Remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) coursed through banks reached US$9.6 billion in the first half of 2011, posting a year-on-year growth of 6.3 percent from the year-ago level. In particular, remittances for the month of June registered a record high of US$1.7 billion, representing an increase of 7.0 percent from the level posted in the same month last year, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today. The appreciable expansion of fund transfers from Filipinos abroad was boosted by increased remittances from both sea-based and land-based workers, which rose by 15.0 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively.
The sustained demand abroad for Filipino workers as well as the diversity of their skills and destinations have contributed to the resilience of remittance flows even with the lingering uncertainties on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region's political situation and the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis. Increased capture of money transfers has also been made possible with the expanded offering of financial products and services to overseas Filipinos by banks and other financial institutions that have established more tie-ups with foreign service providers.
Data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) indicated that for the period 1 January - 29 July 2011, the total approved job orders was placed at 386,559. Of this total, 136,070 job orders (representing 35.2 percent) were already processed while the remaining 250,489 job orders are still to be filled up. The processed job orders are expected to fill in the requirements for production, service, professional, and technical workers in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Taiwan, Qatar, Kuwait, and Hong Kong, among others. The POEA also reported that for the first six months of 2011, the number of land-based workers which were classified as new hires, whose contracts were already processed, grew by 23.4 percent to 262,562 from 212,738 a year ago while that of sea-based workers increased by 6.3 percent to 240,771 from 226,464 last year.
Moreover, the Government Placement Branch of the POEA also reported that employment prospects are anticipated following the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Philippines and Taiwan for Taiwan-based employers to directly hire Filipino workers. Meanwhile, according to the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) labor office, job opportunities are being explored in the rubber and palm plantations in Malaysia.
For the period January-June 2011, the biggest sources of remittances were the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, U.K., Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Italy, and Germany.