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Up 7.1% to $2.3 B: Remittances sustain robust growth in July

Ted P. Torres - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Remittances from overseas Filipinos continued to grow robustly, expanding 7.1 percent to $2.3 billion last July, data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) yesterday showed.

For the first seven months of the year, remittances grew 6.4 percent to $15 billion.

The BSP attributed the consistent growth to the steady increase in remittance flows from both land-based workers with long-term contracts (up five percent), and sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts (up 8.4 percent).

The remittance growth came as demand for skilled Filipinos abroad remained stable.

Bulk of cash remittances (about 79 percent) came from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Canada and Hong Kong.

However, major banks with strong remittances businesses said the real bulk of international money transfers came from the Middle East, as a lot of remittances are booked through the US but originated from other destinations like the Middle East and North Africa.

Latest data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that for January-July 2014, job orders reached 540,037, of which 41.1 percent were processed job orders intended for service, production, and professional, technical and related employment in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Taiwan and Qatar.

Meanwhile, cash remittances coursed through banks (also referred to as the formal sector) grew six percent year-on-year to $2.1 billion in July 2014.

This brought cash remittances for the seven-month period to $13.5 billion, higher by 5.8 percent than the $12.7 billion in the comparable period in 2013.

In particular, cash remittances from land-based and sea-based workers rose five percent (to $10.3 billion) and 8.5 percent (to $3.2 billion), respectively. 

Remittances in 2013 grew 7.6 percent to hit a record $25.1 billion, and is forecast to grow at least seven percent this year.

Based on World Bank statistics, global remittance flows is forecast to reach $559 billion this year from $529 billion in 2013.

East Asia and the Pacific and South Asia are the top remittance regions with  similar $117 billion in 2013. East Asia and the Pacific is forecast to account for $130 billion this year, while South Asia would likely report international money transfers worth $127 billion.

Last year, the top five remittance countries were India, China, the Philippines, Mexico and Egypt.

BANGKO SENTRAL

BILLION

CANADA AND HONG KONG

EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC AND SOUTH ASIA

MEXICO AND EGYPT

MIDDLE EAST

REMITTANCES

SAUDI ARABIA

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

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