Overseas Filipinos Diaspora Remittances for Development: Building a Future Back Home

What is the project about?

 The partnership among the Western Union Foundation, UNDP and local governments brings together a set of actors with unique resources, reflecting the synergistic potential of public-private partnerships. (Photo: UNDP Philippines)

In 2009, overseas remittances to the Philippines reached a record high of USD 17.3 billion, yet these funds have not translated into savings and investments and have mostly gone into consumer spending. This project addresses the goal of harnessing the potential of overseas remittances for poverty reduction and consequently, local economic development. In the long-run collective remittances of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) could become a powerful source of investment to spur economic development.

What have we accomplished so far?

UNDP through its partners continue to develop institutional capacities at the national and local levels. Notable support by the project include: the establishment of the Remittances for Development Council - a national policy recommendatory body on diaspora and their socio-economic development; and the implementation of the collective remittance model and its mechanisms in the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, which is now being replicated in other local governments.

Remittances among overseas Filipinos reached a record high of $23.8 billion in 2012 yet most of the families continue to use these funds for consumption related expenditure rather than save and invest. Therefore, the project is postured as a significant initiative to sustainably manage these remittances for local economic development, i.e. livelihoods and investments. The Remittances for Development Council plans to take this strategy forward and identify policy alternatives to be convened by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines).


Donor name Amount contributed
Western Union USD 250,000.00


2012 USD  61,035.00

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