Remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) coursed through banks reached US$1.5 billion in April 2010, registering a year-on-year growth of 5.4 percent, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today. As a result, cumulative remittances for the first four months of the year amounted to US$5.9 billion. The 6.6 percent year-on-year growth recorded during the four-month period was shored up by higher remittances from both sea-based and land-based workers.
Notwithstanding concerns over sovereign debt problems in some European countries, remittances from overseas Filipinos continued to show strength amidst the gradual recovery of the global economy. Remittance flows were propped up by the steady demand for Filipino workers abroad, specifically professional and skilled workers, as well as the expanded access of overseas Filipinos and their beneficiaries to an increasing range of financial products and services offered by banks and other financial institutions.
Preliminary data obtained from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) indicated that workers classified as new hires with processed contracts and are awaiting deployment rose by 11.0 percent to 137,888 for the period January-April 2010 from 124,170 in the same period last year. Meanwhile, for the first five months of the year, approved job orders aggregated 295,373, of which about a third consisted of processed job orders for service, professional, technical, and production and related workers. The enforcement of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement in January this year is also expected to open up more job opportunities for Filipino nurses and engineers.
For the period January-April 2010, the bulk of the total remittances reported by local banks (81.4 percent) were sourced mainly from the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, the U.K., Japan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Italy.