MANILA, Philippines- Despite an ongoing crunch in the United States economy, remittances from Filipinos overseas grew to a new record high in March 2008, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Thursday.
In a statement, the central bank said earnings sent home by OFs coursed through banks climbed 9.4 percent year-on-year to $1.4 billion in March 2008, the highest monthly level recorded thus far.
The March 2008 inflows brought the first quarter level of remittances to $4.0 billion, higher by 13.2 percent than the year-ago level of $3.5 billion.
The BSP said bulk of the remittances that flowed into the country in March came from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
"Remittances during the first three months of 2008 reflected the rising number of Filipino workers abroad, the shifts in skill composition as well as the growing efficiency of banks and other financial institutions as remittance channels," the BSP said.
Citing preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the central bank said the number of Filipino workers abroad rose 13.6 percent in the first quarter to 263,129 from 231,647 a year ago.
Classified by type of worker, the number of land-based workers grew by 11.7 percent during the three-month period to 200,398 while the number of sea-based workers rose by 20.1 percent to 62,731.
The BSP said OF remittances were also strengthened by additional tie-ups established by domestic banks and other local remittance companies with foreign financial institutions to promote a faster and more efficient delivery of remittances of overseas workers to their beneficiaries. - GMANews.TV