THE surge in the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in 2008 will boost the economic growth of the country this year, according to a report released by the World Bank.

In 2008, deployment of OFWs was at a strong 17 percent, which slowed down to 11.7 percent in 2009.

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"This reflects global staffing restructuring induced by the global recession as well as the strong value-proposition of Filipino workers in the global labor market, a trend that will strengthen remittances this year," the report said.

As an example, the report cited the case of the seafaring industry which has been, and continues to be, sharply affected by the global recession and the collapse in global trade and cruise ship tourism.

"The pressure to drastically reduce costs has led some companies to accelerate their staff sourcing from countries such as the Philippines, which has a large pool of comparatively cheap, English-speaking, and well qualified sea-farers. As a result, sea-farers’ deployment increased by about 20 percent in the year through November 2009 despite the decline in cargo shipping," the report said.

The report noted the resiliency of the services sector and the gradual recovery of industry sector after three quarters of negative year-on-year growth, a trend that should strengthen the Philippine economy's performance this year.

In its report released Monday, international financial institution, the World Bank, has pegged the growth of the country to be at 3.5 percent this year, citing the strong outlook for the leading world economies, recovery of private consumption, robust public spending, and the rising deployment of overseas Filipino workers that will boost remittances.

The growth forecast for 2010 represents an upward adjustment from the previous forecast of 3.1 percent.

For the year 2011, the Philippines is forecast to achieve a GDP growth of 3.8 percent.

The report cited other economic growth drivers for this year which included the replenishment of depleted stocks by private companies, and the strong short-term outlook for the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector. (CPM)