Money remitted by Filipinos overseas is the largest source of foreign exchange for the country. After this comes BPO earnings.
Joey Cuyegkeng, a Senior Economist at ING Bank Philippines, says that overseas Filipinos sent home a total of $25.8 billion in 2015. The figure for 2016 is expected to be 3% higher, at $26.6 billion.
BPO revenues, however, are in for a major jump. A projected increase of 16% should see their earnings touch $24 billion in 2016.
For the first three months of 2016, remittances by land-based Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) increased by 5.3%. Sea-based OFW remittances saw a modest increase of only 1.5%. Three-fourths of the money came from the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait) and Japan.
The weak peso has helped, according to Cuyegkeng.
For the BPO sector, the creation of the Department of Information and Communication Technology is a shot in the arm. This move is expected to attract more companies to the Philippines. Cuyegkeng estimates that the BPO industry’s revenues will grow by 15% annually, if infrastructure issues can be addressed.