• OFW remittances up 6.2% to $11.8B in H1

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    Personal remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) remained robust at the first half of the year as it soared by 6.2 percent to $11.8 billion compared to the level registered in the same period last year.

    For June alone, personal remittances from OFWs rose year-on-year by 5.7 percent to reach $2.1 billion, the highest monthly level recorded during the year.

    Statement from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday said that remittances continued to grow partly on the back of continued increase in demand for skilled Filipinos abroad.

    It noted that the sustained expansion in personal remittances from January to June 2013 was boosted largely by the 5.1-percent growth in remittance flows from land-based OFWs with work contracts of one year or more, whose remittances comprised 75.1 percent of the total.

    Meanwhile, remittance flows from sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts grew by 7.5 percent.

    The central bank added that cash remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks sustained the 5.6-percent growth it posted last year as it reached $10.7 billion for the first six months of the year.

    Remittances from sea-based and land-based workers recorded an expansion of 7.4 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively.

    United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Canada and Japan were the top sources of remittances. Total flows from these countries represented about three-fourths, or 74.8 percent of the total cash remittances coursed through banks.

    “The steady stream of remittances also drew continued support from the efficient network of bank and nonbank remittance channels established worldwide and their expanding financial services to cater to the various needs of OFWs,” the central bank stated.

    As of end-June 2013, commercial banks’ established tie-ups, remittance centers, correspondent banks and branches/representative offices abroad reached 4,409, it reported.

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