Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OF) aggregated US$2.1 billion in November 2012, representing a 7.6 percent growth from the level registered in the same period in 2011, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today.1 As a result, personal remittances for the first eleven months of 2012 reached US$21.6 billion, higher by 6.1 percent than the level recorded in the same period of the previous year. The continued expansion in personal remittances during the eleven-month period was underpinned by the 12.7 percent growth in transfers from sea-based workers and land-based overseas Filipino workers with short-term contracts, as well as the 13.4 percent increase in remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more.
Meanwhile, cash remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks likewise remained robust, posting a growth of 7.6 percent to reach US$1.9 billion in November 2012. On a cumulative basis, cash transfers in January-November 2012 totaled US$19.4 billion, rising by 6 percent compared to the level posted in the same period of the previous year. This has already surpassed the BSP’s projection of 5 percent growth in cash remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks for the full year 2012. Remittances sustained an uptrend as cash transfers from both land-based and sea-based workers expanded by 4.2 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively. About 78 percent of cash remittances reported by local banks were sourced from the United States (US), Canada, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom (UK), Japan, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Singapore.
Remittances continued to draw strength from the increasing demand for skilled and professional Filipinos abroad along with innovations in remittance services offered by banks and financial institutions. Data obtained from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) indicated that the approved job orders for the period 1 January – 31 December 2012 reached 782,201. Of this total, 42.2 percent (329,947) consisted of processed job orders, largely for service, production and related workers, professional, technical and related workers to fill up manpower requirements in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, the Government’s continued efforts to ensure that workers are adequately trained and properly certified are expected to sustain the deployment of skilled workers to various country destinations and consequently boost remittances. Based on reports by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), President Benigno Aquino had assured the European Union (EU) leaders during the 9th Asia Europe Summit (ASEM) held in Laos last November 2012 of the Government’s efforts to address issues on the Philippine compliance with the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for seafarers to help maintain recognition of Filipino seafarer’s certificates in the EU.
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).