OFWs’ remittances in February hit $2.5B

By Inquirer.net |April 16,2018 - 09:38 PM

Dollars sent back home by expatriate Filipinos continued to rise in February on the back of larger remittance volumes from both land- and sea-based workers, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said on Monday.

In a press statement, BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said personal remittances from Filipinos overseas reached $2.5 billion in February 2018, higher by 5.4 percent than those sent in the same month a year ago.

This brought the cumulative remittances for the first two months of the year to $5.2 billion, representing a year-on-year growth of 8.1 percent.

The central bank data did not indicate if the higher remittances were due to rising number of overseas worker deployments or simply larger amounts being sent home by Filipinos.

Land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more recorded a 6.5 percent growth to $4 billion while those from sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year rose by 9.7 percent to $1 billion.

Meanwhile, cash remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks reached $2.3 billion in February 2018, up by 4.5 percent year-on-year.

For the first two months of 2018, cash remittances totaled $4.6 billion, an increase of 7.1 percent compared to the $4.3 billion level posted in the same period last year. This was supported by the cash remittances both from land-($3.7 billion) and sea-based ($1 billion) workers which increased by 6.4 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively.

The US, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Germany and Malaysia were the major contributors to the growth in cash remittances for the month.

Remittances from the US and UAE each contributed 1.2 percentage points to the 4.5 percent overall growth. Meanwhile, cash remittances from Germany and Malaysia each shared 1 percentage point to total growth in cash remittances.

By country source, the bulk of cash remittances for the first two months of 2018 came from the US, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Japan, United Kingdom, Qatar, Germany, Hong Kong and Canada.

The combined remittances from these countries accounted for almost 80 percent of total cash remittances.

Personal remittances represent the sum of net compensation of employees (i.e., gross earnings of overseas Filipino workers with work contracts of less than one year, including all sea-based workers, less taxes, social contributions, and transportation and travel expenditures in their host countries), personal transfers (i.e., all current transfers in cash or in kind by workers with work contracts of one year or more as well as other household-to-household transfers between Filipinos who have migrated abroad and their families in the Philippines). Also included are capital transfers between households (i.e., the provision of resources for capital purposes, such as for construction of residential houses, between resident and non-resident households without anything of economic value being supplied in return).

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