2004-10-28 15:50:25 UTC
thousands of dollars to Laos. Can Laos or do Laos benefit from money
sent by former patriots and citizens living abroad? You bet. The
Philippines does...See article below.
Thursday October 28, 5:45 PM
Study says Filipino workers abroad sent more than $7.6 billion home
Filipinos working or residing abroad possibly sent home to the
Philippines much more than the $7.6 billion recorded by the government
last year, with unrecorded monies being transferred across countries
through unregulated channels, the Asian Development Bank of the
Philippines said Thursday.
Citing a study titled "Enhancing the Efficiency of Overseas Workers
Remittances" the bank said the government may be recording "only half
of what is actually sent or received, due to money transfers made
through unregulated channels."
The study identified ways to improve the flow of remittances and
maximize their development impact on a migrant-sending country such as
It said that the remittances, if used properly, could serve in the
long run as a driver for economic reform.
There are about 7.5 million Filipinos residing or working overseas.
Among them are about 255,000 Filipino seafarers accounting for 28.5
percent of the world's supply of seafarers.
The bank said that of the $47 billion that overseas Filipinos have
remitted through formal channels from 1990 to 2001, 14 percent was
"Remittances are a clear source of capital and resources that have
impacted, and will probably continue to impact, the development of
millions of households in the Philippines," the study said. "There is
tremendous potential for harnessing these remittance flows for more
productive use and as a tool for poverty reduction."
A limited survey done as part of the study said possibly as much as 80
percent of formal remittance flows move through commercial banks.
But there is also an upswing preference for informal channels such as
non-bank money transfer agencies, phone cards, bank cards or the
In these cases, "telecom companies and others using this technology
must address the requirement of the anti-moneylaundering statutes,"
the bank said.
The unregulated movement of money happens when friends are asked to
bring money home or when the money is personally carried home by the
Filipino migrant worker, it added.
The study said these usually happen when there are no banks or
remittance agencies accessible to migrant workers.
"The challenge lies in addressing the various regulatory and practical
barriers and gaps that hinder the flow of remittances and other
migrant resources to be used for strategic economic purpose and
putting to maximum use the various levels of financial institutions,
government agencies, and civil society organizations," the study said.
It suggests opening up remittance windows for Philippine banks or
remittance entities in host countries.
Workers with irregular status could also be allowed use of identity
cards issued by consular officers for opening bank accounts to lessen
use of unregulated remittance channels, the bank suggested.