By Julito G. Rada | Posted 24 minutes ago | manilastandardtoday.com
THE money sent home by Filipinos working overseas hit $1.93 billion in July, the highest in seven months, fueling the economic growth at the start of the third quarter.
“The steady deployment of overseas Filipino workers remained the key driver of the growth in remittance flows,” the Bangko Sentral said in a statement Monday.
Remittances, which account for about a tenth of the economy, support various industries such as education, tourism, healthcare, real estate and banking in the Philippines. Money from abroad helped the gross domestic product grow 7.7 percent in the first quarter and 7.5 percent in the second quarter.
The Bangko Sentral said remittances in July increased 6.6 percent from $1.8 billion a year ago. It was also higher than $1.92 billion booked in June.
The amount brought the seven-month tally to $12.6 billion, up 5.8 percent from $11.93 billion registered during the same period last year, driven by the sustained demand for local workers abroad.
The Bangko Sentral said including non-cash items, total remittances in July rose 7.4 percent to $2.1 billion. “This is the fourth consecutive month in 2013 that personal remittances exceeded the $2-billion mark,” it said.
Data showed remittances from sea-based workers increased 7.8 percent to $3 billion while money sent home by land-based workers grew 5.2 percent to $9.6 billion.
The major sources of cash remittances were the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Canada and Japan.
“The sustained expansion in remittance flows during the period was driven largely by the 5.2 percent growth in transfers from land-based OF workers with work contracts of one year or more, whose remittances comprised about three-fourths [75.2 percent] of the total,” the Bangko Sentral said.
Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showed approved job orders reached 495,304 in the first seven months. It said 37 percent were processed job orders mainly for services, production, professional, technical and related workers.
The job orders were mainly intended for the manpower requirements in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Taiwan, Qatar and Hong Kong.
The Bangko Sentral earlier said cash remittances were expected to grow 5 percent in 2013 over the $21.4 billion recorded last year.