Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) in January 2015 amounted to US$2.0 billion, higher by 0.2 percent than the year-ago level, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today.1 Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more registered inflows of US$1.5 billion. Meanwhile those from sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year totaled US$0.5 billion.
Cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks reached US$1.8 billion in January, representing a 0.5 percent year-on-year growth. Cash remittances from land-based and sea-based workers posted inflows of US$1.4 billion and US$0.5 billion, respectively. The bulk of cash remittances came from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Canada.2
Continued demand for skilled Filipino manpower contributed to the steady inflow of remittances. Preliminary reports by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) indicated that 26.3 percent of total approved job orders of 77,009 in January 2015 were processed during the period. Processed job orders were intended mainly for service, production, and professional, technical and related workers in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates. The POEA also reported that workers with processed contracts increased by 6.7 percent to 2.4 million in 2014.
Moreover, 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 provided support to steady remittance flows.
1 The BSP started to release 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).
2 There are some limitations on the remittance data by source. A common practice of remittance centers in various cities abroad is to course remittances through correspondent banks, most of which are located in the U.S. Also remittances coursed through money couriers cannot be disaggregated by actual country source and are lodged under the country where the main offices are located, which, in many cases, is in the U.S. Therefore, the U.S. would show up to be the main sources of OF remittances because banks attribute the origin of funds to the most immediate source.