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PIA Press Release

June 7 is Day of Thanksgiving to new heroes of RP

Tacloban City (June 1) -- All throughout the country, simultaneous activities have been scheduled for the June 7, a day of thanksgiving to the Overseas Filipino Workers who are hailed as the new heroes of the Republic, remitting billions of dollars annually, thus helping prop up the national economy.

June 8 is celebrated at Migrant Workers Day, and this year's theme "Araw ng Pasasalamat, Pagpupugay sa Kakayahan at Talino ng Expat Pinoy," OWWA 8 Officer in Charge Juliet Tan informed.

As early as 7:00 o'clock in the morning of June 7, a Migrant Workers Parade, participated by about 1,000 Overseas Workers and their families, will be conducted in Tacloban City, spearheaded by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Region 8 under the leadership of OIC Juliet Tan.

The parade will also be participated by past and present OFWs, OFW community leaders, agency partners and other stakeholders.

After the parade, a whole day Program will be conducted at the Leyte Sports and Civic Center with a whole day activity which promises to be a day of fun with games and big raffle prizes for the OFWs and their families, a way of saying thank you to their contributions and achievements.

Gifts will be presented to the OFW organization or delegation which is the biggest delegation, early bird and most colorful, Ms. Tan said.

Awards will also be presented to the Outstanding Overseas Filipino Workers both land-based and Sea-based. Another award will be presented to a physically and financially challenged OFW and to the Most Senior Surviving OFW in attendance, Ms. Tan said.

Remittances from overseas Filipino workers climbed to $1.4 billion in December, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported.

The latest figure took remittances in the whole of 2008 to $16.4 billion, up by 13.7 percent from 2007 and above the BSP's growth forecast of 13 percent or $16.3 billion for the year.

"Amidst the challenges posed by the global financial market strains and the economic downturn experienced by host economies, remittances from overseas Filipinos remain a dependable source of foreign exchange for the economy," the BSP report stated.

BSP said the major sources of remittances were the United States, Saudi Arabia, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Sustained demand for Filipino manpower worldwide—particularly professional and skilled workers—combined with greater access by overseas Filipinos and their beneficiaries to expanded remittance transfer facilities helped shore up remittance flows.

Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showed that the number of Filipinos deployed abroad in 2008 rose considerably by 27.8 percent to 1,376,823 from 1,077,623 in 2007.

The Philippines is one of the world's leading sources for skilled and unskilled workers with up to nine million people, about 10 percent of the population, living and working in 140 countries.

The OFW remittances have become a major pillar in supporting the economy contributing to about 10 percent of the country's gross domestic product. (PIA 8) [top]

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