Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Remittances rise 7% to $4.34 billion in March

Manila Bulletin

Remittances grew seven percent year-on-year in the first three months of the year to $4.34 billion, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported Monday.

For the month of March, overseas Filipinos sent home $1.55 billion from $1.41 billion in February. It was also 5.44 percent higher compared to March 2009 of $1.47 billion.

BSP said remittances from land-based and sea-based workers increased by six percent and 11 percent, respectively.

In a statement, BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said prospects for more Filipinos finding more work abroad is “positive” in the next months, particularly in Hong Kong, Qatar, Taiwan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Tetangco said employment opportunities “are expected to rise along with clearer signs of global economic recovery.” He quoted a report from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration that in the first quarter this year, job orders totaled 155,334, of which 20.2 percent or 45,393 were job orders for service, professional, technical, and production-related work.

Tetangco also attributed banks expanded remittance network in the continued expansion of fund transfer volume. As of the end of March, the BSP noted that these networks increased to 4,483 from end-2009 of 4,192. These networks include tieups, remittance centers and local banks representative offices or branches abroad.

BSP earlier increased its remittances forecast to eight percent this year, from six percent. In dollar terms, remittances are expected to amount to $18.7 billion this year from $17.3 billion at the end of 2009. The previous projection was six percent or $18.35 billion.

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