Remittances of Filipino workers overseas rose 2% to USD 2.12B in Nov. ’14

By Joann Santiago

MANILA, Jan. 14 (PNA) – – Remittances of Filipinos overseas remained at the USD 2-billion level in November 2014 but its monthly growth of two percent is the slowest after the 0.1 percent in January 2009.

Data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Wednesday showed that cash remittances to the country reached USD 2.12 billion last November, two percent higher than year-ago’s USD 2.17 billion but lower than month-ago’s USD 2.22 billion.

Citing historical trends, BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said the lower amount of inflows from Filipinos abroad is not unusual.

”In the past when the dollar appreciates against the peso, the tendency is for overseas workers to adjust their remittances so that the peso value of their remittances will more or less be the same. So if the peso depreciates against the dollar, then they can afford to send smaller amount of dollar remittances and the peso equivalent will be broadly the same,” he told reporters Wednesday.

For the first 11 months of 2014, total cash remittances reached USD 21.99 billion, 5.7 percent higher than year-ago’s USD 20.8 billion.

This growth was higher than the five percent full-year remittance growth target of the government.

In a statement, BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said inflows from both the land-based and sea-based workers continue to boost remittances.

He said money sent home by land-based Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) with work contracts of one year or more rose by 5.3 percent while those from sea-based workers with work contracts of less than one year jumped by 7.3 percent.

Citing initial data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the central bank chief said deployment of Filipino workers abroad is still high.

He said processed job orders from January to November last year reached 855,357 and 38.3 percent of whom were for the service, production, and professional, technical and related workers in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Taiwan and Qatar. (PNA)