Remittances as of February up by 5.6%

Published by rudy Date posted on April 17, 2012

MONEY SENT home by Filipinos living and working abroad grew by 5.6% as of February compared to the same period last year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) yesterday said in a statement, buoyed by a continuing demand for Philippine manpower abroad.

Specifically, remittances from overseas Filipinos reached $3.145 billion as of end-February against $2.978 billion recorded in the same period last year.

“The continued inflow of remittances is supported by the sustained demand for Filipino manpower in various foreign labor markets,” the BSP said.

For the month of February alone, remittances rose by 5.6% to $1.587 billion from $1.501 billion year on year.

Bulk of remittances in February (76.1%) came from land-based workers and the rest (23.9%) from their sea-based counterparts.

The BSP said the top 10 sources of remittances were the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, United Kingdom, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Italy, Germany and Hong Kong.

Job orders for professional and technical service and production workers in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Taiwan, Kuwait, Singapore and Hong Kong, among others, have risen in the first quarter, the central bank noted.

In particular, the job orders climbed 24.6% to 200,010 in January to March from the same period last year, the BSP said, citing data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

It also helps that the deployment ban has been lifted in some countries. “Going forward, the lifting of the bans imposed by POEA in deployment to Nigeria, Libya and South Sudan, following improved security conditions in these countries, could provide additional employment prospects abroad for Filipino manpower,” the central bank said.

Meanwhile, the BSP noted that banks and other financial institutions have been expanding services abroad through tie-ups with foreign financial institutions and local telecommunication firms.

“The improved accessibility of remittance centers, and the wider array of financial products on offer, supported the increase in remittances and encouraged more overseas Filipinos to send money to their families and other beneficiaries in the Philippines,” the BSP said.

Last year, money sent home by Filipinos abroad reached $20.117 billion, a 7.22% growth from $18.763 billion in 2010. The growth in remittances in 2011 slightly surpassed the BSP’s target, pegged at 7%. For this year, the central bank expects remittances to grow at a slower pace of 5%. — Kathleen A. Martin, Businessworld

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