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Personal Remittance Flows Start Strong in January

03.15.2013

Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) reached US$1.9 billion in January 2013, higher by 8.4 percent than the year-ago level of US$1.7 billion, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today.These flows consisted primarily of transfers from land-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with work contracts of one year or more (which grew by 6.8 percent) as well as those from sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts (which grew by 11.7 percent).

Cash remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks likewise increased by 8.0 percent to reach US$1.7 billion in January 2013 relative to the US$1.6 billion level recorded in the same month last year.  Strong inflows of remittances were observed from both sea-based (US$412 million) and land-based workers (US$1.3 billion). The key sources of remittances were the United States (accounting for 38.9 percent of total cash remittances), Canada (11.0 percent), Saudi Arabia (7.6 percent), the United Kingdom (5.3 percent), the United Arab Emirates (4.7 percent), Singapore (3.9 percent), and Japan (3.8 percent).

Remittances were sustained on account of the steady demand for skilled and professional Filipino workers abroad as well as the continued expansion of remittance service providers’ global market coverage.  The introduction of new financial products and services has also contributed considerably in addressing the remittance needs of overseas Filipinos and their beneficiaries.
Preliminary data obtained from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) indicated an expanding base of remitters worldwide as the total number of deployed overseas workers for 2012 grew by 6.7 percent to 1,800,465 from 1,687,831 a year ago. Of the total deployed overseas workers (new hires and rehires), 79.7 percent were land-based.  For the period 1 January–28 February 2013, a total of 29,533 job orders that were mostly for service, production, and professional, technical and related workers were processed to meet the manpower requirements in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and Taiwan. The POEA also reported that workers with processed contracts and are awaiting deployment reached 2,083,223 for full year 2012, higher by 12.6 percent than the level recorded in 2011.

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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., the provision of resources for capital purposes, such as for construction of residential houses, between resident and non-resident households without anything of economic value being supplied in return).

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