Philippine overseas workers first half transfers up 18.1%


MANILA, AFP

Cash transfers by the Philippines’ large overseas work force rose 18.1 percent from a year earlier to seven billion dollars in the six months to June, the central bank said Wednesday.

Remittances in June rose to US$1.1 billion, up 0.9 percent from the same period last year, the bank said in a statement.

The central bank attributed the rise in remittances to “more efficienttransfer services and the expanding number of remittance centers,” set up by commercial banks.

It also noted remittances had increased even though the number of Filipinos leaving the country to work abroad had declined 5.1 percent in the first half of 2007 to 646,212.

Last year’s transfers through the banking system reached a record US$12.8 billion, up 19.4 percent from 2005.

Some eight million Filipinos, about 10 percent of the population, now live and work in over 100 countries and their remittances back home are a major source of foreign exchange for this country.