Remittance of overseas Filipinos coursed through banks grew year-on-year by 30.0 percent in June 2008 to reach US$1.5 billion, the highest monthly inflow that has been recorded since 1989, when the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) started to classify foreign exchange (FX) inflows from overseas workers as a separate category in the BSP FX statistical monitoring system. This brought the six-month remittance level to US$8.2 billion, higher by 17.2 percent relative to the year-ago level.
BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. said that the sustained rise in the number of deployed Filipino workers contributed to the robust remittance inflows. Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that for the first half of 2008, the number of deployed Filipino workers rose by a hefty 33.5 percent to 640,401 from 479,725. Filipino workers continue to be in strong demand overseas due to the diversity and quality of skills they offer. The conduct of bilateral talks with host countries also continues to open up new employment opportunities abroad for Filipinos.
The level of remittances also drew strong support from the expanded presence of local banks and non-bank remittance agents in countries with large concentration of OFs, as these remittance entities forged stronger partnerships and ties with foreign counterparts, Tetangco said. These initiatives increased the access of OFs both to more financial institutions as well as to a wider array of financial products.
To date, the U.S.A, Saudi Arabia, the U.K., Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong remain to be the major sources of remittances.