Remittances flat in October
MANILA, Philippines – The cash sent home by Filipinos abroad was flat in October amid the continued weakness of other currencies against the US dollar, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilpinas (BSP) reported Tuesday, December 15.
BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said the amount of cash remitted by overseas Filipinos was almost unchanged at $2.23 billion in October from $2.29 billion in the same month last year.
In September, cash sent home by Filipinos abroad grew 4.3% to $2.2 billion in September, up from $2.11 billion in the same month in 2014. (READ: Remittances grow 4.3% in September after August setback)
The growth of cash remittances inched up slightly to 3.7% to $20.64 billion from January to October this year compared to $19.91 billion in the same period last year.
Data showed remittances from land-based Filipino workers grew 3.9% to $15.8 billion in the first 10 months of the year.
Cash sent home by sea-based workers went up by 2.9% to $4.8 billion.
The BSP has set a 5% growth target in cash remittances from overseas Filipinos.
The amount of money sent home by Filipinos abroad grew 5.9% to $24.35 billion in 2014 from $22.98 billion in 2013.
Weakening US dollar
However, currencies in countries where Filipinos have been deployed have been weakening the US dollar due to uncertainties brought about by the impending interest rate hike in the US and the economic slowdown in China.
This translates to lower US dollar value of the amount of money sent home by overseas Filipinos to their loved ones in the Philippines.
But remittance inflows were supported by the steady deployment of skilled manpower.
Preliminary reports form the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed total job orders for the first 10 months of the year reached 717,182, BSP said.
He added about 44.1% of the total job orders from January to October for service, production, and professional, technical, and related workers needed in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Taiwan, and Hong Kong have been processed.
Remittance inflows were also supported by the continued efforts of banks and non-bank remittance service providers to expand their international and domestic market coverage through tie-ups abroad, as well as the introduction of innovations in their remittance products.
Tetangco explained that bulk of the remittances in the first 10 months of the year came from the US, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, and Hong Kong.
On the other hand, the growth of personal remittances was also flat at $2.47 billion in October this year from $2.46 billion in the same period last year, bringing to 3.5% the total growth for the first 10 months of the year to $22.83 billion from $22.06 billion.
Personal remittances 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.
Cash remittances serve as a major source of foreign exchange that serves as buffer against external shocks. – Rappler.com