, April 16, 2005
 (STAR) By Des Ferriols - The Monetary Board (MB) has formally appointed a new Deputy Governor for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) bank supervision and examination department, replacing Deputy Governor Alberto V. Reyes who will retire on April 19, 2005.

Appointed to head the BSP’s Supervision and Examination Sector (SES) was Assistant Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr, the youngest to ever become a Deputy Governor of the BSP.

Espenilla will be replacing Reyes, considered as the BSP’s most venerable bank examiner and supervisor with over 40 years of experience in bank regulation.

Espenilla’s appointment was recommended by Reyes who said Espenilla was his most logical choice for the position after six years working in various levels of the SES.

Espenilla was originally an external debt analyst and moved to the BSP’s economic research department as an economist before finally heading the supervisory reports and studies office of the BSP as director.

A consistent topnotcher at school, Espenilla completed his business economics course at the University of the Philippines as magna cum laude before snagging a scholarship at the Saitama University’s Graduate School of Policy Science as well as completing his masters in business administration also at UP.

OFW remittances hit $1.4B in 2 months By Des Ferriols The Philippine Star 04/16/2005

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported yesterday a strong 17.2-percent growth in remittances from overseas Filipino workers during the first two months of the year as more workers take higher-paying jobs.

Data from the BSP indicated that total remittances from OFWs went up to $1.4 billion for January and February due mostly to the increase in the deployment of higher-paid workers such as nurses, engineers, and musicians.

The BSP said millions of Filipinos working abroad are expected to send home this year a record $9 billion – up six percent from last year – as more workers take higher-paying jobs.

The BSP said that in February alone, remittances reported by commercial banks went up by 18.5 percent compared to February 2004, amounting to a total of $720 million.

The BSP said the number of highly-paid workers deployed abroad also increased, lured by better opportunities in developed markets in Northt America, the Middle East and even other markets in Asia particularly Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The BSP said the deployment of higher-paid workers helped offset the two percent year-on-year contraction in the number of overseas workers. The contraction was caused by the implementation of stricter immigration laws in some countries.

The BSP explained that immigration laws have become more strict in most of the developed host countries but skilled workers are still in demand and able to get well-paying jobs.

Quoting data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the BSP said the number of land-based OFWs declined by 3.9 percent to 140,783 while the number of sea-based workers increased by 5.8 percent to 39,249.

"Also contributing to the higher reported remittances was the sustained marketing efforts by local commercial banks to attract remitters," the BSP said in its report.

As a result, the BSP said OFWs have been enticed to use the banking channels by providing efficient modes of fund transfers, establishing additional remittance centers abroad, forging arrangements with foreign financial institutions, and offering incentives to deposit accounts of beneficiaries of worker-remitters.

"Banks have began to offer perks by waiving the usual minimum maintaining balance or offering lower service charges, free insurance coverage and the like," the BSP said.

Countries such as the US, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Japan, UK., Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates remained as the major sources of these remittances.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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