Here are some interesting news, statistics on OFWs and remittances from a tradingmarkets.com clipping:

PHILIPPINE Long Distance Telephone Co.’s international sales and marketing unit may tap the markets of Italy and Macau next year for the telco’s mobile virtual network operation (MVNO) service, PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan told reporters that his company will look into the market comprising the overseas Filipino workers in Italy and Macau next year for PLDT Global’s MVNO, which partners with local operators to provide mobile wireless and data services under its own brand, “Smart 158.” These value-added services include Smart Load, Pasa Load, Smart Padala, Startext, StarCaller and Catextism.

In 2009, Pangilinan said MVNO will be offered to OFWs working in Taiwan.
In August 2004, the company launched its MVNO in Hong Kong in partnership with Hong Kong CSL Limited and in Singapore in partnership with Mobile One.

PLDT Global has about 60,000 users in Hong Kong and another 45,000 subscribers in Singapore.

In terms of remittances, the 135,000 Filipino workers in Hong Kong alone, of whom 120,000 are domestic helpers, send P12 billion to the Philippines each month.

“Remittances now emerge as the single largest source of external funding, more than capital market flows, more than official development assistance and more than foreign investment,” Al Panlilio, PLDT Global president, had said.

The affordability of sending funds in smaller amounts through text enables the Hong Kong subscribers to remit more frequently, he said, adding that aside from the convenience, the [MVNO] also helps OFWs budget their finances.

“Technology will be one of the main drivers of the remittance market in the future as competition escalates and remitters seek convenience, speed, affordability and access,” Panlilio said.

In addition to Hong Kong and Singapore, PLDT Global operates in three other major areas–the United States, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.

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