Cash remittances from overseas Filipino workers coursed through the banking channels rose anew by 19.1 percent to US$790 million in April 2005, bringing the year-to-date cash remittances to US$3.1 billion, or a hefty 17.2 percent growth from the comparable year-ago level.
The continued increase in remittances from Filipinos working abroad was attributed mainly to: a) the double-digit growth in deployment of both land-based and sea-based workers in April; b) seasonal transfers for the school enrollment period; and c) improvement in the efficiency and continuous aggressive promotion of banks’ in their remittance services.
Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) on Newly-Hired and Rehired OFWs processed by the agency showed that deployment in April for land-based OFWs grew by 16.6 percent and for sea-based workers by 14.2 percent. These bring the cumulative deployment for the first four months to 344,058 or a 3.8 percent growth over the comparative level last year. Classified by skill, POEA data on new hired OFWs for the first quarter of 2005 showed that Filipino workers consisted largely of service workers (42.7 percent), professional/technical workers (29.4 percent), and production workers (24.1 percent).
The increased transfers to beneficiaries by overseas workers to defray school enrollment expenses also contributed to the higher level of remittances during the period. Meanwhile, the vigorous campaign by local commercial banks to encourage overseas workers to utilize the formal mode of fund transfers through promotional campaigns, increase in the number of remittance centers, arrangements with foreign financial counterparts resulted in better capture of OFW cash remittances.
The bulk of remittances continued to come from the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Italy, Japan, U.K., Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.