MANILA, Philippines - Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) sent $1.7 billion in remittances to the Philippines in March, a 5% increase from year-ago figures, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said the continued increase in remittance flows in March boosted the first quarter remittances to $4.8 billion, 5.4% higher than the $4.6 billion in the same period last year.
Remittances from land-based OFWs rose 2.7% to $3.7 billion in the January to March period. Remittances from sea-based OFWs jumped 15.3% to $1.1 billion during the first quarter.
"Robust cash transfers in the first-quarter of 2012 were supported by the sustained demand for Filipino manpower in various foreign labor market," Tetangco said.
Data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showed there were 68,711 job orders for service, production and professional and technical workers were processed from January to April. The demand for manpower came from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.
"Increase inflows of overseas Filipinos' remittances were made possible by continued expansion of banks' presence across the globe through tie-ups established by local financial institutions with foreign and local money transfer operators, mobile phone service operators and pawnshops," the BSP governor said.
Most of the remittances came from OFWs in the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, united Kingdom, Singapore, UAE, Germany, Italy and Hong Kong.