Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) for the first nine months of 2018 grew by 2.4 percent year-on-year to reach US$23.7 billion, BSP Officer-in-Charge Maria Almasara Cyd N. Tuaño-Amador announced today.1 The growth in personal remittances during the first nine months of 2018 was supported by remittance inflows from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, which grew by 2.2 percent year-on-year. Similarly, the growth in personal remittances was complemented by remittances from sea- and land-based workers with contracts of less than one year, which rose by 3.5 percent year-on-year. In September 2018, personal remittances rose to US$2.5 billion, 2 percent higher than the September 2017 level.
Likewise, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks increased by 2.3 percent year-on-year to US$2.2 billion in September 2018. This brought cash remittances for the period January-September 2018 to US$21.3 billion, 2.5 percent higher than the US$20.8 billion recorded in the comparable period last year. Over the nine-month period, cash remittances from both land-based (US$16.8 billion) and sea-based (US$4.5 billion) workers grew by 2.2 percent and 3.5 percent year-on-year, respectively.
By country source, more than 79 percent of the total cash remittances for the first nine months of 2018 came from the United States, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Singapore, Japan, United Kingdom, Qatar, Canada, Germany, and Hong Kong.2 Meanwhile, the countries that contributed to the increase in remittances in September 2018 are Canada, the United States and Taiwan.
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.