Remittances of overseas Filipinos (OFs) coursed through banks continued to remain above US$1 billion, reaching US$1.1 billion in July 2007, or a year-on-year growth of 4.6 percent. This brought the level of remittances through July 2007 to US$8.1 billion, 16 percent higher than the US$7.0 billion recorded during the same period last year. This growth level remained above the 10 percent expected rise in remittances for 2007.
Sustained growth in remittances was achieved as banks continued to provide OFs and their beneficiaries greater access to financial services, including their savings and investment needs. In particular, banks continued to establish strategic marketing agreements in countries with high density of Filipino workers. The increasing number of remittance centers and tie-ups overseas facilitated the transfer of remittances resulting, in turn, to the better capture of these types of transactions.
Remittance transfers during the seven-month period remained strong even as the total number of deployed Filipino workers declined. Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showed that the total number of deployed workers from January to July 2007 declined by 3.7 percent to 640,808 relative to the level in the same period a year ago. By type of worker, the cumulative number of land-based and sea-based workers aggregated 492,790 and 148,018, respectively. These were lower by 2.1 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively, compared to their levels in the same period last year. It may be noted, however, that on a monthly basis, total deployment in July rebounded modestly by 4.5 percent year-on-year after posting a contraction in June 2007. The number of land-based and sea-based workers rose by 3.9 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively, during the month compared to July 2006. The Department of Labor and Employment noted an increase in the deployment of skilled workers during the first seven months of 2007 notably in countries such as Canada, Italy and New Zealand which, in turn, is expected to lift the level of remittances in the near-term.
The bulk of remittances during the review period came from the U.S., the U.K., Italy, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Japan, and Hong Kong.