May remittances at record $1.69-B

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 15 2011 01:34 PM | Updated as of Jul 16 2011 12:34 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Filipinos working and living overseas sent home $1.69 billion in May, matching the highest monthly level reached in December, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported Friday.

The May figure was up 6.9% from last year's $1.58 billion.

For the first five months of 2011, remittances reached $9.7 billion, up by an annual 6.2%.

The BSP said the steady deployment of Filipino workers abroad continued to drive the increase in remittances.

The BSP has projected remittance growth at 7% this year. BSP Governor Amando Tetangco said any change in the forecast would not be great.

Monetary officials also said that the so-called Saudization program, which requires companies in oil-rich Saudi Arabia to hire more Saudi nationals, would not affect remittance growth.

For the first five months, Saudi Arabia remained among the major country sources of Filipino remittances. Others were US, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Italy and Germany.

Remittances provide support to the peso and the balance of payments, and drive consumption in the economy.

In 2010, remittances hit a record $18.76 billion, up 8.2% from a year earlier.