Remittances reached $2.23B in October
Filipinos abroad sent back home cash worth $2.23 billion in October—the second highest monthly amount thus far, exceeded only by the $2.32 billion recorded in December last year.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data released on Tuesday showed that cash remittances coursed through banks at the start of the fourth quarter exceeded by 0.2 percent the $2.23 billion that came in a year ago.
From January to October, cash remittances totaled $20.64 billion, up 3.7 percent from $19.91 billion in the same 10-month period last year.
“Cash remittances from land-based and sea-based workers grew by 3.9 percent [to $15.8 billion] and 2.9 percent [to $4.8 billion], respectively,” year-on-year as of end-October, BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. noted in a statement.
The top sources of cash remittances last October were Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States. Remittances from these eight countries combined already accounted for almost four-fifths of the 10-month total.
Tetangco continued to attribute the strong remittance inflows to “steady deployment of skilled manpower.”
“Preliminary reports from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration indicated that for the period January to October 2015, total job orders reached 717,182, of which 44.1 percent have been processed. These job orders were intended mainly for service, production and professional, technical and related workers in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Taiwan and Hong Kong,” Tetangco noted.
He also cited “the continued efforts of banks and nonbank remittance service providers to expand their international and domestic market coverage through tie-ups abroad as well as the introduction of innovations in their remittance products.”
The BSP expects remittances to reach $25.6 billion by end-2015, up 5 percent from 2014’s $24.35 billion.
Worries over the sustainability of remittances were raised earlier this year after data showed a contraction of 0.6 percent in August.
Remittances are the biggest source of foreign exchange income for the Philippine economy, helping insulate the country from external shocks by ensuring the steady supply of dollars in the system.
These cash transfers are also a major driver for domestic consumption, which last year accounted for about two-thirds of the economy as measured by the gross domestic product (GDP).
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.