RP GETS ADB GRANT TO IMPROVE OFW REMITTANCE FLOW

MANILA, November 15, 2003  (STAR) By Ted P. Torres - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $150,000 technical assistance (TA) grant for a study to improve the flow of Filipino overseas workers’ remittances into the country.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has been designated as the executing agency for the study.

The TA will review the remittance flows and identify constraints in the policy, regulatory and institutional framework that affect these flows.

The study will develop proposals to address the constraints with the goals of possibly increasing remittance volume, facilitating the shift from informal to formal remittance channels, and encouraging the use of remittance proceeds for sustainable poverty reduction, where applicable.

The ADB also gave the nod for a $3.26-million TA to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to help develop new water sources for Metro Manila’s 10 million residents. Completion date of the technical assistance is 2006.

The project will prepare feasibility studies and provide advice on legal and financial issues for new water source development. It will be used for training of MWSS personnel in financial management and accounting and fiscal control.

Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) reached $5.6 billion as of end-September. Last year, earnings from remittances reached $7.1 billion considered the highest so far.

The BSP is optimistic that remittance receipts this year will surpass last year’s record by more than five percent. Deployment, however, shrunk by 5.6 percent to 669,419 in that period.

The US, Saudi Arabia, Japan, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Italy, Kuwait and Taiwan are the major sources of these OFW remittances.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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