Personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) reached US$2.7 billion in July 2018, higher by 4.5 percent compared to the level posted in the same month in 2017. On a cumulative basis, personal remittances grew by 3.0 percent year-on-year to US$18.5 billion, BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. announced today.1 The rise in personal remittances during the first seven months of 2018 was supported by an increase of 2.8 percent and 4.0 percent in remittance inflows from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more and sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts, respectively.
Cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks totaled US$2.4 billion in July 2018, posting a 5.2 percent increase from the level recorded in the same month last year. Cash remittances sent by land-based workers grew by 4.5 percent to US$1.9 billion, while those from sea-based workers expanded by 7.8 percent to US$511 million. By country source, the primary contributors to the growth in cash remittances for the month were the United States (US), Canada, United Kingdom (UK), and Germany.
For the first seven months of 2018, cash remittances climbed to US$16.6 billion, a 3.0 percent increase from the level registered in the same period in 2017. In particular, cash remittances from land-based and sea-based workers totaled US$13.1 billion and US$3.5 billion, respectively. More than 79 percent of the total cash remittances came from the US, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Japan, UK, Qatar, Canada, Germany, and Hong Kong.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 US. 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 US. Therefore, the US would show up to be the main sources of OF remittances because banks attribute the origin of funds to the most immediate source.