Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) coursed through banks posted a 26.8 percent year-on-year growth in May 2005 to reach US$879 million. The May remittance brought the cumulative five-month level to US$4.0 billion, 19.2 percent higher than the US$3.3 billion posted a year ago.
The strong remittances were traced to the increase in the number of OFWs, deployment of higher-paid professionals, as well as greater access by OFWs to remittance channels of the banking system.
Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that on the aggregate, deployment rose by 3.8 percent to 431,165. Classified by type of worker, deployed land-based workers went up by 2.6 percent to 326,806 while the number of sea-based workers grew by 7.6 percent to reach 104,359 during the review period.
The continued preference and demand for Filipino workers by labor-importing countries supported the level of remittances during the review period. Filipino workers are preferred owing to their trainability, competence and high level of professionalism. The country’s strict adherence to international standards for mariners likewise contributed to their increased demand.
Moreover, the deployment of higher-paid Filipino professionals and technical staffs, skilled production workers, health and food service personnel contributed further to the marked increase in the level of remittances.
The continuing efforts by domestic commercial banks to deliver enhanced and more efficient money transfer service to OFWs (e.g., innovative modes of remittance transfers, alliance with foreign financial institutions, increasing the number of remittance centers abroad) also provided a boost to remittance flows.
The U.S., Saudi Arabia, Italy, Japan, U.K., Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates remained as the major sources of remittances.