SAVINGS RATE OF OFWs RISING - BSP SURVEY
MANILA, MARCH 28, 2010 (MANILA BULLETIN) By CHINO S. LEYCO - At least half of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) families in the Philippines started to save their hard-earned money, this is according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) survey.
In its latest Consumer Expectations Survey, the BSP said the percentage of households that allocated portions of their remittances to savings has been steadily increasing since the second quarter of last year.
And in October to December last year, the central bank survey revealed that the percentage of households that save their remittances rose further to 50.4 percent, or half of the total 534 households.
There are about 8.7 million to 11 million overseas Filipinos worldwide, equivalent to about 11 percent of the total population of the Philippines.
While there is a steady growth in saving, the percentage of households that allocated portions of their remittances for investment, however, decreased to 5.8 percent.
Of the total spending of these households, about 97 percent was spent for food and other household needs, while 69.5 percent used their remittances for education expenses, also 56.7 percent for medical expenses, and 48.5 percent for debt payments.
The percentage of households that utilized remittances to purchase consumer durables and motor vehicles was broadly steady at 30 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively.
Those that apportioned part of their remittances for amortization or full payment for houses purchased, meanwhile, increased to 15 percent.
In January, remittances from overseas Filipinos amounted to $1.4 billion, posting a year-on-year growth of 8.5 percent.
The BSP said the steady remittance flows at the start of the year were supported by the continued strong demand for professional and skilled Filipino overseas workers, particularly in the healthcare, education and services sectors.
The bulk of inflows came from the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Singapore, the UK, Italy, and United Arab Emirates. Remittances from these countries accounted for 81.1 percent of the total inflows reported by local banks.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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