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OFW Remittances Up by 9.8 Percent in February; First Two Months Remittances Reach $1.2 Billion

04.15.2004

After posting a year-on-year contraction in January, remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in February 2004 was up by 9.8 percent to US$594 million from the level a year-ago. This brings the cumulative two-month remittances to US$1.2 billion, or a modest growth of 1.3 percent from the US$1.2 billion posted in the comparable period last year. The BSP assumes a whole year OFW growth of 3 percent. We are confident this will be achieved considering the expected increase in both the deployment of labor and the improving quality of Filipino manpower.

The increase in remittances in February reflected in part the increase in the number of land-based and sea-based workers deployed overseas, indicative of a firmer recovery of the country’s host economies. The number of land-based workers for the first two months grew year on year by 28.9 percent to 170,242, while the number of sea-based workers was up by 3.5 percent to 36,651. [1] The more attractive peso-dollar exchange rate, after the rate breached the P56/US$1 mark, might have also encouraged the higher level of remittances in February.

Countries such as the U.S., U.K., Italy, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, and Japan remained as the major sources of these remittances.

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[1]    Based on preliminary data on new hires and rehires for the period January-February 2004 from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

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