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OFW remittances reach $ 3.5B in Q1

MANILA, May 15 – Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) remittances coursed
through banks in March 2007 reached US $ 1.3 billion, bringing the
first-quarter OFW remittances to US $ 3.5 billion.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Tuesday said the March figure was
the 11th consecutive month that remittances surpassed the US $ 1 billion

It said the March OFW remittances resulted in a 26.4-percent year-on-year
growth; while the first-quarter figure for this year is 24 percent higher
than year-ago’s $ 2.8 billion.

“Strong remittances in the first quarter of 2007 were mainly the result of
innovative remittance schemes offered by financial institutions, and
enhanced links established with foreign counterparts,” the central bank

The BSP said remittances continue to register growth despite the decline
in OFW deployment in the first three months of the year.

Initial data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)
said total number of deployed workers went down by 10.6 percent to 251,009

Deployment of land-based workers dropped by 9.2 percent to 191,937 while
numbers of sea-based workers also went down by 14.8 percent to 91,937.

However, remittances remained high because of higher number of
professional and higher-paid workers that were deployed, the central bank

“The deployment outlook continues to be favorable as Filipino workers’
competence and technical skills, as well as high degree of trainability
support the manpower demands of host economies. Continuing bilateral
discussions and negotiations being undertaken by the Government with major
labor-receiving countries are also expected to sustain the strong
remittance trend,” it said.

Major sources of remittances during the quarter were the US, Canada, the
United Kingdom, Italy, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Japan and Hong

Higher remittances were mostly noted from OFWs in Canada, France, Germany,
Greece, Japan, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates and the
UK, it added.

The central bank forecasts this year’s total OFW remittances to reach US $
14 billion.


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