OFs’ cash remittances up 9.1% yoy in February ’16

MANILA, Philippines — Remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) registered a 9.1 percent year-on-year growth in February 2015, highest since August 2015.

Data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Friday showed that cash inflows in the second month this year reached USD 2.11 billion, higher than month-ago’s USD 2.02 billion and year-ago’s USD 1.94 billion.

To date, cash remittances grew by 6.2 percent to USD 4.13 billion against year-ago’s USD 3.9 billion.

Remittances to the Philippines posted slower and even negative growth since the second half of last year due in part to decline of inflows from the Middle East following the drop of oil prices to record-low levels.

In a statement, BSP Deputy Governor and officer-in-charge Diwa Guinigundo traced the strong growth of cash remittances to inflows from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, and Qatar.

Similarly, over-all remittances, which include in-kind transfers, “continued to draw strength from the steady rise in transfers from land-based OF workers with work contracts of one year or more, which reached USD 3.5 billion, as well as compensation of sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts (excluding their expenditures abroad), which totaled USD 1 billion.”

Total remittances last February amounted to USD 2.33 billion, up nine percent year-on-year, bringing the two-year level to USD 4.57 billion, 6.1 percent higher compared to the USD 4.3 billion in end-February 2015.

The central bank has set a four percent full-year growth assumption for remittances this 2016. PNA/northboundasia.com