Remittances of overseas Filipinos coursed through banks rose by 24.6 percent year-on-year in July 2008 to reach US$1.4 billion. This is the fourth month this year that remittances have grown by a double-digit rate, bringing the year-to-date remittance level to US$9.6 billion. The January-July level of remittances was higher by 18.2 percent than the level during the comparable period in 2007.
The continued deployment of Filipino workers overseas boosted the level of remittances during the first seven months of 2008, according to BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that during this period, the number of Filipinos that left for employment overseas reached 761,836, an increase of 28.2 percent from last year’s 594,445. This reflected foreign employers’ preference for Filipino workers who remain competitive due to their skills and proficiency in the English language. Overseas employment prospects will also be supported by the recently concluded arrangement among ASEAN nations to standardize, regulate and monitor professional standards (such as those for accountants, dentists and medical practitioners). This move is expected to facilitate the mobility of professionals within the region. Moreover, discussions are continuing between the Philippine government and prospective employers from France, Canada, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Norway and Finland for possible deployment of more professionals such as those in the nursing, information technology, and engineering professions.
Better access by overseas workers and their beneficiaries to money transfer services provided by banks and non-bank remittance agents, through the establishment of more remittance centers and tie-ups abroad, has also contributed significantly to the robust growth in remittances during the seven-month period, Governor Tetangco added. The recent tie-up between a local telecommunications service provider and a global remittance company with extensive links with Philippine commercial banks is anticipated to further facilitate the electronic transfer of remittances. This partnership will service Filipinos in the United Arab Emirates and Hawaii.
To date, the bulk of the remittances continued to come from the U.S.A, Saudi Arabia, U.K., Italy, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong.