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Personal Remittances Sustain Growth, Cash Transfers Hit US$1.9 Billion in October

12.17.2012

Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) registered an 8.2 percent year-on-year growth in October 2012 to reach US$2.1 billion, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today.1 On a cumulative basis, remittances totaled US$19.5 billion for the first ten months of the year, higher by 5.9 percent than the level recorded in the comparable period in 2011.  Personal remittances continued to expand on the back of the 13.8 percent growth in fund transfers by sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts, as well as the 3.6 percent expansion in remittances by land-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with work contracts of one year or more.

Meanwhile, cash remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks posted a record-high level of US$1.9 billion in October, representing an increase of 8.5 percent from the year-ago figure.  This brought cumulative cash transfers in January-October to US$17.5 billion, higher by 5.8 percent than the level posted in the same period last year.  Remittances of land-based workers, which posted grew by 3.7 percent to reach US$13.5 billion in the first ten months of the year, accounted for 77 percent of total cash remittances.  In addition, remittances of sea-based workers rose appreciably by 13.7 percent year-on-year to reach US$4 billion during the ten-month period.  More than three-fourths (78.2 percent) of the total cash remittances coursed through banks came from the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, the U.K., Japan, United Arab Emirates, and Singapore. 

Remittances remained strong despite fragile economic conditions in advanced economies and renewed geopolitical tensions in some parts of the Middle East.  Remittance flows were supported by the steady deployment of skilled and professional Filipino manpower abroad, combined with commercial banks’ continued efforts to build up their network of remittance business partners worldwide.   Preliminary reports by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) indicated that 41.9 percent (or 302,173) of the total approved job orders of 721,338 in January-November 2012 were processed during the period.  Processed job orders were intended mainly for manpower demand for overseas Filipinos in the fields of service, production, and professional, technical and related job categories in countries in the Middle East region, particularly Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar. The sustained demand for overseas Filipino manpower provides support for a continuing favorable outlook for remittances through end-2012.

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1  The BSP started the release of data on personal remittances in June 2012.  As defined in the Balance of Payments Manual, 6th Edition (BPM6), personal remittances represent the sum of net compensation of employees (i.e., gross earnings of overseas Filipino (OF) 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 OF 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), and capital transfers between households (i.e., transfers of fixed assets and financial assets that arise from the migration of individuals from one economy to another).

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