Remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) coursed through banks surged to US$1.5 billion in July 2009, posting the highest year-on-year growth during the year at 9.3 percent. This favorable development brought cumulative remittances for the first seven months of the year to almost US$10.0 billion, higher by 3.8 percent from the year-ago level. Remittances from sea-based and land-based workers both recorded gains of 5.6 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.
Sustained demand for Filipino manpower worldwide combined with greater access by overseas Filipinos and their beneficiaries to expanded remittance transfer facilities helped sustain remittance flows. "Given sustained remittance flows at the onset of the second half of the year and continuing signs of improving global economic conditions, remittances are anticipated to remain stable for the remainder of 2009 and will continue to be a major growth driver of the economy," BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. said. A report of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showing a deceleration in the rise in the number of displaced OFWs as a result of the global financial crisis reflected these signs of adjustment and subsequent stabilization in the global economy.
The expected steady stream of remittances will draw continuing support from the strong deployment of Filipino workers overseas following the employment agreements forged between the Philippines and host countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Apart from these recruitment prospects, the Philippine government has started crafting guidelines on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to provide the manpower requirements for the massive military base expansion in Guam starting next year.
Meanwhile, the increase in the number of remittance centers abroad and the establishment of more tie-ups with foreign financial institutions have resulted in greater capture of remittances. The aggressive marketing efforts of banks and non-bank remittance centers to provide enhanced financial services to cater to the various needs of overseas Filipinos are anticipated to further facilitate the flow of remittances.
For the period January-July 2009, the major sources of remittances were the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, U.K., Japan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Italy, and Germany.