Wednesday, 15 September 2010

OF Remittances Continue to Grow in July; First Seven Months Level Reaches US$10.7 Billion

Bangko Sentral
Media Releases

Remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) coursed through banks rose to US$ 1.6 billion in July 2010, posting a year-on-year growth of 8.2 percent, BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today. This favorable development brought cumulative remittances for the first seven months of the year to US$10.7 billion, higher by 7.1 percent from the year-ago level, with remittances from sea-based and land-based workers expanding by 9.4 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively.

Given sustained remittance flows at the onset of the second half of the year amidst the uneven pace of global economic recovery, a steady level of transfers from overseas Filipinos is anticipated for the remaining months of 2010. Underpinning mainly the resilience of remittances is the continued demand for Filipino manpower worldwide as global employment prospects remained favorable.

Preliminary data obtained from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) indicated that workers classified as new hires with processed contracts and are awaiting deployment rose by 15.1 percent to 251,748 for the period January-July 2010 from 218,627 in the same period last year. Moreover, for January-August 2010, approved job orders aggregated 447,936, of which 36.8 percent were comprised of processed job orders for service, professional, technical, as well as production and related workers.

The favorable outlook on remittance flows stemmed from reports from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) of employment opportunities for overseas Filipino workers in Guam involving the construction of military facilities, particularly a naval hospital, as the first big project which will commence by the first quarter of 2011. The DOLE also pointed out that the military base expansion in Guam is projected until 2020 requiring about 7,000–10,000 construction workers every year. Also being considered for the US military relocation is the island of Tinian in the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI) which could offer jobs for Filipino overseas workers. Moreover, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Israel has reported that employment of foreign workers has been permitted for the construction of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Express Railway Line which is projected to be completed in 2015.

Meanwhile, the expected steady stream of remittances will also draw continuing support from the increasing global network of banks and non-bank remittance centers which have established more tie-ups with foreign financial institutions. Their aggressive marketing efforts to provide enhanced financial services to cater to the various needs of overseas Filipinos are expected to further shore up remittance flows through the banking system.

The main country sources of remittances were the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, the U.K., Japan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Italy. The combined flows from these countries represented 81.7 percent of the total remittances reported by the banks.

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