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June 7, 2008

Overseas workers expected to send $15bn

The money sent home by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will amount to $15 billion dollars this year, the Philippine government said on Friday.

The rising number of Filipinos working all over the world would assure that their remittances to the Philippines would surpass the $14.449-billion benchmark in 2007, said Marianito Roque, chief of the Department of Labor and Employment in a report to the Presidential Palace released on Friday.

According to a report released earlier by the central bank BSP,OFW remittances have reached the 4-billion-dollar mark in the first quarter of this year.

Roque said the distinct global preference for OFWs in more than190 destination countries has sustained the inflow of dollar remittances annually.

The BSP's remittance report showed that global OFW deployment has surged by 13.6 percent to 263,129 in the first quarter of 2008, from 231,647 in the same period in 2007.

Meanwhile, the latest preliminary report of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showed that the global deployment of both land- and sea-based OFWs rose by 14 percent, with an average of 3,303 OFWs deployed worldwide daily, to 399,638from January to April 2008, from 350,520 in the same period last year.

"Thus, in 2008, as the global preference for our highly skilled overseas Filipino workers sustain, we are confident that total global OFW deployment would reach or surpass the one million mark, and total global OFW remittances would approach the $15 billion level, as the year successfully progresses," the labor chief added.

Currently, more than 8 million Filipinos are working all over the world. In 2007 alone, global OFW deployment rose to 1.073 million, or one percent above 1.062 million OFWs deployed worldwide in 2006.

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