Personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) increased by 12.9 percent year-on-year to reach US$2.6 billion in April 2018. On a cumulative basis, personal remittances for the first four months of the year totaled US$10.4 billion, 4 percent higher than the level recorded in the comparable period in 2017, BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. announced today.1 The continued growth in personal remittances during the first four months of 2018 was driven by steady remittance inflows from land-based OF workers with work contracts of one year or more, which aggregated to US$8.1 billion, and compensation of sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts, which reached US$2.1 billion.
Cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks posted a 12.7 percent year-on-year growth (at US$2.3 billion) in April 2018. Remittances sent by land-based workers (at US$1.8 billion) and sea-based workers (at US$0.5 billion) increased by 15.1 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively, compared to the levels posted in the same month a year ago. The primary contributors to the growth in remittances during the month are the United States (US) with 4.2 percentage points contribution to the 12.7 aggregated growth, Canada (1.9 percentage points) and Singapore (1.0 percentage points).
The increase in the cash remittances in April 2018 brought the cumulative cash remittances for the first four months of the year to US$9.4 billion, higher by 3.5 percent year-on-year. By country source, the bulk of cash remittances during the period came from the US, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Japan, Singapore, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Qatar and Kuwait. The combined remittances from these countries accounted for almost 80 percent of total cash remittances.
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).