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Personal Remittances Continue to Rise in October 2015; January-October Level Climbs to US$22.8 Billion

12.15.2015

Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) reached US$2.5 billion in October 2015, bringing cumulative remittances for the period January–October 2015 to US$22.8 billion. On a year-to-date basis, personal remittances increased by 3.5 percent, 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 rose by 3.9 percent while those from sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year grew by 3 percent.

Meanwhile, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks amounted to US$2.2 billion in October 2015. On a cumulative basis, cash remittances for the ten-month period totaled US$20.6 billion, higher by 3.7 percent than the level registered in the same period last year. Cash remittances from land-based and sea-based workers grew by 3.9 percent (to US$15.8 billion) and 2.9 percent (to US$4.8 billion), respectively. The bulk of cash remittances came from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, and Hong Kong.2  Combined remittances from these countries accounted for more than 79 percent of total cash remittances that were reported by banks.

Remittance inflows were supported by the steady deployment of skilled manpower, as well as the continued efforts of banks and non-bank remittance service providers to expand their international and domestic market coverage through tie-ups abroad as well as the introduction of innovations in their remittance products. Preliminary reports from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) indicated that for the period January–October 2015, total job orders reached 717,182, of which 44.1 percent have been processed. These job orders were intended mainly for service, production, and professional, technical and related workers in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. 

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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. Furthermore, 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 as the major source of OF remittances because banks attribute the origin of funds to the most immediate source.  

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