OFW remittances up 7.4%


Personal remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) for the month of August rose year-on-year by 7.4 percent to $2 billion, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed on Wednesday.

The BSP noted that personal remittances exceeded the $2-billion mark for fifth consecutive month in 2013.

“The steady deployment of OF [overseas Filipino]workers remained one of the key drivers of the growth in remittance flows,” it stated.

The central bank attributed the sustained expansion in remittance flows to the 5.5-percent growth in transfers from land-based OFWs with work contracts of one year or more, whose remittances comprised about three-fourths of the total.

Meanwhile, OF remittances from both sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts recorded an expansion of 7.4 percent.

The data added that cash remittances coursed through banks recorded a 6.8-percent growth to reach $1.9 billion in August.

For the first eight months of the year, the BSP data showed that remittances reached $16 billion, posting a growth of 6.6 percent from the year-ago level.

Cash remittances reached $14.5 billion or a 5.9-percent increase from January to August 2013 compared to the same period last year.

The BSP said that a sustained influx of remittance was observed from both land-based and sea-based workers with $11.1 billion and $ 3.4 billion, respectively.

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

The BSP cited the preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) which showed that in January to August 2013, approved job orders totaled 542,367, of which about 39 percent were processed job orders mainly for services, production, professional, technical and related workers.

The job orders were primarily intended for the manpower requirements in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Qatar.

The POEA also reported that workers with processed contracts reached 1.16 million for the first semester of 2013.

“Likewise, 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 provided support to the sustained flow of remittance,” the BSP stated.


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