Jan-Aug OFW remittances up 15.3% at $8.1B
Manila (16 October) -- MONEY sent home by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) through banks sustained the $1-billion level for the fourth consecutive month in August at $1.09 billion, bringing the January-August total to $8.1 billion, up 15.3 percent from the same period last year, the central bank said Friday.
OFW money remittances for the whole of 2006 may reach $11.87 billion, with the bulk to come from the United States, Saudi Arabia, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Canada and Singapore, said Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. of the central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
Tetangco attributed the sustained high level of remittances to foreign countries' continued preference for Filipino workers and to enhanced efficiency in remittance services.
Government and private sector efforts to comply with the standards of the International Maritime Organization for seafarers and the establishment of stronger bilateral relations with labor-importing countries also helped sustain the deployment of Filipinos abroad, he added.
"Remittances also rose on the strength of the marketing activities of commercial banks and private remittance agents aimed at extending efficient remittance services to Filipinos abroad and their beneficiaries," Tetangco said.
Also bolstering the country's foreign exchange were net inflows of foreign portfolio investments, which more than doubled to $373.7 million in September from $131.5 million in August, Tetangco also said.
For the January-September period, the net inflow of short-term foreign investments in stocks, bonds and bank products totaled $1.39 billion, compared with $2.03 billion in the same months last year.
Tetangco said: "Investor confidence was bolstered during the month following the announcement of the 5.5-percent year-on-year rise in GDP [gross domestic product] during the second quarter, the further slowdown in the inflation rate to 6.3 percent in August, the P14.3-billion budget surplus in August (the fourth monthly surplus posted this year), the maintenance of key policy rates by the US Federal Reserve and the BSP, the continued strengthening of the peso and easing oil prices." (PIA-MMIO) [top]