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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2013 Remittances Reach $22.8 Billion

Cash remittances from Overseas Filipinos amounted to $22.8 Billion in 2013, 6.4% higher compared to the previous year, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Cash remittance outlets such as the ones in the photo are frequented by families of OFW's to receive cash from their relatives abroad. Remittances exceeded BSP's forecast of 5% increase for 2013. Last year's remittances growth also higher than end-2012's 6.3% over 2011. For 2014 the central bank is keeping the 5% growth projection but also sees it climbing up to 6% if the developed economies recovery pushes through. The BSP said that cash remittances- these are fund transfer coursed through the banking channels -for the month of December alone recorded it's highest level of $2.2 Billion, up 9.1% year on year. The BSP noted that cash transfers from both land based and sea based workers grew by 6% and 7.9% respectively. "Moreover cash remittances from land-based workers accounted for more than 3/4 or 77.1% of total cash transfers." Countries such as the US, Saudi Arabia, UK, UAE, Singapore, Canada and Japan continue to contribute the biggest source of remittances. The central bank also reported that in 2013 Overseas Filipinos personal remittances grew 7.6% to $25.1 Billion. For the month of December alone this grew 12.5% to $2.4 Billion. Personal remittances are coursed through so called informal channels including the "Padala" system. As a consumption led economy the strength of remittances continue to support economic activity. The BSP said in 2013 remittances ratio to GDP was 8.4%. Data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that last year, the number of deployed workers totalled 1.8 Million while approved job orders reached 793,415 of which 40.9% were processed job orders mainly for services, production and professional, technical and related workers. In a January report, British Bank Standard and Chartered Bank said the local economy could expect stronger support from remittances this year as Overseas Pilipinos increase the amount of funds they send home.  
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