Remittances breach USD15-B mark in H1 2017

MANILA, Aug 15— Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. on Tuesday said that personal remittances of Overseas Filipinos (OFs) rose by 6.8 percent year-on-year to USD2.8 billion in June 2017.

This brought personal remittances for the first semester of 2017 to USD15.4 billion, higher by 5.5 percent than the level posted in the same period a year ago.

The growth was boosted largely by the 5.5 percent increase in personal remittances from land-based workers with long-term contracts, whose remittances comprised 77.3 percent of total personal remittances.

It was also supported by the 1.7 percent rise in remittances from sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts.

Similarly, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks, amounting to USD2.5 billion in June 2017, went up by 5.7 percent year-on-year.

Cash remittances from land-based workers (at USD1.9 billion) and from sea-based workers (at USD500 million), posted a 3.8 percent and 13.3 percent growth, respectively, compared to the level reported in the same month a year ago.

The United States (US), United Arab Emirates (UAE), Hong Kong and Singapore were the major contributors to the growth in cash remittances during the month.

Cash transfers from the US and UAE each contributed 1.9 percentage points to the 5.7 overall growth in cash remittances while those from Hong Kong and Singapore contributed a combined 1.1 percentage points.

By country source, the bulk of cash remittances came from the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Singapore, Japan, United Kingdom, Qatar, Kuwait, Germany and Hong Kong.

The remittances from these countries accounted for almost 80 percent of total cash remittances in the first semester of 2017.

The sustained increase in OF remittances was supported by stable demand for skilled Filipinos abroad.

Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that for the period January-June 2017, the total number of deployed OF workers reached 1.14 million, which is already more than 50 percent of the total number of OF workers deployed for the year 2016 at 2.11 million. PR/