MANILA, Philippines – Personal remittances from Filipinos abroad are off to a strong start, shooting up 8.4% year-on-year in the first month of the year.
Remittances hit $2.9 billion in January, compared to $1.7 billion in January of 2012, according to a statement released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Friday, March 15.
BSP attributed the stellar start to strong demand for Filipino workers abroad and workers’ increased access to tools and providers that allow them to send money home.
“Remittances were sustained on account of the steady demand for skilled and professional Filipino workers abroad as well as the continued expansion of remittance service providers’ global market coverage,” the statement disclosed.
The Philippines is sending more Filipinos abroad, increasing the base of workers who sends money back to the country. Preliminary data gathered by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that the number of deployed overseas workers (new hires and rehires) for 2012 grew by 6.7% from 2011. Of the deployed workers, 79.7% were land-based.
Not surprisingly, these land-based workers contributed the lion’s share of remittances, or precisely $1.3 billion in January. Meanwhile, sea-based workers contributed $412 million.
Remittances coursed through banks increased by 8% to $1.7 billion compared to $1.6 billion in January 2011.
Key sources of remittances for the period were:
- US – 38.9%
- Canada – 11%
- Saudi Arabia – 7.6%
- United Kingdom – 5.3%
- United Arab Emirates – 4.7%
- Singapore – 3.9%
- Japan – 3.8%
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