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Personal Remittances Up by 5.2 Percent Reaching US$12.6 Billion for the First Five Months of 2017


Personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) amounted to US$12.6 billion registering a 5.2 percent growth year-on-year for the first five months of 2017, BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. announced today.1  Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more grew by 5.9 percent to compensate for the 0.6 percent decline in remittances from sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year on the same period a year ago.

Cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks reached US$2.3 billion in May 2017, a 5.5 percent increase from the level posted in the same period a year ago. This was boosted by the remittances from land-based (at US$1.8 billion) and sea-based (at US$0.5 billion) workers, representing 6.2 percent and 3.0 percent increase, respectively. By country source, the primary contributors to the growth in cash remittances for this month are the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) (with 1.5 percentage points contribution to growth), Canada and Saudi Arabia ( each contributing 1.1 percentage points), and United States ( 0.8 percentage points).

On a year-to-date basis, cash remittances gained 4.5 percent growth, reaching  US$11.3 billion. Cash remittances from land-based workers grew by 5.9 percent   to US$9.0 billion, while transfers from sea-based workers’ declined by 0.6 percent to US$2.3 billion.  Cash remittances coming from the United States (US), Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Singapore, Japan, United Kingdom, Qatar, Kuwait, Canada and Germany comprised about 80 percent of total cash remittances in the first five months of 2017.2


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.  

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