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Personal Remittances for the First Eleven Months of 2018 Up by 2.9 Percent to US$29.1 Billion

01.15.2019

Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) in November 2018 grew by 2.4 percent year-on-year to US$2.6 billion. On a cumulative basis, personal remittances in January – November 2018 reached US$29.1 billion, 2.9 percent higher than the level posted a year ago, BSP Officer-in-Charge Maria Almasara Cyd N. Tuaño-Amador announced today.1 The growth in personal remittances during the first eleven months of 2018 was supported by remittance inflows from land-based OFs with work contracts of one year or more as well as remittances from sea-based and land-based OFs with work contracts of less than one year which increased by 2.8 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, cash remittances rose by 2.8 percent year-on-year to US$2.3 billion in November 2018. The countries that contributed most to the increase for the month were Canada and the United States (US). For the first eleven months of 2018, cash remittances reached US$26.1 billion, or a 3.1 percent increase compared to the US$25.3 billion registered in the same period in 2017. Cash remittances from both land-based (US$20.5 billion) and sea-based workers (US$5.5 billion) recorded increments of 2.8 percent and 4.1 percent for January - November 2018, respectively.

The bulk of cash remittances for the first eleven months of 2018 came from the US, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Japan, United Kingdom, Qatar, Canada, Germany, and Hong Kong. Cash remittances from these countries accounted for almost 79 percent of total cash remittances.2  

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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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