Personal remittances of Overseas Filipinos (OFs)1 totaled US$2.6 billion in September 2019, 6.3 percent higher than the US$2.5 billion in September 2018. This brings personal remittances for the first nine months of 2019 to US$24.6 billion, or 3.9 percent higher than last year's level of US$23.7 billion.
Growth in personal remittances during the nine-month period was driven by steady remittance inflows from land-based OF workers with work contracts of one year or more, which grew to US$18.8 billion from US$18.2 billion in the same period last year. Remittance inflows from sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts also contributed higher at US$5.3 billion this year compared to US$4.9 billion a year ago.
Similarly, cash remittances coursed through banks by OF workers with work contracts of less than one year rose to US$2.4 billion in September 2019 from US$2.2 billion last year. This drove cash remittances higher in the first nine months of this year to US$22.2 billion from US$21.3 billion recorded in the same period last year. By type of worker, cash remittances from land-based and sea-based workers increased by 3.2 percent to US$17.3 billion, and 8 percent to US$4.9 billion, respectively.
By country source, the US registered the highest share of total remittances during the period January to September 2019 at 37.5 percent. It was followed by Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Japan, the UK, Canada, Hong Kong, Germany and Kuwait. The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78.3 percent of total cash remittances during the period.
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).