Remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) coursed through banks reached US$1.5 billion in February 2011, posting a year-on-year increment of 6.2 percent. As a result, total remittances for the first two months of the year totaled US$3.0 billion, representing a growth of 6.9 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 12.7 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively. The sustained inflows were sourced mainly from the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the U.K., Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Italy. Remittances from these countries accounted for more than four-fifths (80.2 percent) of the total transfer of funds reported by local banks.
Remittance flows into the country continued to draw strength from steady demand for Filipino manpower abroad. Latest reports by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) indicated that 43,360 job orders for service, production, and professional, technical and related workers were processed for the period 1 January - 31 March 2011 in response to the manpower requirements in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, and Taiwan.
Data from the POEA also showed that the total number of deployed overseas workers for the period January-November 2010 grew by 2.7 percent to 1,363,083 from 1,326,619 in the same period a year ago. Of the total deployed overseas workers, more than three-fourths were land-based, more than 70 percent of which were rehired workers. The leading destinations of the land-based workers (new hires and rehires) were Saudi Arabia, UAE, Hong Kong, Qatar and Singapore.
Meanwhile, with the stronger presence and continuing expansion of the remittance network in strategic locations worldwide, the overseas Filipino workers and their beneficiaries can expect reliable, fast and cost-effective money transfer services as well as other innovative financial products that complement their savings and investments needs.
These positive developments continue to underpin the resilience of remittances notwithstanding the ongoing crises in the Middle East, North Africa and Japan. Government efforts on the redeployment of displaced OFWs are being carried out through the Department of Labor and Employment's (DOLE) Task Force Middle East. Remittances are projected to remain strong, as the ongoing crises are expected to have limited impact on the overall remittance flows while other labor markets may take up the slack in overseas employment. Recently, a two-year project on overseas Filipinos' diaspora remittances for development was launched, aimed at harnessing the utilization of overseas remittances for job creation and local economic development.