Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) coursed through commercial banks remained robust, posting a year-on-year growth of 21.8 percent in November 2005 to reach US$895 million. This brought the 11-month cumulative level of remittances to US$9.7 billion, equivalent to a 26.6 percent increase from last year’s US$7.7 billion remittance inflows. Total amount of remittances coursed through the banks is projected to reach US$10.7 billion for the whole year 2005.
The sustained rise in remittances during the review period may be attributed to the continuing demand for Filipino workers. Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that the total number of deployed workers from January to November 2005 rose by 3.9 percent, reaching 900,639 from 867,125 during the same period in 2004. The continued preference for Filipino sea-based and higher-paid land-based workers (e.g., production, professional and service staff for the period January to October 2005) helped support the level of remittances during the eleven-month period. Classified by type, land-based workers, comprising almost three-fourths of deployed workers numbered 674,365 while sea-based workers reached 226,274. By country of destination, majority of Filipino workers are deployed in Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Japan, United Arab Emirates and Taiwan.
Moreover, the consistent efforts by financial institutions to direct remittances through the banking channels also contributed to the higher level of remittances. These efforts focused/centered on the introduction of improved system of money transfer, establishment of remittances centers abroad and arrangements with foreign financial institutions to service the banking needs of overseas workers.
Remaining to be the major sources of remittances are the U.S.A., Saudi Arabia, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong, U.K., United Arab Emirates and Singapore.