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June 15, 2008

Overseas remittances up 18.4 percent in April

Money sent home by millions of Filipinos working abroad rose 18.4 percent from a year earlier to 1.4 billion dollars in April, AFP quoted the Philippines central bank as saying Friday.

This brought the inflows for the first four months of the year to 5.4 billion dollars, or 14.5 percent higher than the year-ago level, it said in a statement.

The number of workers abroad in the first four months rose 14.0 percent from a year earlier to 399,638, it said, citing labour department data.

"Prospects of deployment remain upbeat given the country's efficient deployment system and continued bilateral talks for employment opportunities with other labor-importing countries such as Canada," it said.

More than eight million Filipinos, out of the national population of 90 million, work abroad.

Their remittances are a major source of foreign exchange for this cash-strapped country.

The United States, Saudi Arabia, Britain, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong were the major sources of remittances, the central bank said.

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