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First-quarter remittances climbed 5.6% to $5.1b — BSP

By Julito G. Rada | Posted on May. 16, 2013 at 12:01am |
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Money sent home by Filipinos working abroad hit $5.1 billion in the first quarter, up 5.6 percent from $4.8 billion a year ago, on sustained demand for Filipino talents, the Bangko Sentral said Wednesday.
“Remittances from both sea-based [$1.2 billion] and land-based workers [$3.9 billion] expanded by 6.1 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively,” Bangko Sentral Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said.
Remittance growth, however, slowed to 3 percent in March from 6 percent in February and 8 percent in January.  It was also slower than the 5-percent increase recorded in March 2012.
Remittances from nearly 10 million Filipino migrants and workers abroad account for about a tenth of the gross national income and support various sectors of the economy.
Cash remittances in March reached $1.75 billion, up from $1.7 billion a year ago. It was also higher than $1.7 billion in February.
Data showed that including non-cash items, personal remittances grew 3.7 percent to $1.9 billion in March and 6.2 percent to $5.6 billion in the first quarter.
“The steady increase in personal remittances during the quarter was driven by robust remittance flows from both land-based [overseas Filipino] workers with work contracts of one year or more [$4.2 billion], as well as sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts [$1.3 billion],” the Bangko Sentral said.
Primary sources of remittances in the three-month period were the United States accounting for 42.6 percent of total cash remittances; Canada, 8.2 percent; Saudi Arabia, 7.9 percent; the United Kingdom, 5.7 percent; the United Arab Emirates, 4.5 percent; Singapore, 4.2 percent; and Japan, 3.7 percent.
The Bangko Sentral cited data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showing approved job orders hit 292,483 in the first four months, of which about 27 percent consisted of processed orders mainly for services, production, and professional, technical and related workers.
These processed job orders were largely intended for the manpower requirements of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Hong Kong and Kuwait.

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