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Business

OFW remittances hit $22 B in 11 months of 2015

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Money sent home by Filipinos abroad rose 3.2 percent to $2.19 billion in November from $2.12 billion a year ago, but the growth still fell short of the revised expansion target set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The growth in November was an improvement from the anemic 0.2 percent recorded in October amid the continued weakness of currencies in host countries against the dollar.

Personal remittances grew 3.4 percent to $2.42 billion from $2.35 billion. Personal remittance is computed as the sum of gross earnings of overseas Filipino workers with work contracts of less than one year, including all sea-based workers, less taxes, social contributions, and transportation and travel expenditures in their host countries.

For the first 11 months of last year, the BSP reported cash remittances went up 3.6 percent to $22.83 billion from $22.08 billion in the same period in 2014. This was slower compared to the reduced target of four percent instead of five percent for this year due to the global economic slowdown and the depreciating currencies in host countries against the dollar.

Cash remittances from land-based Filipino workers amounted to $17.6 billion, while that of sea-based Filipino workers reached $5.2 billion from January to November last year.

About 79 percent of the cash remittances came from the US, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, and Hong Kong.

According to BSP Governor Amando Tetangco the steady growth in personal inflows was supported by the four percent rise in inflows from land-based workers with contracts exceeding one year as well as the 2.5 percent increase in remittances from sea- and land-based workers with contracts below one year.

Data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed job orders reached 771,635 for the first 11 months of last year. About 44 percent of the total job orders were intended mainly for service, production, and professional, technical and related workers needed in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

“The continued deployment of skilled overseas Filipino workers remained a key driver of the growth in remittance inflows,” Tetangco said.

For this year, remittances are expected to increase by four percent on account of the steady deployment of Filipino workers, greater diversification of country destinations, and shift to higher-skilled types of work.

Tetangco earlier said the Philippines would be able to survive the impact of the tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

BANGKO SENTRAL

BILLION

GOVERNOR AMANDO TETANGCO

HONG KONG

PERCENT

PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT ADMINISTRATION

SAUDI ARABIA

SAUDI ARABIA AND IRAN

TETANGCO

WORKERS

YEAR

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