Record OFW remittances in May hardly surprises Palace

July 16, 2009 9:23 am 

MANILA, July 16 — The unexpected record remittances from overseas Filipino workers in May in the face of the lingering global economic slowdown hardly surprised Malacanang on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson for Economic Matters, Dr. Gary Olivar said that what the figures show and what foreign analysts don’t understand is that Filipino migrant workers are no longer low paid and easily kicked out of jobs.

“They are now in more stable, higher paying and higher value-added positions. That is the reason why our foreign remittances continue to be stable and the prospects of our OFWs continue to remain stable in spite of the global recession,” he said.

On reports that deployment of workers has also increased during the period, Olivar said “that is true and we must feel happy about it.”

“While it’s true that there are more people going overseas, we are not the only ones — neither are we the first ones – to do this (sending more people overseas). The Chinese and Jews have done it. So it’s not unprecedented for a country to find its fortune in other countries, Olivar stressed.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said that remittances in May were higher than its earlier expectations, with the monthly inflows reaching a new record high at USD 1.48 billion with more Filipinos working abroad.

The record inflows in May brought the cumulative remittances for the first five months of the year to 6.98 billion dollars, or an increase of 2.8 percent from the level recorded in the same period last year.

Triggered by the need to send funds back home for the tuition fees and education of their children, the remittances of both sea and land based workers posted gains of 4.6 and 2.4 percent, respectively.

Given the trend in the first five months of the year, the BSP’s zero- growth projection for 2009 now appears to be conservative and may have to be upgraded, according to BSP Gov. Armando Tetangco Jr. (PNA)

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