Remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) coursed through banks amounted to US$1.4 billion in January 2010, posting a year-on-year growth of 8.5 percent, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today. Remittances from sea-based and land-based workers rose by 18.1 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively.
The bulk of inflows came from the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Singapore, the U.K., Italy, and United Arab Emirates. Remittances from these countries accounted for the bulk (81.1 percent) of the total inflows reported by local banks. In particular, remittances from the U.S. grew by 5.1 percent after posting consecutive declines since January 2009, buoyed by signs of U.S. economic recovery. 1
The steady remittance flows at the start of the year were supported by the continued strong demand for professional and skilled Filipino overseas workers, particularly in the healthcare, education and services sectors. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) anticipates that work prospects for Filipino overseas workers will continue to be favorable, given the expected opening of new job markets and more opportunities for better-paying work in the next five to ten years. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) reported that nearly 19 percent (or 18,539) of the total approved job orders of 98,845 for the period 1 January – 28 February 2010 have been processed. Processed job orders were particularly strong for the manpower requirements of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Taiwan, and Qatar for service, production, and professional, technical and related occupations.
Meanwhile, the expanding global network of remittance service providers through tie-ups with foreign financial institutions, establishment of remittance centers and marketing offices abroad also helped shore up the flow of remittances into the country.
1 Remittance data from the U.S. include remittances sent from remittance centers in various cities abroad that are coursed through correspondent banks mostly located in the U.S. Since banks attribute the origin of funds to the most immediate source, U.S., therefore appears to be the main source of OF remittances.