OFW Remittances Reached $1.6B in November

Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) coursed through banks surged by 10.5% year-on-year to reach $1.6 billion in November 2010, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. This was the second highest double-digit monthly increment recorded during the year. The strong remittance flows from both sea-based and land-based workers since the start of the year brought the cumulative remittance level for the eleven-month period to US$17.1 billion, rising by 8.2% from the year-ago level. The bulk of remittances came from the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the U.K., United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Italy, Germany and Norway.

Fund transfers from overseas Filipinos to their beneficiaries have been sustained at more than $1.5 billion monthly over the eleven-month period. Behind the continued flow of remittances was the robust demand for Filipino manpower in various global destinations owing to the diversified skills of overseas Filipinos. Meanwhile, bank and non-bank money transfer channels have expanded their markets worldwide by establishing more tie-ups with remittance offices, partners and agents across the globe where a large number of overseas Filipinos are concentrated. The wider remittance network coverage and the provision of secure and reliable money transfer services as well as other financial products that complement remitters’ saving and investment needs also contributed to better capture of remittances.

Preliminary data obtained from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) indicated that for January-December 2010, approved job orders stood at 624,045, more than four-tenths (40.8%) of which were comprised of processed job orders largely for service, production as well as professional, technical and related workers. Compared to the previous year, the 2010 processed job orders were higher by 15%. The POEA also reported that land-based workers classified as new hires with processed contracts and are awaiting deployment rose by 16.6% to 423,271 for the period January-December 2010 from 362,878 a year ago.

Going forward, given steady levels of remittances through November last year, the projected full year 2010 remittance level will likely be achieved. Remittance flows will be supported by the continuing implementation of hiring agreements forged between the Philippine government with some host economies (e.g., Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia, among others) and the recruitment plans of employers in Guam, Malta, and Qatar to hire more Filipino workers in the health, services, and construction sectors, based on reports from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

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