Personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) grew by 11.8 percent year-on-year, reaching a new record high of US$2.9 billion in March 2017. This brought the total remittances for the first quarter of 2017 to US$7.7 billion, higher by 8.1 percent than the level posted in the same period a year ago, BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today.1 The increase in personal remittances during the first quarter of the year was driven by the 10.5 percent growth in transfers from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, making up for the 2.0 percent decrease in remittances from sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year.
Meanwhile, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks rose by 10.7 percent year-on-year in March 2017, aggregating US$2.6 billion. Remittances sent by land-based workers (at US$2.1 billion) and sea-based workers (at US$0.5 billion) increased by 12.8 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively, compared to the levels in the same month a year ago. The primary contributors to the growth in remittances during the month are the United States (with 3.9 percentage points contribution to the 10.7 percent aggregate growth), Canada and United Arab Emirates (UAE) (each contributing 2.1 percentage points), Japan (1.0 percentage point), and Hong Kong (0.8 percentage point).
As a result, cash remittances for the first quarter of 2017 rose to US$7.0 billion, up by 7.7 percent relative to the same period a year ago. Cash remittances from land-based workers grew by 10.4 percent (to US$5.6 billion), compensating for the 2.0 percent decrease in sea-based workers’ transfers (to US$1.4 billion). Almost 80 percent of the cash remittances for the first quarter of 2017 came from the United States, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Singapore, Japan, United Kingdom, Qatar, Kuwait, Hong Kong and Canada.
1The 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).