MANILA, Philippines - Money sent home by overseas Filipinos grew 7.4% to $12.18 billion in the first 8 months of the year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported Friday.
In August alone, remittances reached $1.5 billion, up 9.8% year-on-year, the highest monthly growth recorded so far this year.
Money remitted came mostly from the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, United Kingdom, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Italy and Germany .
The BSP noted that steady demand for professional and skilled Filipino workers abroad, and increased access of OFWs and their families to formal money transfer channels continued to boost remittance growth.
Based on preliminary data obtained from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the total number of deployed overseas workers for the first 6 months of 2010 grew by 5.7% to 787,777 from 745,147 in the comparable period a year ago. The POEA also reported that land-based workers classified as new hires with processed contracts and are awaiting deployment rose by 2.4% to 252,443 for the period January to August from 246,637 last year.
The central bank has raised its growth forecast for remittances this year to 8% from 6% previously. Remittance inflows reached a record $17.3 billion in 2009.
Economic Planning chief Cayetano Paderanga has said the economy could grow faster than the government's target of 5% to 6% this year, driven by strong remittances from overseas workers and a recovery in trade.