Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in October 2003 reached US$673 million, up by 10.9 percent compared to US$607 million the previous year. This brought the cumulative remittances to US$6.3 billion, higher by 5.7 percent from the year-ago level of US$6.0 billion. The amount of workers’ remittances is projected to expand by 6 percent in 2003 relative to the 2002 level.
Overseas remittances climbed despite the observed decline in overseas deployment of Filipino workers. There was an increase in the deployment of higher-paid land-based OFWs including professional and service workers such as caretakers/caregivers, clerks, office managers and utility personnel, the increase of which more than offset the decline in the number of other land-based workers. While deployed land-based workers contracted by 13.2 percent in January-October 2003 to 520,597, deployed sea-based workers grew by 1.3 percent to 178,094 from their comparable levels last year. This brought total workers deployed to 698,691 or 9.9 percent lower than the level posted same period a year ago.
OFW remittances remain a critical component in both the national income accounts and the balance of payments (BOP). They accounted for 10.8 percent of real gross domestic product (GDP) and 15.6 percent of total current account receipts in 2002.
Major sources of OFW remittances during the period were the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Japan, U.K., Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.