OFW remittances rise 7% to $2B in April

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The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Monday announced that personal remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFW) continued to show strength, as it rose in April 2013, reaching $2 billion, or a 7-percent year-on-year increment.

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The April figure brought the cumulative remittances for the first four months of the year to $7.7 billion.

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

The BSP said that the rise in personal remittances in January to April was supported by the 4.6-percent increment in remittances by land-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with work contracts of one year or more.

On the other hand, remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts grew by 9.4 percent.

The central bank added that that cash remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks for the first four months of 2013 also went up by 5.7 percent to reach $6.9 billion.

Remittances from both sea-based and land-based workers recorded an increase of 9.3 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.

With 75.9 percent of total cash remittances, United States, Saudi Arabia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Singapore and Japan were still the top source of remittances.

“Remittances remained strong partly on account of sustained demand for skilled Filipino workers manpower in various countries worldwide,” the BSP said.

It added that latest data from the Philippine Overseas Employments Administration reported that the total of the approved 367,738 job orders for January to May 2013, more than 30 percent of the processed job orders were for services, production, professional, technical and related workers.

Job orders mainly came from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Kuwait, Qatar and Hong Kong.

“The continued expansion of bank and nonbank service providers’ international market coverage through tie-ups and establishment of remittance centers abroad to capture a larger share of the global remittance market likewise provided support to the steady flow of remittances,” the BSP said.

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