$400  MILLION  MORE  IN  OFW  REMITTANCES  EXPECTED  BEFORE  YEAREND

MANILA, December 7, 2004 (STAR) By Mayen Jaymalin - At least $400 million more remittances are expected to be sent home before yearend by the steadily increasing number of Filipino workers currently employed in various countries abroad.

Acting Labor Secretary Manuel Imson said the government is expecting $400 million more or about five percent growth in the remittances coming from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

"With the steady growth in number of Filipino workers abroad, we expect our dollar remittances this year to reach (the) $8 billion mark or $400 million more than last year’s figure of $7.6 billion," he said.

Imson reported that data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showed that the number of Filipino workers deployed abroad has reached nearly 800,000 from January to Nov. 19.

"A total of 780,480 land and sea-based workers have been deployed overseas in the first 11 months of the year. The figure surpassed the recorded 772,560 deployment during the same period a year ago," Imson said.

Although overseas hiring posted only modest gains, Imson said, the government is still confident that there would be a significant increase in dollar remittances from OFWs, particularly during the holiday season.

Imson said that OFWs traditionally send home bigger remittances during the holidays so their families can enjoy the Christmas season even if they are miles apart.

OFWs in the United States, Saudi Arabia, Japan, United Kingdom and Hong Kong are the leading sources of remittances, he said.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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