OFWs SEND HOME $1.09 BILLION IN AUGUST
MANILA, OCTOBER 14, 2006 (STAR) By Des Ferriols - Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) coursed through commercial banks reached $1.09 billion in August, bringing the eight-month total to $8.1 billion.
Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed that OFW remittances continued to grow at double-digit rates, expanding by 15.3 percent for the eight-month period.
The BSP said the August inflow indicated that the projected total for the year of $11.87 billion would be easy to reach if not surpass by the end of the year.
The BSP credited the surge in OFW remittances to the combined impact of rising demand for Filipino workers and increased access to commercial banks and private remittance agents’ services.
The government has been aggressively supporting the continued export of Filipino labor that otherwise could not be absorbed by the local economy.
The World Bank said recently that the money sent home by eight million Filipinos working abroad accounts for about 10 percent of the country’s GDP and make the Philippines the fifth largest recipient behind India, China, Mexico and France.
Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) on new hires and rehires showed that in August, total deployment of overseas workers grew by 41.6 percent, slightly slower than the 43.1 percent growth rate in the previous month.
Deployment of landbased workers, in particular, showed a significant improvement of 54.1 percent to reach 78,377 in August.
Meanwhile, demand for seabased workers continued to rise, posting double-digit growth of 10.2 percent during the month. For the first eight months of the year, deployment totalled 762,153, up by 8.7 percent from last year and up from 661,360 at the end of July.
According to the BSP, OFW remittances during the first eight months of the year continued to come from the U.S.A., Saudi Arabia, Italy, United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong, and United Arab Emirates.
The BSP said efforts were paying off as the country complied with the standards of the International Maritime Organization for seafarers and the establishment of stronger bilateral relations with labor-importing countries.
The BSP said OFWs have also migrated away from informal remittance channels, preferring to take advantage of competitive rates offered by banks and the tie-ups between institutions such as foreign money transfer agents and non-bank channels which made it easy to send money home to their families.
According to the BSP, however, the enhanced electronic banking services offered by banks have also made inroads in the remittance business.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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