Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) sustained their uptrend in July 2012, growing by 5.4 percent year-on-year to reach US$2 billion, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today. On a year-to-date basis, remittances for January-July 2012 totaled US$13.3 billion, higher by 5.3 percent than the level registered in the comparable period in 2011. Driving the uptrend during the seven-month period were robust remittance flows from both land-based OF workers (OFWs) with work contracts of one year or more (US$10 billion), as well as sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts (US$3 billion), which grew by 2.8 percent and 13.7 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks for the first seven months of 2012 amounted to US$11.9 billion, 5.2 percent higher than the level posted in the same period last year. In particular, remittances from both sea-based (US$2.8 billion) and land-based workers (US$9.2 billion) expanded by 13.6 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively. Major sources of remittances during the January-July 2012 period were the U.S. (43.4 percent of total cash remittances), Canada (9.6 percent), Saudi Arabia (7.5 percent), the United Kingdom (4.8 percent), Japan (4.9 percent), the United Arab Emirates (4.1 percent), and Singapore (4 percent).
Notwithstanding the weak global economic conditions particularly in the euro zone and the geopolitical tensions in some parts of the Middle East, remittances remained resilient on the back of sustained demand for skilled Filipino workers overseas. Latest reports from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) indicated that approved job orders totaled 527,370 in January-August 2012, of which about 34 percent consisted of processed job orders for services, professional, technical, and production and related workers. Majority of these processed job orders were intended for the manpower requirements of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Taiwan. Workers with processed contracts and those awaiting deployment rose by 4.2 percent to 878,363 for the January-May 2012 period from 843,255 in the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the strategic alliances and network of bank and non-bank service providers across the globe enhance the capture of remittances through the formal channels. As of end-June 2012, commercial banks’ established tie-ups, remittance centers, correspondent banks and branches/representative offices abroad reached 4,587.
1 The BSP started the release of data on personal remittances in June 2012. As defined in the Balance of Payments Manual, 6th Edition (BPM6), personal remittances represent the sum of net compensation of employees (i.e., gross earnings of overseas Filipino (OF) workers with work contracts of less than one year, including all sea-based workers, less taxes, social contributions, and transportation and travel expenditures in their host countries), personal transfers (i.e., all current transfers in cash or in kind by OF workers with work contracts of one year or more as well as other household-to-household transfers between Filipinos who have migrated abroad and their families in the Philippines), and capital transfers between households (i.e., transfers of fixed assets and financial assets that arise from the migration of individuals from one economy to another).