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Personal Remittances Sustain Growth in April 2013

06.17.2013

Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) continued to show strength, rising by 7 percent year-on-year in April to reach US$2 billion, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today.   On a cumulative basis, personal remittances for the first four months of the year totaled US$7.7 billion, higher by  6.4 percent than the level recorded in the comparable period last year.   The rise in personal remittances in January-April 2013 was driven by the 4.6 percent increase in remittances by land-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with work contracts of one year or more, whose remittances comprised about three-fourths of the total.  Meanwhile, remittance flows from sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts grew by 9.4 percent.

Cash remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks grew by 5.7 percent in the first four months of the year to reach US$6.9 billion, with sea-based and land-based workers’ transfers rising by 9.3 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.  By source country, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and Japan remained the top sources of cash remittances.  Total flows from these countries represented more than three-fourths (75.9 percent) of the total cash remittances coursed through banks.

Remittances remained robust on the back of sustained demand for skilled Filipino manpower in various countries worldwide. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) reported that, of the total approved 367,738 job orders for the period January-May 2013, more than 30 percent represented processed job orders largely for service, production, and professional, technical and related personnel.  The job orders are mainly intended for employment opportunities in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Kuwait, Qatar, and Hong Kong.

The continued expansion of bank and non-bank service providers’ international market coverage through tie-ups and establishment of remittance centers abroad to capture a larger share of the global remittance market likewise provided support to the steady flow of remittances.
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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., 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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