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Freeman Cebu Business

OFW remittances up by 7.2% in August

C&C VIEWS - Ed Limtingco - The Freeman

According to the Institute for Development and Econometric Analysis, Inc. latest NewsBriefs, in August 2014, personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos amounted to $2.27 billion, a 7.2percent increase from a year ago but a slight decrease from the $2.28 billion posted in July 2014.

Both short-term and long-term sea-based and land-based workers fueled the growth, bringing personal remittances from January to August 2014 to a total of $17.23 billion, already 6.5percent higher from the same period in 2013.

Cash remittances also expanded for the month by 6percent, hitting $2.05 billion. Cumulatively, cash remittances totaled $15.54 billion for the first eight months of 2014. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas cited the efficient network of banks and non-bank remittance channels abroad that continue to support the influx of remittances.

Global demand for skilled Filipino workers also remain robust according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. The agency reports that from January to August 2014, job orders have already reached 619,388, ranging from service, production, professional and technical professions. The United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Japan, Canada, and Hong Kong were the top sources of remittances for the month.

Likewise per same published report, experts are nearly in consensus that the Monetary Board will take a neutral stance in its second to the last policy meeting for the year. Past meetings saw the Monetary Board aggressively hiking its key policy rates to rein in inflation, which has notably eased to 4.4percent in September from a high of 4.9percent in July and August. Some experts, however, are of the view that the overnight reverse repo rates and the Special Deposit Account rates may be preemptively raised.

Furthermore, for the second time this year, the Bureau of Internal Revenue has exceeded target collections by raking in P105.71 billion in September 2014, 3percent more than the target of P102.987 billion for the month. The BIR’s collections, however, from January to September have only reached P996.426 billion, 7.4percent short of its P1.076 trillion target for the first nine months of 2014.

Also according to IDEA, in a statement released by the Philippine Stock Exchange, Alphaland Corp.’s shares are now officially struck from the PSE’s official registry resulting from a violation of disclosure rules. Sanctions have also been levied to the top directors and officers of the Corporation, banning them from holding top positions in any PSE-listed company. Alphaland officials will no longer appeal the PSE’s decision.

On the other hand, following a three-week break, both Houses of Congress resumed its sessions to tackle priority bills such as the proposed P2.606 trillion budget for 2015 and the P13 billion supplemental budget for previously Priority Development Assistance Fund and Disbursement Acceleration Program-funded projects. The Customs Modernization Bill and the Fair Competition Bill are also up for talks, according to the researchers of IDEA.

elimtingco@yahoo.com.

ALPHALAND CORP BANGKO SENTRAL BILLION BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE CUSTOMS MODERNIZATION BILL AND THE FAIR COMPETITION BILL DEVELOPMENT AND ECONOMETRIC ANALYSIS HONG KONG HOUSES OF CONGRESS JULY AND AUGUST MONETARY BOARD OVERSEAS FILIPINOS
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