PH remittances beat gov't target, hit record in 2017

MANILA, Philippines – Money sent home by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) ended last year strong, resulting in all-time high remittance numbers in 2017, said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday, February 15.

Full-year personal remittances hit $31.29 billion, 5.3% higher than the $29.7 billion recorded in 2016 and exceeding the 4% projection of the BSP.

In December 2017 alone, personal remittances reached $3 billion.

The BSP noted that personal remittances last year accounted for 10% of gross domestic product (GDP) and 8.3% of gross national income (GNI).

Meanwhile, cash remittances or those coursed through banks by OFWs totaled $28.06 billion, 4.3% higher than the $26.9 billion recorded in 2016.

December 2017 alone also saw a cash remittance all-time high of $2.74 billion, up 7.1% year-on-year.

"Notwithstanding pockets of political uncertainties across the globe, cash remittances in 2017 remained resilient. Remittances from the Middle East increased by 3.4%, driven by growth in remittances from the UAE (United Arab Emirates), Qatar, and Bahrain," BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr said.

BSP data also showed that OFW remittances from Asia rose by 7.3%, mainly from Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan, while remittances from the Americas increased by 5.8%, mainly from the 5.5% growth in remittances from the United States.

The central bank also noted that remittances from Europe went up by 1.5% despite the decrease in remittances coming from the United Kingdom which it said was partly due to the depreciation of the pound sterling vis-à-vis the US dollar.

The BSP said bulk of cash remittances for 2017 came from the US, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Japan, UK, Qatar, Kuwait, Germany, and Hong Kong with combined remittances from these countries accounting for 80.1% of total cash remittances. – Rappler.com