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BSP reviews impact of OFW deployment ban to Qatar

The impact of the temporary deployment ban of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to Qatar is yet to be seen but the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said it will continue to monitor the situation.

”OFWs might transfer or would move to other countries within the area also to find jobs,” BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. told reporters Tuesday.

The central bank forecasts a four percent growth of remittances this 2017.

As of the first quarter this year, personal remittances, which include both monetary and the in-kind remittances, rose 8.1 percent to USD7.7 billion.

BSP data show that inflows from Qatar as of end-March this year rose 35.2 percent year-on-year to USD306.031 million from year-ago’s USD 226.322 million.

Inflows from land-based workers went up 35.3 percent to USD305.827 million from USD226.116 million in end-March 2016.

On the other hand, remittances from sea-based workers contracted by 1.1 percent to USD204,000 from year-ago’s USD206,000.

The deployment ban was imposed by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on rising diplomatic crisis after several Arab nations decided to cut ties with the oil-rich country on allegations that Qatar is supporting terrorist groups like ISIS.

Countries that severed ties with Qatar are Saudi Arabia, which closed its borders with the former, as well as Bahrain, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Maldives.

The Labor department said there were about 270,000 OFWs in Qatar, the fourth largest migrant population in that Middle Eastern country.

Joann Santiago/PNA