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August 16, 2008

Philippines: June remittances up 30% to $1.5bn
Philippines’ June remittances rose 30 percent to a record monthly inflow of $1.5 billion as more Filipinos got well-paid nursing jobs and sent money home for new school year, said Reuters on Friday.

Reuters said the June figure, released by the country’s central bank on Friday, brought the total of remittance during the first half of this year to $8.2 billion, up 17 percent from the same period last year.

Remittances from more than 8 million Filipinos working overseas, around 10 percent of the population, have boosted domestic consumption and the inflows help oil the wheels of the economy.

Despite a global economic slowdown, the number of Filipino workers deployed in the January to June period climbed by a third from a year earlier, government data showed.

Inflows are traditionally strong in June, when schools resume, as people send home cash to pay for fees, books and uniforms.

Analysts said a weaker peso against the dollar could also have encouraged Filipino workers to send more home as they would get more pesos for dollars after suffering the effects of a strong peso last year.

The central bank expects the inflow of remittances sent through official channels to touch $15.9 billion by the end of the year, a fresh record, up 10 percent from last year’s peak.

The central bank said June’s monthly inflow was the highest since 1989, when it started to classify foreign exchange inflows from overseas workers as a separate category.

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