Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) coursed through banks rose year-on-year by 28.0 percent to reach US$941 million in September 2005, sustaining the pace set in August. This brought the nine-month level to US$7.9 billion, a growth of 28.0 percent from the comparable level in 2004.
The sustained growth in remittances may be partly attributed to the continued demand for Filipino workers. Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that in September 2005 the total number of deployed workers rose year-on-year by 5.2 percent to 77,830. The total number of deployed land-based workers grew by 5.7 percent to 58,281 while sea-based workers rose by 3.7 percent to 19,549. It is expected that the deployment of OFWs will be sustained due to the expected demand for health care services mainly among developed countries with aging population and to sustained global economic growth of host economies. Filipino workers have remained in the list of favored sources of labor owing to their education, competence and the high quality of service they provide. Moreover, the Government’s efforts (e.g., forging bilateral agreements with host governments, provision of trainings/seminars, played host to international employers) are expected to further boost the demand for Filipino workers abroad.
Meanwhile, the commercial banks’ initiatives to extend assistance to the growing number of overseas workers, through the introduction of enhanced modes of money transfer and the establishment of more remittance centers, resulted in a higher level of remittances coursed through the banking during the period.
The U.S.A., Saudi Arabia, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong, U.K., United Arab Emirates and Singapore have remained to be the major sources of OFW remittances.