Personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) totalled $2.9 billion in Aug. 2019, 4.2 per cent higher than the $2.8 billion remitted as at Aug. 2018, the Philippine central bank said on Tuesday.
According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) or the central bank of the Philippines, this brings personal remittances for the first eight months of 2019 to $22 billion, up by 3.6 per cent from 2018 sum of $21.2 billion.
“The steady growth in personal remittances during the first eight months of 2019 drew support from the remittance inflows from land-based OF workers with work contracts of one year or more, which aggregated $16.8 billion from $16.3 billion in the same period in 2018,” the BSP added.
According to the BSP, inflows from the compensation of sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts also contributed to the growth and totalled $4.7 billion from $4.4 billion a year ago.
The BSP also said that cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks rose to $2.6 billion in Aug. 2019, from $2.5 billion in 2018, bringing cash remittances for the first eight months of 2019 to $19.8 billion from $19.1 billion recorded in the same period in 2018.
“Cash remittances from land-based and sea-based workers increased by 2.8 per cent to $15.5 billion and 8.2 per cent to $4.3 billion, respectively, for Jan. to Aug. 2019,” the BSP said.
By country source, the BSP said that the U.S. registered the highest share of overall remittances for Jan. to Aug. 2019 at 37 per cent.
It was followed by Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Britain.
The government estimates the number of overseas Filipino workers at 12 million, accounting for one-tenth of the country’s population.
The Philippine central bank sees cash remittances growing by three per cent in 2019.
Overseas Filipinos remittances are one of the largest sources of foreign exchange income in the Philippines.