Manila—(PHStocks)—Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) for the month of August rose year-on-year by 7.4% to $2.1 billion, the fifth consecutive month in 2013 that personal remittances exceeded the $2 billion mark, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Officer-In-Charge Diwa C. Guinigundo announced.
For the period January-August 2013, personal remittances from OFs posted a growth of 6.6% from the year-ago level to reach $16 billion. Growth in remittances was sustained by the 5.5% growth in transfers from land-based OF workers with work contracts of one year or more, whose remittances comprised more than three-fourths (75.3%) of the total. Meanwhile, remittance flows from sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts grew by 7.4%.
Meanwhile, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks increased by 6.8% to $1.9 billion in August. For the first eight months of 2013, cash remittances reached $14.5 billion or a 5.9% increase compared to the level registered in the same period last year. A sustained influx of remittances was observed from both land-based ($11.1 billion) and sea-based workers ($3.4 billion) which grew by 5.5% and 7.4%, respectively. The major sources of cash remittances were the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Canada, and Japan.
The steady deployment of OF workers remained one of the key drivers of the growth in remittance flows. Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that in January-August 2013, approved job orders totaled 542,367, of which about 39% 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 1,164,390 for the first semester of 2013. Likewise, the continued expansion of bank and non-bank 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 remittances.