OFW REMITTANCES REACH $2.53-B IN 1ST TRIMESTER

Manila, JUly 9, 2003 (Star) Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) went up in the first four months of the year despite the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) crisis that triggered an economic slump in many countries worldwide.

OFW remittances went up by 8.72 percent in the first four months of the year compared to the same period in 2002, records from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) show.

From January to April this year, OFWs sent a total of $2.53 billion, $200 million more than last year’s remittances of $2.33 billion for the same period.

Labor officials said total remittances increased, but most Filipinos employed in SARS-affected countries opted to send significantly less money to their families.

Canada accounted for the biggest drop in remittances at 59.91 percent, from $21 million in the first four months of 2002 to $8 million for the same period this year. Remittances from Singapore went down by 33.73 percent.

Filipinos from Hong Kong, where the government banned the deployment of OFWs for over a month, posted a 25.91 percent decline in remittances. — Mayen Jaymalin


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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