Remittances Up 6.8% in January 2014

Manila—(PHStocks)—Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)—Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) rose by 6.8 percent year-on-year in January 2014 to reach $2 billion, BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. announced.

The robust growth in personal remittances was driven by the steady increase in transfers of land-based workers with long-term contracts (4.9 percent), and sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts (9.1 percent). The solid growth of remittances is expected to provide support to the continued strength of the current account.

Likewise, cash remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks increased by 5.9 percent year-on-year to US$1.8 billion. This compares with the $2.2 billion recorded in December 2013.  It should be pointed out, however, that the level of remittances typically drops after the year-end holiday season. Remittances from both land-based ($1.3 billion) and sea-based ($450 million) workers expanded by 4.9 percent and 9.1 percent year-on-year, respectively. Cash remittances during the month came mostly from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, and Canada.

Remittance flows from overseas Filipinos remained resilient, underpinned by the sustained demand for Filipino manpower overseas, particularly the skilled workers. Preliminary reports by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) indicated that 32.1 percent (or 24,187) of the total approved job orders of 75,348 in January 2014 were processed during the period. Processed job orders were intended mainly for manpower demand for service, production, and professional, technical and related job categories in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Kuwait and Qatar.

Moreover, the efforts of bank and non-bank remittance service providers to expand their international and domestic market coverage through their network of remittance business partners worldwide continued to support steady remittance flows.

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