May OFW remittances total $1.578B, a record

Money sent home by overseas Filipinos reached the highest volume in May as compared to any month before, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said Thursday.

The BSP said the amount of money sent home by Filipinos from abroad reached a new monthly record of $1.578 billion amid the steady demand for professional and skilled workers and the continued expansion of remittance conduits.

This represented a 6.5-percent or $96-million growth from $1.48 billion in May last year, bringing the amount of money sent home by overseas Filipinos to $7.44 billion in the first five months of the year or 6.6 percent higher than the $6.98 billion registered in the January-May period last year.

“The steady stream of remittances continued to emanate from the stable demand for professional and skilled Filipino workers worldwide as well as the wider access of overseas Filipinos and their beneficiaries to a broader array of products and services offered by banks to cater to the various needs of their clients,” BSP Gov. Amando Tetangco said.

Data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration or POEA showed that approved jobs in the first half of the year totaled 302,844, of which 35 percent consisted of job orders processed for the requirements of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Taiwan.

About 81.5 percent of the remittances were sent from the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, and Italy.

Products and services offered by banks included facilities for paying utility bills and food delivery from selected food chains with established tie-ups with some commercial banks, the BSP chief said.

“These are the key factors that support the optimistic outlook for sustained remittance flows through the rest of 2010,” Tetangco said.

The BSP has upgraded its growth forecast for the amount of money sent home by overseas Filipinos to eight percent instead of six percent due to the strong demand for Filipino skilled workers.

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