MANILA, Philippines – Overseas remittances were steady at around $2 billion in June, but growth continued to slow down, data released by the central bank showed Thursday, August 15.
Filipinos working and living overseas sent home $2.1 billion in June, up 5.7% from $1.9 billion in the same month a year ago. This was the 3rd consecutive month this year that remittances hit the $2 billion mark.
However, the growth was slower than the 6.2% increase registered by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in May, and the 7% rise in April.
In January-June, remittances grew 6.2% to $11.8 billion.
Many families depend on money from relatives working abroad for their needs at home like food, education and medical care.
Remittances are a key driver of domestic consumption, accounting for over 10% of the Philippines’ gross domestic product.
“Remittances remained robust partly on the back of continued increase in demand for skilled Filipinos abroad,” the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) noted.
According to latest data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, about 1.8 million Filipinos flew out of the country for work in 2012, up 6.8% from 1.67 million in 2011. About 80% of these workers were land-based and were deployed for jobs in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Hong Kong and Qatar.
BSP said the continued expansion of bank and non-bank money transfer outlets overseas also continued to fuel remittance inflows.
As of end-June, commercial banks’ established tie-ups, remittance centers, correspondent banks, and branches/representative offices abroad totaled 4,409. – Rappler.com