Cumulative remittances from overseas Filipinos (OF) coursed through banks were more robust than expected in 2010, rising 8.2% year-on-year to $18.8 billion, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. The 2010 level slightly exceeded the BSP’s forecast of $18.7 billion remittances, or an 8% year-on-year growth for the year. Remittances from sea-based and land-based OFWs rose by 11.9% and 7.2%, respectively. For the month of December 2010 alone, remittances grew by 8.1%, registering its highest level at $1.7 billion.
The stable flow of remittances continued to provide strong support to domestic demand, with the remittance level for the year accounting for close to 10% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The major driving factors that helped accelerate the growth in remittances were the diversity of the destinations and skills of overseas Filipinos combined with the expanding network of bank and non-bank service providers both here and abroad to capture a larger share of the global remittance market. The continuing innovation of financial products and services (e.g., web-based remittance service, automated remittance machine, reloadable/reusable money/cash cards, among others) being offered in the market to facilitate money transfers have likewise contributed to the resilience of remittances throughout the year.
As of end-December 2010, commercial banks’ established tie-ups, remittance centers, correspondent banks and branches/representative offices abroad expanded to 4,581 from 3,730 at end-December 2009.
Meanwhile, the latest report from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that for January 2011, 16.9% (or 7,822) of the total approved job orders of 46,238 were processed. These processed job orders comprised mainly of service, production, and professional, technical and related job categories needed in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
For the period January-December 2010, the major sources of remittances were the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, U.K., Japan, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Italy, Germany and Norway.