Remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) coursed through banks rose to US$1.8 billion in October 2011, higher by 6.2 percent compared to the level posted in the same month a year ago. This is the highest monthly level of remittances recorded thus far. As a result, cumulative remittances for January − October 2011 reached US$16.5 billion, registering a year-on-year expansion of 7.0 percent, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today.
For the ten-month period, remittances sent by land-based workers comprised about four-fifths (78.6 percent) of total cash transfers at US$13.0 billion, while sea-based workers’ remittances contributed 21.4 percent at US$3.5 billion. The top ten country sources of remittances included the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, the U.K., Japan, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Italy, Germany and Norway.
Despite the challenges posed by global economic and financial headwinds, the continued strong demand for Filipino workers abroad, particularly skilled manpower, provided support to the stream of remittance flows over the ten-month period. Data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that for the period January-November 2011, the number of approved job orders rose to 645,775. This reflected an 11.6 percent increment over the total approved job orders (578,535) in the same period last year. The processed job orders consisted of job openings for production, service, as well as professional, technical and related workers. The bulk of these processed job orders were from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Taiwan, Kuwait and Hong Kong.
The higher level of remittances in October could also be due to higher cash transfers by OFs to their beneficiaries who were affected by typhoons Quiel and Pedring that occurred in the latter part of September 2011.
Meanwhile, the continued expansion in the number of banks, other financial institutions and telecommunication companies that offer a wide range of money transfer services (e.g., more payout channels and expanded hours of operation) and financial products has also encouraged higher remittances from overseas Filipinos.