Manila: The steady stream of Filipino workers to jobs abroad remained one of the key drivers of the growth in remittance flows, the Philippines Central Bank (BSP) said.

In asserting this, the BSP of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas cited preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) which showed that in January-August 2013, approved overseas job orders totalled 542,367, of which about 39 per cent were processed job orders mainly for services, production, professional, technical, and related workers.

POEA also reported that workers with processed contracts reached 1,164,390 for the “first semester of 2013.” In comparison, the total number of workers with contracts in 2012 was 2,083,223.

POEA is the government agency that regulates overseas recruitment activities.

The job orders were primarily intended for the manpower requirements in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Qatar.

The presence of large number of Filipino workers in jobs abroad had allowed the country to remain economically resilient despite ups and down in the global economy.

As for personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) for the month of August went up year-on-year by 7.4 per cent to $2.1 billion (Dhs7,712,256,210) the fifth consecutive month in 2013 that personal remittances exceeded the $2 billion mark,

BSP officer-in-charge Diwa Guinigundo announced on Wednesday.

Personal remittances from OFs posted a growth of 6.6 per cent from the year-ago level to reach $16 billion for the period January-August 2013.

Growth in remittances was sustained by the 5.5 per cent growth in transfers from land-based OF workers with work contracts of one year or more, whose remittances comprised more than three-fourths (75.3 per cent) of the total.

Meanwhile, remittance flows from sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts grew by 7.4 per cent.

Cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks went up by 6.8 per cent to $1.9 billion in August. For the first eight months of 2013, cash remittances reached $14.5 billion or a 5.9 per cent increase compared to the level registered in the same period last year.

“A sustained influx of remittances was observed from both land-based ($11.1 billion) and sea-based workers ($3.4 billion) which grew by 5.5 per cent and 7.4 per cent, respectively,” the BSP said.

According to the BSP, the major sources of cash remittances were the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Canada, and Japan.