Remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) coursed through banks grew year-on-year by 16.0 percent to US$1.3 billion in February 2008. This brought the year-to-date remittance level to US$2.5 billion, 15.5 percent higher than the level recorded during the same period a year ago.
The continued strong growth in remittances could be attributed in part to the observed rise in the number of deployed skilled, and therefore higher paid, Filipino workers overseas. In 2007, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) reported that the number of deployed new hires in the fields of engineering, medical/healthcare, education, and food/hotel service, rose compared to the levels in the previous year. This trend has continued in 2008 as preliminary data for the period January - February 2008 showed that the number of deployed workers rose by 14.6 percent to 199,378 (from 174,046 a year ago). By skill type, both the numbers of land-based and sea-based workers increased by 13.0 percent and 20.3 percent, respectively.
The sustained growth in the level of OF remittances was also supported by local banks’ provision of enhanced banking services (such as mobile banking services) and continued tie-ups with foreign financial institutions that facilitated the transfer of remittance to beneficiaries.
The U.S.A, Saudi Arabia, the U.K., Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong remained to be the major sources of remittances.