhile, remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts reached $2.3 billion.

“The remaining $0.2 billion [$200 million] of total personal remittances for the first five months of the year consisted of transfers from Filipinos who have migrated abroad,” it stated.

The central bank added that cash remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks for the first five months of 2013 also went up by 5.6 percent to reach $8.8 billion.

Remittances from both sea-based and land-based workers recorded an increase of 9.2 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively.

United States, Saudi Arabia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Canada and Japan were the top sources of remittances.

“Remittances remained robust due to sustained strong demand for skilled Filipino manpower overseas,” the BSP said.

It added that latest data from the Philippine Overseas Employments Administration showed that one-third of the 431,394 approved job orders in January to June 2013 were already processed.

These processed job orders for services, production, and professional, technical and related workers were mainly intended for the manpower requirements of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Hong Kong, and Qatar.

“Meanwhile, efforts of bank and non-bank remittance service providers to expand their international and domestic market coverage have also supported the inflow of remittances,” it said.

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