Monday, February 15, 2010

Dollar remittances from Filipinos in the United States shrunk by 6.41 percent last year – indication of lingering Fil-Am money woes as the US economy struggles to get up to its feet.

US-based Pinoys sent home over $7.32 billion last year despite the wobbling American economy.

In contrast, total remittances reached a historic $17.35 billion in 2009 – a 5.61 percent jump over the previous year, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) statistics revealed this week.

The year-end aggregate was boosted in part by an 11 percent increase last December, compared to December 2008.

“The geographical diversification of OFWs has contributed to the resilience of remittance inflows,” the BSP observed.

But the money sent home from the US last year was actually a 6.41 percent decline compared to the $7.82 billion remitted in 2008.

This was the first contraction of money sent home by Filipinos in the US.

The BSP said major sources of remittances were the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Italy and Germany.
However, the share of dollar receipts coming from Filipinos in the US decreased from 47.6 percent in 2008, to 42.3 percent in 2009.

Some say this is symptomic of economic difficulties in the US, as thousands of Fil-Ams remain jobless, face home foreclosures and struggle with mounting debt.

“Not all host countries were severely affected by the global financial crisis,” the BSP reported, “Middle East countries continue to absorb significant number of deployed OFWs, including those that have been displaced elsewhere.”

The BSP also noted a spike in money transfers since October as overseas Filipinos supported rebuilding efforts of their families affected by typhoons and floods.

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