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2013 remittances reach $22.8 billion

Cash remittances from overseas Filipinos amounted to $22.8 billion in 2013, 6.4 percent higher compared to the previous year, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Remittances exceeded the BSP’s forecast of five percent increase for 2013. Last year’s remittances growth was also higher than end-2012’s 6.3 percent over 2011. For 2014, the central bank is keeping the five percent growth projection but also sees it climbing up to six percent if the developed economies’ recovery pushes through.

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Cash remittances from overseas Filipinos amounted to $22.8 billion in 2013, 6.4 percent 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 OFWs to receive cash from their relatives abroad. (Photo by Alma J. Buelva)

The BSP said that cash remittances — these are fund transfers coursed through the banking channels — for the month of December alone recorded its highest level of $2.2 billion, up 9.1 percent year-on-year.

The BSP noted that cash transfers from both land-based and sea-based workers grew by six percent and 7.9 percent, respectively. “Moreover, cash remittances from land-based workers accounted for more than three-fourths (77.1 percent) of total cash transfers,” it added. Countries such as the US, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, 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 percent to $25.1 billion. For the month of December alone, this grew 12.5 percent to $2.4 billion. Personal remittances are coursed through so-called informal channels including the “padala” system.

The BSP said the “sustained rise in personal remittances during the year was driven by the robust growth in remittances of land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more (6.1 percent) and transfers of sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts (7.8 percent).”

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 percent. “Remittances remained robust on the back of strong demand for skilled Filipino manpower abroad, particularly in the Middle East,” it said.

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 percent were processed job orders mainly for services, production, and professional, technical, and related workers. “These job orders were intended for the manpower requirements of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Qatar,” the BSP cited POEA data. In a January report, British bank Standard & Chartered Bank said the local economy could expect stronger support from remittances this year as overseas Filipinos increase the amount of funds they send home.

“We expect remittance growth to accelerate in the near term (and also) expect stronger global growth to boost the incomes of Filipinos overseas and thus their ability to remit more to the Philippines,” Stanchart economists said.

  • UPS-KUBO

    the sad thing about this, halos lahat ng mga pinapadala ng mga OFWs, sa mga malalaking negosyante din napupunta. From the remittance (sa banks, remittance centers). then pagdating sa Pinas mapupunta sa expenses, pambayad ng bills (electricity, tubig, telepono,etc which are again owned by the big companies), then sa groceries (most owned again by the big guys), or even sa mga eloading na napakalaking negosyo sa pinas. kaya yung naiwan na lang sa OFWs, resibo..

  • Joel

    With OFW remittance increasing every year due to more and more OFW’s are being deployed (directly related to increasing population) and more and more processionals are being hired by developing countries. OFW remittance is fueling our economy so the government has no desire to bring them home instead encourage more students to be OFW (all these fly by night nursing and HRM schools cropping everywhere that are not regulated). The government should should include in any college and vocational course business subjects so that our welders in the mid-east have the knowledge to invest their hard earned pay before they become OFW. A lot of OFW’s are victimizing by sweet talking scamers promising high return on their money simply because 1) they cannot recognize “it is impossible to double your money in 1 year” (which is also fueled by greed) and 2) they simply do know where and how to invest. Our government should break the cycle. Create more business minded OFW’s and our economy will even grow faster.

  • johnny wang

    My only question is how long can the government afford to depend on the goodwill of other countries to provide jobs to the pinoys. Ultimately this guys will come home looking for a job and then the government will find itself in a very bad situation and will be held accountable for not doing any development work in the country

  • morejustice009

    napunta sa pamilya nila, at kapag ginastos nila doon lang nakakakuha ng percentage ang gobyerno, businesses, bir, etc. through Tax., different kinds of Taxation. kaya malaking tulong din ito., sa ekonomiya natin.

    • Kabayan In Saudi

      Agree! Sa mga fastfood like Jolibee, pagkakain ay may 12% Value Added Tax (VAT). Punta yan sa BIR.

      • ibascoallan

        tapos yung napupunta sa BIR, diretso nyan sa kuratot ng mga pulitiko

  • Carlo Sanchez

    Up to now, I am still looking for the right answer. OFW remit billions of dollars a year and still millions of filipinos are living in poverty. Do the math, saan napunta ang mga perang ito?

    • aristotle

      Sa mga luho ng family nila.

      • ibascoallan

        brad its not luho, for some cguro….buts its just that majority of OFWs have low paying jobs lalo na sa Middle East and HK or factory workers in Korea, Taiwan or SKorea…where the average OFW income is approx…25k pesos only….around 15k lang napapadala nila backhome……ano mang sahod nila is enough only to sustain the present basic needs of their family……kulang pa nga e madalas…..

        • Palaisipan

          tama mo kayo sir, para sa akin ay malaki din kasing kabawasan sa ating mga kinikita yung 12% VAT kasi kung babawasan ng tax ang kita ng 25-35% ang maipapadala natin ay nasa 65-75% na lang tapos pag ibinili na sa supermarket at kumain sa mga restaurant o fastfood ay may 12% pang VAT….bale ang napapakinabangan lang natin ay halos kalahati lang ng ating pinagpawisan.

    • Roger David

      Pre’ sa tingin ko yung remittance na US$22.8B ay napakaliit para i-ahon sa kahirapan ang karamihan sa ating kababayan. here’s why and assuming there are 10M OFW:
      US$22.8B x P44.5 (present rate)=P1.015Trillion
      P1,015T/10M=P101.5k per year
      P101.5k/12months = P8,455/months

      Yang P8,455 per month na yan ang average income na ibubuhay ng isang family ng OFW sa loob ng isang buwan.

      Napakaliit nito para i-ahon sa kahirapan sa karamihan sa ating kababayan.

      • mananagat

        I think that is not correct, how come na P8K+ lang yung monthly income ng OFW na halos lahat kami ng crew dito sa barko ay more than 1,000 US$ yung monthly salary from low rank up to 10,000 US$ to the Highest position.

        • Roger David

          Ang karaniwan po kasi na nababasa ko ay nasa US$20B yearly daw ang remittance thru bank ng mga OFW at nasa 10M ang bilang ng OFW natin, kaya a simple calculation will result to P8k+/month lang ang average income ng isang OFW.

          Ngayon isama natin at i-assume yung iba pang mode of remittance gaya ng door-to-door at iba pa na hindi dumaan ng bangko, doblehin natin from $22.8B to $45.6B for the sake of argument at paliitin din natin yung bilang ng OFW from 10M to 8M at tingnan po natin kung sapat na ito:

          US$45.6B x P44.5 = P2.03Trillion
          P2.03T/8M OFW=P253.56K/year
          P253.56K/12months = P21,137.5/month (ave monthly remittance)

          Malliit pa din po yan para mahango sa kahirapan mga OFW. Isang bagay lang po ipinakikita nyan, na napaka-liit na porsyente lang po sa mga OFW ang kayang gumanda ang buhay, huwag po natin kalimutan napakaraming nating OFW na karaniwan ay nasa low income earner many of them earned less than P10k/month especially in middle east countries, at hindi rin po lahat ng OFW ay nakakapagpadala sa kanilang mahal sa buhay.

          • mananagat

            as per POEA rules only 80% of basic salary ang required na iremit sa Ph ng isang OFW (seaman), hindi ko alam sa land base, yung basic salary namin ay mga 25 percent ng total salary namin, Usually yung 70 percent ng salary namin natatanggap namin sa barko at dala pauwi or minsan mabawasan pag magpadala ng pera sa atin in case of emergency expenses.

            I can say sa seaman medyo maluwag konti ang buhay lalo na pag officer na nasa 2500 US$- 10K US$ ang monthly salary.

            Yun nga lang meron ding mga land base na not skilled worker na mababa talaga, minsan tamang tama lang sa mga expenses konti na lang matira sa savings.

            Meron din namang mga seaman na sobra sobra ang income at waldas din at ang ending hirap pa rin.

            just my 2 cents

          • ibascoallan

            majority pa rin kasi ng land based OFWs belong to low paying jobs..and whatever amount na naipapadala nila sa pilipinas ay madalas kulang pa or tama lang to sustain the basic needs of their family…pero kung ang OFW ay isang domestic helper or ordinary worker lang,,,,kung kita nya e around 20k pesos / month (minimum requirement of POEA for OFW employers), kulang na kulang yun kung may tatlo na ang anak (average filipino family size) or kung ang isa sa kanila e college na. kaya madalas ng pangkaraniwang OFW, umuuwing walang ipon asi yung kita nya e enough lang to sustain the present and basic needs of his family…..

    • johnny wang

      While people are going abroad and working hard for the sake of their families the guys in manila are safely sitting at their tables and sharing the loot that comes their way