MANILA — Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) amounted to US$2.3 billion in July 2015, higher by 0.5 percent compared with the same period a year ago, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.
On a cumulative basis, personal remittances reached US$15.7 billion in the seven-month period, registering a year-on-year growth of 4.6 percent, Officer-in-Charge Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. announced yesterday.
Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more grew by 5.4 percent while those from sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year rose by 2.9 percent. The 0.5 percent growth in personal remittances in July 2015, however, was lower than the previous year’s 7.3 percent growth.
This is partly due to the depreciation of currencies in their host countries against the US dollar, which reduced the dollar equivalent of their remittances.
Similarly, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks increased by 0.5 percent year-on-year to US$2.1 billion in July 2015. This brought cash remittances for January-July 2015 to US$14.2 billion, 4.8 percent higher than the US$13.5 billion recorded in the same period last year.
Cash remittances from land-based and sea-based workers totaled US$10.8 billion and US$3.3 billion, respectively. The bulk of cash remittances were sourced from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and Canada.
The continued demand for OF workers remained the key driver of sustained remittance inflows. Preliminary reports from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) indicated that total job orders reached 526,345, of which 38.7 percent were processed, intended mainly for service, production, and professional, technical and related workers in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates.
Moreover, efforts of bank and non-bank remittance service providers to expand their international and domestic market coverage through their network of remittance business partners worldwide provided support to the steady remittance flows.
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).
2. 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 show as the major source of OF remittances because banks attribute the origin of funds to the most immediate source. (BSP)
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