• OFW remittances flat at $2.3B in July Versus June, but up 7.1% year-on-year


    PERSONAL remittances by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) reached $2.884 billion in July, little changed from the $2.27 billion that came in during the month earlier, though higher by 7.1 percent from July last year, the central bank said on Monday.

    Remittances during the comparative year-earlier period stood at $2.132 billion.

    Cumulative remittances in the seven months to July 2014 rose 6.4 percent to $14.958 billion from $14.063 billion in the corresponding 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 (1 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 6 percent year-on-year to $2.063 billion in July from $1.946 billion a year earlier.

    A breakdown of remittances during the seven-month period shows funds coursed through banks increased to $13.485 billion, or 5.8 percent over the amount sent in the same period last year.

    “The continued efforts of bank and non-bank remittance service providers to expand their international and domestic market coverage through tie-ups and establishment of remittance centers abroad provided support to the sustained flow of remittances,” the BSP said in a statement released along with the figures.

    The central bank noted that cash remittances during the period from land-based ($10.3 billion) and sea-based ($3.2 billion) workers climbed 5 percent and 8.5 percent year-on-year, respectively.

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

    In terms of overseas jobs, the BSP cited the latest data from
    the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) as showing that in the first seven months of 2014, there were 540,037approved job orders.

    Of the total job orders, 41.1 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 full-year 2013, personal remittances totaled $23.35 billion. This year, the BSP expects cash remittances to reach P24.1 billion, or 5 percent higher than the previous year’s level.


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