Personal Remittances Reach $4B in First Two Months of 2014

Manila—(PHStocks)—Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)—Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) amounted to $2 billion in February 2014. This brought the cumulative remittances for the first two months of the year to $4 billion for a year-on-year growth of 6.4 percent, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. Personal remittances continued to draw strength from the steady rise in transfers from land-based workers with long-term contracts (4.3 percent), and sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts (10.3 percent).

Meanwhile, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks increased in February 2014 by 5.6 percent year-on-year to $1.8 billion. For the period January-February 2014, cash remittances grew by 5.8 percent to $3.6 billion, compared to $3.4 billion registered in the same period last year.

Cash transfers from both land-based ($2.7 billion) and sea-based ($903 million) workers expanded by 4.3 percent and 10.3 percent year-on-year, respectively.  The major sources of cash remittances were the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, and Canada.

The continued demand for skilled OF workers contributed partly to the steady flow of remittances. Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) indicated that in January-February 2014, approved job orders totaled 75,064, of which 33.2 percent (or 24,895) were processed job orders intended for manpower demand for service, production, and professional, technical and related job categories in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Kuwait and Qatar. Reports from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) showed that the Middle East, Asia, and Oceania remain possible employment options for OF workers.

Likewise, the continued efforts of bank and non-bank remittance service providers to expand their international and domestic market coverage through tie-ups and establishment of remittance centers abroad to capture a larger share of the global remittance market provided support to the sustained flow of remittances.

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