Remittances Up 3.1% to $14.6B in 6 Months

More than 300,000 workers deployed abroad in first half

By: Daxim L. Lucas
Philippine Daily Inquirer

DOLLARS sent home by overseas Filipinos continued to rise at the end of June—the third straight month of growth—due mainly to the steady stream of workers being deployed to other countries, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Monday.

In a statement, the BSP said that personal remittances from expatriate workers grew by 4.8 percent to $2.6 billion in June 2016 compared to the same period last year.

This brought personal remittances for the first six months of the year to $14.6 billion, up 3.1 percent from the first semester of 2015, BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said.

“The continued demand for skilled Filipino workers abroad supported the steady remittance inflows,” he said, adding that preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) indicated that the number of workers deployed in the first half of the year reached a total of 223,116 for land-based new hires and 93,600 for sea-based workers.

Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of a year or more reached $11.3 billion, while inflows from sea- and land-based workers with short-term contracts amounted to $3.1 billion.

Meanwhile, cash remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks amounted to $2.3 billion in June 2016, posting a 4.8-percent growth from a year ago. For the first six months, cash remittances totaled $13.2 billion, higher by 3.2 percent than the $12.8 billion recorded in the comparable period in 2015.

In particular, cash remittances from land- and sea-based workers totaled $10.4 billion and $2.8 billion, respectively.

About 80 percent of cash remittances came from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Japan, Qatar, Kuwait, Hong Kong and Germany.

According to the BSP, the number of deployed land-based, newly hired workers increased by 0.9 percent during the period, while that of sea-based workers declined by 55.6 percent compared to the previous year.

Reports further showed that for the period January-July 2016, processed contracts for land-based workers were largely for services and sales; “elementary occupations” such as those working in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, construction, manufacturing and transport sectors, and craft and related trades.

The top country destinations were Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

“The steady stream of remittances was supported by the efficient network of bank and nonbank remittance channels established worldwide to cater to the various needs of overseas Filipinos,” the BSP said. “As of end-June 2016, commercial banks’ established tie-ups, remittance centers, correspondent banks and branches or representative offices abroad reached 5,228.”



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