THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported Thursday that Overseas Filipino Workers' (OFWs) remittances reached US$7.4 billion from January to May this year, a 6.6 percent higher year-on-year.

BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said that for the month of May alone, OFW remittance reach US$1.6 billion, the highest monthly remittance level ever recorded.

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Tetangco attributed the increased in remittances from both sea-based and land-based workers, expanding by 8.8 percent and 6.0 percent, respectively.

"The steady stream of remittances continued to emanate from the stable demand for professional and skilled Filipino workers worldwide," he said.

"These are the key factors that support the optimistic outlook for sustained remittance flows through the rest of 2010," he added.

Preliminary data obtained from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) indicated that for the first half of the year, approved job orders aggregated 302,844.

Of the number, about 35 percent consisted job orders for service, professional, technical, and production and related workers.

The bulk of these processed job orders were intended for the manpower requirements of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Taiwan.

The main country sources of remittances were the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Italy. The combined flows from these countries represented 81.5 percent of the total remittances reported by the banks. (MSN/Sunnex)