OFW remittances 4th biggest in 2018 – World Bank

Marje Pelayo   •   April 11, 2019   •   2831

(File photo) Overseas Filipino workers

MANILA, Philippines – Migrant workers contributed a huge share in the country’s economy in 2018, according to a recent World Bank report.

Based on the World Bank’s April 2019 Migration and Development Brief, the Philippines received $33.8 billion dollars — the fourth biggest remittance from migrant workers in 2018.

India received the biggest remittance with $78.6 billion, followed by China with $67.4 billion, and Mexico’s $35.7 billion.

The World Bank noted that though remittances in 2018 increased by 3.1%, it was still lower than the 5.4% growth in 2017.

This pulled down the Philippines by one notch from its third place in 2017.

The World Bank explained that the decline in growth was due to “the significant drop of 15 percent in private transfers from the Middle East in 2018.”

Nonetheless, the World Bank sees the Japanese government’s new policy to hire foreign workers in the next five years, hiking remittance flows to the Philippines as well as to eight other priority countries, namely Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The World Bank noted that “migrant workers from said nine countries will be deployed to 14 sectors in Japan that have severe labor shortages.”

The Philippines has already signed a memorandum of cooperation with Japan in March 2019 on hiring Filipino workers expecting to fill about 100,000 of the open positions. – Marje Pelayo

30,000 OFW children in college to benefit from P1-B education subsidy

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 28, 2020

More than 30,000 college students who are dependents of repatriated, displaced, and deceased overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will benefit from the government’s P1 billion education subsidy, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III signed a memorandum of agreement to launch “Tabang OFW”. The program aims to provide a one-time financial assistance of P30,000 to one college-level dependent of a repatriated, displaced, or deceased OFW.

Bello said the program is just one of the government’s ways of reciprocating the sacrifices of overseas Filipinos.

“We hope this will go a long way in helping our OFWs and their children in these most challenging times. By doing this, we also hope we can partly repay our modern-day heroes,” he said.

Under the agreement the Labor Department shall issue orders, circulars or guidelines that will spell out the effective and efficient implementation of the program while the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will release the funds amounting to P1 billion to DOLE for its implementation.

The Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) will assist DOLE on the promotion and other information dissemination activities of the program. AAC

OFW remittances recover in June after three-month decline —BSP

Marje Pelayo   •   August 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) bounced back in June after three consecutive months of decline, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) announced Monday (August 17).

According to the report, remittances from OFs increased by 7.6% in June 2020 to US$2.737 billion from US$2.545 billion in June 2019. 

The growth was attributed mostly to the remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more.

However, cash in-flows from sea-based workers dropped by 13.1% from US$593 million in June 2019 to US$515 million this year “due to the repatriation of many sea-based workers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

By country source, remittances for January to June 2020 from the United States, Japan, Singapore, Oman, and Taiwan were among the countries that registered continued growth.

However, the highest decline in OF remittances was noted in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Germany, and the United Kingdom.   

The highest share to total OF remittances at 39.7% for January to June 2020 emanated from the US, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, UK, UAE, Canada, Hongkong, Qatar, and Taiwan.

The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78.9% of total cash remittances.

Over 136k OFWs sent home, DOLE says

Robie de Guzman   •   August 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – More than 136,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) have been transported to their respective home provinces, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.

In a statement on Wednesday, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that the latest batch of 2,667 OFWs who were cleared of coronavirus disease was sent home on August 11.

This brings the total to 136,509 OFWs provided with a package of DOLE assistance since it started transporting OFWs en masse in May after undergoing tests and quarantine, Bello said.

The labor chief added that the department, with the help of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and other government agencies, have been providing OFWs with assistance including accommodation, food, transportation and coronavirus testing upon their arrival in the country.

This is aside from a one-time P10,000 or $200 aid under its Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program to OFWs affected by the pandemic, both on-site and stranded in the country.

Bello recently welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval of an additional P5 billion fund for its assistance program which will benefit more OFWs.

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