Remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) coursed through banks climbed anew by 15.6 percent year-on-year to reach US$1.4 billion for the third consecutive month since March 2008. This brought the five-month remittance level to US$6.8 billion, 14.7 percent higher than the year-ago level.
Behind the continued expansion in remittances for the period January – May 2008 was the steady growth in the number of deployed Filipino workers and enhanced financial services offered by the banks to OFs. Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that for the first five months of 2008, the number of deployed Filipino workers worldwide rose by 39.5 percent from 382,777 to 533,945. This reflected the distinct preference for the skills quality and competence of Filipino workers. Moreover, remittances are expected to get a further boost from more work opportunities awaiting qualified Filipino workers with the current expansion of a giant oil processing complex in the Middle East to service the rising global demand for crude oil.
Meanwhile, banks and non-bank remittance centers continued to exert aggressive marketing efforts to provide expanded financial services to OFs and their beneficiaries. The establishment of more remittance centers, correspondent banks, and branches/representative offices abroad, together with the existing tie-ups with foreign financial counterparts, is expected to further facilitate the flow of remittances.
The bulk of remittances continued to come from the U.S.A, Saudi Arabia, Canada, the U.K., Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong.