Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) amounted to US$2.56 billion in February 2019, higher by 1.2 percent from US$2.53 billion in February 2018. This brought the cumulative remittances for the first two months of the year to US$5.30 billion, representing a 2.3 percent year-on-year growth, BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno announced today.1/ Personal remittances from sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year rose by 8.5 percent to US$0.57 billion in February 2019 from US$0.53 billion in February 2018. This compensated for the 0.43 percent decline in the personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, to US$1.93 billion from US$1.94 billion.
Meanwhile, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks posted a 1.5 percent growth to US$2.30 billion in February 2019 from US$2.27 billion last year. For the first two months of 2019, cash remittances amounted to US$4.78 billion, an increase of 3.0 percent compared to the US$4.65 billion level in the same period last year. This growth was supported by the increase in remittances from both land-based (US$3.73 billion) and sea-based (US$1.06 billion) workers, which rose by 1.0 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively. By country source, the United States registered the highest share of overall remittances for the period at 35.5 percent. It was followed by Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Canada, Qatar, Hong Kong, and Germany. The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 77.3 percent of total cash remittances for January to February 2019.
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).