The money sent home by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) totaled $1.673 billion in October, a new monthly record signaling the advent of money transfers for the Christmas season, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Wednesday.
The remittances in October brought to $15.456 billion the amount of money remitted by OFWs in first 10 months of the year, up 7.9 percent from $14.231 billion in the same period last year.
BSP Gov. Amando Tetangco Jr. said in a statement the remittances in October grew by $142 million or 9.3 percent from $1.531 billion booked a year earlier.
The remittances in October also eclipsed the $1.623-billion record registered in June.
"Remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks grew 9.3 percent in October 2010 to reach $1.7 billion, the highest monthly level posted during the year," Tetangco stressed.
"The sustained remittance flows into the country were due to the sustained robust demand for skilled and professional Filipinos," he added.
The remittances that accounted for 84 percent of the total and coursed through banks came from the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Italy, Germany, and Norway.
More job opportunities
Job orders that have been approved totaled 578,535 in the first 11 months, according to Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
These orders were for the service and production sectors as well as professional, technical, and related fields in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
More Filipinos would be deployed after the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported employers in Algeria plan to hire more workers for infrastructure projects, according to the BSP.
The construction of a military base in Guam next year will also open more job opportunities for OFWs, the central bank said.
"Looking ahead, the deployment outlook for Filipinos overseas also remained upbeat, given continuing bilateral talks with some host countries aimed at matching manpower requirements with the competencies of Filipino workers," the BSP chief said.
Global remittance networks
There are continuing efforts to improve the variety and coverage of the global remittance networks, enabling OFWs to transfer money using more innovative financial services.
"This, combined with the increasing presence of bank and non-bank money transfer conduits, both locally and internationally, as well as the expanding range of products and services offered by financial intermediaries to overseas Filipinos and their beneficiaries, contributed to the strong inflow of remittances," Tetangco explained.
In 2009, remittances went up 5.4 percent to a record $17.348 billion from $16.426 billion in 2008 exceeding the revised 4-percent forecast by the central bank.