Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFW) continue to increase, as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas recorded a total of $1.9 billion worth of personal remittances from Filipinos who work and live abroad in January 2013.
The figure is higher by 8.4% compared to the $1.7 billion level a year ago.
Personal remittances consist primarily of transfers from land-based OFWs with work contracts of one year or more, as well as those from sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts of less than a year.
Transfers from OFWs with contracts of more than one year grew by 6.8%, while transfers from short-term contract workers increased by 11.7%.
Cash remittances coursed through banks also grew to $1.7 billion compared to $1.6 billion recorded in the previous year. More than $1.3 billion were remitted through banks by land-based workers, while around $412 million were sent through banks by sea-based workers.
Majority of the remittances came from the following countries:
- United States – 38.9%;
- Canada – 11.0%;
- Saudi Arabia – 7.6%;
- United Kingdom – 5.3%;
- United Arab Emirates – 4.7%;
- Singapore – 3.9%; and
- Japan – 3.8%
The continued growth of remittances is due to a steady demand for skilled and professional Filipino workers abroad, coupled with expanded money transfer services offered by financial institutions.
Data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) shows that the total number of deployed OFWs for 2012 reached 1,800,465 from 1,687,831 a year ago. Of the total deployed overseas workers, 79.7% were land-based and 20.3% were sea-based.
It is estimated that between 9.5 million to 12.5 million Filipinos work or reside abroad, representing 11% of the total Philippine population. In 2012, the BSP estimates total OFW remittances to reach $21 billion, a 5% growth from the 2011 remittance figure.