Tuesday, 18 January 2011

11-month remittances up 8.2% at $17 B

Manila Bulletin

MANILA, Philippines — Remittances from overseas Filipinos amounted to $17.068 billion as of end-November 2010, up 8.2 percent compared to the same period in 2009, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) yesterday announced.

For the month of November alone, remittances reached $1.612 billion which was 10.5 percent higher than last year’s $1.459 billion. The November remittances were lower compared to October’s $1.673 billion.

The central bank forecasts remittances to grow by eight percent this year to $20.2 billion as host economies show stronger recovery in 2011.

BSP said the sustained improvement in most host economies, as well as increased demand for Filipino workers overseas would ensure fund transfers continue to expand.

Other factors that would contribute to higher remittances are efforts of local banks to tie-up with remittance centers overseas, improvement in bank services in terms of more attractive deals for overseas Filipino workers, increased number of employment contracts as a result of bilateral talks with host countries and higher demand for skilled workers, the report said.

For 2010, the BSP forecast remittances expected to reach $18.7 billion from $17.3 billion in 2009.

Remittances boost the country’s dollar reserves and support the balance of payments, which remain in surplus.

In a BSP statement, remittances mostly came from the US, Canada. Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Italy, Germany and Norway.

BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said that demand for Filipino workers abroad remain strong. According to data from the labor department and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, as the end of 2010, approved job orders totaled 624,045 and 40.8 percent of which were for service-related work and production.

A good number of Filipinos were also hired last year for professional services such as technical work. BSP said remittances were boosted by the steady stream of remittance flows from both sea-based and land-based workers, however data for these are not yet updated as of press time. (LCC)

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