Remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) coursed through banks in the first half of the year amounted to US$9.1 billion, posting a year-on-year growth of 6.9 percent compared to the same period in 2009, BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today. In June alone, remittance flows peaked at US$1.6 billion, reflecting a year-on-year expansion of 8.3 percent boosted by remittances from both sea-based and land-based workers.
The continued deployment of professional and skilled Filipino overseas workers, given favorable global employment opportunities, underpinned the resilience of remittances. 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 13.5 percent to 212,700 for the period January-June 2010 from 187,338 in the same period last year. Moreover, for the first seven months of the year, approved job orders aggregated 356,878, of which more than a third consisted of processed job orders for service, professional, technical, and production and related workers.
Work prospects overseas for Filipino seafarers were also reported by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) following plans of the Japanese Shipowners’ Association (JSA) to hire 2,000 seabased workers as officers and crew of high-end Japanese vessels in the next two years.
Meanwhile, the continued expansion in the number of banks’ branches, remittance centers and correspondent banks and tie-ups has resulted in the stronger presence of financial institutions abroad, which in turn, helped capture a bigger share of the global remittance market. As of June 2010, these remittance conduits totaled 4,351 compared to 3,730 last year.
The main country sources of remittances were the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the U.K., Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Italy. The combined flows from these countries represented 81.7 percent of the total remittances reported by the banks.