RP 2009 remittances to contract 8%: RBS

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 20 2009 02:04 PM | Updated as of Feb 21 2009 12:06 AM

Remittances sent home by Filipinos workers are expected to contract by eight percent this year as the global economic crisis impacts on overseas employment, the Royal Bank of Scotland said Friday.

The bank said it was reversing its earlier forecast of a two percent contraction as the global crisis will "hurt the chances of Filipino workers landing jobs abroad."

"I estimate total worker deployment to fall 15 percent this year compared to a 28 percent increase in 2008," RBS economist Euben Paracuelles told Dow Jones Newswires.

Remittances in 2008 rose 13.7 percent compared to the previous year to $16.4 billion.

The Philippines is one of the world's leading sources for skilled and unskilled workers with up to nine million people, about 10 percent of the population, living and working in 140 countries.

Their remittances have become a major pillar in supporting the economy, contributing to about 10 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

Citigroup in a report recently said it expected remittances to fall by three percent this year.