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April remittances rose 5.3%

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Posted June 16th, 2012 by Elaine Ramos Alanguilan

Cash sent home through banks by Filipino expatriates grew 5.3 percent year-on-year to $1.7 billion in April, buoyed by the steady global demand for skilled Filipino workers, the Bangko Sentral said Friday.

Bangko Sentral reported that if non-cash transfers would be included in the tally, personal remittances actually amounted to $1.9 billion in April, up by 5.5 percent from a year ago.

The bank has revised its remittance data to include non-cash transfers and capture total transactions in remittances in compliance with the International Monetary Fund’s balance of payments and international investment position manual 6th edition, which provides the framework for the compilation of the balance of payments.

The cash remittance growth in April was faster than the 5.0-percent expansion in March and 6.3-percent increase in April 2011.

This also brought total remittances in the first four months to $6.5 billion, which is 5.4 percent higher than the year-ago level.

Data showed the increase in fund transfers was supported by higher remittances from both sea-based ($1.5 billion) and land-based ($5 billion) workers, which grew by 14.6 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.

“Remittance flows were sustained by the steady demand for Filipino workers abroad as well as the expanded access of overseas Filipinos and their beneficiaries to a diverse and innovative range of financial products and services offered by banks and other financial institutions,” said the Bangko Sentral.

Data showed personal remittances, including cash and non-cash transfers, expanded 5.6 percent year-on-year to $7.3 billion in the first four months.

About 74.7 percent of the personal remittances in January to April consisted of transfers from Filipino workers with work contracts of one year or more while about 23 percent came from sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts.

Preliminary data obtained from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration indicated that workers classified as new hires with processed contracts and were awaiting deployment rose 16.5 percent to 85,009 in January and February, up from 72,941 in the same period last year.

Approved job orders totaled 334,945 in the first five months, of which 100,848 consisted of processed job orders for service, professional, technical, production and related workers and are intended for deployment to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The Bangko Sentral also attributed the increased inflows of remittances to the continued expansion of banks’ presence across the globe through tie-ups established by local financial institutions with foreign and local money transfer operators, mobile phone service operators and pawnshops.

(Published in the Manila Standard Today newspaper on /2012/June/16)

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