Remittances from overseas Filipinos (OF) coursed through banks for 2011 expanded by 7.2 percent to US$20.1 billion relative to the year-ago level. The growth in cumulative remittances through December slightly surpassed the BSP projection of a 7 percent expansion in 2011, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Officer-in-Charge Juan D. De Zuniga, Jr. announced today. The substantial expansion of fund transfers from Filipinos abroad was due to higher remittances from both sea-based and land-based workers, which rose by 14.0 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively. The remittances of land-based workers accounted for about three-fourths or 78.4 percent of total remittances. For the month of December 2011, remittances grew by 6.2 percent, registering the highest monthly level at US$1.8 billion.
Cash transfers from overseas Filipinos which were estimated to be around 9 percent of GDP continued to be a major contributor in stimulating domestic demand. Remittances remained resilient throughout the year amid the political turmoil in some parts of the Middle East and North Africa, the slowdown in global economic growth and intensified financial strains brought about by the Euro Area sovereign debt crisis. This developed owing to the diversified destinations and skills of overseas Filipinos, the strategic network of bank and non-bank service providers across the globe as well as the new financial products and money transfer services offered in the remittance market which helped better capture global remittances. As of end-December 2011, commercial banks’ established tie-ups, remittance centers, correspondent banks and branches/representative offices abroad increased to 4,723 (or by 3.1 percent) from 4,581 at end-December 2010.
Meanwhile, latest reports from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that for January 2012, 12.3 percent (or 7,160) of the total approved job orders of 58,123 were processed. The processed job orders were mainly in the service, production, and professional, technical and related job categories, particularly in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Taiwan, Singapore and Kuwait.
For the period January-December 2011, the major sources of remittances were the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, U.K., Japan, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Italy, Germany and Norway.