Remittances from overseas Filipinos (OF) coursed through banks in October posted a record level of US$1.4 billion. This was higher by 17.1 percent compared to the level posted a year ago. Remittances year-to-date reached US$11.9 billion, an increase of 15.2 percent relative to the level recorded in the same period a year ago.
The growth in remittances was consistent with the observed recovery in the number of overseas workers. Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that total deployment number in October climbed by 3.9 percent to 88,058. This is the fourth consecutive month that the deployment figure was higher compared to the respective year ago level. Classified by type of worker, the number of deployed land-based workers rose by 10.7 percent to 64,066 in October, while the number of deployed sea-based workers contracted by 10.7 percent to 23,992. According to the POEA, the decline in the number of sea-based workers was traced partly to the delay in the workers’ visa issued by host countries and increasing competition from workers from other countries. Nonetheless, the increase in the deployment of land-based workers in October moderated the year-to-date contraction to only 1.1 percent to reach 915,333.
The sustained increase in remittance inflows may also be attributed in part to greater access by OFs to Philippine money transfer agents as the number of remittance centers and tie-ups with foreign financial institutions increased, reaching out to a greater number of Filipino remitters abroad. The enhanced and expanded financial services and products made available by banks and other non-bank remittance channels to remitters and beneficiaries also encouraged more Filipinos abroad to send funds at home.
The U.S., the U.K., Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong were the major sources of remittance flows during the review period.