Remittances reach $18.54 billion in 10 months, October posts 7% growth
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on December 16, that as of end-October, cash remittances sent by overseas Filipinos totaled $18.54 billion, up six percent year-on-year.
Cash remittances are transfers send directly through the banking system and are easily monitored by the central bank.
For the month of October alone, inflows went up seven percent year-on-year to $2.1 billion, the highest monthly increase this year.
BSP also reported that personal remittances – these are coursed through informal channels – amounted to $20 billion as of end October, 6.8 percent higher compared to the same period in 2012.
In a statement, BSP governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said the sustained rise in personal remittances was driven mainly by the 5.5 percent increase in remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, accounting for 75.5 percent of total transfers.
Transfers from sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts increased by 7.5 percent in the same period.
For October alone, personal remittances totaled $2 billion, up 8.8 percent. The BSP noted this was the highest annualized monthly growth rate for personal remittances since they started reporting in this category last June 2012.
As for cash transfers, land-based workers remitted $14.2 billion and sea-based workers’ $4.3 billion, both higher by 5.5 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively, compared to 2012. The major sources of cash remittances were the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Canada, and Japan, according to BSP data.
“Sustained demand for skilled and professional Filipino manpower overseas supported the steady rise in remittances for the first ten months of the year,” said the BSP.
Based preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, about 675,966 of new job orders were approved for the 10-month period, of which 39.7 percent were processed job orders mainly for services, production, professional, technical, and related workers.
The BSP said countries of destination were Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Qatar.
Total personal remittances, which represent the sum of net compensation, household-to-household transfers in cash and kind, and capital transfers of overseas Filipino workers, rose 8.8 pct in October from a year earlier to $2.28 billion.
The central bank expects cash remittances to exceed its 5 percent growth forecast this year as Filipinos will likely send more money home to support families affected by last month’s super typhoon. Cash remittances in 2012 reached $21.39 billion, up 6.3 percent from a year earlier.
Remittances have held up well despite the global economic turmoil, keeping domestic consumption robust, which in turn helped offset weak global demand for the country’s exports
“The continued presence of bank and non-bank service providers in foreign countries through tie-ups and remittance centers contributed to strong remittance flows,” the BSP added.