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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Remittances rise 3.4% to $2b – BSP

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Money sent home by Filipinos working overseas increased 3.4 percent in January from a year ago, on sustained demand for skilled workers, despite the crude oil price slump that affected the Middle East.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Filipino migrant workers remitted $2.022 billion in January, up from $1.956 billion a year ago, but lower than the record $2.47-billion registered in December.

The 3.4-percent remittance growth in January was also slower than 4.9 percent in December and the full-year average of 4.6 percent in 2015.  Bangko Sentral is aiming for a 4-percent growth in remittances this year.

“Remittance flows from overseas Filipinos remained resilient, underpinned by the sustained demand for skilled Filipino manpower overseas,” Bangko Sentral said in a statement.

Data showed remittances from both land-based ($1.6 billion) and sea-based ($447 million) workers expanded 3 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively. 

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More than three-fourths of cash remittances came from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Qatar and Japan.

Personal remittances, which include non-cash items, also rose 3.2 percent year-on-year in January to reach $2.2 billion. These flows consisted primarily of transfers from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, amounting to $1.7 billion, as well as compensation of sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts, which reached $500 million.

Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showed that 30.5 percent of the 84,670 approved job orders in January were processed during the period. These were intended mainly to fill in demand for service, production, and professional, technical and related workers in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.

“The continued efforts of bank and non-bank remittance service providers to expand their international and domestic market coverage through their network of remittance business partners worldwide also provided support to steady remittance flows,” Bangko Sentral said.

Cash remittances hit a record $25.767 billion in 2015, up from $24.628 billion in 2014.  

Remittances fuel private consumption and serve as one of the backbones of economic growth in the Philippines.

The Philippines is the world’s third largest recipient of remittances, after India and China.

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