MANILA, Philippines – Personal remittances — the cash and non-cash items or goods carried across borders coursed through formal and informal channels — reached US$11.272 billion in the first 6 months of the year, reflecting a 5.3% increase.
The resilient growth in a key economic contributor continued amid economic challenges faced by some of the host countries of most overseas Filipino workers (OFW), showed the data that Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas released on August 15.
But the growth rates are slowing down.
The BSP cited the continuous strong demand for professional and skilled OFWs during the period. For the month of June, personal remittances rose 4.2% to $2 billion.
This is the 3rd month the BSP is releasing data on personal remittances as part of efforts to align reporting with global standards set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Total cash remittances — which reflect only the funds sent home through formal system or banks — reached US$10.128 billion in the 6-month period, reflecting a 5.1% year-on-year increase.
Notably, the sea-based workers’ cash remittances reached $2.3 billion during the past 6 months, reflecting a 13.6% increase. The land-based OFWs sent $7.8 billion, but at a slower growth pace of 2.8%.
Major sources of cash remittances during the period were:
- U.S. – 42.8% of total cash remittances
- Canada – 9.6%
- Saudi Arabia – 7.6%
- United Arab Emirates – 4.1%
- Japan – 5%
- United Kingdom – 4.8%
- Singapore – 4.2 %
Funds sent home by Filipinos abroad fuel consumer consumption, real estate investments, vehicle purchases, among others.
It remains the biggest dollar earner of the Philippines, allowing the government to have healthy balance of payments and gross international reserves levels. – Rappler.com