Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Global OFW deployment reaches 1M, remittances US$ 14B

Original article at Gov.Ph News

MANILA, Sept. 12 (PNA) -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday said that the global deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is expected to reach and breach the one-million mark, while total OFW remittances are expected to approach the 14 billion US dollars level by December this year.

Labor and Employment Secretary Arturo D. Brion said that as of mid-year 2007, OFW deployment had already breached the 0.5 million mark in more than 190 destinations worldwide.

At this growth rate, the labor chief expressed confidence that the total deployment figures will reach if not surmount the one million level worldwide this year.

Based on the latest report of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Brion said that global OFW deployment had reached 725,999 as of August 31, 2007, representing more than two-thirds (72.6 percent) of the total one-million global OFW deployment goal in 2007.

Brion earlier indicated that from January to July this year, the deployment of OFWs in the new hire category increased in several host destinations, including Canada, Italy, Cyprus, New Zealand, and New Caledonia due to the demand for Filipino skilled workers in their industries.

He said the percentage of Filipino professional and technical workers went up by two percentage points to 14.4 percent in the first half of 2007 from 12.4 percent in the same period in 2006, with high end skills accounting for more than two-thirds (73 percent) of the total new hires.

Meanwhile, the rehires increased by 2.5 percent to 361,655 from January 1 to August 31, 2007, compared to 352,908 in the same period last year.

In addition, the total contracts per worker processed by POEA for overseas Filipino seafarers have expanded by 15.9 percent to 279,922 from 241,522 during the same period.

In the meantime, the Labor Secretary cited a report of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas that global OFW remittances have reached a record seven billion dollars in the first six months of 2007, which is 18.1 percent above the level recorded in the same period last year.

As the trend sustains, Brion said total global OFW remittances may well approach and breach 14 billion dollars in 2007, noting the BSP's report that the 1.1 billion dollars remitted in June this year "marks the 14th straight month that OFW remittances have sustained at more than one billion dollars monthly."

Amidst the development, he bared that major banks in the Philippines have now joined hands to develop a distinct and more affordable global remittance system benefiting the OFWs in linkage with the Department of Labor and Employment, particularly its newly established National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO).

"I laud BSP for ensuring global remittance services, in effect making it more convenient and efficient for OFWs to remit their earnings," Brion said, adding that the synergy between the NRCO and banking institutions will boost reintegration of the country's modern day heroes to the economic mainstream on their return. (PNA)

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