Remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) coursed through banks for the first eleven months of 2011 amounted to US$18.3 billion, 7.3 percent higher than the level posted in the same period last year. For November alone, remittances rose year-on-year by 10.6 percent to reach US$1.8 billion, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today. This monthly level of remittances is the highest on record thus far.
The double-digit growth in remittance flows during the month could be attributed to additional funds sent by OFs abroad to their families for holiday spending. Strong remittance flows from both sea-based and land-based workers, which recorded increments of 15.8 percent and 9.3 percent, reached US$377.7 million and US$1.4 billion, respectively. For the period January-November 2011, the major sources of remittances were the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, the U.K., Japan, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Italy, Germany, and Norway.
Sustained overseas demand for Filipino manpower helped support the flows of remittances during the period, even as the U.S. and many economies in the Eurozone continued to face difficult economic conditions. Data obtained from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) indicated that the number of OFWs with processed contracts and awaiting deployment increased by 4.5 percent to 1,370,584 for the period January-September 2011 from 1,311,437 in the same period a year ago. The POEA also reported that approved job orders for January-December 2011 reached 711,238, of which about 40 percent consisted of processed job orders for service, production, as well as professional, technical and related workers. The bulk of the approved job orders were mainly for job placements in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Moreover, as more OFs and their beneficiaries are encouraged to utilize the formal money transfer channels, banks have expanded their reach worldwide by establishing more tie-ups with remittance offices, partners and remittance agents across the globe where a large number of overseas Filipinos are concentrated. The extensive remittance network coverage and availability of secure and reliable money transfer services as well as other innovative financial products resulted in better capture of global remittance flows.