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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     18 October  2011

Philippines overseas remittances increase

Money sent home by Filipinos working abroad remain robust, growing by double-digits for the time this year despite lingering global uncertainties, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said on Monday.

In a statement, the BSP said remittances coursed through banks grew 11.1 percent to reach $1.7 billion in August compared with $1.5 billion in the same period last year. The August inflows brought the eight-month tally up 6.9 percent to $13 billion, with cash transfers from land- and sea-based workers growing by five and 14.4 percent, respectively. The BSP forecast remittances to grow 7 percent this year.

The top 10 sources of remittances include economically troubled nations such as the US, Japan and Italy, as well as Canada, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Germany and Norway. Combined flows from these countries represented 84.9 percent of total remittances reported by banks, the BSP said.

Central bank Governor Amando Tetangco Jr said that stable employment prospects for OFWs were indicated in data obtained from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. From January 1 to September 30, the number of processed job orders totaled 193,176, reflecting an 8.6 percent increment over the 177,936 in the same period last year.

The processed job orders were for employment opportunities in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Taiwan, Qatar, Kuwait, and Hong Kong, among others.
The POEA also reported that another batch of licensed Filipino nurses and caregivers would be deployed in Japan next year, as part of the continuing hiring program under the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. Commercial banks’ continued efforts to build up their network of remittance business partners worldwide have contributed to the country’s larger share of the global remittance market, Tetangco said.

“Partnerships have been strengthened with correspondent banks and with other remittance companies abroad. Going forward, the remittance outlook for the remaining months of the year remains favorable as government redeployment strategies are in place to help Filipino workers affected by the social unrest in the Middle East and North Africa region,” the governor said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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