MANILA -– Demand for Filipino workers continue to boost remittance inflows and helped sustain the higher-than-target growth in the first two months of 2012.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. yesterday said inflows from overseas Filipinos rose by 5.8 percent year-on-year last February and by 5.6 percent year-on-year in the first two months this year.
This year, monetary officials eye a five percent growth for remittances.
Specifically, inflows last February alone reached $1.59 billion, up from the $1.5 billion recorded in the same period last year bringing the total for the first two months this year to $3.14 billion, higher than year-ago's $3 billion.
These inflows came mainly from the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the U.K., Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Italy, Germany and Hong Kong, all of which account for 86.3 percent of the total funds coursed through the formal channel or the banks.
Tetangco said bulk of the inflows or 76.1 percent amounting to $1.2 billion came from land-based workers while the balance of 23.9 percent amounting to $0.4 billion came from sea-based workers.
“The continued inflow of OF remittances is supported by the sustained demand for Filipino manpower in various foreign labor markets,” he said.
Citing Philippine Overseas Employment Administration data, Tetangco said job orders for professional and technical and service and production workers reached 200,010, up by 24.6 percent year-on-year.
These job orders are for labor requirements in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Taiwan, Kuwait, Singapore and Hong Kong, among others.
The lifting of the bans imposed by POEA in deployment to Nigeria, Libya and South Sudan, following improved security conditions in these countries, could provide additional employment prospects abroad for Filipino manpower, Tetangco also said.
Local banks and other financial institutions continued to expand their presence abroad to serve the remittance needs of Filipino workers, he said.
The improved accessibility of remittance centers, and the wider array of financial products on offer, supported the increase in remittances and encouraged more overseas Filipinos to send money to their families and other beneficiaries in the Philippines, Tetangco added.*PNA