Sunday, October 31, 2010

RP sailors' remittances up

MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 31, 2010) - Filipino sailors aboard foreign-flagged ocean-going vessels sent home a total of $2.461 billion in the eight months to August this year, up $250 million over the same period in 2009, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines reported Sunday.

"The foreign exchange coming in from sea-based migrant Filipino workers is growing twice faster than those coming in from their land-based counterparts," TUCP secretary-general Ernesto Herrera said in a statement.

"At the current double-digit growth rate, we now see the full year remittances from Filipino sailors abroad hitting around $3.7 billion," he said.

Herrera, whose national labor center includes the Philippine Seafarers' Union, attributed the sustained growth in remittances to the increased deployment of sailors and global demographics.

"The intercontinental maritime transport of all kinds of commodities is growing along with global population expansion. Thus, the ever-increasing demand for a fresh supply of sailors," the former senator said.

The total remittances coursed through banks by all land- and sea-based migrant Filipino workers increased by $839 million or 7.40 percent, to $12.181 billion in the first eight months of 2010 from $11.342 billion in the same period in 2009, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Remittances from land-based workers alone increased by $589 million or 6.45 percent to $9.720 billion from $9.131 billion, year-on-year.

Filipino sailors on mostly foreign merchant ships wired home a total of $3.4 billion in the whole of 2009, up $366 million from $3.034 billion in 2008.

The 12.06 percent growth in remittances from sea-based migrant Filipino workers in 2009 was nearly three times faster than the 4.15 percent or $555 million year-on-year increase in the cash sent home by their land-based counterparts.

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