Nov 252013

MANILA, Philippines – A surge in remittances from Filipinos abroad may be seen in November and December following the destruction caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda, a central bank official said.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Diwa  C. Guinigundo said that Filipinos abroad are expected to send more to their families in the Philippines, especially those in hard-hit areas, as they rebuild their homes and businesses.

“We might see a strong inflow come November because there are also reports indicating that families who were displaced by the super typhoon have members who are working abroad,” Guinigundo said.

“What we would expect is aside from the normal level of remittances that they send, probably they will increase that precisely to cover the extra cost of rehabilitation and rebuilding the homes and their business,” he continued.

Yolanda, which ravaged the Visayas region earlier this month, has killed more than five thousand and destroyed billions of pesos worth of infrastructure and agriculture.

“We would expect that in November, perhaps even in December, there could be some spikes in terms of remittances,” Guinigundo said.

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“We could probably see stronger growth (in remittances) than in the other months of 2013,” he added.

Cash remittances hit $16.480 billion in the first nine months of the year, 5.8 percent higher than the $15.571 billion recorded in the first same period last year.

Historically, the country sees a jump in the volume of remittances for the month of December, due to the Christmas season.

Last year, remittances amounted to $21.391 billion, up 6.3 percent from $20.117 billion in 2011.

The central bank expects cash remittances this year to grow by five percent over last year’s numbers.

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