Landbank OFW remittances up 31% in 2008

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 17 2009 10:53 AM | Updated as of Feb 17 2009 07:25 PM

State-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) hit $772 million worth of remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in 2008 owing to more linkages with banking partners and remittance companies abroad, it said in a statement.

Landbank's remittances last year were 31 percent or $183 million higher than the 2007 total of $589 million. Remittances from the Asia Pacific region and the Middle east accounted for 45 percent of Landbank's total remittances for 2008.

"The growth in remittances shows that our efforts to provide overseas Filipinos with faster and more convenient way of sending money to their beneficiaries in the Philippines are gaining a headway. Aggressive tapping of foreign and domestic remittance agencies with strong client base also helped in our campaign," Landbank President and CEO Gilda Pico said.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported Monday that OFW remittances hit $16.4 billion for 2008, up 13.7 percent from 2007, and above the BSP's growth forecast of 13 percent or $16.3 billion for the year.

BSP said sustained demand for Filipino manpower worldwide combined with greater access by OFWs and their beneficiaries to expanded remittance transfer facilities helped shore up remittance flows.

Landbank said its tie-up with manning and shipping agencies in the previous years also contributed to the expansion in domestic remittances, which comprise 40 percent of total funds transferred by OFWs. The remaining share came from the bank's remittance offices and subsidiaries based in Europe and the US.

Pico said Landbank's strength in inward remittances is its extensive reach and presence in the country's provinces.

"This is also our service to overseas Filipinos whose families are mostly in the rural areas. OFW remittances help perk up the local economy which is consistent with our thrust of promoting growth and development in the countryside," she said.

Landbank posted a record net income of P5.02 billion last year, which was attributed to higher revenues generated from investments. The amount was 19 percent or P800 million higher than P4.21 billion in 2007.