OFW remittances jump to $21 billion– lawmaker
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - December 16, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The amount of money millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are sending home to their families is increasing and has reached more than $21 billion (more than P1 trillion), the lone representative of OFWs in Congress said yesterday.

Citing Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas data, Rep. John Bertiz of party-list group ACTS-OFW said total remittances in the first nine months of the year amounted to $21.3 billion, up by 2.5 percent from $20.7 billion in the same period in 2017.

He said migrant workers’ remittances continue to contribute significantly to economic growth. 

He said Saudi Arabia is still one of the biggest sources of remittances, though the amount went down due to a decrease in deployment because of “Saudization.”

“Saudization simply means that certain job openings in Saudi Arabia previously available to foreigners, including Filipinos, may no longer be there because these are now being reserved for (Saudi) nationals,” Bertiz added.

He noted a projection from the Department of Labor and Employment that deployment to the oil-rich kingdom would go down by 30 percent.

Due to the slowdown, he said the amount of remittances from OFWs in Saudi Arabia in the first nine months of the year fell to $1.662 billion from $1.894 billion in the same period last year.

“While Saudi Arabia’s labor market is shrinking, the demand for Filipino workers in other parts of the globe – in Asia, North America and Europe – continues to expand,” he said.

He said some 1.9 million Filipinos would be deployed all over the world this year.

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