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Personal Remittances Increase by 2.9 Percent to Reach US$26.5 Billion for the First Ten Months of 2018


Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) for the first ten months of the year reached US$26.5 billion, equivalent to a 2.9 percent year-on-year growth. For October alone, personal remittances totaled US$2.8 billion, higher by 8.0 percent from US$2.6 billion a year ago, BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. announced today.1 Personal remittances from land-based OFs with work contracts of one year or more posted an increase of 2.8 percent (at US$20.3 billion), while those from sea-based and land-based OFs with work contracts of less than one year increased by 4.2 percent (at US$5.5 billion) for January to October of 2018.

Likewise, for the first ten months of 2018, cash remittances reached US$23.8 billion, or a 3.1 percent increase compared to the US$23.1 billion registered in the same period in 2017.  In October 2018, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks grew by
 8.7 percent year-on-year to US$2.5 billion.  The top countries that contributed to the increase were the United States (US), Canada, and Taiwan. Cash remittances from both land-based (US$18.7 billion) and sea-based (US$5.0 billion) workers grew by 2.8 percent and 4.2 percent year-on-year, respectively.

By country source, 79 percent of the total cash remittances for the first ten months of 2018 came from the US, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Japan, United Kingdom, 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.  

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