Remittances by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in November rose by 27.7 percent to US$740 million from last year’s level. This brought the cumulative remittances for the eleven-month period to US$7.7 billion, or 11.0 percent higher than the US$6.9 billion posted a year-ago. This level already exceeds expectation of a 6 percent growth for the whole of 2004.
The continued rise in OFW remittances from the comparable period last year may be attributed to: a) the growing demand for Filipino workers abroad; b) sustained marketing campaign abroad pursued by commercial banks; and c) seasonal transfers for the holiday season.
Preliminary data on new hires and rehires from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that for the first eleven months of 2004 total deployed workers grew 1.3 percent to 811,773 from 801,351 last year. The number of sea-based workers went up by 3.6 percent to 208,091 from its year-ago level while land-based workers rose marginally by 0.5 percent to 603,682. Local commercial banks, on the other hand, pursued vigorous marketing efforts to promote their money transfer services (through increased number of remittance centers, tie-ups with foreign financial counterparts and more efficient delivery services) amid the growing number of Filipinos working abroad. Finally, increased transfers by OFWs to their beneficiaries for the holiday season also helped boost remittance flows during the review period.
The USA, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Japan, UK, Hong Kong and United Arab Emirates remained the major sources of remittance flows during the period.