Remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) coursed through banks grew year-on-year by 6.1 percent in July to reach US$1.7 billion, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today. For the first seven months of the year, OF remittances expanded by 6.3 percent to US$11.4 billion, with remittances from land-based and sea-based workers rising by 4.3 percent and 14.1 percent, respectively.
The steady inflow of fund transfers from overseas Filipinos despite the difficult conditions overseas could be explained partly by the sustained demand for Filipino manpower. Data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed an increase of 19.5 percent in the number of processed job orders for August at 26,504, bringing the year-to-date total to 162,574. The processed job orders are expected to match the requirements for production, service, professional, technical and other related workers in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Taiwan, Qatar, Kuwait, and Hong Kong, among others. The POEA also reported that, for the first seven months of 2011, the number of land-based workers with processed contracts that are waiting to be deployed grew by 24.2 percent to 313,709 from 252,666 in the same period a year ago, while that of sea-based workers increased by 5.5 percent to 280,348 from 265,656 last year.
Meanwhile, the recent U.S. credit rating downgrade by Standard & Poor's, the protracted sovereign debt crisis in the Euro zone, and the social unrest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are expected to have a modest impact on the remittance inflows for the rest of the year. The favorable remittance outlook is expected to be supported by the ongoing geographical diversification of deployment of Filipino workers and efforts by the government to redeploy displaced workers in crisis-affected countries.
Another important factor contributing to the continued flow of remittances is the increasing use of financial channels for sending their transfers. Banks continue to introduce innovations in their remittance products and expand their tie-ups abroad to reach out to a growing segment of OFs and their beneficiaries, including by partnering with post offices servicing remittances.
For the seven-month review period, major country sources of remittances include the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, U.K., Japan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Italy, and Germany. Aggregate flows from these countries accounted for 82.8 percent of total remittances reported by banks.