OFW cash remittances start 2018 strong at $2.37 billion

MANILA, Philippines – Money sent home by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) picked up where it left off last year by opening 2018 strong, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr announced on Thursday, March 15, that cash remittances, or remittances formally channeled through banks, totaled $2.379 billion in January 2018, representing 9.7% year-on-year growth from January 2017.

Remittances from land-based workers at $1.9 billion and sea-based ones at $500 million also increased by 8.4% and 15.3%, respectively. 

These remittances came mainly from the United States, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Kingdom, Japan, Qatar, Canada, Kuwait, and Germany. These countries accounted for more than 80% of total cash remittances.

The central bank also noted that remittances from the US grew by 14.3%, contributing 4.6 percentage points to the 9.7% overall growth.

Meanwhile, personal remittances from overseas Filipinos grew by 10.8% year-on-year in January 2018 to reach $2.655 billion.

Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more totaled $2.1 billion, higher by 8.4% from the level recorded in January 2017, while those from sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year rose by 15.3% to $500 million.

Last year's remittance flows hit record levels with cash remittances totaling $28.06 billion and personal remittances hitting $31.29 billion. – Rappler.com