Money sent home by Filipinos living and working abroad continued to grow in November last year, sustained by demand for labor overseas, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported Tuesday.
Overseas Filipinos sent $1.92 billion in November 2012, up by 7.6 percent from $1.78 billion in November 2011, latest Bangko Sentral data showed.
In the 11 months to November 2012, remittances totaled $19.42 billion, up by 6 percent or a percentage point over the the 5-percent Bangko Sentral growth target.
In its Migration and Development Brief No. 19, the World Bank estimated that remittances to the Philippines would reach $24 billion in 2012 – making the country the third highest recipient of overseas remittances after China and India, with Mexico sharing the third spot.
There are over 10 million overseas Filipinos who send money back to the Philippines, fueling domestic consumption and keeping the local economy afloat.
Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of the gross domestic product and remittances from abroad account for 10 percent of GDP, according to World Bank estimates.
“Remittances continued to draw strength from the increasing demand for skilled and professional Filipinos abroad along with innovations in remittance services offered by banks,” the Bangko Sentral said.
Citing preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the Bangko Sentral said there were 782,201 job orders approved in January to December 2012, of which 42.2 percent were for the service, production, professional, and technical sectors in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
“Everyone was expecting remittances to sustain growth,” Peter Lee U, University of Asia and the Pacific economist, told GMA News Online. “It should end the year at around 5 percent to 7 percent growth,” he added.
“Aside from sustained labor demand, OFWs may have to send more to compensate for the peso's appreciation,” Lee U noted.
Remittances will likely see “more of the same growth path in 2013,” he added. — VS, GMA News