MANILA, Philippines - Remittances are expected to rise by two to three per cent in May this year after new overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were deployed abroad, the Philippines’ central bank said.
Although remittance growth may only be slower at single-digit levels this year, cash sent home by OFWs will not decline, central bank officials said.
With these latest projections, remittances may reach $1.442 billion for May, from last year’s $1.4 billion, thanks to sustained demand for Filipino workers abroad, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said.
As of 29 May 2009, a total of 758,412 active job orders have been reported, of which 37 percent have been processed while 63 percent are still to be filled up, Tetangco said, citing data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA).
Bulk of job vacancies are in the production, services, and professional skill categories.
Hiring agreements between the Philippines and host countries – such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Australia – have continued to sustain job opportunities, Tetangco said.
A separate 273 health workers were also deployed to Japan under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).
Moreover, remittances’ momentum is likely to be sustained in June, which is the month for school enrollment, Tetangco added.
The BSP’s earlier projection of flat growth in remittances were conservative and may be upgraded, Tetangco said, citing the rising trend in the first five months of the year.
“If what we see in global recovery continues, then we are optimistic this trend would be sustained," Tetangco said. “Advanced economies are declining at a slower pace and that could be followed by an upturn."
Earlier, the BSP reported that remittances for April reached $1.4 billion, 2.2 percent higher than the same period last year. This latest result brings the cumulative four-month remittance to $5.5 billion.
Moreover, the 2.6 per cent expansion posted during the first four months this year was buttressed by higher remittances from both sea- and land-based workers, which sent home 2.5 and 2.6 percent more money, the BSP said.
“Steady remittance flows – averaging $1.4 billion in 2008 and in January-April 2009 – continued to be driven mainly by sustained demand by host countries for Filipino skills and competence," said Tetangco. - GMANews.TV