Remittances from overseas Filipinos (OF) coursed through banks continued to show strength at the start of 2011, rising year-on-year by 7.6 percent to US$1.48 billion, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today. This positive development reflected increased remittances from both sea-based and land-based workers, with their transfers rising by 13.3 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively. The bulk of inflows came from the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the U.K., Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Italy. Cash transfers from these countries accounted for more than four-fifths (80.1 percent) of the total inflows reported by local banks.
Remittance flows into the country remained resilient on the back of sustained demand for skilled overseas Filipino workers in different destinations worldwide. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) reported that, of the total approved 99,926 job orders for land-based workers for the period 1 January - 28 February 2011, more than two-fifths represented processed job orders for service, production, and professional, technical and related workers. The processed job orders are intended for the manpower requirements in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Taiwan, and Kuwait. In its market update, the POEA stated that the Department of Labor and Employment's Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Rome, Italy, reported that a new quota decree has been signed in November 2010, which will allow the entry of 100,000 foreign workers in Italy, of which 4,000 new hires are allotted to the Philippines. Meanwhile, the POEA also reported that the country's seafaring industry is aggressively targeting to capture at least 50 percent of the global requirement for seafarers in the future. To achieve this, the seafaring industry has invested in world-class training modules and facilities to upgrade the quality of skills of Filipino seafarers.
The continued enhancement of financial services worldwide through tie-ups with foreign financial institutions, establishment of remittance centers and marketing offices abroad, as well as the stronger partnerships forged with correspondent banks and branches/representative offices abroad also helped shore up the flow of remittances into the country. The expansion of the remittance network indicated the continuing efforts of local banks and other financial institutions to capture a larger market share of the global remittance industry and provide safe, affordable and accessible fund transfer system for the overseas Filipino workers and their beneficiaries.