Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) grew by 7.3 percent year-on-year in January 2020 to reach US$2.94 billion from US$2.75 billion in January 2019. Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more rose to US$2.27 billion, 7.4 percent higher than US$2.12 billion recorded in January 2019. Meanwhile, personal remittances from sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year rose by 3.9 percent to US$0.6 billion from US$0.58 billion from a year ago.
Cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks amounted to US$2.65 billion in January 2020, a 6.6 percent increase from US$2.48 billion recorded in January 2019. This increase was due to the rise in remittances from both land-based (US$2.1 billion) and sea-based (US$0.55 billion) workers, which rose by 7.4 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively. By country source, the United States registered the highest share of overall remittances at 38.6 percent. It was followed by Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Canada, Hong Kong, and Korea.1 The combined remittances from these countries accounted for almost 80 percent of total cash remittances.
1 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 U.S. 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 U.S. Therefore, the U.S. would appear to be the main source of OF remittances because banks attribute the origin of funds to the most immediate source. The countries are listed in order of their share of cash remittances, i.e., from highest to lowest.