Money sent home by Filipinos working overseas increased by 4.6 percent in August to $2.589 billion from $2.476 billion a year ago, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said in a statement Tuesday.
This brought the total remittances in the first eight months to $19.808 billion, up by 3.9 percent from $19.057 billion in the same period last year.
“Cash remittances from land-based and sea-based workers increased by 2.8 percent to $15.5 billion and 8.2 percent to $4.3 billion, respectively, for January to August 2019,” the BSP said.
The United States posted the highest share of overall remittances from January to August at 37 percent, followed by Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong, Germany, and Kuwait.
The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78.4 percent of total cash remittances in the first eight months.
Personal remittances, which include non-cash items, also rose 4.2 percent in August to $2.9 billion from $2.8 billion. This brought the eight-month tally to $22 billion, up 3.6 percent from $21.2 billion a year earlier.
“The steady growth in personal remittances during the first eight months drew support from the remittance inflows from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, which aggregated $16.8 billion from $16.3 billion in the same period last year,” the BSP said.
It said inflows from the compensation of sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts also contributed to the growth and reached $4.7 billion, up from $4.4 billion a year ago. Julito G. Rada
Cash remittances reached a record $28.943 billion in 2018, up 3.1 percent from $28.06 billion in 2017.
The BSP is eyeing a conservative 3-percent growth in remittances in 2019.