Remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) coursed through banks reached US$1.5 billion in November 2009, posting the highest year-on-year expansion since October 2008 at 11.3 percent, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today. As a result of sustained remittance flows over the course of the year, cumulative remittances for the eleven-month period increased by 5.1 percent to reach US$15.8 billion. Remittances from sea-based and land-based workers recorded increments of 8.3 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.
The continued deployment of skilled Filipino workers abroad has remained the driving force behind the steady stream of remittance flows. At the same time, the slowdown in the displacement of overseas Filipino workers has partly stemmed from the government's job generation programs which have helped displaced overseas workers find alternative jobs in emerging markets, thus supporting remittance flows. The higher transfers of funds recorded in November could also be partly attributed to the strong support of overseas Filipinos to the rebuilding efforts of families and relatives whose properties were affected by the series of typhoons in September and October 2009.
Moreover, the continued expansion of remittance transfer facilities has helped capture a larger share of the global remittance market. The enhancement of commercial banks' operations overseas and the introduction of new products and services have contributed in addressing the banking needs of overseas Filipinos and their beneficiaries. As of end-September 2009, commercial banks' established tie-ups, remittance centers, correspondent banks and branches/representative offices abroad increased to 4,153 from 3,015 at end-2008.
Going forward, prospects for OFW deployment are sound given work opportunities awaiting qualified Filipino workers in the global economy. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), in its year-end report, indicated that in the next 5-10 years, the global labor markets will continue to offer employment opportunities to OFWs particularly in sectors such as healthcare, building and construction, and education.
For the period January-November 2009, the major sources of remittances were the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, U.K., Japan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Italy, and Germany.