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OFW inflows up 5.5% to $15.57 B as of Q3

By Prinz P. Magtulis (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 16, 2012 - 12:18am

MANILA, Philippines - Growth in money sent home by Filipinos abroad remained on track to meeting the full-year forecast as of the third quarter, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported yesterday.

Cash remittances coursed through banks amounted to $1.838 billion in September alone, an improvement of 5.9 percent from the previous year, BSP data showed.

This brought the year-to-date remittance to $15.571 billion, up 5.5 percent.

BSP sees a five-percent remittance expansion this year, although this outlook is up for revision this month.

Data further showed that personal remittances – which include hand-carry money transfers – rose at a faster six percent in September and 5.7 percent in the first three quarters of the year.

“Remittances remained resilient on the back of sustained foreign demand for skilled Filipino manpower and continued financial service innovations of banks and other financial institutions,” BSP Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said in a statement.

Data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration included in the statement showed a total of 262,444 job orders processed in the first 10 months of the year. Most workerswere deployed to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Taiwan and Qatar.

There were also a total of 1.276 million people still awaiting deployment as of July this year, the number represents an 8.9-percent increase from previous year.

Espenilla said “higher transfers” from OFWs to their beneficiaries affected by the southwest monsoon and tropical storm “Helen” in August could have also contributed to “the sustained rise in remittances.”

Cash remittances mainly came from the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, UAE and Singapore. These countries accounted for 78.3 percent of the total, Espenilla added.

Remittances are part of the country’s balance of payments (BOP) which measures a country’s capacity to meet external trade and debt obligations.

In the third quarter, BOP already hit a surplus of $5.831 billion, more than twice the BSP’s $2.6-billion forecast for 2012.

Last year, cash remittances reached $20.117 billion.

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