Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) coursed through commercial banks continued to post double-digit growth in October 2005 at 17.0 percent to reach US$867 million. This brings the cumulative OFW remittances to US$8.8 billion in the first ten months of the year or 27.1 percent higher than the US$6.9 billion posted in the same period a year ago. Remittances are expected to remain strong in the next two months approaching the Holiday season.
A combination of factors supported the level of remittances during the ten-month period:
Demand for Filipino workers. Global labor demand has been on the rise with the Filipino workers continuing to be consistent providers of quality human resource. Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that the total number of deployed workers for the first ten months of 2005 reached 809,140 from 794,806 in the same period in 2004. By type of worker, land-based workers numbered 602,016 or three-fourths of the total deployed workers, while sea-based workers, 207,124 or the balance. Over the medium term, demand for higher-paid Filipino workers (for employment in construction, oil and gas exploration, tourism-related, health-related, information and communications technology sectors) is expected to rise further in anticipation of the economic upturn in host countries.
Sustained activities by commercial banks to provide enhanced banking services to overseas workers. Commercial banks continued their vigorous campaign to provide banking services to the growing number of Filipino workers abroad through enhanced modes of money transfers, as well as wider network/presence through increased number of remittance centers and tie-ups with foreign financial counterparts resulting in a better capture of remittances.
By country of origin, a significant portion of remittances continue to come from the U.S.A., Saudi Arabia, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong, U.K., United Arab Emirates and Singapore.