Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) reached US$2.3 billion in February 2016, higher by 9 percent than the level posted in February last year. On a year-to-date basis, remittances for the first two months of the year increased by 6.1 percent to US$4.6 billion from US$4.3 billion recorded in the same period in 2015, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Officer-in-Charge Diwa C. Guinigundo announced today.1 Personal remittances continued to draw strength from the steady rise in transfers from land-based OF workers with work contracts of one year or more, which reached US$3.5 billion, as well as compensation of sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts (excluding their expenditures abroad), which totaled US$1.0 billion.
Similarly, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks grew by 9.1 percent year-on-year to US$2.1 billion in February 2016. For the period January-February 2016, cash remittances amounted to US$4.1 billion, representing a growth of 6.2 percent from the US$3.9 billion registered in the comparative period last year. Cash transfers from both land-based (US$3.2 billion) and sea-based (US$917 million) workers rose by 6.9 percent and 3.7 percent year-on-year, respectively. More than three-fourths of cash remittances came from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, and Qatar.
The steady deployment of OF workers remained a key driver to the growth of remittance inflows. Preliminary reports from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that 31.6 percent of the 160,277 total approved job orders in January-February 2016 were processed during the period. Processed job orders were intended mainly to fill in demand for service, production, and professional, technical and related workers in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates.
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).