Remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) coursed through banks posted a year-on-year growth of 7.1 percent to reach US$1.4 billion in February 2010. As a result, total remittances for the first two months of the year totaled US$2.8 billion, representing a growth of 7.8 percent, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today. Remittances from sea-based and land-based workers for the two-month period registered increases of 13.4 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively.
The strong remittance flows during the two-month period were shored up mainly by the continued strong demand for professional and skilled Filipino overseas workers as global employment opportunities remained favorable, combined with the wider access to expanded money transfer services by OFs and their beneficiaries. These factors support the optimistic outlook for the sustained growth in remittances throughout the year.
Data obtained from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) indicated that the total number of deployed overseas workers for the full year 2009 posted a year-on-year growth of 15.1 percent to 1,422,586 from 1,236,013 in 2008. Of the total deployed overseas workers in 2009, more than three-fourths were land-based, of which about 68 percent were rehired workers. The number of rehired workers, which aggregated 742,447, rose by 24.3 percent as a result primarily of the government’s job generation and facilitation programs to help displaced overseas workers find alternative jobs in emerging markets and in countries that are not severely affected by the global financial meltdown.
Meanwhile, with the stronger presence of bank and non-bank remittance service providers worldwide, the OF workers and their beneficiaries can expect fast and cost-effective money transfer services as well as other financial products that complement their saving and investment needs.
For the period January-February 2010, the major sources of remittances were the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, U.K., Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Italy. Remittances from these countries accounted for the bulk (about 82 percent) of the total inflows reported by local banks.